Medical student scores student of the year 2023 after juggling football and medical careers

Medical student Harriet Scott has spent five years balancing a demanding medical degree with a career in professional football for Birmingham City Women's FC, and is currently in Australia representing Ireland in the World Cup. 

Harriet Scott

A medical student who has spent five years balancing a demanding medical degree with a career in professional football has been named as Keele University's Neil and Gina SmithStudent of the Year for 2023.

Harriet Scott has earned merits for both knowledge and practical assessments during her degree in Medicine, and has just come to the end of her final year at Keele.

Throughout her course, Harriet has also been a member of Keele’s Talented Athlete Programme, balancing her studies with her professional and international football career playing for both Birmingham City (BCFC), and the Republic of Ireland’s national team.

Harriet was selected to play professionally for BCFC before she began her studies at Keele, but when she was offered a place at Medical School, she took the decision to pursue both careers concurrently.

This has involved balancing studies, exams and placements with training, matches and international tournaments. Harriet has played professionally in the highest club league with BCFC, but also internationally as a defender for the Republic of Ireland.

She has 22 international caps and has won the Senior Women's International Player of the Year award, and within the last year has been part of Ireland's qualifying squad for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, making Irish history.

Alongside her studies and football career, Harriet is also an ambassador for the Red Cross UK and British Heart Foundation charities. She has been able to use her growing social media presence to promote other important healthcare education topics, such as raising awareness of breast and menstrual health.

"Pursuing my passion while achieving my dream"

She has used sport to engage and encourage women to talk about their health and has also used her platform as club captain at BCFC to advocate for improved standards, professionalism and opportunity for women, and to inspire future female players.

Harriet said: "I am very proud to have won Student of the Year this year. Keele has been incredible in supporting me to pursue two challenging aspects of my life. This has allowed me to continue with my sporting passion whilst achieving my dream to become a doctor. I would like to thank my peers for supporting me throughout my degree. And I will forever be grateful for the trust that the medical school has given me."