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Why Should You Study Medicine in Scotland?

A little bit of information on the Scottish universities that offer Medicine and reasons why you should consider studying in Scotland!

November 2022
Iqra Ali

In this post, I will be sharing which Scottish universities offer Medicine, the different selling points of each university and why, more generally, Scotland is such a welcoming place for students! I will also be sharing some information on tuition fees as some individuals may be eligible for free tuition!

Which Scottish universities offer Medicine?

There are five universities in Scotland where you can studyMedicine; between them, they offer 6 courses. This includes:

What admissions tests are required to study Medicine at Scottish universities?

All undergraduate courses state that you must complete the UCAT before applying, whereas for the graduate entry course (ScotGEM) GAMSAT is required instead.

Comparing the Different Scottish Medical Schools

The University of Aberdeen

Course Style: Integrated

What is unique?

The University of Aberdeen is the most northerly medical school in the whole of the UK – which is ideal if you want a change from a busy city like London! It is the only medical school in the UK to offer ‘remote and rural’ as part of the curriculum. This means that you will be in areas of Scotland with lower population numbers, meaning healthcare is not as accessible and staff numbers are often lower than in the cities. Because of this, you maybe encouraged to get much more involved at an earlier stage in your clinical education. This early exposure to clinical medicine is further reinforced by a program beginning in Year 1 known as the ‘patient and partner’ scheme. Each student is partnered with a patient and they follow the patient’s journey throughout the year. This is a brilliant way to develop your interpersonal skills and helps to improve your understanding of what it is like to be the patient and highlights the things that patients value most when they are receiving care.

Interview Style: MMI with interviews being conducted in  person for 2023 entry.

Intercalation: Optional completion of a Bachelor of Science(BSc) or a Master’s programme between Years 3 and 4.

More information can be found here:

The University of Dundee

Course Style: Integrated

What is unique?

The University of Dundee is one of the smallest medical schools in the UK (160 places). Smaller cohort numbers create a more intimate teaching environment and provide students with a chance to get to know others in the cohort much better. It is affiliated with Ninewells Teaching Hospital; one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. Therefore, students have access to a great level of medical expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to enhance their learning.

Interview Style: MMI most likely however there have not yet been updated on how these will be conducted for 2023 entry.

Intercalation: Optional completion of a Bachelor of MedicalSciences (BMSc) between Years 3 and 4.

More information can be found here:

The University of Edinburgh

Course Style: Integrated

What is unique?

Edinburgh is a research focussed university and therefore there are lots of opportunities to get involved in medical research publications. The intercalation is compulsory (meaning the MBChB programme is 6 years) however if you are a graduate you are able to skip this year. It is currently ranked  in the UK for medicine by Guardian University Guide in2022.

Interview Style: day of assessments including short interview stations and a group task.  On this day, you are also given a chance to learn more about the University ofEdinburgh. More will be updated on their website in due course.

Intercalation: Compulsory (unless graduate) Bachelor ofMedical Sciences (BMSc) in Year 3 which can be completed at other universities should you wish.

More information can be found here:

The University of Glasgow

Course Style: Integrated

What is unique?

The University of Glasgow offers students the chance to goon two electives during the Medicine course. Many medical students speak very highly of their elective and therefore the chance to do this not once but twice will most certainly provide you with lots of great experiences and memories!Also, the curriculum is split into phases rather than a rigid year programme which allows each section to be covered without a strict time limit.

Interview Style: Panel interview divided into two sections with the first focussing on the question ‘Why medicine?’ and the second being a discussion of an ethical scenario and about your hobbies.

Intercalation: Option to do this either for one year in one go or space it out in two years. It is also possible to intercalate at another university.

More information can be found here:

The University of St Andrews

Course Style: Integrated

What is unique?

The University of St Andrews offers a 3-year BSc (Hons)degree only. This is to develop the preclinical knowledge before students move on to clinical training. Once the BSc is complete, you switch to a different partner university for your clinical years; this is usually St Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Manchester. The knowledge from the preclinical years is then applied to clinical training.

Interview Style: For 2023 entry, MMI interviews with six stations will be conducted via Microsoft Teams

Intercalation: Option to do this either for one year or two years. It is also possible to intercalate at another university.

More information can be found here:


Course Style: Integrated

What is Unique?

ScotGEM is the only graduate medicine programme inScotland. The training is divided between the two partner universities. The first and second years are taught at St Andrews (preclinical training) and after the final two years are taught at Dundee (clinical training). From the second year onwards, there are periods of your degree where you live and study in rural areas (similar to The University of Aberdeen). 

Interview Style: For 2023 entry, MMI interviews will be conducted at The University of Dundee although this could be subject to change.

Intercalation: Not embedded in the course since all students will have a previous degree.

More information can be found here: .

Why should you study Medicine in Scotland?

Scotland had some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities - with two of them being Russell Group universities (Edinburgh and Glasgow)! Additionally, we are super friendly! Each city welcomes you with open arms… I am from Glasgow myself and our city slogan is “People Make Glasgow”. This is something I 100% agree with and hope that, because of this anyone, coming to study in Scotland will have a smooth transition and feel at home straight away!

There are also plenty of things to do! When you aren’t studying, I would really encourage you to explore! Each of our cities has amazing tourist spots and we have some of the most breath-taking landscapes in the whole world. For example, in Edinburgh, you are able to visit iconic tourist spots such as Edinburgh Castle, the Holyrood Palace and The Scottish Government buildings. In Glasgow, you are able to visit places such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (free of charge to visit), as well as visit the Gallery of Modern Art (outside you will find a statue with a traffic cone on its head. St Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen have breath-taking scenery and you can even spot Dolphins in Aberdeen if you are lucky (in the North Sea)! In addition, you will find many cultural events such as ceilidhs, Burns Night suppers and also celebrate St Andrew’s Day! You will be able to try haggis here and drink lots of Irn Bru, our iconic drink!

Furthermore, from a more academic perspective, Scotland is known around the world for our research… Dolly the Sheep is one of my favourites. Therefore, should you wish to follow this route you will certainly have plenty of opportunities within arm’s reach and will be surrounded by a wealth of knowledge.

Each city is very different in terms of its culture and vibe. Being from Glasgow, I am used to the hustle and bustle of Scotland’s biggest city. However, I study in Edinburgh where the city has a richer and most apparent history associated with it in terms of its architecture and landscape. Dundee, St Andrews and Aberdeen are away from big city life and so are much quieter, but with more greenery and landscape (perfect for photography). This may be something you wish to consider if you choose to apply to a Scottish university!

How much are Medicine tuition fees in Scotland?

If you are a Scottish home student and medicine is your first degree… it’s free! Please apply via SAAS to ensure you receive your free tuition. For individuals who are not Scottish, a breakdown of tuition fees can be found below:

Scottish Students(if it’s a second degree): £1820 per year

English and Welsh Students: £9250 per year (loans can be obtained from The Student Loan Companies)

Northern and Republic of Ireland: £9250 per year (loans can be obtained from Student Finance Northern Ireland)

International students: please click on the individual admissions links as this varies for each university.

Students from the rest of the UK and international students, fear not. There are plenty of scholarships available and here is a useful website to start looking: Many universities also run essay competitions which have cash prizes that can contribute to living costs and tuition fees. This is dependent on the university you attend and the competitions they run each year.

Is Scotland a good place for international students?

Scotland has a strong community of international students from many countries, faiths, cultures and beliefs. In fact, Scottish universities attract more than 50,000 students from over 180 countries each year. More than 90% of international students in Scotland stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their learning experience.

Each university has many clubs and societies geared towards people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. For example, at The University of Edinburgh, where I am currently studying, there is a society called The BAME Medic Society. Scotland is very inclusive of international students and they contribute a great deal to our society.

Author: Iqra Ali

Editor: Allegra Wisking

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