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Pathway to Medicine (September Intake)

The International Pathway to Medicine (September Intake) is a two-year programme of study, with two phases, that offers students the potential to move on to a degree in Medicine at the University of St Andrews:

Phase 1, September 2019 to June 2020

Students in Phase 1 join the students on the International Foundation Programme for Science.

Phase 2, September 2020 to June 2021

Students on Phase 2 join the students on the International Foundation Programme for Medicine.  

Students on the International Pathway to Medicine programme experience university teaching and research from the first day of their studies. You will attend lectures and practical laboratory sessions in the Science Schools combined with classes to develop your skills. The programme has a high success rate, and graduates of the programme have gone on to study on the BSc Honours in Medicine degree in the Faculty of Medicine.

This course is for academically-able international students (not from the EU/UK) whose high school qualifications are not recognised for application to an undergraduate degree at St Andrews. Applicants should be due to leave school soon or have left school within the past 12 to 24 months and not yet have studied at university.

Human skeleton over blue background

The September Pathway to Medicine programme has evolved to meet international students’ needs, and is designed to help them to function effectively as undergraduates on the BSc Medicine degree. This is a two-year course. The course aims to ensure that students develop the analytical approach to learning and communication skills which are required to study Medicine in a British university. The structure of the programme provides students with a great deal of support in the first year when it is most needed, but progressively enables students to work independently and collaboratively as they will do on their degree.  

You will join science modules with first-year students from the beginning of the programme.

Pathway to Medicine programme classes integrate science and English language learning through a focus on writing laboratory reports, structuring essays, critical thinking and scientific methods of investigation.

Phase 1 (September 2019 to June 2020)

Semester 1

Students must take the following three modules:

  • Academic Language and Study Skills for Science A: improves students' abilities to research and present their ideas accurately in both writing and speaking.
  • Science module A: Fundamental Chemistry 

Students will also prepare an academic essay as part of the Science module A.

Semester 2

You will study three modules:

  • Academic Language and Study Skills for Science B: builds on the skills developed in the Language and Study Skills for Science module A.
  • Science module B:students take the following science-related subject:
    • Physiology

 Students will also prepare an academic essay as part of the IFP Science module B.

Phase 2 (September 2020 to June 2021)

Semester 1

Students take the following modules:

  • Foundations for Medicine 1: This module focuses on academic research and writing skills along with seminar and project skills. Students also have sessions on effective communication and attend workshops with simulated and real patients in the School of Medicine.
  • Faculty of Science Module 1: CH1401 Introductory Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Faculty of Science Module 2: PS1001 Psychology 1

Semester 2

  • Foundations for Medicine 2: builds on the skills studied in Semester 1 to enhance confidence and competence in communication. In semester 2, students will also have a series of lectures introducing them to important themes in Medicine. These are delivered by staff from the School of Medicine.
  • Human Biology: This module takes a ‘systems approach’, similar to the School of Medicine. Students will study all the key physiological systems within the topic areas, with an overarching focus on how disease affects these systems. 
  • Faculty of Science Module 3: PS1001 Psychology 1


Academic requirement

Our typical academic requirements (PDF, 544 KB) are listed alphabetically by country. If your qualification is not shown here, please email for details about the grades needed from your high school system.

You can demonstrate that you have met the academic requirement with a high school transcript from your final year at school. Any high school qualification you use as evidence of your academic ability should be dated within the previous two years.

You should apply before your final results are available, as the University can make you a conditional offer based on your past exam performance and predicted grades.

English Language requirement

An IELTS (Academic) test report form with a minimum of 6.0 overall and no component score below 5.0.

If you require a visa, your IELTS test must be for UKVI purposes. For an overview of our English language requirements for foundation applicants, please see our pre-degree page.

Other requirements

  • an academic reference from your high school and on their letterhead
  • a personal statement outlining why you wish to study on the Pathway to Medicine at St Andrews and reflecting on your life and learning experiences to explain why you feel you would be successful on this programme.

All applicants who are made an offer will be invited for interview, either by video call or in person (in the UK or their home country).

Progression from Phase 1 to Phase 2

In order to progress from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the International Pathway to Medicine, students must achieve an overall GPA of 11.0.  (Results are graded on the University's 20-point scale).  In addition, they must pass the Faculty of Science and additional science modules.

Students also have an informal meeting with the Director of Phase 2 of the Pathway to Medicine (Director of the International Foundation Programme for Medicine), will carry a letter of reference from the Director of Phase 1, and are strongly encouraged to undertake some clinical observation between Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Progression from Phase 2 onto the BSc in Medicine

In order to progress into the BSc in Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, students must achieve: 

  • an overall grade of 14.0 or above for the International Foundation Programme for Medicine (ET1030)
  • a grade of 12.0 or above for each Faculty of Science module (CH1401, PS1001, PS1002)
  • an overall grade of 14.0 or above for Introduction to Medicine (Semester 2)
  • an overall grade of 14.0 or above for Foundations for Medicine 1 and 2.

Students must also meet the following entry requirements of the School of Medicine in order to move on to the BSc (Hons) Medicine at the University of St Andrews:

  • a competitive score in the UKCAT
  • successful multiple mini interviews
  • IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of 7.0 and at least 7.0 in each component. 

Provided that you meet the above entry requirements for the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, you will be given an unconditional offer to enter first year of the BSc Medicine.

Students who do not pass the Pathway to Medicine programme but meet all the requirements may be able to study a science degree (Biology, Chemistry or Psychology) at St Andrews or secure a place at another institution. Programme coordinators assist with advice and UCAS applications as necessary to work towards the best possible outcome for you.

Accommodation is included in the International Pathway to Medicine's fee package.

Foundation students are allocated a room in a David Russell Apartments (DRA), just a 10-15 minute walk from the Centre for International Foundation Programmes. In each apartment there is a shared kitchen and living space and 5 bedrooms (typically same gender, all foundation students), each with a study area and private toilet and shower.

Bedding pack

A bedding pack is available for collection at David Russell Apartments when students check-in. The bedding pack contains:

  • One duvet (10.5 tog)
  • One duvet cover
  • One flat sheet
  • Two pillows
  • Two pillowcases.


Foundation programme students have a meal plan giving them 14 meals per week during semester (i.e. not during University vacations).

  • Monday to Friday: students are provided with breakfast and an evening meal.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Students are served breakfast and lunch.

See sample menus for the 14-meal plan at David Russell Apartments.

Apply for 2019-21

Apply for the Pathway to Medicine programme starting in September 2019.


Phase 1 start date: Monday 09 September 2019
Phase 1 end date: Friday 29 May 2020

Phase 2 dates will appear here later in 2018.

Fees: The all-inclusive fee package for 2019-21 is £54,300 (£25,950 for Phase 1 and £28,350 for Phase 2). This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

Meet us in your country

Programme director: Ally Malcolm-Smith

English Language Teaching
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (1334) 462257
Fax:+44 (1334) 462270