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Pathway to Medicine (January Intake)

The Pathway to Medicine is a two-phase, 18-month long January Intake programme that offers students the potential to move on to a degree in 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 12-24 months and not yet have studied at university.

CIFP Pathway To Medicine Image for Center Column

Pathway to Medicine route:

Phase 1: January - August. This includes modules in Chemistry and Physiology, integrated English language and academic skills and a clinical observation project usually undertaken in the student’s home country. UKCAT preparation is also included.

On successful completion this is followed by:

Phase 2: September - June. This follows the structure of the International Foundation Programme for Medicine.

The Pathway to Medicine is a two phase programme. The programme aims to develop scientific knowledge to prepare students for their study of Medicine, as well as equipping students with the linguistic foundation appropriate for the demands of medical study.

By the end of Phase 1 of the programme students will have:

  • an understanding of a range of specific academic disciplines
  • a clear awarenesss and good command of academic English
  • the ability to communicate in a range of academic and related settings
  • an increased awareness of key aspects of British culture
  • the capacity to cope with a range of reading material in different genres
  • the skills to work effectively on one's own initiative and as part of a group or team
  • the confidence and skills set to embark on Phase 2 of the Pathway to Medicine programme or an undergradute degree programme.

Phase 2 of the programme (September 2019 - June 2020) is the International Foundation Programme for Medicine.



This is the University's own Pathway to Medicine programme which prepares international students for undergraduate study in the UK, and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Distinctive features of this programme include:

  • a student-led conference
  • small group teaching
  • personal tutor to support studies
  • UKCAT and IELTS training
  • clinical observation

Phase 1 of the Pathway to Medicine has six compulsory modules:

In Semester 1, all students will study the same three compulsory modules:

  • Exploring Academic Identities
  • Researched Writing
  • CH1601 Organic and Biological Chemistry 1

In Semester 2, all students will study the same three compulsory modules:

  • Communicative Literacy: 
  • Reflective Writing
  • Discipline-specific subjects

See Pathway to Medicine course information 2018-19 (PDF, 151 KB) for more details.

Phase 2 of the programme (September 2019 to June 2020) is the International Foundation Programme for Medicine.


Academic requirement

You should have good school leaving qualifications from your home country with an A grade average, or more than 85%, or a GPA of at least 3.4 (depending on country).

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 should apply before your final results are available, as we 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 Science 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).

Successful completion of Phase 1

In order to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the Pathway to Medicine programme, students must:

  • achieve a GPA of 14 overall with no core element below 11.
    • Core elements are: Chemistry (CH1601), Exploring Academic Identities, S2 Integrated Skills examination, Physiology, Clinical Observation reflective report and the Oral Presentation examination.
  • be interviewed successfully by the Director of the International Foundation Programme for Medicine
  • take the UKCAT before 15 August 2018 (mitigating circumstances such as illnesss, bereavement or travel disruption can be accommodated when documented and notified appropriately).
  • complete clinical observations in fulfillment of the offsite research project assessed and included in the final grade calculation
  • have a strong written reference from the Director of the Pathway to Medicine Programme

Upon successful completion of Phase 1 students also have the option to pursue a degree in the Faculty of Science if a GPA of 14.0 is achieved.

For details on requirements to successfully complete Phase 2 see Pathway to Medicine course information 2018-19 (PDF, 151 KB)

Phase 2 of the programme (September 2019 to June 2020) is the International Foundation Programme for Medicine.

The fee package for the Pathway to Medicine programme includes accommodation, which the University arranges on your behalf.

All foundation students are allocated a room in David Russell Apartments (DRA), just a 10-minute walk from the Centre for International Foundation Programmes. In each apartment, there are five study bedrooms, each with their own private shower and toilet, and a shared living space and fully equipped kitchen.

Bedding pack

A bedding pack will be delivered to each student’s bedroom before they arrive at David Russell Apartments. The bedding pack is for a standard double bed (UK size) and contains:

  • one duvet (10.5 tog)
  • one duvet cover
  • one flat sheet
  • two pillows
  • two pillowcases.


Pathway to Medicine students are on a catered meal plan that gives them 14 meals per week during the semester.

Breakfast and an evening meal are served every weekday; breakfast and lunch are served on Saturdays and Sundays.

See a sample menu for the 14-meal plan.


Applications for January 2020 will open in March 2019.

Semester dates

Accommodation opens: Wednesday 09 January 2019
Start date: Thursday 10 January 2019
End date: Friday 16 August 2019

Fees: The all-inclusive fee package for 2019 is £50,000 (£24,000 for Phase 1 and £26,000 for Phase 2).

This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

CIFP undergraduate brochure (PDF, 8,523 KB)

Programme Director: John Hughes

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

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