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International Foundation Programme for Medicine

The International Foundation Programme for Medicine (IFPM) is an intensive science and academic English language programme designed for international students who wish to enter the Faculty of Medicine at the University of St Andrews. It is not designed for home or EU students, who have alternative entry routes available.

The programme provides an excellent preparation for the first year of our Medicine degree through a well-balanced blend of modules in Chemistry and Biology, Academic English, Medical Ethics, Communication Skills, Research and Study Skills and our Introduction to Medicine module - a series of lectures and practicals and seminars co-delivered by staff from both the School of Medicine and the Centre for International Foundation Programmes. This close collaboration ensures that you acquire the skills and knowledge you need for your degree programme.

Students in hospital ward


Students on the International Foundation Programme for Medicine take first year Chemistry and Biology modules - along with other first year students, as well as specially designed modules in Statistics and Research Methods and Medical Ethics.

In addition, Academic Skills and Academic English classes prepare students for project work, research and essay writing, while the Communication Skills module provides interaction with simulated and real patients, in collaboration with the School of Medicine.

Students also take an accredited first aid course and are given the opportunity to volunteer.

Learn more about the programme syllabus and activities:

Entry requirements

Foundation for Medicine requirements:

Academic evidence: Students should have excellent grades in the sciences, one of which must be Chemistry. Typically, our students have achieved 85% or 3.2 GPA or the equivalent in their high school curriculum. (Please note, we are not a means for A-level students to 'improve on' their grades. We prefer students who apply directly from their national high school, and have not attended A-level colleges in the UK.)

You must show proof of excellent academic achievements in other subjects and provide a well-written personal statement outlining their desire to study Medicine and any relevant work experience or clinical observations. We will also require a strong academic reference from your school.

Language evidence: We are looking for a minimum English language level equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0. If you require a visa, your IELTS must be for UKVI purposes. For an overview of language requirements please see our language requirements and pre-degree pages.


  • an academic reference (from your high school)
  • a personal statement. This should be about 400 words long, outlining why you wish to study Medicine at St Andrews and reflecting on your learning and life experience to suggest why you feel you would be successful on our Programme
  • an interview. All applicants who meet these minimum requirements will be interviewed by the Programme Director, usually on Skype or, if possible in the UK or their home country
  • work experience. It is important that applicants for this programme have good interpersonal skills and are prepared to spend time, before or during the foundation year, in obtaining some experience of what a career in medicine might actually involve.  We hope that through direct work experience of hospital or community healthcare, or perhaps voluntary work in the wider community, you will gain insights into the responsibilities and realities of a career in Medicine.  One of the assessments of the IFPM will involve giving a presentation on this experience.

Please do not wait for all your evidence to be in place before you apply. You may apply before your results are available and we can make you a conditional offer, pending your results.

See Foundation for Medicine Requirements 2017 (PDF, 352 KB) for more information.

School of Medicine entry requirements:

In addition to the requirements for Foundation for Medicine (above), students must meet the following requirements to enter the School of Medicine after their Foundation programme.

  • A competitive score in the UKCAT (taken before entry to the Foundation Programme for Medicine). The score for the year ahead is announced by the School of Medicine each April
  • Successful Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). Foundation students will undergo these interviews in Semester 2 (March) 
  • IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum score of 7.0 in each component 

Failure to meet any one of these requirements will mean a student is unable to enter the School of Medicine at St Andrews, even if they have successfully completed the International Foundation Programme for Medicine. See FAQ number 5 for more information.


Successful completion

Student who successfully complete the International Foundation Programme for Medicine and meet the entrance requirements for the School of Medicine will move onto the Medicine degree programme.

Phase 1 (Years 1-3) will be at the University of St Andrews, from which you will graduate with a BSc Honours degree in Medicine.

You will then progress to Phase 2 (Years 4-6) at the University of Manchester School of Medicine and graduate as a doctor with the degree of MB ChB.


Accommodation is included in the International Foundation Programme’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 shower-room and study area.

Undergraduate students have a meal plan giving them 14 meals per week during semester (i.e. not during University vacations). On weekdays (Monday-Friday) students are provided with breakfast and an evening meal, on Saturday and Sunday they are served breakfast and lunch. View sample menus for the 14-meal plan at David Russell Apartments.

Apply for 2017-18

Applications are now closed. Applications will re-open on 01 October 2017 for 18-19 entry. 

Semester dates:

Start date: Monday 11 September 2017
Christmas vacation: Saturday 23 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018
Spring vacation: Saturday 17 March 2018 to Sunday 01 April 2018
End date: Friday 08 June 2018

Fees: The all-inclusive fee package for 2017 is £26,000. This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

Foundation for Medicine Requirements 2017 (PDF, 352 KB)

CIFP undergraduate brochure (PDF, 8,523 KB)

Programme director: Dawn Cremonese

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

Tel: +44 (1334) 462255
Fax:+44 (1334) 462270