Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) entry requirements
If you are applying for ScotGEM, you will need to meet a number of entry requirements including achieving particular academic grades and taking the GAMSAT and UKCAT SJTace tests.
You will also need to demonstrate your experience in a caring or health environment, as well as satisfy non-academic conditions for offer, including familiarisation with the School's fitness critieria, undertaking a criminal record screening, and undergoing an immunisation screening.
Qualities and experience
Applicants are expected to demonstrate a range of personal attributes and experiences that are relevant to medicine. Information can be supplied in various forms: the UCAS reference, the UCAS personal statement and in a web-based questionnaire that will be sent to all applicants in October after application. A candidate’s interest in ScotGEM and their reflections on work experience will form part of the discussions at interview.
The UCAS personal statement should demonstrate:
- a range of suitable personal attributes such as motivation, commitment, social contribution, teamwork and leadership, and excellent communication skills
- an understanding of, and commitment to, medicine
- achieved medically related work or shadowing experience.
An academic reference will be required as part of the UCAS application (for example, from your academic tutor or advisor of studies). Your academic referee should be up to date with your academic progress and should have taught or supervised you in the last three years prior to entry to ScotGEM. Your referee should comment on your academic performance, your attitude to study and your approach to working with others, including communication skills. They should comment on your other skills or attributes that make you a suitable candidate for medicine.
Applicants whose degree was obtained a number of years ago may also wish to provide a supplementary supporting reference from their recent workplace. The reference should comment on the applicant’s suitability for medicine and should be submitted directly to St Andrews (not via UCAS).
References from family members or close friends are not acceptable.
Academic references must come from an official higher education institution email account.
The web-based questionnaire will allow candidates to:
- explain why they are particularly interested in or suited to ScotGEM
- give detail about their medically related work experience.
Before applying to ScotGEM, applicants should have had work experience in a health situation with people who may be ill, disabled, elderly or by shadowing a doctor at work. The main aim of work experience is to gain insight into health and healthcare delivery and to allow candidates to make an informed choice before deciding to apply to study medicine.
The ScotGEM programme does not credit the volume of work experience and discourages applicants seeking to acquire experience in excess of two weeks. The programme also does not encourage work experience in resource-poor settings where candidates may be exposed to risk or take up scarce staff time. Medically related work experience is not ‘scored’ but instead forms part of the discussions at interview.
The ScotGEM programme reserves the right to require applicants to provide details regarding activities described on UCAS personal statements or the web-based questionnaire (such as contacts regarding work experience) and will investigate a number at random as well as any suspect claims. Misleading statements may lead to an application being rejected.
Medicine is a profession that requires commitment. It is important that the choice to enter medicine is made with insight into where it might lead, the role of life-long learning, and with awareness that the course is a training for professional practice.
In considering the commitment involved in becoming a doctor, the following web pages provide important guidance:
A disability need not be a bar to becoming a doctor. Applicants who have a disability will need to consider what effect that disability could have on patients and colleagues and how it would impact on their capacity to function as a medical practitioner in an effective and safe manner. For more information, see HEOPS standards of medical fitness to train and HEOPS general guidance on adjustments for students.
It is important that disabilities and health conditions are declared at the time of application so that any reasonable adjustments required can be put in place by the time of entry to the medicine course.
For more information please see:
Fitness to practise
It is important that the choice to enter medicine is made with insight into where it might lead, the role of life-long learning, and with awareness that the course is a training for professional practise. Medical students are expected to behave with the utmost integrity from the very start of their training.
It is therefore essential that you are able to fulfil fitness to practise criteria requirements based on the General Medical Council’s publication of Good Medical Practice, incorporating the points outlined in duties of a doctor.
At the start of each year, ScotGEM students will be required to submit a signed declaration which indicates what is expected of professionals in training, and this includes giving consent to being videoed as part of their training in clinical medicine. If a student’s conduct falls below acceptable standards this could lead to a student being referred to a ‘fitness to practise’ committee. The ScotGEM declaration for signature is not yet available, however we anticipate that it will be similar to the Medical School Agreement for the St Andrews A100 course. The ScotGEM document will be available before offers are made and applicants should read this before accepting an offer of a place.
For more information please see:
Criminal record declaration
Entrants to Medicine will also be required to undertake satisfactory criminal record screening as part of the non-academic conditions of their offer. This involves joining the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. The scheme provides the applicant and the university with a live update of the person's fitness to work with regulated adults or children. In addition, students will be asked to declare any minor historical offences, warnings or cautions as well as any which are still pending.
Please see information on the disclosure of criminal convictions in the University's admissions policy.
For more information see PVG guidance or contact the ScotGEM office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occupational health and immunisation
Entrants to Medicine will be subject to an occupational health check: a pre-entry questionnaire and screening. Entrants will be screened for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection. All entrants are required to complete a course of immunisation against hepatitis B virus. Details about the timescale for immunisations and antibody tests will be provided in due course.
Infection with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV does not mean that training to be a doctor is impossible, but applicants should consider at this stage whether or not this is the career option that they wish to pursue. Any entrant student who is found to be a carrier of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV will require counselling as such a situation may place restrictions on the student's clinical training or practice following qualification. Applicants who have had an infection of this nature and wish to discuss this further before making a decision should email email@example.com.
For more guidance, please see the Medical Schools Council on blood-borne viruses.
Please note, if a student is found to have deliberately failed to disclose information that could have made him or her ineligible to study medicine, or given false information, the course provider can consider removing them from training on grounds of dishonesty.