Medicine (International Foundation) September 2019 entry

Incorporating a unique blend of academic skills with medicine-related topics, the International Foundation programme for Medicine has been designed in conjunction with the School of Medicine to develop the intellectual and communication skills necessary for success in a degree in Medicine. The programme has a high success rate, with 85% to 90% of students typically passing it each year.

Course type

International Foundation programme

This is the University’s own pre-degree programme which prepares international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Course duration

Nine months full time

Course dates

Start date: 9 September 2019
End date: 29 May 2020

This course is for:

International students (not from the UK or EU) who are academically able but 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 should have left school within the past 18 months and have not yet studied at college or university.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Applicants must have studied sciences at school, and Chemistry should have been studied in the applicant’s final year at school.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
Typical academic requirements (PDF) are listed alphabetically by country. If your qualification is not shown here, please email ifp@st-andrews.ac.uk for details about the grades needed from your high school system.

You can demonstrate that you have met the academic requirements 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 6.5 overall and no component score below 6.0.

If you require a visa, your IELTS test must be for UKVI purposes. See an overview of the English language requirements for foundation applicants.

You do not need to have your result when you apply, as this can be a condition of any offer made by the University.

Work experience requirement
Students are required to have voluntary work experience relevant to Medicine, clinical observations or both. Applicants are advised to keep a record (for example, a diary) of this, as students will reflect upon these experiences throughout their foundation programme.

Application requirements
The University requires you to provide the following documents as part of your application:

  • your most recent high school transcript
  • a personal statement outlining why you wish to study Medicine at St Andrews and reflecting on your life and learning experiences to explain why you feel you would be successful on this programme
  • an academic reference from your high school on their letterhead, or from a school email
  • your IELTS (Academic) test report form.

Additional requirement
Students must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in the summer before they start their Foundation programme.

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is Sunday 30 June 2019. You must provide your high school transcript and personal statement when you first apply so that the University can consider your application. Your academic reference and your English language evidence can be provided later.

Course information

The International Foundation programme for Medicine has been designed with the University's School of Medicine to develop your sciences and communication skills to prepare you for success in a degree in Medicine.

Central to the Medicine Foundation programme is an ethos of cooperation and collaboration amongst students, which is achieved through group work and projects in the context of a supportive environment for personal and academic growth. 

You will be given personal tutorial slots each semester where you can discuss all aspects of academic work and life; through these tutorials, you will learn how to adopt and develop positive mindsets and learning strategies in order to help you during the programme and your future degree.

English language teachers will work with you to develop your academic writing, your study techniques and your time-management skills.

Foundation programme classes integrate your science and English language learning through their focus on writing laboratory reports, structuring essays, critical thinking and scientific methods of investigation. In addition, you will practice doctor-patient interaction, including with simulated patients, and have opportunities to:

  • enjoy a weekend retreat to a Highland country house to consolidate your learning and attend a workshop to prepare for the multiple mini interviews
  • volunteer with a local charity which provides support and companionship for the elderly and vulnerable in the local area
  • gain an accredited first-aid certificate.

The International Foundation programme for Medicine enables international students to function effectively as undergraduates studying Medicine, enhancing their knowledge and skills and developing critical thinking and reflection. The programme has a high success rate with around 85% to 90% of its students moving on to the Medicine degree at St Andrews each year. 

Modules

The International Foundation programme in Medicine has six modules: four compulsory and two optional. 

In Semester 1, students take modules in Chemistry and either Biology or Psychology. You will be shown how to prepare for lectures and write up lecture notes, and how to prepare for seminars and tutorials. All students have dedicated tutorial support in understanding the course content from specialist tutors. In addition, there are practical laboratory sessions.

Students must take the following compulsory modules in Semester 1:

  • Foundations for Medicine 1: 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.
  • Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry: covers the origin of the elements, atoms and the Periodic Table, shapes and properties of molecules, chemistry of the elements, properties of solutions, thermochemistry, thermodynamics and kinetics.

Alongside the compulsory modules, students further develop their science knowledge by studying one of the following optional modules. What you study will depend on whether or not you have studied on Phase 1 of the Pathway to Medicine programme before joining the International Foundation programme for Medicine:

  • Biology 1: introduces students to molecular and cellular biology. It covers cell diversity and the origins of life, cellular structures and fundamental processes.
  • Psychology 1: introduces students to the theoretical foundations, historical perspectives and modern developments of psychology; provides an introduction to the variety of subjects which make up contemporary psychology; provides a thorough grounding in the empirical basis of psychology.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

 

In Semester 2, students prepare for their move on to the Medicine degree.

Students must take the following compulsory modules in 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: covers all the key physiological systems within the topic areas, with an overarching focus on how disease affects these systems.

Alongside the compulsory modules, students further develop their science knowledge by studying one of the following optional modules. What they study will depend on whether or not they have studied on Phase 1 of the Pathway to Medicine programme before joining the International Foundation programme for Medicine:

  • Organic and Biological Chemistry 1: includes lectures on the structure, stereochemistry and nomenclature of simple organic compounds, fundamental organic reaction mechanisms, organic functional groups and their reactions, introductory bioorganic chemistry, and organic spectroscopy.
  • Psychology 2: provides an introduction to the theoretical foundations, historical perspectives and modern developments of psychology; provides an introduction to the variety of subjects which make up contemporary psychology; provides a thorough grounding in the empirical basis of psychology.

For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
To prepare for the MMIs held by the School of Medicine in Semester 2, there will be workshops on the various interview stations so that students can develop their interview skills and MMI performance. Students also study medical ethics in order to transition into first-year medicine with an understanding of how medical ethics link to clinical practice and medical professionalism.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

Classes take place Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. You will spend approximately 18 to 20 hours per week in taught classes. During this time, you will experience a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and classes, with your maximum class size likely to be between 14 and 16 students.

As well as your timetabled classes, you will be expected to complete a further 20 hours of independent study each week. As a fully matriculated student, you have access to the University’s libraries and study areas, but you will also work within the University's online learning environment (known as Moodle).

Medicine students are introduced to simulated and real patients throughout the programme and are given opportunities to explore how to communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds with a variety of health conditions.

Students are also encouraged to volunteer with a local charity during the programme. The Castle Befriending project provides support and companionship for the elderly and vulnerable in the local area. Students who have participated in this project have enjoyed meeting local people and making a difference to their lives.

At the beginning of Semester 2, you will have the opportunity to attend a study retreat in the Scottish Highlands located in an 18th-century manor house near the picturesque Glen Esk, called "The Burn". As well as enjoying some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery, students will present their findings from a research project and participate in a workshop on the MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews).

The University’s student services team can help students who have additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.

Assessment

Students are assessed on coursework and end-of-semester examinations. 

Students will experience different kinds of assessment:

  • essays
  • projects
  • presentations
  • laboratory reports
  • class tests.

In addition to these assessments, there will be a total of eight exams:

 Semester 1

  • one integrated skills exam as part of the Foundations for Medicine 1 module
  • one communication skills exam as part of the Foundation for Medicine 1 module
  • Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  • Biology 1 or Psychology 1 (depending on your assigned subject).

Semester 2

  • one integrated skills exam as part of the Foundations for Medicine 2 module
  • one communication skills exam as part of the Foundation for Medicine 2 module
  • Human Biology
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry 1, or Psychology 2 (depending on your assigned subject).

Meet us in your country

Staff of the University of St Andrews are always pleased to meet prospective students in person. We visit many schools, colleges and higher education fairs to talk about the University and provide support and information for those thinking about applying.

Meet us in your country

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us on a talk and tour to explore the town and find out about the courses and opportunities we offer.

Talk and tour

Fees

Combined fee

The International Foundation programme offers an all-inclusive fee package which covers all the major costs of the foundation year so that there are no hidden extra costs.

2019-entry fees: £28,350

The all-inclusive fee package includes:

  • tuition
  • accommodation, including a bedding pack
  • a catered meal plan with 14 meals per week
  • access to all University facilities
  • a transfer from Edinburgh or Glasgow airport, or Leuchars train station, when you first arrive
  • the use of all course books, handouts and other course materials
  • laboratory coats and dissection kits, if required
  • 24-hour emergency phone number
  • programme-led and seasonal social events.

Scholarships

Kinnessburn Scholarship

For students moving from an International Foundation programme to a degree at the University of St Andrews.

Students who successfully complete the International Foundation programme with a distinction grade and move onto a degree at the University of St Andrews are eligible to apply for the Kinnessburn Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one student annually in June and provides a partial fee waiver for each year of study on an undergraduate programme at the University.

Accommodation

The fee package for the International Foundation programme includes catered accommodation, which the University arranges on your behalf so you do not need to apply for accommodation.

All foundation students are allocated a room in David Russell Apartments (DRA). In each apartment, there are five study bedrooms, each with its own private shower and toilet, and a shared living space and fully equipped kitchen.

Bedding pack

A bedding pack will be delivered to David Russell Apartments, for each foundation student. 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.

Meals

Foundation programme 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.

Your future

Students are required to meet the following requirements in their assessments to successfully complete the International Foundation programme for Medicine. Results are graded on the University's 20-point scale.

Overall grade and module grades

  • 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:
    • Biology 1 (BL1101)
    • Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (CH1401)
    • Organic and Biological Chemistry (CH1601)
    • Psychology 1 (PS1001)
    • Psychology 2 (PS1002)
  • an overall grade of 14.0 or above for Human Biology
  • an overall grade of 14.0 or above for Foundations for Medicine 1 and 2.

School of Medicine requirements

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:

UCAT
Students must achieve a competitive score in the UCAT. You must take the UCAT in the summer before you begin the Foundation programme.

If you are starting in September 2019, you must take the UCAT between July and October 2019. We strongly recommend you take it before you arrive in St Andrews in September. The required minimum score for the UCAT will be advised by the School of Medicine in April 2019. A score from a test taken before July 2019, cannot be used to meet this requirement. Students who successfully complete their Foundation programme in 2020, but who have not achieved the required UCAT score, will be allowed to resit the test in early July 2020.The required minimum score for tests taken in July 2020 will be advised by the School of Medicine in April 2020.

Multiple mini interviews (MMIs)
Students must have successful multiple mini interviews. MMIs take place during the second semester of the Foundation programme.

IELTS
IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of 7.0 and at least 7.0 in each component. 

Provided that you successfully complete the programme and 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 move on to Medicine but meet the academic requirements for the Faculty of Science, may be able to study a science degree (Biology, Chemistry or Psychology) at St Andrews, or to 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.

Contact

International Foundation programmes

International Education Institute
University of St Andrews
Kinnessburn
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews 
KY16 9DJ

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2255
Email: ifp@st-andrews.ac.uk

International Education Institute website