Gateway to Medicine 2020 entry

The Gateway to Medicine is a one-year programme intended to promote the uptake of higher education, specifically the study of Medicine, among those groups that are traditionally underrepresented at university. 

The Gateway provides the opportunity for students resident in Scotland who have completed S5 at school to study at first-year undergraduate level. Those who pass the course and meet the other requirements for progression will transfer into the six-year Medicine A100 course at St Andrews. 

Course type

Gateway programme

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Gateway to Medicine page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.


The Gateway programme is only open to applicants resident in Scotland who are classed as Home/EU for fee purposes and who have just completed S5. Those who are classed as Overseas for fee purposes are not eligible to apply for this course. 

Applicants should also meet some of the following criteria:

  • have engaged with a Reach project
  • reside in an area of socio-economic disadvantage
  • are being looked after (or have been looked after) as a result of a local authority order
  • are a registered carer
  • attend a school which has low numbers of pupils who progress to higher education
  • attend a school which has low attainment in relations to Highers and Advanced Highers. 

Entry requirements

Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

  • BBBB in Scottish Highers, to be obtained at one sitting in S5. Must include Chemistry and one other of Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
  • If Biology, Mathematics and English have not been passed at Highers, each must normally have been passed at National 5 grade B.

How to apply

Potential applicants should email a note of interest to the Admissions team at The Admissions team will confirm if you are eligible to apply. 

On the day Scottish Higher results are published, University staff will contact potential applicants who have indicated an interest to ascertain what Higher grades they have achieved and advise if they meet the entry requirements to apply for the Gateway.

If you are eligible to apply and meet the entry requirements, you will be required to submit an application to the University immediately after the Scottish Higher results are published. You will receive an email from Admissions detailing how to proceed with your application. 

Suitable applicants will be called to interview, and offers will be made in time for applicants to enter the Gateway in September of the same year.

Course information

The Gateway to Medicine is a one-year course taught by the Faculty of Science, but with contributions from staff in the Faculty of Medicine. Students will enter the Gateway to Medicine on the BSc General degree and have the opportunity to progress to the six-year Medicine A100 Honours programme.

Students will build on their studies from school by taking first-year level modules in Biology and Chemistry, along with other modules in any Science or Arts School.

Progression to a Medicine degree

The aim of the Gateway is to help the student adapt to life at university and provide an entry opportunity to the Medicine A100 Honours programme. However, the Gateway leaves options open for those who are not able to meet the entry requirements for Medicine or who decide Medicine is not for them.

Students will have the opportunity to prepare for transfer to the Medicine degree by:

  • undertaking volunteering or work experience in a medical context
  • obtaining an understanding of professionalism as relevant to medicine
  • developing academic and non-academic skills relevant to medicine. 

In order to progress onto the Medicine A100 degree, students must have:

  • passed all first-year modules at grades specified at the time of entry to the Gateway
  • a suitable UCAT score (to be specified by the School of Medicine) achieved either before entry to the Gateway or in the summer immediately after the Gateway
  • a pass in the multiple mini interviews (to take place during the Gateway year).

Students who do not meet the entry requirements for progression to the Medicine A100 programme will remain in the Faculty of Science and have the opportunity to transfer onto a BSc Honours programme if they meet the pre-requisites.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


In order to pass the Gateway to Medicine programme, you must take four compulsory modules along with a range of optional modules.

More information about modules currently on offer can be found in the module catalogue.

Students must take the following two compulsory modules in Semester 1: 

  • Biology 1: provides an introduction to molecular and cellular biology. It covers cell diversity and the origins of life, cellular structures and fundamental processes.
  • 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.

You will also take additional first-year modules in Sciences or Arts subjects, chosen in consultation with your Adviser of Studies. 

Students must take the following two compulsory modules in Semester 2: 

  • Biology 2: provides an introduction to the diversity of life on Earth and addresses key elements of organismal and ecological aspects of life.
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry 1: covers 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.

You will also take additional first-year modules in Sciences or Arts subjects, chosen in consultation with your Adviser of Studies. 

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

Biology and Chemistry modules are taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • laboratory classes
  • small-group tutorials.

Students are provided with teaching microscopes and are taught in state-of-the-art teaching laboratories. All lecture courses have web-based support materials, and additional teaching support is given for selected topics, such as mathematics.  

When not attending lectures, tutorials and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in a laboratory
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of biology and chemistry. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

In addition to your studies, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

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


All modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and written examinations. Coursework includes laboratories, tutorials and transferable skills exercises. 

Most examinations are held at the end of the semester during a dedicated exam diet and revision time is provided beforehand.

The School of Biology and the School of Chemistry provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 25 September 2019
  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 23 October 2019
  • Wednesday 30 October 2019


Tuition fees for 2020 entry

Scotland Tuition fees for Scottish applicants have yet to be set for 2020 entry.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Gateway to Medicine Scholarship
Financial support in the form of a scholarship may be available for students on the Gateway to Medicine. Application for the Gateway to Medicine scholarship is submitted as part of the application process to the programme. 

After the Gateway year, students may apply for bursaries and scholarships for entry into Medicine or other named programmes.  

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Gateway to Medicine students have lectures and practicals in purpose-built facilities on the North Haugh. Also at the North Haugh, students can study and access library resources at the JF Allen Science Library. One other area available for students is the Bell Pettigrew Museum in the Bute building, a spectacular zoology museum which includes the arrangement of species to show evolutionary relationships between animals.

There’s also the opportunity to join the popular student-run Biology Society, which organises regular social meetups and biology-related events throughout the year.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact information

Schools Access
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2346

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Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).