Gateway to Medicine 2024 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 or S6 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. 

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
One year
Access and Widening Participation

Entry requirements

  • 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.
  • S6 entry, BBBB in S5 and CC in S6 subjects at Higher or Advanced Higher


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • are resident in Scotland
  • classed as 'Home' for fee purposes
  • have just completed S5 or S6 at a Scottish school
  • have not met, or are not predicted to meet the minimum entry requirements for A100 at the University of St Andrews.

Applicants who do not meet this criteria are not eligible for this programme. 

Applicants should also meet at least one 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 relation to Highers and Advanced Highers. 

The entry indicator tool will help you determine if you meet any of the above criteria.

Course details

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.

Additional support during the Gateway programme

  • Named contact person within the Widening Access Team to support and guide through the application and entry process as well as to provide additional support during the year 
  • Opportunities to engage with staff and students in the School of Medicine 

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 Honours programme, 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.

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


To pass the Gateway to Medicine programme, you must take six compulsory modules along with two optional modules.

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

  • Biology 1: provides an introduction to molecular and cellular biology. It covers cell diversity and the origins of life, evolution, cellular structures and fundamental processes.
  • Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry: covers origin of the elements and the periodic table, atomic structure, shapes and properties of molecules, chemistry of the elements, properties of solutions, thermochemistry, thermodynamics and kinetics, and mathematical tools for chemistry.
  • Preparation for studies in medicine 1: provides a preparation for studies in medicine, providing mentoring in appropriate academic subjects as well as some opportunities to practise communicating with patients. Additionally it will include some preparation for the University clinical aptitude test (UCAT) and multiple mini-interviews.

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

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

  • Biology 2: provides an introduction to the diversity of life on Earth and addresses key elements of organismal, behavioural and ecological aspects of life.
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry 1: covers the structure and nomenclature of simple organic compounds, basic stereochemistry, fundamental organic reaction mechanisms, organic functional groups and their reactions, introductory bioorganic chemistry, and organic spectroscopy.
  • Preparation for studies in medicine 2: provides a preparation for studies in medicine. It includes mentoring in appropriate academic subjects, introductory classes in topics relevant to medicine as well as some opportunities to practise communicating with patients. 

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

The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.


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.

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.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

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 web page.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry have not yet been confirmed. For fees for the current year of entry, see the undergraduate fees and funding page. 

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, eligible students may apply for a Wardlaw Scholarship for entry into Medicine or other named programmes.  

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 students each year.


The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Undergraduate visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2346
Access and Widening Participation

University of St Andrews

St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX