Medicine entry requirements
If you are applying for any of the undergraduate programmes within the School of Medicine, you will need to meet a number of entry requirements, including achieving particular academic grades and taking the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT).
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 to practise criteria, undertaking a criminal record screening, and undergoing an immunisation screening.
Your personal statement should explain your reasons for wanting to study Medicine and why you think you would make a good doctor.
The School will expect you to have an insight into medicine and healthcare gained from general reading or from attending medical careers conferences, talking to doctors or medical students. Your statement needs to explain what medically related work experience you have had.
Applicants should have gained work or shadowing experience in a caring or health environment, including hospitals, GP surgeries, nursing homes or local hospices, or by working with people who have ill health or a disability.
The Medical Schools Council has released guidance to help first-time applicants to medical school gain relevant experience during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Work experience is one way to gain insights into medicine, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP) have created another. Observe GP has been developed by the RCGP to support aspiring medics in making informed careers choices and preparing their application to medical school. It is a free, online interactive video platform providing insights into general practice.
Successful applicants will be able to show evidence of the following:
- personal qualities such as empathy, good communication and listening skills, leadership skills and the ability to work in a team
- a well-informed understanding of what a career in medicine involves
- commitment to medicine by organising work experience or shadowing
- experience of working with ill or disabled people, preferably in health care settings
- commitment to academic study, staying power, perseverance and intellectual potential.
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:
Medical students are expected to behave with the utmost integrity from the very start of their training.
At St Andrews, you will be working within a professional environment and will be studying to obtain a university degree that automatically allows you to progress to your clinical training at a separate institution. It is therefore essential that you are able to fulfil fitness to practise criteria 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, medical students at St Andrews are required to submit a signed declaration (Medical School Agreement) which indicates what is expected of young professionals in training. If a student's conduct falls below acceptable standards, this could lead to a student being referred to the Professionalism and Welfare Committee or the Fitness to Practise Committee. Included in this declaration is a requirement for students to consent to being videoed as part of their training in clinical medicine. Applicants should read the document carefully before accepting an offer from St Andrews.
Concerns about fitness to practise may be raised as part of the procedures for admitting potential students to a medical programme. When considering applications, concerns about health or previous conduct or both may be considered at the time of application or prior to entry to the medical course. Concerns will be considered by the School of Medicine Professionalism and Welfare Committee, the University’s Disability team, or Student Support Services (see section 10 of University policy on fitness to practise).
For more information please see:
A disability need not be a bar to becoming a doctor. Applicants who have a disability or health issue will need to consider what effect that 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.
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.
More information and details of who to contact for advice can be found in the disability section of the School of Medicine's handbook.
For more general information, see:
- HEOPS guidance for medical students
- HEOPS guidance on adjustments for students training in regulated professions.
Short films about health and disability can be found on the GMC website.
See a short video about accessing support in the Medical School at St Andrews.
Applicants to Medical degree courses at the University are required to declare any criminal involvement on their application. Applications from students who have declared a criminal conviction are subject to the same academic selection process as all applications and will be assessed using the admissions process outlined in the University’s admissions policy.
If criminal activity or conviction has occurred or is pending after an application has been submitted, but before entry to the course, the applicant has an obligation to tell the Medical School immediately. Where an applicant has disclosed past or pending criminal proceedings, these will be considered by the School of Medicine Professionalism and Welfare Committee. (See section 10 of University policy on fitness to practise).
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.
For more information see PVG guidance or contact the School.
An application will not be considered if it is determined that the application contains false or purposefully misleading information or if information has been included that appears to have been copied from another source. See the University admissions policy.
Entrants to Medicine will be subject to an occupational health check: a pre-entry questionnaire and screening on arrival.
Entrants will be screened for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection; any necessary immunisations and antibody tests will be performed. All entrants are required to complete a course of immunisation against hepatitis B virus. There will be no financial charge to entrants for this service.
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 information, please see HEOPS guidance for medical students and HEOPS guidance on adjustments for students training in regulated professions.
There are no lower or upper restrictions on the age of applicants, but those who will be 16 at the point of entry to the University should refer to the University’s admissions policy.