Medicine MBChB Scottish Community Orientated Medicine (ScotCOM) 2025 entry

This five-year MBChB medicine degree is a unique and innovative offering from the University of St Andrews designed to cater for the needs of aspiring medical professionals and modern healthcare. Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) is focussed on community-based clinical teaching, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of primary care services, whilst ensuring exposure and understanding of hospital-based care.  Additionally, the programme aims to produce graduates for high-demand specialties, address regional healthcare needs, and promote principles of medicine and healthcare improvement. 

UCAS code
A10C
Start date
September 2025
End date
June 2030
Duration
Five years full time
School
School of Medicine

Online undergraduate events Undergraduate visiting days

Entry requirements

This programme is open to applicants who are classed as Home or RUK (rest of UK) for fee purposes. Those who are classed as overseas for fee purposes are not eligible to apply for this course. See the fees status policy for more information.

Applicants to the Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) programme must meet a number of entry requirements, including both academic and non-academic conditions. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained web page. The entry requirements indicator will help you identify which category of entry requirements are relevant to your circumstances.

If you gained your qualifications outside of the UK, please email the admissions team at medical.admissions@st-andrews.ac.uk to ensure that they meet the entry requirements.

We will not accept an application for both A100 and A10C in the same application cycle. You must choose which programme you wish to study at the point of applying.

Medicine entry requirements How students are selected

Course details

Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) is a unique and innovative medical education programme designed to prepare students for a rewarding and successful career in the field of medicine. This programme offers a holistic approach to medical education, emphasising community-based learning, clinical exposure, critical thinking, and leadership skills.

The School of Medicine at St Andrews offers an integrated curriculum with clinical exposure from Year 1, supporting the application of scientific knowledge into clinical practice. The later years build on this foundation, immersing students in clinical settings where they will gain clinical experience across community (including GP practices and community hospitals) and secondary (hospital) care services.

The programme aims to cultivate professional attitudes, ethical understanding and decision-making skills required by the General Medical Council (GMC), which are detailed in their Outcomes for Graduates and Promoting Excellence documents. There is an emphasis on the development of students as professionals, including the ability to reflect on performance and identify self-development and self-care needs. These practices will nurture the qualities of resilience and commitment to continuous improvement crucial for sustainable medical practice.

With a strong emphasis on preparation for practice, the programme enables students to pursue any medical specialty through standard postgraduate training pathways. 

In common with the development of all new UK medical programmes, the St Andrews Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) is subject to successful progress through the General Medical Council’s quality assurance process.

The Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) curriculum is divided into five years, each with a distinct focus and objectives.

Year 1 of the programme focuses on fundamental aspects of medicine by integrating academic knowledge with clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. Year 2 builds on these foundations, exploring various physiological systems and clinical aspects in depth. During this period students will also be introduced to key themes which run throughout the whole programme emphasising the leadership and innovation essential to modern medical practice. 

In Year 3, students revisit foundational knowledge, focusing on complex integrative systems and gaining further clinical experience. From Semester 2 of Year 3, students will have tailored MBChB provisions, including extended clinical placements in a community hospital (Hub 1) setting, facilitating more comprehensive clinical exposure. 

Year 4 further diversifies the learning experience with students rotating around three distinct blocks. These include an extended period based at a GP practice, exposure to urgent care services, and a placement at a Fife community hospital (Hub 2). These components aim to provide students with a well-rounded medical education that integrates both hospital and community-based experiences.

In Year 5, students will spend more time within hospital services preparing for their roles as foundation doctors. They participate in Foundation Preparation blocks, further GP experience, a student selected component, a clinical elective, and a period of consolidation, ensuring they are fully equipped to excel in their medical careers.

Clinical placements within Years 4 and 5 may be located within NHS Fife, where the University is located, in addition to NHS Borders and NHS Forth Valley. As such students must be prepared to live and study away from Fife during this time.

Key highlights of the programme include:

  • Development of skills in leadership, innovation and change management to ensure students are equipped to enter the workforce through vertical themes integrated across all five years.
  • Immersion into primary care delivery in GP practices following patients through hospital and specialist treatment experiences during a modified-Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (m-LIC).
  • Basing students in community settings and maximising learning opportunities through Academic Community Healthcare Hubs. Hubs will be centred around community hospitals, providing exposure to both community care and hospital services, including surgery and urgent care.

Modules

Students need to complete nine compulsory modules across five years to graduate with an MBChB. The programme will address all core MBChB requirements as stipulated by the General Medical Council (see GMC outcomes for graduates).

The modules listed below are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate from Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM). During the first half of the course modules will be shared with medical students on other St Andrews medical degree programmes.

In Year 1 of the course, the modules emphasise the interrelationships between the pre-clinical sciences and you will be introduced to key themes which run throughout the whole programme (for example, ethics, public health, health psychology).

Foundations of Medicine 1: provides a general overview of the structure and functions of the body systems from the microscopic to the macroscopic level. It includes strands of microbiology, public health and health psychology.

This module:

  • reviews fundamental aspects of molecular and cellular medicine
  • introduces medical ethics and communication skills relevant to medicine
  • uses clinical problems to develop an understanding of the levels of consciousness and the assessment of health status
  • includes an anatomical overview of the major body systems and the dissection of the back
  • provides opportunities to speak to patients with chronic health problems in the Medical School environment.

Foundations of Medicine 2: continues the introduction of fundamental topics, including the principles of disease mechanisms and therapy, and the development of communication skills.

This module:

  • provides an in-depth study of the musculo-skeletal system, including nerve and muscle physiology (you will study the anatomy of the upper and lower limbs through dissection and lecture)
  • develops an understanding of the principles of disease mechanisms and therapy
  • introduces particular topics in behavioural sciences (for example, stress, coping and pain)
  • introduces concepts of pharmacokinetics and pharmacy
  • reviews genetics and the effects of genes on development and disease
  • includes an introduction to clinical placement, through either an in-person or virtual placement provision.

Year 2 of the course focuses, in detail, on the normal function and dysfunction of specific physiological systems.

The two modules in Year 2 take an integrated approach to the scientific basis of medicine. They build on the material delivered in Year 1 and introduce new concepts related to specific body systems.

  • Medicine – Cardiovascular and Respiratory: covers the structure and functions of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Medicine – Reproductive, Renal and Gastrointestinal Systems: covers the renal, gastrointestinal and reproductive systems.

Both Year 2 modules:

  • introduce and build on normal form and function to explore disease mechanisms and therapy of disorders pertinent to the body systems covered
  • explore the body systems through cadaveric dissection, including the integration with clinical imaging
  • use relevant clinical problems and clinical skills to provide a clinical context
  • integrate the ethical, moral and behavioural aspects relevant to body systems
  • provide a series of community attachments in primary healthcare settings.

Year 3 focuses on complex integrative physiological systems (central nervous system and endocrine organs) before students move onto a community-based clinical block.

Medicine – Central Nervous System and Endocrine System: revisits foundation knowledge and progresses to more complex systems.

This module:

  • provides in-depth coverage of normal structure and function of the central nervous system and endocrine systems
  • introduces diseases and possible therapies pertinent to these important control systems
  • presents case studies associated with the central nervous and endocrine systems to highlight appropriate clinical skills for the identification of disorders
  • utilises cadaveric dissection and radiology to highlight relevant structural features of the systems
  • integrates ethical issues and behavioural science with clinical medicine
  • provides hospital (secondary care) clinical attachments.

Community Based Medicine 1: Centred at a community hospital in Fife, you will enter your first Academic Community Healthcare Hub. Time will be spent both centrally at the Hub and with healthcare services delivered in the community and across primary and hospital (secondary) care services.

The module will be divided into four subunits focusing on:

  • aspects of medicine – medicine of older adult, cardiovascular, respiratory, neurosciences and neurology, and palliative and end of life care
  • aspects of surgery – vascular, orthopaedics and general surgery
  • paediatrics
  • psychiatry.

The disease mechanisms, management and treatment of disorders pertinent to the topics will be introduced. There will be regular contact with patients throughout the module. This will enhance theoretical knowledge and allow experiential learning of relevant clinical consultation skills. Learning will be supported by a team of clinical educators.

Year 4 is divided into three distinct blocks, each offering unique experiences. You will engage in a further Academic Community Healthcare Hub block centred around a second community hospital, delve into Urgent Care with a community focus, and spend extended time based at a GP practice during your 'modified-Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship’ (m-LIC). There will be no set order for Year 4, with the year group split into thirds, rotating around the three blocks, each lasting 12 weeks. 

Academic Community Healthcare Hub block
This block will be based at a second community hospital located in a demographically different population within Fife, providing additional experience in community and hospital (secondary) care settings. Similar to Semester 2 of Year 3 the block will be divided into subunits, focusing on:

  • aspects of medicine – renal, gastrointestinal including liver, dermatology, rheumatology, haematology and cancer
  • aspects of surgery and special senses – ophthalmology, ENT, breast surgery and urology
  • obstetrics and gynaecology (including sexual health).

This block will build on practical experience of clinical medicine and healthcare delivery supported by a multidisciplinary team of clinical educators.

Modified-Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (m-LIC) 
During the 'modified-Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship’ you will be based within a GP surgery (either in NHS Fife, NHS Borders or NHS Forth Valley) following patients through their illness journeys across primary and hospital care settings.

The Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) methodology ensures that patients are at the core of your learning and promotes community-oriented education. During the m-LIC, you will have the opportunity to conduct a Quality Improvement project aligned with the course's vertical themes. This could involve activities such as a primary care prescribing audit, emphasising community and public health themes.

Urgent and hospital care 
The urgent care block, whilst covering emergency presentations and their clinical management, will maintain a community focus of such presentations, incorporating NHS24 and triage, out of hours service provision, and the ambulance service. This will be complemented by secondary care experience within intensive care, accident and emergency, and peri-operative care. 

The m-LIC and urgent and hospital care blocks will be based across our partner health board areas in NHS Fife, NHS Borders and NHS Forth Valley. You must be prepared to live and study away from Fife during this time. 

Year 5 will focus on ensuring students are prepared to practise as foundation doctors, including completion of the compulsory National Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). This year will provide revision opportunities, structured facilitated consolidation, and ‘apprenticeship-style’ shadowing. 

There will be two foundation preparation blocks based in a hospital setting where you will work alongside foundation doctors and clinical teams assisting in duties undertaken by a foundation year one doctor. One foundation preparation block will focus on medicine related specialties and the other in surgical related specialties. These blocks may be located within NHS Fife, NHS Borders or NHS Forth Valley. You must be prepared to live and study away from Fife during this time.  

Further time will be spent in GP practices re-enforcing the importance of the patient journey longitudinally. Completion of a student-selected component provides opportunity to explore an area of interest in greater depth, supporting critical analysis, data and research skills. Consolidation will be hosted between University and NHS sites, providing the opportunity to revise and practise skills and knowledge, with specific opportunities in a clinically simulated setting.

Finally students will complete an elective within healthcare either nationally or internationally, further supporting student choice and depth of learning.

Teaching

Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) will be delivered through a variety of established and innovative teaching methods, including:

  • ward simulations
  • clinical placements
  • lectures
  • practical sessions
  • dissection
  • small group tutorials
  • self and peer led elements
  • reflective practice.

Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) is a community orientated medical degree, with placement-based teaching delivered through Academic Community Healthcare Hubs and extended General Practice exposure within m-LICs. Students will attend secondary care learning opportunities and the hospital will be a part of both Hubs in Years 3 and 4 to allow the students to see where secondary care fits into the patient care journey. The modified-Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (m-LIC) will allow you to join a clinical team and learn whilst following patients through their healthcare journeys, including specialist clinics and operations.

Students will be based at the School of Medicine in St Andrews, and within community and secondary care services with our clinical partners in NHS Fife, NHS Borders and NHS Forth Valley. During time based in the community, students will be supported by a multidisciplinary team of ScotCOM Clinical Educators (SCEs).

Learning will be underpinned by a sophisticated online Curriculum Management System, giving you access to a wide range of resources and enabling you to monitor your progress both on campus and during community placement. For instance, regular online self-assessment tests and workplace-based learning assessments will be required.

At the School of Medicine, we understand that a well-rounded medical education requires a diverse and effective assessment approach. Our assessment methods are designed to prepare you for clinical practice and success in the National Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). Throughout your journey in our five-year programme, you will encounter a mix of modern and traditional assessment pathways.

Students will complete both formative and summative assessments across the five years of the programme utilising:

  • written examinations
  • anatomy practical examinations
  • objective structured clinical examinations
  • portfolio assessment based on a mixture of engagement with learning, workplace-based performance, professionalism, reflections and project work related to the curriculum themes.

Progress testing using Single Best Answer questions, emphasising critical thinking and decision-making, will be introduced from Year 3 of the programme. This format of assessment will ensure you are continuously building your knowledge in preparation for the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) in Year 5.

Assessment in Year 5 will be centred around Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). In order to join the General Medical Council (GMC) register after graduation, students must pass the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). This assessment is intended to set a common threshold for safe medical practice in the UK and is comprised of two components: the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and a practical Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA).

Students must pass all modules to progress to the subsequent year.

We have established a robust support network to guide you through your rigorous MBChB educational journey. Each student is paired with a dedicated Personal Tutor who provides academic guidance and serves as a vital point of contact for accessing additional support resources. This invaluable partnership extends over the five-year programme, ensuring continuity and personalised assistance.

Our Medical Support Team plays a pivotal role in coordinating the Personal Tutor system, offering tailored pastoral advice, and overseeing complex cases. They work in close collaboration with the University's Student Services team, which provides comprehensive support on a wide range of academic matters, including study skills and financial concerns.

The School’s dedication to equality, diversity and inclusivity is evident through our partnership with the University's Disabilities Team, allowing us to implement subject-specific reasonable adjustments for students with individual requirements. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.

Our curriculum management software empowers both staff and students by facilitating early intervention for academic support and offering detailed assessment feedback. We are committed to your academic excellence and are here to support you on your academic journey with Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM).

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.

Fees

Scotland
£1820

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
£9250

Channel Islands, Isle of Man
£9250

Additional compulsory costs
You will also be expected to register with the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme when you arrive in St Andrews.

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.

Careers

Graduates of Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) will receive an MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Whilst the focus of the Medicine MBChB (ScotCOM) is community medicine, the programme will enable graduates to pursue any branch of medicine through the normal UK Foundation Programme.

There is a wide range of career opportunities for doctors with more than 60 different specialties available. For more information, please see NHS Medical Careers.

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.

Contact us

Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 3619
Email
medical.admissions@st-andrews.ac.uk
Address
School of Medicine

University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9TF

School of Medicine website