Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) MBChB 2024 entry

The information on this page is for 2024 entry. If you are considering applying for 2025 entry or later, some of these details may differ and we advise you to check the page again before you apply. To receive a notification of when applications open for 2025 entry, please register your interest.

ScotGEM is a four-year graduate entry medical programme. It is designed to develop doctors interested in a career as a medical generalist within NHS Scotland. The programme is tailored to meet the current and future needs of the NHS in Scotland and focuses on rural medicine and healthcare improvement.

The unique and innovative programme is taught through a partnership between the universities of St Andrews and Dundee in collaboration with NHS Fife, NHS Tayside, NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and the University of the Highlands and Islands. This exciting partnership has enabled us to create a truly distinctive programme.

First and second year are led by the University of St Andrews, with third and fourth year led by the University of Dundee. In first year, students are based at the University of St Andrews and within Fife. From second year onwards, the programme includes periods of time living and studying in rural areas of the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway. You must be prepared to live and study in this context.

ScotGEM will be awarded on a joint basis by the universities of St Andrews and Dundee.

UCAS code
Start date
2 September 2024
End date
25 June 2027
Four years full time
School of Medicine

Number of places  - 70

Register your interest Postgraduate visiting days

Entry requirements

This programme is only 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 ScotGEM programme must meet a number of entry requirements, including both academic and non-academic conditions. 

If you gained your qualifications outside of the UK, please email the admissions team at to ensure that they meet the entry requirements. 

ScotGEM entry requirements How students are selected

Course details

ScotGEM’s unique and innovative four-year graduate entry medicine programme is run by the universities of St Andrews and Dundee in collaboration with our health board partners - NHS Fife, NHS Tayside, NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and the University of Highlands and Islands.

ScotGEM addresses all core MBChB requirements as stipulated by the General Medical Council (GMC). Whilst ScotGEM focuses on enthusing graduates to become medical generalists (which includes general surgeons or physicians as well as GPs) with experience in rural health care, the programme will prepare students for any branch of medicine through the normal postgraduate training process.  

Key highlights of the programme include –

  • Case Based Learning (CBL) to anchor learning in a more realistic context
  • Exposure to community based medical practice from the start
  • A Clinical Interactions Course (CLIC) – consultation, examination and procedural skills integrated with real patient contact
  • A Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) in Year 3, based in a GP practice across Scotland, where you participate in care delivery and follow patients through their hospital and specialist treatment experiences.

ScotGEM aims to produce a cohort of high quality, adaptable and compassionate clinical leaders. You will contribute to local communities and the health service while in training through supported 'Agents of Change' projects in all four years.

Working as an effective doctor involves being able to change health and care systems. Agents of Change enables ScotGEM students to learn and attempt to bring about real change in healthcare delivery. This aspect of the course has five themes:

  • informatics
  • quality improvement
  • prescribing and therapeutics
  • public health
  • community engagement.

Agents of Change helps learners understand, develop and practice skills required to generate change in complex systems. It includes taught materials and project work and helps students develop their expertise. For example, a group of students might work within a general practice to research and analyse prescribing patterns or supporting a practice to reduce their impact on the climate. Agents of Change is a key opportunity to develop related scholarly output for students and offers some chances to pursue individual interests. It is also a key opportunity to develop a sense of social accountability.

This is an intensive graduate programme where students are expected to study and work long terms (around 40 weeks per year). From second year onwards, components of the programme will include periods of living and studying in rural areas in the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway especially. You should expect to live and study in this context.


To graduate from the MBChB ScotGEM programme, you must complete specified modules across the four years at the universities of St Andrews and Dundee. ScotGEM will address all core MBChB requirements as stipulated by the General Medical Council (see GMC outcomes for graduates).

You will be based at the University of St Andrews and NHS Fife, where your learning will be focused around 30 one-week-long patient scenarios using an approach known as case-based learning. For example, a case of sore throat might lead into examination of the throat and neck, related anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology and related public health issues.

The complexity and challenge of the cases builds as you and your peers become more effective learners. Case-related clinical and communication skills will be introduced alongside topics such as biochemistry, pharmacology and anatomy.

Semester 1 will use cases that focus on foundational medical sciences; this knowledge will subsequently underpin more challenging scenarios.

Semester 2 concentrates on the body systems where you will learn examination skills in conjunction with the relevant regional anatomy.

During this year, for one day a week, you will be engaged in small-group, work-based learning supported by a dedicated team of GP teachers or ‘generalist clinical mentors’ in a local general practice. This will include regular clinical experience and patient contact from the outset.

Agents of Change projects will include a voluntary sector placement and prescribing improvement project.

This year introduces a further 20 patient scenarios structured around the lifecycle. 

Teaching in Year 2 is delivered across three regions, enabling placements in Fife, Highlands, and Dumfries and Galloway. Teaching will take place simultaneously across the three regions. 

You must be prepared to live and study away from St Andrews for between 12 to 24 weeks during Year 2. The location of your study will be based on regional quota and student preference, if possible.

Student accommodation will be provided for placements outside Fife.

You will continue to work for one day each week with a generalist clinical mentor in the GP setting and spend an additional half a day in a specialist clinical environment. Year 2 closes by providing experience of unscheduled care (GP, emergency department, ambulance, etc) and project work related to Agents of Change. 

In Year 3, you will undertake a 'longitudinal integrated clerkship' (LIC) where you will join a general practice over the course of a year rather than taking part in ‘traditional’ clinical rotations. This apprenticeship-style educational model allows you to follow patients through their illness journeys.

Approximately half of your week will be spent consulting with patients, the remainder studying the conditions you have encountered or following your patients into the secondary care setting. This approach works especially well for graduate learners and has been shown to develop more patient-centred doctors with improved decision-making skills.

Agents of Change activities run in parallel with your clinical learning during this period including community engagement and healthcare improvement projects.

LIC placements will be available in all four partner health board areas for the entirety of the year and the majority will be in rural areas predominantly in Highland and Dumfries and Galloway. You must be prepared to live and study away from Fife and Tayside.

As a competent generalist student, you will now be immersed in the hospital environment and prepare yourself for work as a junior doctor. You will complete two month-long foundation apprenticeships and other hospital-based clinical attachments in final preparation for practice as a Foundation Year 1 doctor.

You may choose clinical areas of particular interest which you can experience in greater depth. You will also arrange an eight-week clinical elective period which can potentially take place anywhere in the world and will be focused on your own objectives.

You will also conduct an Agents of Change healthcare improvement project in a hospital setting, consolidating key learning and QI methodologies.


ScotGEM uses a wide range of teaching methods, much of which will be delivered within an NHS setting. A case-based learning approach in the first two years will prepare you for an exciting range of clinical learning opportunities in third and fourth years.

The ScotGEM course is based on clinical cases from the outset. These will be supported by:

  • learning objectives
  • lectures
  • practical classes
  • tutorials
  • simulated and ‘real’ clinical and consultation skills
  • extensive supported independent and peer-peer learning.

Your learning will be underpinned by a sophisticated online Curriculum Management System, which will give you access to a wide range of resources and enables you to monitor your progress, particularly during Year 2 when  students will be located in different regions. For instance, regular online self-assessment tests and workplace-based learning assessments will be required.

Increasingly, learning will become more self-directed, and you will need to rely on yourself and your peers to explore, investigate and learn from the cases (still guided by clear learning objectives and with synchronised centrally organised teaching). This approach will set you up well for learning based on real patients in the clinical environment.

The longitudinal integrated clerkship in Year 3 will allow you to join a clinical team and learn whilst becoming increasingly involved in patient care. You will select patients to follow through and study them, their conditions and their care in more detail. Where relevant, you will attend specialist clinics, operations, etc as you follow these individuals’ journey through the healthcare system.

Finally, in Year 4, you will experience intensive hospital attachments that involve shadowing foundation doctors and other secondary care attachments.

Each year will require you to pass assessments of knowledge, clinical skills and a portfolio demonstrating professional development.

  • In Year 1, you will be assessed on your knowledge using a mix of online multiple choice questions and short answer written assessments. Year 2 will use online multiple choice questions aligned with the planned General Medical Council common exam (Medical Licencing Assessment).
  • In every year, there will be a portfolio assessment based on a mixture of engagement with learning, workplace-based performance and project work related to the curriculum themes.
  • In every year, there will be an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
  • In order to join the General Medical Council (GMC) register upon graduation, students must pass the GMC Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA). This is comprised of two components, the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and the Clinical and Professional Skills Assessment (CPSA). Students will sit the AKT at the end of Year 3, and the CPSA at the end of Year 4.

Students must pass each individual assessment component in order to progress to the subsequent year.

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.

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 will be paid by the Scottish Government

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Channel Islands, Isle of Man

See the ScotGEM funding arrangements for the 2023-2024 academic year; guidance and legislation may change in future years.

Fee information

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of Dundee does not have any scholarships or funding available for ScotGEM applicants. 

ScotGEM bursary

Students on the ScotGEM course are offered a 'return of service' bursary, a grant worth up to £16,000 in total, in exchange for working in NHS Scotland for up to four years.

The scheme, administered by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), will offer ScotGEM students a bursary of £4,000 per student per annum in return for a year of service up to a maximum of four bursaries and four equivalent years of service.

For students opting to participate, the ‘return of service’ arrangement will become effective at the beginning of Year 1 of their foundation training.

If you have any questions on the ‘return of service’ bursary, please contact the Fees and Funding team at

How to apply for ScotGEM bursary

Any student who has been offered a place on ScotGEM is eligible to apply for a bursary. Payment of the bursary will only take place once matriculation onto the ScotGEM course is complete.

If you wish to apply for the bursary, please follow the link supplied on your offer letter, download the application form and return the completed form to NHS Education for Scotland.

If you wish to leave the return of service scheme, you will have the option to buy yourself out.

If you have any questions on applying for the ‘return of service’ bursary, please contact the NHS Education for Scotland directly.

Additional compulsory costs

Students need to cover costs for lab and course materials of up to £70 each year. You will also be expected to  to register with the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme when you arrive in St Andrews.



Graduates of ScotGEM will receive an MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Whilst ScotGEM is designed for students who are interested in a career as a medical generalist, the programme will prepare students for a career in any branch of medicine through the normal postgraduate training process.

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

Find out what happens after graduation

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

+44 (0)1334 46 3619
School of Medicine

University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9TF

School of Medicine website