Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) MBChB 2018 entry

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

The course will capitalise on the existing strengths of medical teaching in the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews and health boards in Fife and Tayside. In addition, collaboration with NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and the University of Highlands and Islands will enable a truly distinctive programme and will include extended opportunities to train in remote and rural areas. ScotGEM will be tailored to the specific needs of graduates, taking account of the experience acquired during their initial degree.

The first year will be based at the University of St Andrews and within Fife; however, components of the course in second, third, and potentially fourth, year will include periods of living and studying in other regions of Scotland.

There are now 15 extra places on the ScotGEM programme. Students on the ScotGEM course will be offered a “return of service” bursary, a grant worth up to £16,000, in exchange for working in NHS Scotland for up to four years.

Interviews will be held on 20 June and decisions on applications will be made in early July. Applicants must achieve all entry requirements by August 2018. Find out more about the second round of applications.

Clearing 2018
ScotGEM will not be available through Clearing (UCAS). Unfortunately, there are no spare places and students who did not apply to ScotGEM by the application date will not be considered. The School of Medicine is unable to assess or respond to speculative applications.
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Accreditation information

ScotGEM is subject to approval by the General Medical Council, and the process for accreditation has started. You should be aware that this process may not be complete before the first cohort of students is matriculated but is expected prior to graduation of the first cohort of students in September 2022.

ScotGEM is intended to be awarded on a joint basis by the universities of St Andrews and Dundee; however, any joint degree is subject to agreement and statutory approval which is not guaranteed.

The universities of St Andrews and Dundee will notify you as soon as reasonably practicable if the degree cannot be established as intended.

UCAS code


Course type

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

How to apply

Entry requirements

This programme is only open to applicants who are classed as Home/EU 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.

ScotGEM entry requirements

How students are selected

If you gained your qualifications outside of the UK and are unsure if they meet the entry requirements, then please email the admissions team at

Course information

The Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) is a four-year long programme run by the universities of St Andrews and Dundee and health boards in Fife and Tayside, in collaboration with NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and the University of Highlands and Islands.

ScotGEM will address all core MBChB requirements as stipulated by the General Medical Council (GMC). The programme is focused on enthusing graduates to become generalist practitioners (not necessarily GPs), with experience in rural health care. However, the course will prepare students for any branch of medicine through the normal postgraduate training process.

The ambition of ScotGEM is to produce a cohort of high quality, adaptable and compassionate clinical leaders; you will contribute to local communities whilst you train through Healthcare Improvement projects.

This is an intensive graduate programme, whereby students are expected to study and work long terms (around 40 weeks per year). In addition, some placements, in particular most of Year 3, will be in rural areas, and you must be prepared to live and study in this context.

The course focuses on five themes:

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

These five themes will encourage students to develop their expertise as potential 'agents of change' within the health service. For example, students might work within a group of general practices to research and analyse prescribing patterns before recommending improvements.

Find out more about studying Medicine at St Andrews.

ScotGEM logo


In order to graduate in 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 outcomes for graduates).

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

The complexity and challenge of the cases builds as you and your peers become more effective learners. During this year, for one day a week, you will be engaged in small-group, work-based learning. You will be supported by dedicated generalist clinical mentors (GCMs).

Semester 1 will use cases that focus on foundational medical sciences; this knowledge will subsequently underpin more challenging scenarios. Consultation skills will be introduced alongside topics such as biochemistry, pharmacology and anatomy. You will also have weekly clinical experience in the community.

Semester 2 concentrates on the body systems; where examination skills can be learnt in conjunction with the relevant anatomy.

This year is largely structured around the lifecycle, but will be delivered in different regions. There will be placements away from Fife, with opportunities to study in Tayside, the Highlands, and Dumfries and Galloway. NHS Boards will provide accommodation when required.

You will continue to work for a day each week with a generalist clinical mentor and also spend 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 the course's main themes.

During third year, you will undertake a 'longitudinal integrated clerkship' where you will join a general practice and follow patients through their illness journey over the course of a year, rather than taking part in ‘traditional’ clinical rotations. This approach works especially well for graduates and has been shown to develop more patient-centred doctors with improved decision-making skills.

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 doctor.

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


Teaching format

ScotGEM will use 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 will be based on clinical cases from the outset. These will be supported by a set of learning objectives, lectures, practical classes, tutorials, simulated and ‘real’ clinical and consultation skills plus extensive supported independent and peer-peer learning.

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

  • Increasingly, especially in Year 2, learning will become more self-directed, and you will be reliant upon 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.

Please note that some placements, in particular most of Year 3, will be in rural areas and you must be prepared to live and study in this context.


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

  • In Years 1 and 2, you will be assessed on your knowledge using a mix of online multiple choice questions and short answer written assessments. Year 3 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.

The assessments will be selected specifically for the ScotGEM course, but draw heavily upon those available within both medical schools. Thus, your progress will be benchmarked against existing UK standards throughout.

Students must pass all of their modules each year in order to progress to the subsequent year.

ScotGEM virtual events

If you are interested in studying ScotGEM, you can join us for one of our virtual events.

You can email for more information.


Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250

If you are assessed as Home/EU funded for fee status purposes, your tuition fee will be paid for by the Scottish Government. You do not need to apply to SAAS for payment of tuition fees.

EU students assessed as Home funded applying for entry in 2018-2019 have their fee status guaranteed for the duration of their programme.

RUK students will be charged in line with RUK fee levels which may increase annually during the course of your study.

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

If you are unsure of your fee status, then please see the University's fee status policy.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2018.

Funding and scholarships

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

ScotGEM Return of Service 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 ScotGEM office:

Apply for ScotGEM bursary

Any student who has been offered, formally accepted and has been registered a place on the Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine (ScotGEM) programme is eligible to apply for a bursary payment. 

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 NES.

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

Your future

ScotGEM is designed to develop doctors interested in a career as a generalist practitioner within NHS Scotland, with a focus on rural medicine and healthcare improvement. However, the course will prepare students for any branch of medicine with appropriate further training.

There is a wide range of career opportunities for doctors with over 60 different specialities 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. Advice on careers in the NHS will be available throughout the course. 

Find out what happens after graduation.

Student life

As students of the ScotGEM programme, you will hold associated member status of both the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee. From the outset, this allows you to have full access to all facilities available at both institutions, resulting in a truly unique student experience. With a combined total of over 250 sports clubs and student societies to choose from, ScotGEM students can experience the student community feel across both campuses from first year onwards. 

St Andrews

Since 2010, the School of Medicine has been housed in a £45m purpose-built Medical and Biological Sciences building which offers outstanding facilities for teaching, learning and research. Collaborations with key University disciplines, such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology, add an important dimension to medical research and the training of research scientists and health care professionals.

The School of Medicine at St Andrews offers students pro-section dissection as part of the ScotGEM curriculum. The dissection room is purpose-built and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities; it is spacious and well-ventilated with 16 tables for dissection and room to display numerous excellent models and specimens. Technicians and medical staff are on hand to offer advice and assistance. The clinical skills suite features 7 rooms containing 48 beds. All beds are equipped with ceiling-mounted video capture facilities and 'bed-head' touch screens to allow instant playback or video resources. The centre features a full range of real and simulated clinical equipment.

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


Dundee is Scotland’s fourth largest city and has a population of about 150,000. The people of Dundee are famously friendly and open, and the relatively small size and close-knit community make the city both affordable to live in and a safe place to be.

As for the learning environment, the Medical School is integrated with Ninewells Hospital in Dundee’s west end, which is one of Europe’s largest teaching hospitals and boasts internationally renowned research facilities. The University of Dundee has also invested around £11 million on upgrading the learning and teaching facilities. So students not only benefit from working with superb teaching staff and being in close contact with patients, they learn in what is arguably Europe’s most technologically advanced educational facilities.

The emphasis is on learning - how to learn, so as to keep knowledge and skills updated throughout an individual's working life. This exciting, focused structure produces well-rounded graduates who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to work within as well as go on to shape and lead healthcare delivery in the 21st century. Find out more about student life at the University of Dundee.


School of Medicine
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9TF

Phone: +44 (0) 1334 46 3619

School of Medicine website


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

See also the ScotGEM 2018-2019 terms and conditions of study (PDF) .

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).