University of Aberdeen

Studying Medicine at the University of Aberdeen gives students the chance to engage with a dynamic and modern course, and to graduate from one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the UK. Medicine has been taught at the university since 1495, making it one of the oldest medical schools in the English-speaking world. With early clinical placements in large and specialised secondary care centres, including the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital; students here learn very early on how to communicate and interact with patients. Years 1, 2 and 3 give students the scientific knowledge they need to understand human disease, whilst also guiding them in clinical skills training in both simulated and real clinical environments. Anatomy is taught using prosections and different imaging modalities, such as CT and MRI. A number of students can select modules to expand their anatomical knowledge with full body dissections and dissection-based projects. The senior years feature immersive clinical attachments which provide the diagnostic and management skills required to become a safe and effective junior doctor. There is also the opportunity in the later years to take placements in very remote and rural parts of Scotland, which demonstrate the challenges facing doctors in these areas.

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University of Aberdeene

Undergraduate Applicants

  •  
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 5-year programme
  • 178
  • N/A
  • Min C in English and Maths
  • AAA
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Desirable

Graduate Applicants

  •  
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 5-year programme
  • 178
  • 2:1
  • N/A
  • Min B in Chemistry
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Desirable

Undergraduates can apply to a 5-year programme for Medicine[Just for consistency, we usually ‘name’ the programme by the number of years on the course and highlight the programme name (or different programme names) in blue so that readers can see it easily, even if they are just skimming]. The first term of first year will provide you with the basic biomedical knowledge you will need to complete the rest of the course. From here through to the end of Year 3, a systems-based approach is used to provide an in-depth knowledge of the normal anatomy and function of the body. This is accompanied at each stage with clinical cases, providing an insight into the ways these functions can be disrupted by the myriad of pathological processes that can affect the body. There are also frequent clinical placements in both primary and secondary care institutions, with excellent clinical skills and communication teaching being provided throughout. Year 4 takes the form of nine placement blocks, each lasting five weeks and providing students with the abilities to come to diagnoses and form management plans. Fifth year is the ‘icing-on-the-cake’ year where students undertake more detailed study of a medical and surgical speciality of their choice. There are also placements in General Practice here, as well as the opportunity to undertake a project-based elective, often overseas.

There is the option of intercalating either a BSc in Medical Humanities or Medical Sciences, which will help expand your medical training into fields that interest you[Great to mention this!].

A level and GCSEs

At A level, a minimum of AAA is required for study at Aberdeen medical school. Chemistry must be taken, alongside either Biology, Human Biology, Mathematics or Physics. The third A level can be either science-based or non-science-based, with no advantage gained by undertaking a third science over a non-science subject. General studies and Global Perspectives and Research are not accepted. A level grades should be obtained at the first sitting.

At GCSE level, a combination of As and Bs or higher is expected, though there is no minimum requirement as there is with other medical schools[Good to highlight this]. A passing grade C or higher in English and Mathematics, however, is a course requirement.

IB

The International Baccalaureate is accepted as an alternative to A levels. A typical offer would be higher than 36 points; and to be considered candidates must be predicted to achieve a grade 6 or higher in the Higher Level (HL) subjects. Chemistry at HL is required, along with at least one from Mathematics, Biology or Physics. The three Standard Level subjects must average 6 points each, and one other from Mathematics, Biology and Physics must feature (if three are not undertaken at HL). Maths Studies cannot be considered as one of the two non-Chemistry sciences.

Scottish Highers

Typically candidates should have five Highers at a minimum of AAAAB. If these are met, typical offers are conditional upon obtaining at least BBB at S6.

If the S5 requirements are not met, a typical offer will be conditional upon achieving a minimum of the grades below in three appropriate subjects in S6:

  • National 5 qualifications:
    • English and Mathematics are required (Grade B minimum);
    • Biology and Physics are recommended but not compulsory (Grade B minimum).
    • A combination of Grade A & B passes at Standard Grade / National 5 is expected, especially in science subjects
  • Higher qualifications:
    • Chemistry (Grade B minimum);
    • Two subjects are required from Biology/Human Biology, Mathematics, Physics.
    • Two further Highers in most other subjects – applicants should check with the Medical Admissions office if clarification required.

These may be taken across the Senior Phase – S4 to S6. There is no requirement, and therefore no advantage given, to obtaining the three sciences required in one sitting. Mathematics is regarded as a science.

If AAABB or AAAAC are achieved at first attempt in S5, further studies in S6 can be considered, providing that the applicant is estimated to achieve one of the following programmes of study:

  • One new Higher @ A plus two Advanced Highers @ minimum BB or
  • Two new Highers @ AA plus one new Advanced Higher @ minimum B or
  • Three Advanced Highers @ ABB (Chemistry required plus one science) or
  • Three A-Levels @ AAB (Chemistry required plus one science).

Note: The majority of successful applicants have achieved AAAAB or better at first sitting, normally in S5. If an applicant has extenuating circumstances (for example, was only able to sit four Highers to grades AAAA), they should contact the admissions team directly for advice on whether their application could be considered. Please visit this link http://www.abdn.ac.uk/smmsn/undergraduate/medicine/uk-academic-requirements.php for full details.

Mature Applicants

Mature applicants are those who will be 21 or over when they begin the undergraduate course. Note that mature applicants c[Can we clarify the definition of Mature applicants here? Do you mean someone over a specific age. We should clarify what defines a mature applicant here please ]an apply with an access course (see below), or school leavers qualifications (which have the same grade requirements as undergraduate applicants, but can be taken in two sittings, rather than just one). School leavers’ qualifications must have been taken within the 6 years prior to starting the Medicine course.

Access to Medicine courses

Not suitable for candidates who hold an honours degree, but can help to meet the academic requirements of mature applicants, or those who hold a non-honours/ordinary degree. Mature applicants should have completed this course within the 2 years prior to starting their Medicine degree. Access courses are accepted by the university on a case-by-case basis and applicants should contact the admissions department to see whether their course is accepted.

International Students

There are 16 spaces for international students on this programme. If the applicant’s first language is not English, they are expected to have achieved Band 7.0 overall in the IELTS (International Language Testing System), with a minimum of 7.0 in the speaking section.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email (enquiries@themsag.com) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Aberdeen[Remember to insert med school name] Medicine.

Policy on Re-applicants

Candidates are welcome to re-apply up to a maximum of three times. They are advised to ask for feedback on their previous applications and the Admissions Committee will also look at these previous applications when assessing subsequent ones.

Policy on Deferrals

Applicants can apply for deferred entry, so long as their current course of study is complete (this means that applicants who wish to complete their S6 year must do so first before applying). It is normally not possible to defer once an offer has been made. The university expects applicants to use their time constructively (particular value is placed on gaining experience in a caring role).

Widening Participation

The university works with several schemes to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in accessing higher education. These include:

  • Aim 4 Uni
  • S6 Enhancement
  • Reach
  • ASPIRE North

From 2016 the Admissions Committee have been able to award additional discretionary points when assessing applications of students with serious extenuating circumstances (please contact the admissions team directly as supporting evidence will be required) and discretionary points are also available to candidates whose postcode of residence falls within the fourth and fifth most deprived postcodes as measured by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (UCAS data regarding postcodes will go directly to the Admissions Committee).

Admissions Exam

All applicants must sit the UKCAT. There is no minimum score, but students are ranked on this score prior to invitation for interview (see Selection Process and Interview).

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry [Here it said “for both undergraduate programmes”. I don’t understand what is meant by BOTH programmes? There is only one programme no? ]are open from 6th September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017
Interviews occur between November and March, with the final decisions being released around the end of March. A completed UCAS form is required, and GCSE certificates may be requested.

SELECTION PROCESS

Pre-interview, the application is assessed on two factors: Academic performance (60%) and UKCAT (40%). After the interview, the application is assessed and scored based on academic performance, UKCAT, and interview performance; weighted at 30%, 20% and 50%, respectively. As with all medical applications, a strong academic score is required to make it to the interview stage of the application. The combination of the UKCAT and academic scores gives every student a rank, and the top 750 students are invited for interview. The quality of the interview will be combined with the pre-interview score, with each weighted at 50%. It is this final score that will decide which applicants will be offered a place of study.

Note that Aberdeen do not have a minimum UKCAT score (which some medical schools do, not looking further at applications for candidates under this score). Applicants to Aberdeen offer a broad range of UKCAT scores. For 2016 entry:

  • Interview: the lowest total score for an applicant invited to interview was 2180 and the highest 3350.
  • Offers made: the lowest total score for successful applicants who were made offers was 2480 and the highest 3350[Often helpful for candidates to know previous UKCAT scores, even though these will vary each year].

The personal statement will be screened, to ensure that each applicant demonstrates the necessary attributes for studying Medicine. Applicants must ensure that the personal statement demonstrates a commitment to medicine, a knowledge of the core qualities required of a doctor, and good teamwork skills.

INTERVIEW

Interviews are conducted in a Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) style. Each station will last 7 minutes, and the whole process will last around 1hr. The interview process will assess the candidates’ ability to:

  • Discuss their preparation for entry to Medicine e.g.:
    • Research into undergraduate curricula and postgraduate training
    • Research and understanding of the implications of a medical career
    • Experience of caring or other environments
  • Demonstrate empathy
  • Solve a problem
  • Learn from previous experience
  • Reflect upon own and others’ skills and abilities
  • Consider their contribution to the care of others.

Example stations, as well as videos featuring examples of good and poor performances, can be found on the university website, which applicants may find useful:
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/smmsn/undergraduate/medicine/interview.php[Always good to provide a link, to save people the trouble of searching]

In 2016, there were 2105 applicants. Of these, 837 were invited for interview and 415 were provided offers. This means the success rate of applicants who reach the interview stage is over 50%.

69% of offers holders were Scottish applicants, with 17% coming from the rest of the UK, 20% from the rest of the EU and 9% from overseas. 59% of entrants were female. A more thorough breakdown of admissions data can be found on the university website.

University of Aberdeen Medical School is ranked 12th in the UK by the Guardian 2018 and 25th by the Complete University Guide 2018. According to the QS World Rankings, it is in the top 200 medical schools in the world.

Graduates may only apply to the same course as undergraduates (the 5-year programme), and are not permitted to miss any section of the five-year course. The first term of first year will provide you with the basic biomedical knowledge you will need to complete the rest of the course. From here through to the end of Year 3, a systems-based approach is used to provide an in-depth knowledge of the normal anatomy and function of the body. This is accompanied at each stage with clinical cases, providing an insight into the ways these functions can be disrupted by the myriad of pathological processes that can affect the body. There are also frequent clinical placements in both primary and secondary care institutions, with excellent clinical skills and communication teaching being provided throughout. Year 4 takes the form of nine placement blocks, each lasting five weeks and providing students with the abilities to come to diagnoses and form management plans. Fifth year is the ‘icing-on-the-cake’ year where students undertake more detailed study of a medical and surgical speciality of their choice. There are also placements in General Practice here, as well as the opportunity to undertake a project-based elective, often overseas.

There is the option of intercalating either a BSc in Medical Humanities or Medical Sciences, which will help expand your medical training and into fields that interest you.

Degree and A levels 

A minimum of 2:1 is required in any honours degree for an application to be considered.

As well as this, Chemistry must have been studied at A-level to at least grade B, or in Scottish Highers at grade B. However, these requirements could be met by appropriate courses of study undertaken during the degree, so applicants should contact the admissions office for further details if they are unsure. If a degree has been undertaken abroad, applicants should contact the admissions office prior to application.

Note that candidates with a non-honours/ordinary degree can meet the academic requirements by one of the following routes:

  • Extending their degree to Honours 2:1 level through the Open University or another university, or by obtaining an MSc
  • Undertaking our requirements for Scottish Highers or A-Levels, which could be taken in two sittings
  • Undertaking a recognised Access to Medicine course (see below)

Mature applicants are those who will be over 21 at the start of the degree. Note that mature applicants [Once again need to clarify the definition of mature applicants.]can apply with an access course (see below), or school leavers qualifications which can be taken in two sittings, rather than just one. [THIS CANNOT BE WRITTEN. We have a separate graduate entry medicine book and a separate undergraduate book. If someone purchased the graduate book, they will have only the information written here under “Graduate Applicants” and they will NOT be able to refer to the undergraduate section. Can you fix by actually repeating the info needed here. ]School leavers’ qualifications must have been taken within the 6 years prior to starting the Medicine course. Applicants must achieve a combination of As and Bs or higher in GCSEs, though there is no minimum requirement as there is with other medical schools[Good to highlight this]. A passing grade C or higher in English and Mathematics, however, is a course requirement.

ADMISSIONS EXAM

As with undergraduate applicants, all graduate applicants will have to sit the UKCAT. It is valid for one year only.

ACCESS TO MEDICINE COURSES

Not suitable for candidates who hold an honours degree, but can help to meet the academic requirements of mature applicants, or those who hold a non-honours/ordinary degree. Mature applicants[Make sure “mature applicants” is defined somewhere!] should have completed this course within the 2 years prior to starting their Medicine degree. Access courses are accepted by the university on a case-by-case basis and applicants should contact the admissions department to see whether their course is accepted.

International Students

There are 16 spaces for international students on this programme. If the applicant’s first language is not English, they are expected to have achieved Band 7.0 overall in the IELTS (International Language Testing System), with a minimum of 7.0 in the speaking section.

If you are applying as an overseas student and taken qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us by email (enquiries@themsag.com) if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in Aberdeen[Remember to insert med school name] Medicine.

Policy on Re-applicants

Candidates are welcome to re-apply up to a maximum of three times. They are advised to ask for feedback on their previous applications and the Admissions Committee will also look at these previous applications when assessing subsequent ones.

Policy on Deferrals

Applicants can apply for deferred entry, so long as their current course of study is complete (this means that graduate applicants must have completed their initial degree(s) prior to starting their Medicine degree). It is normally not possible to defer once an offer has been made. The university expects applicants to use their time constructively (particular value is placed on gaining experience in a caring role).

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry are open from 6th September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017

Interviews occur between November and March, with the final decisions being released around the end of March. A completed UCAS form is required, and your degree certificate may be requested.

SELECTION PROCESS

As with undergraduate applicants, graduate applicants selected for interview must have evidence of a strong academic performance and a good UKCAT score. Pre-interview, the application is assessed on two factors: Academic performance (60%) and UKCAT (40%). After the interview, the application is assessed and scored based on academic performance, UKCAT, and interview performance; weighted at 30%, 20% and 50%, respectively. [Great diagram!]

Approximately 25% of graduate applicants are invited for interview.

Note that Aberdeen do not have a minimum UKCAT score (which some medical schools do, not looking further at applications for candidates under this score). Applicants to Aberdeen offer a broad range of UKCAT scores. For 2016 entry:

  • Interview: the lowest total score for an applicant invited to interview was 2180 and the highest 3350.
  • Offers made: the lowest total score for successful applicants who were made offers was 2480 and the highest 3350[Often helpful for candidates to know previous UKCAT scores, even though these will vary each year].

The personal statement will be screened, to ensure that each applicant demonstrates the necessary attributes for studying medicine. Applicants must ensure that the personal statement demonstrates a commitment to medicine, a knowledge of the core qualities required of a doctor, and good teamwork skills.

INTERVIEW

The interview is exactly the same for graduate and undergraduate applicants. Interviews are conducted in a Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) style. Each station will last 7 minutes, and the whole process will last around 1hr. The interview process will assess the candidates’ ability to:

  • Discuss their preparation for entry to Medicine e.g.:
    • Research into undergraduate curricula and postgraduate training
    • Research and understanding of the implications of a medical career
    • Experience of caring or other environments
  • Demonstrate empathy
  • Solve a problem
  • Learn from previous experience
  • Reflect upon own and others’ skills and abilities
  • Consider their contribution to the care of others.

Example stations, as well as videos featuring examples of good and poor performances, can be found on the university website, which applicants may find useful:
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/smmsn/undergraduate/medicine/interview.php[Always good to provide a link, to save people the trouble of searching]

In 2016, there were 2105 applicants. Of these, 837 were invited for interview and 415 were provided offers. This means the success rate of applicants who reach the interview stage is over 50%.
Out of 2105 applicants, 579 were graduates, where 165 were invited for an interview and 105 given offers. A more thorough breakdown of admissions data can be found on the university website.

University of Aberdeen Medical School is ranked 12th in the UK by the Guardian 2018 and 25th by the Complete University Guide 2018. According to the QS World Rankings, it is in the top 200 medical schools in the world.

  • 1.What are the good things about studying Medicine at this university? “I like the fact that the course here is systems-based. It gives a really thorough understanding of each part of the body, and allows you to really see how the normal process can be disrupted, leading to disease.”
    “The integrated structure of the course allows us to learn about the theoretical and practical aspects of medicine at the same time. I couldn’t wait to have ward opportunities in first year, and the fact that we can have remote and rural placements was also very interesting for me”
  • 2.What is not so good about studying Medicine there? “While we are well placed in Aberdeen to experience the beautiful Scottish countryside and beaches, I have found the winter months to be quite bleak. Coming from a hot country, this was quite a change for me!”
    “For me, getting to and from Aberdeen has been difficult. Flying is the only reasonable way to get between uni and home, and this can be expensive! It is also not an option for moving in and moving out, as we all have far too much luggage for flying. This meant a long driver for my parents. For me though, the quality of the course and the beautiful local scenery right on our doorstep are more than enough to make it worth-while”
  • 3.What advice do you have for someone thinking of studying Medicine there? “Be organised, work hard and develop a good work/life balance. Having hobbies and interests outside of medicine are good for de-stressing! Keeping up to date with work and not leaving things until the last minute are really beneficial. Before exams I find group studying worthwhile-it's important to stay focused and not panic one another though! The teaching staff are all very friendly and always willing to give help and advice. Most importantly enjoy this amazing opportunity!”
    “Don’t get too scared by what other people do and how other people study! It’s all about finding the balance you need between work and having a life outside of your studies, everybody is different. If you study together and have a lot of fun then everything is much easier to remember!”
  • 4.Do you have any tips on how to get in? “The interview can be very daunting for people who have not experienced things like that before. My advice would be to be prepared. Go on the website and get used to what the process will involve, so there will be no surprises on the day. Try practicing interviews with your friends and family, or even think about the answers to common interview questions when on your own.”