University of Dundee – School of Medicine
University of Dundee – School of Medicine

Dundee Medical School opened its doors only 49 years ago, and has already been ranked 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK according to the 2018 Guardian league tables. A team from Dundee led the research which contributed to the UK faecal occult blood test screening programme, which aims to detect and treat colon cancer at an earlier stage. As well as research, the university encourages public engagement and education in science and health, through annual ‘discovery days’ and open days, which allow the visitors to learn about scientific developments. To ensure their students get the best educational experience, the school has invested over £10million since 2008 directed at improving infrastructure and learning materials, such as the ward simulation facility. The curriculum aims to empower students to take control over their own learning through providing several ways of teaching including: lectures, small group discussions, peer learning, student selected components and more. As a result, they provide a variety of learning experiences to cater to the needs of all of their students. With just over 130 students in a year, undergraduate and graduate students apply to a 5-year programme, with an option to intercalate after their 3rd year of study. Years 1 to 3 utilise a system-based learning approach, which changes to a task-based learning approach in the final two years. Students in their final year undertake three foundation apprenticeships: General Practice, Medicine and Surgery. Dundee Medical School is one of the few schools which still provides anatomy teaching through dissection, enabling students to have a hands on approach. Furthermore, the university is associated with Ninewells Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK. The school offers ward-based clinical experiences from Year 1 to give students the opportunity to practice the clinical skills learnt in simulation. Dundee is the first medical school, along with St Andrews, to introduce a graduate-entry programme in Scotland commencing in 2018. It has been designed to meet the dynamic and future needs of the NHS in Scotland, include training opportunities in NHS Fife, Tayside, Highland and Dumfries and Galloway.

University of Dundee – School of Medicine

Undergraduate Applicants

  • Minimum Admission Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A levels

  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 5-year programme
  • 157 (inc. 13 international students)
  • N/A
  • Biology, Maths and English at least grade B
  • AAA

  • UKCAT*
  • MMI
  • Essential**
  • 1-year Pre Medical Course
  • Approx 15
  • N/A
  • C in English + Maths
  • AAB (if Widening Access applicant)
    AAA (if non-science background)
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Essential

Graduate Applicants

  • Min Adm. Criteria
  • No. of places
  • Degree
  • GCSEs
  • A levels
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  • 5-year programme
  • 157 (inc. 13 international students)
  • 2:1 in a relevant Life Sciences subject
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Essential**
  • 4-year programme
  • 40
  • 2:1 or above in first degree
  • B in Maths
  • B in Chemistry
  • GAMSAT and UKCAT SJT
  • MMI
  • Essential
  • 1-year Pre-Medical Course
  • 15
  • 2:1 in a non-science subject
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Essential
*no minimum cut-off
**recommended 2 weeks experience in medically-related work

Undergraduates can apply to a 5-year programme, in which the first 3 years focuses on system-based teaching, including community and hospital placements (with early ward exposure starting in Year 1). Students may only apply to join the first year of this course (Level 2 entry is not available for this course).

A transition module at the end of year 3 prepares the student for the clinical years 4-5, which focus on a task-based learning approach. This involves 100 core clinical scenarios, which help to integrate scientific learning with patient assessment and management, and clinical attachments, known collectively as the ‘Preparation in Practice’ Phase.

10% of the curriculum time is spent on student selected components (SSCs), which enable students to focus on areas of Medicine that particularly interest them.

Intercalation is possible between 3rd and 4th year to obtain a BMSc degree. The different topics include: Anatomy, Forensic Medicine, Human Reproduction, Assisted Conception, and Embryonic Stem Cells, as well as International Health and Teaching in Medicine, to name but a few. Intercalated degrees can be applied for via the UCAS system; B902.

Applicants from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, and those from non-science backgrounds, can apply to the Pre-medical course (A104), which lasts for one year. During the year, students will undertake specialist medical modules as well as study anatomy, psychology and life sciences in order to prepare them for the 5-year programme as well as receive support for a resit MMI and/or UKCAT if required. Students must pass the year with a satisfactory grade average in order to progress to the 5-year programme. Some students will be required to re-sit their UKCAT or the MMI – this is on a case by case basis and students will be told if they need to re-sit as part of their initial offer to the programme.

A levels and GCSEs

A typical offer to the 5 year programme is based on grades AAA at A level, which must include Chemistry and another science subject (Biology, Physics or Mathematics). Results must be obtained 2 years after completing GCSEs, at the first attempt. General Studies is not accepted as a subject. GCSE grade B is required in: Biology, Mathematics and English.

For those applying to the Pre-Medical course under the Widening Access criteria, AAB at the first attempt at A levels should be obtained, to include Chemistry and one other science. For those applying to the Pre-Medical course from a non-science background, grades obtained in the first sitting of their A levels should be AAA, to exclude Chemistry and to contain no more than one science subject.

IB

37 points at grades 6, 6 and 6 at Higher Level (HL), to include Chemistry and another science at HL is required for the 5 year programme. Three subjects are required at Standard Level (SL) with an average of grade 6. Applicants should provide previously certified grades from nationally-recognised exams in order for their application to be considered. For those from a non-science background who wish to apply to the Pre-Medical course, the same grades are required, but HL subjects should exclude Chemistry and should not include more than one science subject.

SQA Highers/Advanced Highers:

A typical offer for the 5-year programme is based on grades BBB in the Advanced Highers/’crash’ Highers taken in the 6th year of school. Applicants should obtain AAAAB in their Highers, which must include Chemistry and another science subject. These grades must be from the same sitting. Biology, Mathematics and English are required at least to a grade 2 Standard Grade, or Intermediate2/National 5 at grade B.

For candidates applying to the Pre-Medical course under the Widening Access criteria, the minimum Highers grades are AABBB, which must include Chemistry and another science subject. These grades must be from the same sitting. For those applying to the Pre-Medical course from a non-science background, grades obtained in the first sitting of their Highers should be AAAAB, to exclude Chemistry and to contain no more than one science subject. Achievement at National 5/Intermediate 2 will also be taken into account for all applicants.

Access Courses

Not accepted.

Other Diplomas

The Cambridge International Pre-U diploma is accepted. The Principal Subjects have to include Chemistry and Biology and the grades required in the three Principal Subjects will be D3.

Admissions Exam

The UKCAT is required for both the 5-year programme and the 6-year programme; this exam is only valid for one year.

Some students on the 6-year programme may need to re-sit the UKCAT after the gateway year, this is on a case by case basis and students will be informed as part of their initial offer.

Widening Participation

The university offers 15 places per year to the 6 year programme, for applicants with proven evidence of adverse circumstances leading to significant educational disadvantage. To be eligible for the course, applicants need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Home postcode within the 20% most deprived in Scotland
  • Progression to higher education rate from your school less than 20%
  • Registered experience of care (given or received)
  • Refugee or asylum-seeker
  • Other significant adversity which has heavily affected ability to meet full potential

Non-scientific background criteria: a handful of places are also available each year for very able candidates who have a predominantly non-science background (i.e. those who have not studied A level or Higher level Chemistry).

International Students

There are 13 places for overseas students on the 5-year programme. Overseas candidates can also apply for the Pre-Medical 6-year course if they fulfil the ‘non science’ applicant requirements and therefore do not have adequate background in science subjects to apply for the 5-year programme.

Overseas candidates are required to demonstrate good academic qualifications and work experience. If an applicant is not a native English speaker, they should demonstrate proficiency through one of the following tests:

  • IELTS with an overall score of 7.0, and a minimum of 7.0 in each component
  • TOEFL, Pearsons and Cambridge Advanced English equivalent to the European Framework C1 level in each component and overall score are accepted.

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 Medicine at Dundee.

Policy on Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered as long as students explain what they intend to do during their gap year on the UCAS application form. Students should intend to spend their year out in a way which is beneficial educationally or socially. Note that all the necessary academic requirements should be obtained before the gap year.

Policy on Re-applicants

The university accepts re-applications.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry for both the 5-year and 6-year programmes are open from 6th September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • Secondary school certificates may be requested (as for the IB above)

SELECTION PROCESS

For selection to interview for the 5-year programme, the applications are initially ranked on academic achievement and UKCAT score. Examinations which are considered include A levels/Highers/IB and also GCSEs/Standard Grade/National 5. Generally speaking, competition means that those meeting only the minimum academic criteria, are unlikely to get an interview, unless their UKCAT score is exceptional. Most applicants will have higher grades than the minimum required. There is no cut-off for the UKCAT. Data from 2013 showed that the average UKCAT score to get through to interview stage was 2520; and the average score for those receiving offers was 2720. For the 2018 cycle, the SJT section will not be part of the selection process. The weighting given to the academic achievements is 60% and to the UKCAT result is 40%. The top 550 students will be invited to an interview.

Students on the Pre-Medical course (A104) are required to pass the gateway year with an average satisfactory grade of B3 or above. Some students will be required to re-sit either the UKCAT and/or the MMI and achieve a competitive score to progress. This is on a case by case basis and students will be informed as part of their initial offer.

INTERVIEW

Interviews are conducted in mini multiple interview (MMI) format. Following the interview, applicants are ranked and selected solely on their performance at interview regardless of the academic results and UKCAT score. Interviews aim to assess various qualities of the applicant, including:

  • An understanding of a medical career
  • Knowledge of the curriculum in Dundee
  • Current medical issues in the press
  • The student’s personal statement - applicants are expected to demonstrate the following non-academic criteria:
    • A range of suitable personal attributes such as motivation, commitment, social contribution, teamwork/leadership and excellent communication skills.
    • Some knowledge of, and commitment to, Medicine. Thus, two weeks of medically-related work or shadowing experience is encouraged.
    • An awareness of the course and university to which they are applying.
  • The UCAS reference should indicate the referee’s judgement on:
    • The applicant’s preparedness for a degree in Medicine.
    • Any adverse factors that the referee believes have impacted on the applicant’s academic performance up to this point.
    • School policies on Senior Phase Curricula (for example the number of Highers available in one exam period).

In 2015, there were 1539 applicants for entry into the 5-year programme in 2016. 550 applicants were selected for interview and 300 offers were made for the 134 places available (of which up to 12 are allocated for international students).

Medicine at the University of Dundee is ranked 4th in the UK and 1st in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2018.

It is ranked 12th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2018.

In the QS World University Rankings, Dundee ranks within the top 150 medical schools in the world.

Graduates can apply to the 5-year programme or the new 4-year ScotGEM Programme.

The ScotGEM programme was initiated by the Scottish Government and features St Andrew and Dundee medical schools, in partnership with University of the Highlands and Islands, to be run the first 4-year graduate entry programme in Scotland. The degree will lead to a Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ) that is jointly awarded by St Andrews and Dundee. Both Universities are currently working with the GMC to obtain accreditation of the ScotGEM programme. The first year of the course is based at the University of St Andrews and NHS Fife where teaching is delivered through case based learning with weekly clinical experience in the community. During the second year, studies focus on the lifecycle and students are expected to spend time in different regions, including weeks away in Tayside, the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway. Clinical exposure also increases with an additional half day in a specialist clinical environment as well as some experience in unscheduled care in the form of emergency department and ambulance shifts. There is a focus on community medicine during the third year where students spend the whole year based in a general practice, seeing and following patients through their patient pathway. It is not until the final year when students undertake rotations in hospitals, where they may choose areas of particular interest. In order to prepare for work as a junior doctor, students have two one-month Foundation Apprenticeships, and there is also an opportunity to undertake an 8-week elective.

The first 3 years of the 5-year programme focus on system-based teaching, including community and hospital placements (with early ward exposure starting in Year 1). Students may only apply to join the first year of this course (Level 2 entry is not available for this course).A transition module at the end of year 3 prepares the student for the clinical years 4-5, which focus on a task-based learning approach. This involves 100 core clinical scenarios, which help to integrate scientific learning with patient assessment and management, and clinical attachments, known collectively as the ‘Preparation in Practice’ Phase. 10% of the curriculum time is spent on student selected components (SSCs), which enable students to focus on areas of Medicine that particularly interest them. Intercalation is possible between 3rd and 4th year to obtain a BMSc degree. The different topics include: Anatomy, Forensic Medicine, Human Reproduction, Assisted Conception, and Embryonic Stem Cells, as well as International Health and Teaching in Medicine, to name but a few. Intercalated degrees can be applied for via the UCAS system; B902.

Those who possess a non-science degree are eligible to apply for the Pre-Medical Course (A104), which is a year long course which prepares students adequately for study in the 5-year programme. During the year, students will undertake specialist medical modules as well as study anatomy, psychology and life sciences in order to prepare them for the 5-year programme as well as receive support for a resit MMI and/or UKCAT if required. Students must pass the year with a satisfactory grade average as well as possessing a competitive UKCAT and MMI performance to progress to the first year of the 5-year programme.

Degree

For the 4-year ScotGEM programme, the applicant should have achieved at least a 2:1 or above. Applicants will not be considered if their first degree doesn't meet this requirement, even if they subsequently gain other degrees (BSc, MSc, PhD). Arts and Science Honours degrees will be accepted. Applicants who are on, or have been on, a medical degree course will not be considered.

For the 5-year programme, the applicant should have achieved at least a 2:1 in a relevant Life Science subject.

For the Pre-medical course, the applicant should have achieved at least a 2:1 in a non-science subject.

All offers to current PhD students will be conditional on the formal submission and written confirmation of the acceptance of their PhD dissertation

A levels/GCSEs/SQA Highers

Note that there are no A level or GCSE minimum requirements for either programme, but these grades will be considered when selecting applicants for interview. The same goes for the Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers.

Access Courses

Not accepted

Admissions Exam

The GAMSAT is required for the ScotGEM programme, which is valid for two admission cycles.

The UKCAT is required for the 5-year programme and the Pre-Medical Course; this exam is only valid for one year. Some students on the 6-year programme may need to re-sit the UKCAT after the gateway year in order to progress – this is on a case by case basis and students will be informed as part of their initial offer

International Students

There are 13 places for overseas students on the 5-year programme. Overseas candidates can also apply for the Pre-Medical 6-year course if they fulfil the ‘non science’ applicant requirements ie have not studied either Higher or A Level Chemistry or equivalent.

Overseas candidates are required to demonstrate good academic qualifications and work experience. If an applicant is not a native English speaker, they should demonstrate proficiency through one of the following tests:

  • IELTS with an overall score of 7.0, and a minimum of 7.0 in each component
  • TOEFL, Pearsons and Cambridge Advanced English equivalent to the European Framework C1 level in each component and overall score are accepted. 

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 Medicine at Dundee.

Policy on Re-applicants

Applicants may only apply twice for the 4-year ScotGEM programme.

The university welcomes re-applications for the 5-year and 6-year programmes.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry for both the 5-year and 6-year programmes are open from 6th September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017.

Application Documents

  • Completed UCAS application form

SELECTION PROCESS

For selection to interview for the 5-year programme, the applications are initially ranked on academic achievement and UKCAT score. As well as degrees, examinations which are considered include A levels/Highers/IB and also GCSEs/Standard Grade/National 5. Generally speaking, competition means that those meeting only the minimum academic criteria, are unlikely to get an interview, unless their UKCAT score is exceptional. Most applicants will have higher grades than the minimum required.

There is no cut-off for the UKCAT. Data from 2013 showed that the average UKCAT score to get through to interview stage was 2520; and the average score for those receiving offers was 2720. For the 2018 cycle, the SJT section will not be part of the selection process. For graduates, the weighting given to the academic achievements is 40% and to the UKCAT result is 60%. The top 550 students (both graduates and undergraduates) will be invited to an interview.

Students on the Pre-Medical course (A104) are required to pass the gateway year with an average satisfactory grade of B3 or above. Some students will be required to re-sit either the UKCAT and/or the MMI and achieve a competitive score to progress. This is on a case by case basis and students will be informed as part of their initial offer.

INTERVIEW

Interviews are conducted in mini multiple interview (MMI) format. Following the interview, applicants are ranked and selected solely on their performance at interview regardless of the academic results and UKCAT score. Interviews aim to assess various qualities of the applicant, including:

  • An understanding of a medical career
  • Knowledge of the curriculum in Dundee
  • Current medical issues in the press
  • The student’s personal statement - applicants are expected to demonstrate the following non-academic criteria:
    • A range of suitable personal attributes such as motivation, commitment, social contribution, teamwork/leadership and excellent communication skills.
    • Some knowledge of, and commitment to, Medicine. Thus, two weeks of medically-related work or shadowing experience is encouraged.
    • An awareness of the course and university to which they are applying.
  • The UCAS reference should indicate the referee’s judgement on:
    • The applicant’s preparedness for a degree in Medicine.
    • Any adverse factors that the referee believes have impacted on the applicant’s academic performance up to this point.
    • School policies on Senior Phase Curricula (for example the number of Highers available in one exam period).

In 2015, there were 1539 applicants for entry into the 5-year programme in 2016. 550 applicants were selected for interview and 300 offers were made for the 134 places available (of which up to 12 are allocated for international students).

Medicine at the University of Dundee is ranked 4th in the UK and 1st in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2018.

It is ranked 12th in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2018.

In the QS World University Rankings, Dundee ranks within the top 150 medical schools in the world.

  1. 1. What are the good things about studying Medicine at this university?

    Dundee adopts a very practical, system-based approach that prepares you for your junior doctor years from the very beginning. The lectures and small group sessions encourage students to tackle cases and core clinical problems from a clinician’s point of view, while highlighting the important steps in management. There is also a huge emphasis on clinical and communication skills, allowing you to practice history taking and examinations on simulated and real patients on a regular, weekly basis. The amicable, down-to earth atmosphere amongst students is also worth mentioning. Fellow classmates are generally very friendly and helpful, while being motivated enough to engender a sense of healthy competition and self-improvement.

  2. 2. What is not so good about studying Medicine there?

    Due to the focus on clinical reasoning, the demanding curriculum perhaps compromises on the theoretical sciences. While the basics are taught, the course at Dundee may not go as in depth as into the sciences other more traditional courses would. However, independent learning is appreciated and many extra-curricular academic opportunities are available for further learning.

  3. 3. What advice do you have for someone thinking of studying Medicine there?

    The curriculum at Dundee is no doubt tough, but is very rewarding and enjoyable at the same time. Although Dundee may not have a flashy title like other universities, I would encourage anyone to really consider studying here. It is important to seize every opportunity you can and make the most of your time here. Curriculum aside, where you go to university is where you will be living for the next 5-6 years. If you are originally from a big city, Dundee may feel a little sleepy and small at times. However, other more bustling cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh are only an hour and a half away. Dundee is also surrounded by many beautiful nature walks with many outdoor opportunities at your disposal. Arguably, Dundee is the perfect size to make lots of close friends.

  4. 4. Do you have any tips on how to get in?

    Apart from the standard ‘good grades’ that is expected of a student applying to medical school, the interviews at Dundee is something that is worth understanding. The interview uses the ‘multiple mini interviews’ format, where applicants are expected to go through a series of short ‘interviews’ and different role-playing scenarios that assess their skills and to a certain extent, knowledge. The MMI focuses on determining how one is able to use their reasoning to tackle different scenarios, rather than testing how much you know. Make sure you know your personal statement well and be familiar with general ethical arguments and how to apply them. Beyond that, my best advice is to be yourself, keep a level head and you might even find that you’ll enjoy the MMI experience!