University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh

First established in 1726, the medical school at the University of Edinburgh is renowned for many notable alumni including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the creator of the Sherlock Holmes series, as well as Benjamin Bell who is known as the first Scottish scientific surgeon. Interestingly, the medical student society in Edinburgh – known as the Royal Medical Society, is the oldest in the UK and is the only one to hold a royal charter! It even has its own building with various facilities such as a library and a clinical skills room. The Royal Medical Society also publishes a peer-reviewed journal known as Res Medica to which medical students are encouraged to contribute to.

The university offers one medical degree programme which has been recently lengthened to 6 years; the first medical programme in Scotland to have done so. Graduates of the medical school will leave with 2 degrees: a BMedSci (Hons), as well as the MBChB – the primary qualification in Medicine. Teaching is primarily through problem-based learning with early clinical exposure. In the 3rd year of the course, students undergo an intercalated year where they work towards a BMedSci. In the clinical component of the course, students are mainly taught through bedside teaching whilst they rotate clinical placements which either focus on a particular body system (e.g. cardiology) or a medical specialty (paediatrics). The university is linked with 3 teaching hospitals and a number of smaller district hospitals, as well as many community practices so students will experience a variety of clinical environments.

University of Edinburgh

Undergraduate Applicants

  • Minimum Requirements
  • No. of places


  • Degree
  • A levels
  • GCSEs
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  •  
  • ~ 200 for school leaver applicants
    ~ 10 for graduate/mature applicants
    ~15 for international applicants
  • N/A
  • AAA
  • Grade B in Chemistry, Biology English and Maths*
  • UKCAT
  • N/A
  • Essential

Graduate Applicants

  • Minimum Requirements
  • No. of places


  • Degree

  • A levels
  • GCSEs
  • Exam
  • Interview
  • Work experience
  •  
  • ~ 200 for school leaver applicants
    ~ 10 for graduate/mature applicants
    ~15 for international applicants
  • Achieve/Predicted at least 2:1
    Honours Degree
  • BBB
  • N/A
  • UKCAT
  • MMI
  • Essential
*Note that the average applicant will have more than 6A* grades

The recent change in the curriculum means that the University of Edinburgh will be the first medical school in Scotland which offers a 6-year programme. In the first and second year, students study the human body system by system through problem-based learning. This approach allows students to integrate biomedical principles with anatomy and physiology in a clinical context. During this time, teaching is also supplemented with student selected modules and community attachments. In the third year, all students undertake an intercalated honours year which is spent completing a research project. Research projects are undertaken from a wide range of possible programmes from cell biology to zoology. Upon completion of the third year, students are awarded a Bachelor of Medical Sciences – BMedSci (Hons).

In the final year of the course, students spend most of their time on clinical placement. The course is still taught system by system however teaching is predominantly delivered through bedside teaching on placement. At the end of year six, students have a 6-week elective with many students opting to split their elective time between a developed country and a developing country, or working for a charitable organisation. There is also a 6-week Foundation assistantship, ensuring that the transition from final year medical student to first year doctor goes as smoothly as possible.

A/AS levels and GCSEs

All grades must be attempted at the first attempt of each subject.

AAA including Chemistry and one of Biology, Mathematics or Physics. Human Biology may replace Biology. General Studies is not considered.

Biology at AS level must be taken as a minimum and applicants are also required to achieve a Grade B at a fourth AS level subject.

If applicants are unable to take AS levels, they are expected to achieve 4 A levels with grades AAAB.

GCSEs:

A Grade B is required in Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics. If Double Science is taken, a grade BB can replace GCSE science grades. Note however that the average applicant will have 6A* grades at GCSE, and the top third of applicants will offer between 8 and 11 A*s.

Resits:

Applicants are allowed to resit a maximum of 2 AS level modules which must be completed by the end of the Upper Sixth Year. Those who have more than the maximum will not be considered unless under exceptional circumstances.

IB

Applicants must achieve an overall score of 37 points which must include (including Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay) which must include 6,6,7 at Higher Level in Chemistry and at least one other science subject (Biology is preferred and should be taken to at least SL).

Mathematics and English:

Applicants must also achieve in Mathematics and English a minimum Standard Grade 2 or GCSE B grade or equivalent if they are not part of the IB diploma.

Those studying English at Standard Level must obtain Grade 5.

Mathematics Studies will be accepted instead of Mathematics at Standard Level.

Scottish Highers:

Applicants are expected to have achieved AAAAB by the end of S5, including Chemistry and two from Biology (or Human Biology), Mathematics or Physics. Those who meet the grade requirements in S5 but are missing one or more sciences may take the subjects missing in S6.

SQA Advanced Highers:

Applicants should study at least two subjects at Advanced Higher level as well as a Higher in S6 and should achieve a minimum of BBB. Ideally, applicants should study Chemistry and Biology.

Admissions Exam:

Applicants are required to sit the UKCAT which can be sat between June and September. This exam is valid for the year of application only.

Access to Medicine courses

The university only accepts 2 Access courses:

  • College of West Anglia Access to Medicine Course
  • Sussex Downs Adult College Access to Medicine Course

Applicants must be predicted distinction grades as well as achieving one of the following academic requirements:

  • SQA Higher: 4 Highers at one sitting – BBBB
  • GCE A levels: 3 A levels at one sitting – BBB
  • University Degree: 2:1 Honours or higher
  • International Baccalaureate: grades 655 at higher level and 34 points overall.

Shortlisted Access applicants will be interviewed. The interview will follow the MMI (multiple mini interview) format, consisting of three 10 minute rotations which will cover:

  • Communication skills
  • Critical and ethical reasoning
  • Career exploration (based on the personal statement)

Before the interview starts, applicants are given 20 minutes for preparation.

Other Diplomas

The Cambridge Pre-U can be used as an alternative to A levels. Three D3 grades are expected in the Principle Subjects which should include Chemistry and one of Biology, Mathematics or Physics.

The BTEC is not accepted.

Widening Participation

The university supports LEAPS, REACH and the ‘Pathways to the Professions’ Initiative as well as the University’s contextual admissions policy.

International Students

There are 15 spaces for international students on this programme. If English is not your first language, the following qualifications may be offered as proof of proficiency:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 7.5 with 7.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 110 or above with 25 in each section
  • IGCSE English (First language) Grade B
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 191 with 191 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 76 with at least 76 in each Communicative Skills section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a merit in all four components

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 Edinburgh.

Policy on Re-applicants

The university accepts re-applicants.

Policy on Deferrals

The university accepts applicants wishing to defer their entry. However, applying for deferred entry is not encouraged for international applicants where there are only limited places.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry are open from 1st September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017.

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • Mature students (those over 21 at the start of the degree) have the option of sending the medical school an additional reference, which should be sent directly by post or email and be received before the application deadline. Note that mature applicants are expected to have achieved the required entry standards within 3 years prior to application.

SELECTION PROCESS

Each application will be assessed and scored independently by two selectors who will consider academic results, non-academic qualities and the UKCAT score. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 50% Academic
  • 30% Non-Academic – 15% personal statement/reference and 15% SJT section of the UKCAT
  • 20% UKCAT (excluding the SJT).

The university considers both the total UKCAT score and the SJT section score. The total UKCAT result of each applicant is taken and ranked. The cohort will then be divided into octiles and subsequently be allocated a score. The banding rewarded in the SJT section will be scored as part of the non-academic criteria. The final score is totalled, and applicants with the highest score will receive an offer of a place. The UKCAT score may again be reviewed when final decisions are being made regarding offers, if there are a number of applicants with the same ranked score.

INTERVIEW

For undergraduate applicants, there is no interview, unless they are a mature student who have completed an Access course.

In 2016, there were 2097 Home/EU undergraduate and graduate applicants, of which 386 were given offers. There were 432 overseas undergraduate and graduate applicants of which 41 were given offers.

In the Guardian University Guide 2018– Medicine at the University of Edinburgh ranks 10th.

In the Complete University Guide 2018 – Medicine at the University of Edinburgh ranks 5th.

In the QS World University Rankings 2017, the University of Edinburgh ranks 23rd.

The recent change in the curriculum means that the University of Edinburgh will be the first medical school in Scotland which offers a 6-year programme. In the first and second year, students study the human body system by system through problem-based learning. This approach allows students to integrate biomedical principles with anatomy and physiology in a clinical context. During this time, teaching is also supplemented with student selected modules and community attachments. In the third year, all students undertake an intercalated honours year which is spent completing a research project. Research projects are undertaken from a wide range of possible programmes from cell biology to zoology. Upon completion of the third year, students are awarded a Bachelor of Medical Sciences – BMedSci (Hons).

In the final year of the course, students spend most of their time on clinical placement. The course is still taught system by system however teaching is predominantly delivered through bedside teaching on placement. At the end of year six, students have a 6-week elective with many students opting to split their elective time between a developed country and a developing country, or working for a charitable organisation. There is also a 6-week Foundation assistantship, ensuring that the transition from final year medical student to first year doctor goes as smoothly as possible.

Degree

Applicants must have achieved or be predicted a 1st or 2:1 honours degree. They are expected to have a strong scientific background evidenced from either the degree or school leaver’s qualifications.

A/AS levels and GCSEs

Minimum achieved at one sitting: A Levels: BBB. There are no GCSE requirements.

Scottish Highers:

At least BBBB in S5.

IB:

34 points overall with 5,5, 6 at HL.

Admissions Exam

Applicants are required to sit the UKCAT which can be sat between June and September. This exam is valid for the year of application only.

Access to Medicine courses:

The university only accepts 2 Access courses, which graduates may use to support their application (the degree requirement for a 2:1 remains):

  • College of West Anglia Access to Medicine Course
  • Sussex Downs Adult College Access to Medicine Course
INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

International applicants will be scored in the same way as UK and EU applicants and therefore will need to apply through UCAS. Graduate international applicants will not be required to attend an interview. There are 15 spaces in total for international students on this programme. If English is not your first language, the following qualifications may be offered as proof of proficiency:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 7.5 with 7.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 110 or above with 25 in each section
  • English (First language) Grade B
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 191 with 191 in each component
  • Test of English (Academic): Total 76 with at least 76 in each Communicative Skills section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a merit in all four components

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 Edinburgh.

Policy on Re-applicants

The university accepts re-applicants.

Policy on Deferrals

The university accepts applicants wishing to defer their entry. However, applying for deferred entry is not encouraged for international applicants where there are only limited places.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications via UCAS for 2018/19 entry are open from 1st September 2017 and close on 15th October 2017.

Application Documents

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • Graduate students have the option of sending the medical school an additional reference, which should be sent directly by post or email and be received before the application deadline.

SELECTION PROCESS

To determine which candidates will progress to interview, each application will be assessed and scored independently by two selectors who will consider academic results, non-academic qualities and the UKCAT score. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 50% Academics
  • 30% Non-Academic – 15% personal statement/reference and 15% SJT section of the UKCATs
  • 20% UKCAT (excluding the SJT).s

The university considers both the total UKCAT score and the SJT section score. The total UKCAT result of each applicant is taken and ranked. The cohort will then be divided into octiles and subsequently be allocated a score. The banding rewarded in the SJT section will be scored as part of the non-academic criteria. The final score is totalled, and applicants with the highest scores will be shortlisted for interview. Applicants who are based in the UK or Republic of Ireland will be subsequently invited to interview; international applicants who are based overseas will be assessed purely on their application, and will not be required to attend an interview.

INTERVIEW

The interview will follow the MMI (multiple mini interview) format, consisting of three 10 minute rotations which will cover:

  • Communication skills
  • Critical and ethical reasoning
  • Career exploration (based on the personal statement)

Before the interview starts, applicants are given 20 minutes for preparation.

Following the interview, the final score allocated will compose of:

  • 30% - Interview performance
  • 35% - Academic
  • 20% - UKCAT
  • 15% - SJT section of the UKCAT

In 2016, there were 401 graduate or mature student applicants of which 55 were interviewed and 20 were offered places.

In the Guardian University Guide 2018– Medicine at the University of Edinburgh ranks 10th.

In the Complete University Guide 2018 – Medicine at the University of Edinburgh ranks 5th.

In the QS World University Rankings 2017, the University of Edinburgh ranks 23rd.

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

    Edinburgh has a good reputation for good reason; world-renowned scientists and doctors; fantastic teaching hospitals, history and prestige... Edinburgh has it all.
    The Edinburgh curriculum has always been well reviewed by students and respected at postgraduate level. It has recently been restructured after extensive feedback from staff and students and the 2016 intake will be the first group to experience the new 6 year course.
    Preclinical years are lecture and tutorial heavy; based entirely in Edinburgh, there are several opportunities to pursue research in Student Selected Component's. The clinical years offer exposure to almost all the specialities and teaching is predominantly on the wards with (generally) very enthusiastic tutors and smaller tutorial groups. Tutors and course organisers are genuinely keen to receive and action feedback.
    There is great camaraderie throughout the medical school, there are lots of medical societies and sports teams which are a great way to make friends across the years. Most importantly; medical school is 5 or 6 of the best years of your life... Edinburgh is a fantastic city, it is the culture hub of Scotland with great music, bars, theatre and art. There isn't a better place.

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

    It can get pretty cold! Occasionally large teaching hospitals like the Royal Infirmary can feel anonymous; however this is part and parcel of medical student life. And there are plenty of opportunities to experience a more close knit team in district general hospitals in the clinical years e.g. Borders General hospital, Royal Victoria Kirkcaldy, Forth valley, and even the Belford in Fortwilliam (if you want to try a more rural attachment!)

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

    Medical school is such a privilege; if you are fortunate to be offered a choice of universities place think about where you would like to live and what hobbies you would like to pursue; chose the place that suits your personality and your goals.
    Edinburgh is best traversed by bicycle (in my opinion).
    Don't buy text books; the library has an excellent catalogue and everything is online.

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

    Write a good personal statement! Edinburgh don't interview so being able to articulate what you learnt from work experience, and how this will influence your future practice, both as a medical student and as a doctor, is important!