Medical School Application Guide

 

University of St Andrews

 

King’s College London

 

Studying Medicine at the oldest university in Scotland offers a unique opportunity for students to divide their medical school career across 2 different medical schools. St Andrews offers a 6-year programme which allows students to spend 3 years at St Andrews completing a BSc Honours in Medicine (Phase 1), before moving onto a partner school in order to continue their clinical training (Phase 2). After 3 years of clinical training at the partner school, students will subsequently graduate with their MBChB/MBBS.

 

St Andrews has five partner schools:

 

• University of Aberdeen

• University of Dundee

• University of Edinburgh

• University of Glasgow

• University of Manchester

 

As there is no separate graduate course, both undergraduate and graduate applicants who wish to attend St Andrews, will enter the BSc Honours in Medicine (A100) course.

 

The medical school also hosts a Canadian programme (A990) which allows Canadian applicants to study at St Andrews for their BSc Honours in Medicine, and at the University of Edinburgh for their MBChB, as well as an extended placement at the University of Alberta. The 3 year course at St Andrews aims to build and develop a strong base of scientific knowledge as well as acquiring basic clinical skills which begins straightaway from the start of Year 1. Teaching is delivered in a variety of ways with patient-based tutorials used throughout the course to provide clinical context to key topics. St Andrews delivers anatomy teaching through full body dissection and there is also an emphasis on independent learning, particularly during the research dissertation period.

 

The medical school boasts of small year groups consisting of around 170 people, which allows students to get to know both staff and each other really well. Students are also well supported, with each student being allocated to a tutor to look over both personal welfare and academic development. Students study in the newly developed medical school, which was part of a £45 million development and is now housed in the School of Medicine and the Sciences. The fact that the medical school’s research facility is fully integrated with other sciences, puts the medical school in good stead in terms of continuing to produce high quality research.

 

The high quality of the course, teaching and available facilities has meant that the School of Medicine has been in top place in the UK ‘student satisfaction’ ratings for the past 2 out of 3 years.

 

The Medical School Application Guide

At a Glance

Courses available

6 year programme

 
Undergraduate Applicants
Graduate Applicants
 
6-year (1st 3 years at St Andrews)
6-year (1st 3 years at St Andrews)
No. of places
150 (including 20 overseas places)20 places for Canadian students on the A990 course.
Degree
N/A
1st class or 2:1 science degree (or equivalent) - obtained within the last 5 years
GCSEs
Grade B in Biology, English and Maths
8As/6A*s to qualify for interview
Grade B in Biology, English and Maths
A levels
AAA
Chemistry A level at grade A obtained within the last 6 years*
Exam
UKCAT
UKCAT
Interview
MMI
MMI
Work experience
Essential
Essential
 
* A 2:1 or 1st class Honours degree in Chemistry or a degree with substantial Chemistry content will be accepted in place of the A level

 

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Undergraduates can apply to a 6-year programme, which is divided between the University of St Andrews and another partner university, as listed above. The first year aims to give students a strong base of knowledge regarding normal human physiology, as well as introductions to key topics in Medicine. These include overviews in areas such as pathology, microbiology, psychology, public health and medical law and ethics. In the following 2 years, students will develop and build on the knowledge gained in the first year. In the second year, each body system is studied in depth, allowing students to gain an understanding of important disease mechanisms and how therapeutic treatments work to combat these diseases.

 

Towards the end of the 3rd year, students carry out a student-selected research dissertation. These projects provide a lot of flexibility as students are able to choose between a laboratory-based project, a project in medical education, a critical review or a data handling project. Students are then responsible to pursue their chosen topic over 10-12 weeks.

 

Basic clinical skills are taught all throughout the course – from basic life support and recording vital signs in Year 1 to history taking and patient examination techniques in years 2 and 3. Video recording facilities are used in clinical training to improve skills, as well as to provide evidence of a student’s competence in clinical examination. There are lots of opportunities for students to practice their clinical skills – from simulated patients in the medical school to primary care attachments and 10 teaching sessions aimed at practicing clinical and communication skills in Fife teaching hospitals. Moreover, there is a unique opportunity to spend a residential week in a range of primary or secondary clinical care placements during the summer vacation between 2nd and 3rd year.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

A/AS levels and GCSEs

 

St Andrews expects students to achieve AAA including Chemistry and one other of Biology, Mathematics or Physics. General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research are not considered. Note that a 4th A level or a 4th subject at AS is not required.

 

At GCSE, grade B in Biology, Mathematics and English must be achieved. Dual Award Science is not acceptable as a comparison to GCSE Biology. To be considered for interview, A level applicants are expected to offer a minimum of 8As or 6A* grades at GCSE as well as be predicted to have AAA in the appropriate subjects at A level.

 

IB

 

Minimum 38 points including:

 

• Higher level: 3 passes at Grade 6,6,6 including Chemistry and one other of Biology, Mathematics or Physics

• Standard Level: 3 passes at Grade 6, including whichever of Maths or Biology is lacking at Higher level, and including a pass in English if this is not gained at Higher Level

 

Applicants currently in the first year of an academic programme

 

Applicants will be considered if they have fulfilled the academic entry requirements for Medicine before they begin their undergraduate course. They must apply by the 15th of October and have sat the UKCAT. Candidates who have progressed to second year will not be considered. No credit will be given for the undergraduate year as all entrants must do the full 6 years of the medical degree. A reference is required from the current university tutor commenting on their academic performance and suitability for medicine, as well as details of grades obtained so far.

 

Admissions Exam

 

Applicants are required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).

 

For the 2016 sitting of the test, UKCAT are not including the subtest, Decision Analysis, in the candidate’s overall score. Therefore medical schools will receive a total scaled score for the sum of the remaining three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning.

 

The global UKCAT score is used to determine whether the applicant is offered an interview. If the applicant is given an interview, the decision to make offers will be based on the interview score and the global UKCAT score. Note that the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component of the UKCAT is being used as an element of the interview process, with the SJT score being incorporated into the interview score.

 

For 2016 entry, the average global UKCAT score for those given an interview was 2750.

 

For 2017 entry, the estimated equivalent score will be around 2080. The actual cut-off score for invitation to interview will, as usual, depend on the scores of the cohort of applicants for that year

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

The HNC Applied Sciences Pathway to Medicine at Perth College is the only accepted access course.

 

International Students

 

Overall there are 20 places for international/overseas applicants. All non-native English speakers must take the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). A score of 7 must be achieved in all areas, and the scores will be valid for 2 years.

 

If you are applying as an overseas student and have not taken the IB or A levels, 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 St Andrews.

 

 

Policy on Re-applicants

 

Applicants can re-apply once to St Andrews if they meet the entrance criteria that year, but no further re-applications will be considered.

 

Policy on Deferrals

 

The University of St Andrew’s does not usually consider deferred entry.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

Applications via UCAS for 2017/18 entry for are open from 1st September 2016 and close on 15th October 2016

 

Home applicants:

 

Whilst all students spend their pre-clinical training at St Andrews, they are able to indicate a preference on where they would like to undertake clinical training on the UCAS form.

 

If students would prefer to spend their clinical training at a Scottish partner school (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow), they should apply to A100: campus code S (Scotland).

 

If students would prefer to spend their clinical training at an English partner school (Manchester or Barts and the London), they should opt for A100 campus code R (England).

 

If applicants have no preference, they will be allocated randomly and should apply for A100: campus code N (No preference).

 

For ‘home’ applicants, there are 52 places for phase 2 in Scotland; 50 places for phase 2 in Manchester; and 20 places for phase 2 in Barts and the London. Allocation to specific to medical schools is done in the December of the 2nd year.

 

Overseas applicants:

 

Overall there are 20 places for overseas applicants. Overseas applicants will be completing phase 2 at the University of Manchester and therefore must apply to complete phase 2 in England – A100: campus code R (England). If you are applying from North America and you are only applying to St Andrews, not to any other UK universities, you can make a direct application: http://medicine.st-andrews.ac.uk/teaching/bsc-hons-medicine/medical-admissions/apply/

 

Application Documents

 

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • Secondary school certificates/grade transcripts may be requested

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Application Documents

 

The following is reviewed:

 

  • Academic performance
  • Personal statement and reference
  • UKCAT scores

 

Applicants must have a strong academic record, a positive reference and relevant, medically-related work experience

 

Regarding the personal statement, successful applicants should also be able to show evidence of:

 

• Personal qualities such as empathy, teamwork, leadership skills and good communication skills

• An informed understanding of a career in medicine

• Commitment to medicine through work experience or shadowing, and experience of working with ill or disabled people, preferably in health care settings

• Commitment to academic study, perseverance and intellectual potential

 

Applicants who meet these requirements will then be rated on their UKCAT global score with those ranking in the top 400 will be invited for interview. After the interview, the interview score will be combined with the global UKCAT score – it is this combined score which will dictate the decision to make offers.

 

Interview

 

Key points:

 

• Number of interview places: 400

• Interviews usually take place in December – March.

• The majority of decisions are made in mid-March.

 

Home, EU and overseas students living in Britain will be invited to interview in St Andrews whilst overseas students can be interviewed via phone or Skype.

 

The interviews are in the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format, which consists of a number of small ‘mini’ interviews which candidates rotate through.

 

There are 6 ‘mini’ interviews which assess applicants on:

 

• Their understanding of Medicine as a career and what it entails

• Communication and interpersonal skills

• At least one station will involve role-play and interacting with an actor

• Ability to discuss ethical issues

 

Following the interview, applicants will be given the opportunity to have a tour of the medical school with a current medical student.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

In the 2015-2016 application cycle, there were 1500 applicants for the 150 places available, including 20 places for non-EU applicants. There were 400 applicants interviewed. There were approximately 81 applications for the 20 places available in the Canadian Programme.

 

RANKINGS

 

In the Guardian University Guide 2016 for Medicine, St Andrews ranks 10th

 

In the Complete University Guide 2016 for Medicine, St Andrews ranks 22nd

 

The University of St Andrews ranks 68th in the QS World University Rankings

 

PROGRAMMES

 

Graduates can apply to the 6-year programme, along with undergraduate applicants. It is divided between the University of St Andrews and another partner university, as listed above. The first year aims to give students a strong base of knowledge regarding normal human physiology, as well as introductions to key topics in Medicine. These include overviews in areas such as pathology, microbiology, psychology, public health and medical law and ethics. In the following 2 years, students will develop and build on the knowledge gained in the first year. In the second year, each body system is studied in depth, allowing students to gain an understanding of important disease mechanisms and how therapeutic treatments work to combat these diseases.

 

Towards the end of the 3rd year, students carry out a student-selected research dissertation. These projects provide a lot of flexibility as students are able to choose between a laboratory-based project, a project in medical education, a critical review or a data handling project. Students are then responsible to pursue their chosen topic over 10-12 weeks.

 

Basic clinical skills are taught all throughout the course – from basic life support and recording vital signs in Year 1 to history taking and patient examination techniques in years 2 and 3. Video recording facilities are used in clinical training to improve skills, as well as to provide evidence of a student’s competence in clinical examination. There are lots of opportunities for students to practice their clinical skills – from simulated patients in the medical school to primary care attachments and 10 teaching sessions aimed at practicing clinical and communication skills in Fife teaching hospitals. Moreover, there is a unique opportunity to spend a residential week in a range of primary or secondary clinical care placements during the summer vacation between 2nd and 3rd year.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBILITY

 

Degree and A levels

 

  • Upper Second or First Class Honours Science degree (or equivalent) – this must have been obtained within the last 5 years. Only Applicants with Science Honours degrees will be considered. Note that a Lower Second Class Honours degree (2:2), followed by a second degree will not be accepted.
  • Chemistry Higher/A Level/Advanced Higher must be obtained within the last 6 years and must be achieved at Grade A at the first sitting. If the applicant has achieved a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree in Chemistry, or a degree with substantial Chemistry content, this will be accepted instead of the A level. If applicants have not studied Chemistry at the appropriate level (either at leaving school or at undergraduate level), they might be eligible to apply if they obtain a grade A at first sitting in Higher/Advanced Higher/A level or equivalent after their degree.

 

A/AS LEVELS AND GCSEss

 

  • Candidates must have achieved grades B in Biology, English and Mathematics.

 

Admissions Exam

 

Applicants are required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).

 

For the 2016 sitting of the test, UKCAT are not including the subtest, Decision Analysis, in the candidate’s overall score. Therefore medical schools will receive a total scaled score for the sum of the remaining three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning.

 

The global UKCAT score is used to determine whether the applicant is offered an interview. If the applicant is given an interview, the decision to make offers will be based on the interview score and the global UKCAT score. Note that the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component of the UKCAT is being used as an element of the interview process, with the SJT score being incorporated into the interview score.

 

For 2016 entry, the average global UKCAT score for those given an interview was 2750.

 

For 2017 entry, the estimated equivalent score will be around 2080. The actual cut-off score for invitation to interview will, as usual, depend on the scores of the cohort of applicants for that year.

 

Access to Medicine courses

 

The HNC Applied Sciences Pathway to Medicine at Perth College is the only accepted access course.

 

International Students

 

Overall there are 20 places for international/overseas applicants. All non-native English speakers must take the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). A score of 7 must be achieved in all areas, and the scores will be valid for 2 years.

 

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 St Andrews.

 

POLICY ON Re-applicants

 

Applicants can re-apply once to St Andrews if they meet the entrance criteria that year, but no further re-applications will be considered./p>

 

POLICY ON DEFERRALS

 

The University of St Andrew’s does not usually consider deferred entry.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application Deadlines

 

Applications via UCAS for 2017/18 entry for are open from 1st September 2016 and close on 15th October 2016

 

Home applicants:

 

Whilst all students spend their pre-clinical training at St Andrews, they are able to indicate a preference on where they would like to undertake clinical training on the UCAS form.

 

If students would prefer to spend their clinical training at a Scottish partner school (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow), they should apply to A100: campus code S (Scotland).

 

If students would prefer to spend their clinical training at an English partner school (Manchester or Barts and the London), they should opt for A100 campus code R (England).

 

If applicants have no preference, they will be allocated randomly and should apply for A100: campus code N (No preference).

 

For ‘home’ applicants, there are 52 places for phase 2 in Scotland; 50 places for phase 2 in Manchester; and 20 places for phase 2 in Barts and the London. Allocation to specific to medical schools is done in the December of the 2nd year.

 

Overseas applicants:

Overall there are 20 places for overseas applicants. Overseas applicants will be completing phase 2 at the University of Manchester and therefore must apply to complete phase 2 in England – A100: campus code R (England). If you are applying from North America and you are only applying to St Andrews, not to any other UK universities, you can make a direct application: http://medicine.st-andrews.ac.uk/teaching/bsc-hons-medicine/medical-admissions/apply/

 

Application Documents

 

  • Completed UCAS application form
  • A reference is required from the current university tutor commenting on the applicant’s academic performance and suitability for Medicine.
  • A university transcript of academic performance should be forwarded to the Admissions Office.

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND INTERVIEW

 

Selection Process

 

The following is reviewed:

 

• Academic performance

• Personal statement and reference

• UKCAT scores

 

Applicants must have a strong academic record, a positive reference and relevant, medically-related work experience.

 

Regarding the personal statement, successful applicants should also be able to show evidence of:

 

• Personal qualities such as empathy, teamwork, leadership skills and good communication skills

• An informed understanding of a career in medicine

• Commitment to medicine through work experience or shadowing, and experience of working with ill or disabled people, preferably in health care settings

• Commitment to academic study, perseverance and intellectual potential

 

Applicants who meet these requirements will then be rated on their UKCAT global score with those ranking in the top 400 will be invited for interview. After the interview, the interview score will be combined with the global UKCAT score – it is this combined score which will dictate the decision to make offers.

 

Key points:

 

• Number of interview places: 400

• Interviews usually take place in December – March.

• The majority of decisions are made in mid-March.

 

Home, EU and overseas students living in Britain will be invited to interview in St Andrews whilst overseas students can be interviewed via phone or Skype. /p>

 

The interviews are in the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format, which consists of a number of small ‘mini’ interviews which candidates rotate through.

 

There are 6 ‘mini’ interviews which assess applicants on:

 

• Their understanding of Medicine as a career and what it entails

• Communication and interpersonal skills

• At least one station will involve role-play and interacting with an actor

• Ability to discuss ethical issues

 

Following the interview, applicants will be given the opportunity to have a tour of the medical school with a current medical student.

 

COMPETITION RATIOS

 

In the 2015-2016 application cycle, there were 1500 applicants for the 150 places available, including 20 places for non-EU applicants. There were 400 applicants interviewed. There were approximately 81 applications for the 20 places available in the Canadian Programme.

 

RANKINGS

 

In the Guardian University Guide 2016 for Medicine, St Andrews ranks 10th

 

In the Complete University Guide 2016 for Medicine, St Andrews ranks 22nd

 

The University of St Andrews ranks 68th in the QS World University Rankings

 

In partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the University of Alberta, St Andrew’s offers the A990 course. It involves spending a proportion of the course at all three universities, with students being eligible to apply for residency programmes in Canada upon completion of the course.

COURSE CONTENT

 

Canadian applicants are eligible to apply for both the A100 and A990 programme. Both programmes follow the same course in St Andrews.

 

Students therefore spend the first 3 years working towards a BSc (Honours) medicine from the University of St Andrews. Phase 2 will be spent at the University of Edinburgh where students will complete their clinical training. Whilst at Edinburgh, students will also spend time on placement at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (FoMD) at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. Students will spend 16 weeks in Edmonton towards the end of their training.

 

The attachment includes:

 

  • An extended period of clinical training in disciplines expected to enhance the students’ learning
  • An orientation to the Canadian healthcare system
  • An opportunity to train for the MCCEE/MCCQE
  • Further guidance on the process of application for a residency place

 

Following graduation, students will be eligible for residency training programmes in Canada.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Canadian applicants who are ‘Overseas’ can apply for either the A990 or A100 programme not both.

 

If applying for the A100 programme, students follow the exact same process as other ‘Overseas’ students where there are 20 places for on the course. Regarding the course structure, students spend 3 years at St Andrews followed by 3 years at the University of Manchester (note that these applicants should select the A100 campus code R (England) on the UCAS form.

 

With regards to the A990 programme, there are 20 places for Canadian citizens or those who are domiciled in Canada with permanent residence rights. These students will complete Phase 2 at the University of Edinburgh once they have gained their BSc (Honours) in Medicine at St Andrews.

 

Academic Requirements:

 

The grade requirements for all Canadian applicants are the same – regardless of whether they are applying for the A100 or the A990 course.

 

If taking the High School Diploma:

 

• Applicants must have an average of over 85% in Grade 11 to be considered. Furthermore, conditions of offer would include a minimum of 85% overall in Year 12, with higher grades in 3 specified subjects – which must include Chemistry and one other science (Biology, Mathematics or Physics).

• Chemistry is required in both Year 11 and 12 with 85% minimum in Year 11 and a likely grade of 90% in Year 12. If Chemistry has not been studies for the required number of years, a SAT II score of 700+ might be considered in its place.

• Chemistry is required in both Year 11 and 12 with 85% minimum in Year 11 and a likely grade of 90% in Year 12. If Chemistry has not been studies for the required number of years, a SAT II score of 700+ might be considered in its place.

• If not offered in Year 11 and 12, then Biology, Mathematics and English MUST be offered in Year 10.

 

Regarding SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) and ACT (American College Testing) tests:

 

• If applicants have taken the SAT or ACT tests, they will be considered but a decision on the application will not be taken on the basis of these tests alone.

• In SAT I – a minimum of 2000 would be competitive.

• In SAT II subject test – a score of 700+ would be competitive in Biology and Chemistry.

• A combined score of 30+ in the ACT would be comparable with SAT Is.

 

Admission tests:

 

Applicants are required to sit the UKCAT and are subject to the same scoring process as other applicants.

 

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

 

"There are many unique aspects to studying Medicine in St. Andrews. The course is pre-clinical following a systems-based, spiral curriculum and every student will complete a dissertation in their final year leaving with a BSc honours degree in Medical Sciences before moving onto clinical school. There is no shortage however in clinical experience with the teaching of a wide range of practical clinical skills and placement teaching. Students take part in full cadaveric dissection, a rare teaching method, providing a very deep understanding of anatomy. The town in general offers a hugely integrated and vibrant student life with many large societies on offer to get involved in. The medical school in particular is extremely inclusive; with large social events involving all students and often staff regularly taking place, and a variety of medical societies exposing students to the wider aspects of medicine and promoting fellowship between students." Kenan Bastekin, final year student

 

"The lecturers at St Andrews University were excellent and really connected with you on an individual level as you would see them every day around the medical school. The support structure and “academic families” were definitely a huge positive – being “adopted” by people in the years above along with several other siblings instantly connected you with new people. I was very lucky with my academic family as we arranged plenty of dinners and activities together so we ended up all being very good friends." Hannah Todd, graduated in 2015

 

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

 

"The course builds itself upon a strong base of scientific theory which some students can find off putting if they would prefer somewhere with more clinical based learning from much earlier on. Similarly, the course is mainly lecture based with only a small number of tutorials, this may not be favoured by those who prefer problem based learning and learn best through small group based tasks. Dissection sessions take place weekly and can be lengthy and sometimes quite tiring, the vast majority of students are very grateful and fond of this method but for those who prefer textbook work this may not be ideal. Due to the town being small it is very inclusive and built around students interacting with each other and being interdependent on each other. Student satisfaction tends to be extremely high due to this, but may not be suited to those who can’t live without being in large cities with big city centres and everything they need immediately on offer and available. Having a good time here depends on having strong relationships and if you don’t have these it can feel lonely without much to do and see." Kenan Bastekin, final year student

 

"Perhaps one minor downside to St Andrews is that there is no major hospital like there is in Dundee. The clinical teaching is still excellent on the simulated wards and you get a chance to catch up on ward-experience when you move on to the partner clinical university for the next 3 years. The course is also very anatomy-based, so be prepared to learn a LOT of detail about the brain and nervous system." Hannah Todd, graduated in 2015

 

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

 

"If you want to study in a medical school with a widely revered staff: student ratio, highly praised anatomy teaching and stimulating course content, with the chance to live in a closely knit immersive student town and build strong and rewarding friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime the St. Andrews is the place for you." Kenan Bastekin, final year student

 

"For someone who is thinking of studying medicine in St Andrews, my advice would be to try and get in contact who has been or is still studying there. It can be quite a shock moving from school to university life and a lot of people get quite a knock after the first mid-semester exam. I think that exam acts as a kind of buffer to help you gauge the amount of work required and gives you a chance to quickly get back on your feet." Hannah Todd, graduated in 2015

 

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

 

"Only students who end up coming here will learn that it is a place like no other, so when it comes to applying, being able to demonstrate your knowledge and research into the course as well showing your enthusiasm for the town and what the student body has to offer, are of the utmost importance." Kenan Bastekin, final year student

 

"For the interview, learn about the course structure and what makes St Andrews different from the other universities, for example: the opportunity to do dissection, the spiral layout of the curriculum and also the academic families. Also be prepared to talk about your extra-curricular activities and what makes you different from the other candidates." Hannah Todd, graduated in 2015

 

 

Ask Dr Jiva a question

Contact Information

* Required Fields