Published on August 12, 2023

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University of Aberdeen Medical School Guide

Overview of Aberdeen Medical School

The University of Aberdeen Medical School is in Aberdeen in North East Scotland. The current school was formed from the merger of the former School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Medical Sciences, and the Rowett Institution of Nutrition. Formally established in 1787, the institution is renowned for its rich heritage.

The University of Aberdeen offers a five-year undergraduate course, and a 6-year Gateway2Medicine undergraduate course, details of which are found below, along with information about the academic requirements, entrance exam requirements, interview process, and more.

Academic Requirements for Medicine at Aberdeen

A LevelsAAA (must have Chemistry, along with one of Biology, Maths, or Physics)  
Scottish HighersAAAAB at SQA Higher level (must have Chemistry, plus two from Biology, Maths, or Physics – and two further Highers in most subjects) 
Scottish Advanced  BBB (Three full academic courses in Advanced Highers or a mix of two Advanced Highers and one new Higher)  
Irish Leaving Certificate 3 Higher subjects at Grade H1 (must include Chemistry, Biology, and one other subject)  
IB36 points. Three subjects at Higher level at grade 6 or higher (must include Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, or Maths). 
Bachelor’s Degree (graduates only)2:1 Honours degree.No specific subject requirement.A-Level requirement: B in chemistry at A-Level or SQA Higher
 GCSEsGrade 6 in English Language and Maths. In other subjects, including science subjects, the applicant must have a combination of grades 6-9.
Academic Requirements for Medicine at Aberdeen 2024 Entry

UCAT Score Needed for Aberdeen Medical School

To assess the suitability of prospective students, the University of Aberdeen Medical School requires applicants to sit the UCAT – these scores are then used to select candidates for interview. 

There is no minimum UCAT cut-off score used – your score on the UCAT is considered along with academic grades in the interview selection process. UCAT is worth 20% of the total application score. Further, the admissions team may use SJT scores to make offers in tie-breakers.

For 2021 entry, 2440 was the lowest score interviewed for Scottish applicants. 2580 was the lowest score interviewed from the rest of the UK.

Does Aberdeen Medical School Need the BMAT?

The BMAT is not an entry requirement for applying to Aberdeen Medical School. This university requires the UCAT, a different entrance exam.

What is Life as a Student at Aberdeen Medical School Like?

The University of Aberdeen Medical School offers more than just academic excellence – it has one of the largest clinical sites in Europe, allowing students to have many opportunities to take part in research and other career-building activities. The university offers a vibrant and enriching student experience through a collaborative learning environment, extensive clinical exposure from early on in your studies, and an ample variety of student societies and organisations for every interest.

Aberdeen itself offers a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous events, festivals, and attractions throughout the year. Students can explore the rich history and stunning landscapes of Scotland, engage in outdoor activities, and immerse themselves in the local culture. The city provides a lively social scene, with a range of cafes, restaurants, theatres, and nightlife options to enjoy during leisure time.

What’s Good About Studying Medicine at University of Aberdeen?

Pros of studying medicine at University of Aberdeen:

  • Academic excellence, a comprehensive curriculum, and rigorous training. The faculty consists of experienced professionals and researchers who provide high-quality education and mentorship.
  • Clinical Exposure: Aberdeen Medical School offers early and extensive clinical exposure, which allows students to gain practical experience and develop essential clinical skills. This better prepares students for real-world medical practice.
  • Supportive community: the University of Aberdeen Medical School fosters a supportive and collaborative environment. Students have access to mentoring programmes, counselling services, and academic support.
  • Global perspective: Aberdeen Medical School promotes an international outlook and offers opportunities for global health initiatives and study abroad programmes.

Cons of studying Medicine at University of Aberdeen:

There are a few drawbacks of studying at Aberdeen, just like with any university.

  • Competitive entry requirements: Admission to Medicine at Aberdeen University is highly competitive and meeting all the requirements can be challenging. The selection process is tough and there are a limited number of places.
  • Intense workload: Medicine at University of Aberdeen is a demanding and time-intensive course, requiring students to undertake long hours of study, clinical rotations, and clinical training. This may leave limited time for extracurricular activities and personal pursuits.

Is Aberdeen a Good Medical School?

The Complete University Guide ranks the University of Aberdeen Medical School as the 25th best school to study medicine in the UK. On the other hand, Times Higher Education ranked Aberdeen Medical School as the 22nd best medical school in the UK, tied along with other universities.

When considering university rankings, it’s crucial to remember that they are subjective and can vary based on different criteria. Rankings can be a good factor to consider, but it’s essential to take a holistic approach and carefully assess which universities align best with your personal and academic needs.

How Many Places Are There for Home and International Students at Aberdeen Medical School?

Aberdeen medical school offered a total of 298 places in the 2023 admissions cycle. 254 of these places went to Scottish/EU applicants, 25 places went to applicants from the rest of the UK, and 19 places went to international applicants.

The University of Aberdeen Medical School Fees

For Scottish domiciled students, tuition fees at the University of Aberdeen Medical School are funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), meaning eligible home students do not have to pay tuition fees directly.

International students at the University of Aberdeen Medical School are required to pay tuition fees of approximately £31,300-£34,500 each year.

The University of Aberdeen offers various scholarships and bursaries for eligible students.

Aberdeen Medicine Course Structure

Year 1Teaching focuses on Foundations of Medicine, Anatomy, and Clinical Skills. Students learn physiology, disease development and management, and the principles of General Practice. Communication skills are introduced, including handling medical emergencies.Clinical cases are introduced throughout the year to integrate pre-clinical and clinical knowledge.
Year 2Students continue their study of major body systems and they receive further anatomy and clinical skills teaching.Students participate in a Student Selected Component, where they can choose a specific topic to study in greater depth.Students also study Advanced Infection, the Musculoskeletal system, and Medical Ethics and Law.
Year 3Continued study of body systems.Students participate in a 6-week Medical Humanities course where students can select a specific topic to study in greater depth. Specialties and Professional Practice teaching cover Medicine of Old Age, Anaesthetics, Clinical Genetics, and Clinical Pharmacology. General Practice teaching continues, along with teaching on psychiatry, haematology, immunology, and paediatrics.Students engage in bi-weekly clinical placements.Year 3 ends with a Student Selected Component focused on public health.
Year 4Senior clinical practice – the curriculum focuses on clinical-based learning and person-centred experiences. Students build on their specialty knowledge from earlier years.Students undergo seven six-week clinical blocks covering areas such as acute medicine, surgery, reproductive and child health, GP, mental health, and more.
Year 5Professional practice – students undergo three eight-week clinical placements in Medicine, Surgery, and Community Health. Students have some choice in specialty selection. The year also includes an elective project on a medical topic and a Professional Practice Block that addresses the transition to becoming a Foundation Doctor.
Aberdeen Medical School Course Structure

What Type of Interview Does Aberdeen Use?

The University of Aberdeen Medical School uses an MMI interview style – each interview station lasts 7 minutes and the whole process lasts for an hour.

Aberdeen Medical School Interview Questions

The interview questions at the Aberdeen Medical School interview can vary each year. The following topics are generally covered in the MMI stations:

  • Motivation to study medicine
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Qualities of a doctor
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism
  • Discussing your personal statement

Interview performance is added to the already achieved score (including academic achievements/predictions and UCAT score), and contributes 50% of the final score for each candidate. Offers are made to applicants who have the highest combined scores after interview. 

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