Published on September 15, 2023

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University of St Andrews Medical School Guide

Overview of St. Andrews Medical School

The University of St Andrews in Scotland is one of the oldest and famous universities in the UK. Founded in 1413, it has a strong academic history. It is well known for its coastal location and the wide range of courses it offers. The town itself also has significant cultural and historical elements including beautiful landscapes and a world-famous golf course.

There are three different application routes for UK students depending on the preferred location for the final three years of training:

  • Scotland route (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow)
  • England route (Manchester, London)
  • No Preference route

Academic Requirements

GCSEFive A/7 grades at GCSEMust include HL in Chemistry and HL in one of Biology, Mathematics or Physics. If not passed at HL, applicants must have SL in Biology, Mathematics, and English.
A LevelAAAMust include Chemistry and one of Biology, Mathematics, or Physics. If not passed at AS or A-Level.
Scottish HigherAAAABHighers must include Chemistry and one of Biology (or Human Biology), Mathematics, or Physics. If not passed at Higher, applicants must also have National 5 grade B in Biology (or Human Biology), Mathematics, and English.
Scottish Advanced HighersPredicted to achieve at least BBB Highers or Advanced Highers in S6 studies. 
IB38 pointsMust include HL in Chemistry and HL in one of Biology, Mathematics or Physics. If not passed at HL, applicants must have SL in Biology, Mathematics and English.

N.B. St Andrews also offers a contextual offer that applies to residents of Scotland. See the University website for more details.

Graduate Entry

St Andrews offers a 4-year graduate entry program. It is taught as a partnership between the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee in collaboration with NHS Fife, NHS Tayside, NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The first and second year are led by the University of St Andrews whilst the third and fourth year are led by the University of Dundee.

There are 55 to 70 places available for this course.  Only Home or Rest of UK applicants are eligible to apply for this course. The requirements for this course are at least a 2.1 or equivalent in your previous degree. In addition, the following is also required.

  • Chemistry Higher Level or A-Level (grade A or B) or equivalent
  • Mathematics at Standard Grade (Credit 1 or 2), Intermediate 2 (grade A or B), National 5 (grade A or B), or GCSE (grade B), or equivalent.

Applicants must also sit the GAMSAT. The rest must be in the year you apply or the previous year. For 2022 entry only those with a GAMSAT score of an overall 57, with no subset lower than 50, were called to interview.

UCAT or BMAT for St. Andrew’s Medical School?

The UCAT is required for students applying and is used to decide who is invited to interview. The lowest score for those who have been invited for an interview in the past few years has been around 2400. 

‘Widening participation applicants’ who meet their required academic grades will be given a 10% increase in their UCAT score for ranking prior to the interview.

Life as a Medical Student at the University of St. Andrews

St Andrews is a busy town with the population being composed of half residents and half University students. There are a large variety of societies that you can get involved with in the free time that you have. The sports scene is quite prominent at St Andrews, these sports are conducive to varying levels of ability. All sports are also only a 15-20 walk from student accommodation.

Everything in St Andrews is quite close together which is really convenient and means that you will bump into people you know quite often. Whilst Medicine is intense you definitely have time to get involved with activities outside of Medicine and this is made easier by everything being in close proximity. During the week a day may range from half a day to a day of contact hours.

Lack of Student-Selected ComponentsEven more clinical teaching would be nice (but St Andrews has a lot more than other medical schools in the earlier years)
Full body dissectionLack of Student Selected Components
Pastoral support 
Early clinical exposure 
Plethora of study spaces 

University of St Andrews Medical School Ranking

The Guardian ranks St Andrews as the 5th medical school. The Complete University Guide ranks St Andrews as the 14th Medical school. 

It’s important to keep in mind that university rankings are subjective and can be based on different criteria. Rankings can be a factor when deciding which medical schools you apply to, but make sure to have a holistic approach when making your decisions and consider which universities you would thrive in the most.


For 2023 tuition fees have yet to be set for students from Scotland (as of 15/8/23)

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man must pay £9,250 per year. For EU and overseas students, the fee is £35,920.  

Course Structure

The curriculum at St Andrews is an integrated one. You get a BSc (Hons) in Medicine after the third year.

In the first year, there is an emphasis on the interrelationships between the pre-clinical sciences. The overview of the structure and functions of the body will be done on a microscopic and macroscopic level and will include microbiology, public health, and health psychology. Additionally, you will study the principle of disease mechanisms and therapy and the development of communication skills.

The Honours runs through both the second and third years. The two modules in the second year build upon the content taught in the first year. The structure and function of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems are all covered.

In the third year you explore more complex integrative physiological systems in the first Semester. In the second Semester, you complete a Student-Selected Component, where you choose a topic to research in more detail, and also clinical skills. 

The other three years of the course will involve placements in various clinical settings to prepare you to become a foundation doctor.

Interview Process

St Andrews undertakes MMI interviews

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