This profile of Edinburgh highlights this medical school's entry requirements, typical offers, student numbers, competition ratios, teaching and learning methods, course structure, demographics and history.
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Edinburgh Medical School’s six-year programme aims to produce doctors that are equipped for careers in general practice, hospital medicine, and academia. Having been ranked fourth in the UK for research power in 2014, Edinburgh highlights its academic rigor as a key feature of its medical curriculum. According to the school's website, "Medicine at Edinburgh offers a modern, innovative curriculum designed to prepare you for contemporary medical practice. Our aim is for you to graduate as a competent, ethical and reflective doctor, with the care of patients as your first concern."
Key information dashboard
For convenience, here is an at-a-glance summary of key information related to Edinburgh medical school.
Links in this dashboard can help you check which other UK medical schools are similar to Edinburgh with regard to points listed here.
Be sure to check our notes in sections below for more details about each of these points.
Edinburgh medical school establishment date: 1726
Years of course: 6
Total medical students: 1360
Average year cohort: 226.7
Interview format:Assessment day
A Level typical offer:AAA
Advanced Higher typical offer:BB
IB typical offer:37 points
A Levels must include Chemistry and one of Biology/ Human Biology, Maths and Physics.
Only one of Mathematics or Further Mathematics will be considered.
GCSE results must include Biology, Chemistry, English, Maths at grade 6 (B).
Double Award combined sciences or equivalent at grade 6,6 (BB) may replace GCSE grades in sciences.
Additional Applied Science and Applied Science are not accepted.
Scottish Higher results must be achieved in S5, and include Chemistry and two of Biology / Human Biology, Maths or Physics.
National 5 results must include Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths at grade B/6.
IB applicants must achieve 7,6,6 at Higher Level, including Chemistry and at least one other science subject.
At Standard Level, Mathematics and English at 5 and Biology at 5 (if not at Higher level).
From 2021, both the Mathematics Analysis & Approaches and Applications & interpretation pathways will be accepted.
If Mathematics and English Language do not form part of your IB diploma, we also accept GCSE, or equivalent, at B.
As explained on the University website, Edinburgh considers the following factors when making widening access offers:
"Your home postcode: we look at whether or not you live in a geographical area of the UK that is defined by government data as being an area of deprivation.
Your school or college: we look at the academic attainment and, in some cases, the percentage of students from your school or college who progress to higher education.
Whether you are care experienced.
Whether you are a refugee or an asylum seeker
Whether you have completed a Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) or University of Edinburgh Access Programme.
Whether you are eligible for support from Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS)."
The minimum entry requirements for widening access applicants are: SQA Highers: AAABB by end of S5 and CC at Advanced Higher. A Levels: AAB. IB: 36 overall with 666 at HL.
For uniform comparison of medical student admissions each year across all UK medical schools, we rely on annual reports from the Office for Students (OfS) entitled 'Medical and dental intakes'.
|Admission year||Total students admitted this year||Home places||International places|
|255 students in this cohort||220 Home students||35 International students|
|225 students in this cohort||180 Home students||45 International students|
|225 students in this cohort||200 Home students||25 International students|
|225 students in this cohort||195 Home students||30 International students|
|215 students in this cohort||195 Home students||20 International students|
|215 students in this cohort||190 Home students||25 International students|
|220 students in this cohort||190 Home students||30 International students|
Competition ratio data reported here is from the 2019-20 admissions cycle, as confirmed by MedSchoolGenie Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from this period.
Please note: Due to ongoing impact of Covid-19 since March 2020, UK medical schools have not yet released competition ratio data for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Applicants should keep in mind that coronavirus-related lockdowns and other restrictions affected the entire UK education sector, so competition ratios were most likely distorted during 2020-21. MedSchoolGenie will update here when further competition data becomes available.
Applicant percentages of success
From reported competition ratios, it's possible to calculate percentages of success at various stages of the application process.
Numbers of applicants competing in latest admissions cycle
Based on reported numbers of applicants securing places, we can use competition ratios to estimate how many applicants have been competing at each stage of the most recent admissions cycle.
Please note: Estimates of competition factors from 2020 onwards may be less reliable than in previous years because UK medical schools have not yet reported competition ratios for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. MedSchoolGenie will update here when more recent data on competition ratios becomes available.
PBL used in years 1 & 2 for principles of practice, with early patient contact.
Year 3 involves research-based study to pursue a BSc.
Years 4-6 involve rotations through clinical attachments.
As explained in its overview of teaching styles, Edinburgh medical school "provides an introduction to the scientific, sociological and behavioural principles for the practice of medicine through a variety of teaching methods. Amongst these methods a problem based learning (PBL) approach is used to help integrate concepts; this reinforces the study of the fundamentals of medicine in context together with developing clinical reasoning and decision-making. PBL sessions are student directed and facilitated by members of staff."
As explained in discussion of intercalation on this medical school's website: "In Year 3, you’ll take on a whole new challenge, beginning an academic year of full-time, research-based study, leading to a Bachelor of Medical Sciences Honours degree. This means, upon graduation, you will receive both a MBChB and your research-based BMedSci (Hons) degree. Known as an “intercalated” degree, the programmes on offer include biochemistry, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, sports science medicine, zoology and many more."
Years one and two:
The first two years at Edinburgh are spent learning anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and ethics. Clinical skills and clinical reasoning are developed through specialised workshops, general practice placements, and student selected components.
The third year at Edinburgh Medical School students study for an intercalated BMedSci in an area of interest, such as neuroscience, psychology, or biochemistry.
Years four and five:
Year four marks the transition to clinical learning, in which most teaching occurs in hospital and community placements. Year five is similar, though students have the opportunity to undertake a research project with a clinical tutor.
Year six at Edinburgh emphasises preparation for FY1, developing knowledge of acute medicine, surgery, anaesthetics and intensive care. Students have the opportunity to assist current FY1s, under supervision.
This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Edinburgh to the General Medical Council (GMC), which has compiled this information into spreadsheets as part of its medical school annual return (MSAR) data sets.
Please note this data is retrospective, and that future numbers can vary from preceding years.
For comparison, we also include below all demographic data reported by this medical school to General Medical Council.
|Reporting year||Female students||Male students||Students with declared disability||Students without declared disability|
|2017-18||57.4% female students||42.6% male students||6.9% students with disability||93.1% students without disability|
|2016-17||55.6% female students||44.4% male students||0.0% students with disability||100.0% students without disability|
Established in 1726 to provide formal medical training, Edinburgh medical school is the oldest in the United Kingdom.