Photo of University of Glasgow Medical School

This profile of Glasgow 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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Summary overview: 

Glasgow's medical programme was ranked joint first in the Complete University Guide 2021,  alongside Dundee. Utilising an innovative spiral curriculum, Glasgow delivers teaching via  lectures, problem-based learning, clinical placements, labs and e-learning. Core themes are revisited each year in more detail, with increasing clinical emphasis as the course progresses.


Key information dashboard

For convenience, here is an at-a-glance summary of key information related to Glasgow medical school.

Links in this dashboard can help you check which other UK medical schools are similar to Glasgow with regard to points listed here.

Be sure to check our notes in sections below for more details about each of these points.

Glasgow medical school establishment date:

Years of course:

Total medical students:

Average year cohort:


Subject prerequisites:

Biology (acceptable option)
Chemistry (strictly required)
Maths (acceptable option)
Physics (acceptable option)

Interview format:
Traditional interview

Admissions test:

A Level typical offer:

Advanced Higher typical offer:

IB typical offer:
38 points

General teaching method:
Integrated, PBL

Anatomy teaching:

Intercalation mode:
Optional intercalation

Entry requirements

Work experience expectations:

No requirement for medical work experience, but candidates must have a sound understanding of the role and responsibilities of medical professionals.

Admissions test: UCAT

Interviews are allocated accordingly by UCAT score for those that meet all other screening aspects.

Personal statement usage:

Reviewed prior to interview but not scored

Interview type: Traditional interview

Candidates are assessed on: Motivation to study at Glasgow, appreciation of Glasgow’s medical curriculum, personal characteristics relating to a career in Medicine, reflection into previous experiences, and understanding of broad medical themes.
Candidates are interviewed by two separate panels, lasting thirty minutes altogether.

Coursework subjects expected: Biology (acceptable option), Chemistry (strictly required), Maths (acceptable option), Physics (acceptable option)

For more details about subjects expected by this medical school, see the notes below regarding typical offers.

Typical offers

A Level typical offer: AAA

A Levels must include Chemistry and one of Maths, Physics or Biology.
If Biology is not studied at A2 level, it must have been taken at AS level and a grade A is required.
General Studies, Critical Thinking and Global Perspectives & Research are not accepted.

GCSE requirements: GCSE results must include English at Grade B (6)
Advanced Higher typical offer: AB-BBB

Advanced Higher subjects not specified

Scottish Higher typical offer: AAAAA

Highers must include Higher Chemistry and Higher Biology / Human Biology AND either Higher Mathematics or Physics.
A minimum of Grade B is required in any required Higher subject studied in S6. 
Biology and Human Biology are considered equal subjects at Higher; however, only one is counted towards entry grades.

National 5 requirements: National 5 results must include English at grade B
International Baccalaureate typical offer: 38 points

IB results must include three Higher Level subjects at 6,6,6, including Chemistry and Biology.
Standard Level Physics or Mathematics at 6 (HL recommended) SL English at 6.

Notes about Widening Access:

As explained on the website, Glasgow is committed to widening participation and participates in Reach programme aiming to increase access to Medicine and other professional training.
Factors taken into consideration include care experience, postcode deprivation.

Total students and cohort sizes at UK medical schools

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'.

Total medical students: 1495 Total years of course: 5 Years data reports available: 5 Average cohort per year: 299.0 Percentage of Home students in latest cohort: 80.3% Percentage of International students in latest cohort: 19.7%
Recent cohort admissions data: 
Admission year Total students admitted this year Home places International places
355 students in this cohort 285 Home students 70 International students
320 students in this cohort 260 Home students 60 International students
300 students in this cohort 235 Home students 65 International students
265 students in this cohort 220 Home students 45 International students
255 students in this cohort 210 Home students 45 International students
265 students in this cohort 215 Home students 50 International students

Competition data

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.

Ratio of Home applicants per interview: 
Ratio of Home applicant interviews per place: 
Ratio of Home applicants per place: 
Ratio of International applicants per interview: 
Ratio of International applicant interviews per place: 
Ratio of International applicants per place: 

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.

Total number of all applicants in latest admissions cycle: 1970
Number of Home applicants in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of Home applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of Home applicants securing places: 
Number of International applicants in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of International applicant interviews in latest admissions cycle: 
Number of International applicants securing places in latest admissions cycle: 

Teaching and learning

Predominant teaching style: Integrated, PBL

Integrated spiral curriculum, divided into 4 phases.
Teaching styles range from lectures, podcasts and other e-learning media, to small group teaching (including tutorials and Problem Based Learning), laboratory and dissection (cadaver) classes.
As explained in its overview of Medicine programme, "The MB ChB programme (specifically the “loops” of the spiral curriculum) has been organised into four Phases.  These overlap the five years of the course, and reflect the development of students as they progress through the curriculum.... We have also developed the concept of Vertical Themes... as subject areas which continue through the full five years of the programme."

Anatomy teaching method: Dissection Intercalation mode: Optional intercalation

As explained in discussion of intercalation on this medical school's website, "At the end of the third year, selected Medical ... students may be permitted to undertake an intercalated course. Medical and Dental students can apply for either a one-year Honours degree, BSc (MedSci) or BSc (DentSci) degree within the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences or College of Arts."

Overview of course structure

Phase one (year one):
Phase one is covered in the first half of year one, giving students a foundation in biomedical science that underpins future learning. Students gain an introduction to clinical skills, complemented by placements in A&E and general practice.
Phase two (year one and two):
Phase two takes place in the second half of year one and the whole of year two, introducing students to anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry.
Phase three (year three):
The third phase takes place in the first half of year three, using cased-base learning to introduce students to haematology, pathology, and clinical chemistry. Teaching is delivered in small groups, with students attending one day of clinical placements in hospital or general practice each week.
Phase four (years three, four, and five):
The final phase of Glasgow's curriculum includes the second half of third year and all of years four and five. Teaching is based around 5-10 week clinical placements in specialties such as surgery, psychiatry, and general practice. A final module entitled ‘Preparation for Practice' follows final year exams, in which students follow current FY1 doctors.

Reported demographics

This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by Glasgow 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.

Demographic data collection: 

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 55.7% female students 44.3% male students 7.6% students with disability 92.4% students without disability
2016-17 53.9% female students 46.1% male students 7.6% students with disability 92.4% students without disability

Medical school history

The current medical school at Glasgow was established in 1751, with the appointment of Dr William Cullen.

Medical school location

University of Glasgow School of Medicine
Medical School Office
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ
United Kingdom
Geographic region: