This profile of St Andrews 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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St Andrews' six-year degree in Medicine is unique in the UK, with students studying for three years in St Andrews to earn a BSc in Medicine, before automatic progression to a partner university for the final three years of clinical study (partner institutions are Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Barts, and Manchester).. Course highlights include learning anatomy through full-body dissection in a state of the art anatomy suite, small group tutorials, and modern facilities in the purpose-built School of Medicine. St Andrews prides itself on its evidence-based spiral curriculum, in which core themes are revisited in increasing clinical detail each year.
Key information dashboard
For convenience, here is an at-a-glance summary of key information related to St Andrews medical school.
Links in this dashboard can help you check which other UK medical schools are similar to St Andrews with regard to points listed here.
Be sure to check our notes in sections below for more details about each of these points.
St Andrews medical school establishment date: 1897
Years of course: 3
Total medical students: 620
Average year cohort: 206.7
A Level typical offer:AAA
Advanced Higher typical offer:BBB
IB typical offer:38 points
A Levels must include Chemistry and one other of Biology, Maths or Physics.
If Biology, Maths or English are not offered at A level, then each must be offered at GCSE grade B (grade 5).
Generally five A grades (numerical grade 7) in GCSE are required at one sitting to be considered for interview.
Advanced Higher results must be achieved in S6.
Scottish Highers results at S5 must include grade A in Chemistry and one other of Biology / Human Biology, Maths or Physics, to be taken in the same sitting.
IB applicants must achieve Higher level grades 6,6,6, including Chemistry and one of Biology, Maths or Physics.
Standard level grades: 6,6,6, including Maths, Biology, and English if not offered at Higher level.
As explained on the website, St Andrews is committed to reducing and eliminating barriers to entry for students with the potential to succeed. Based on contextual admissions policy, some applicants may be given lower offers. St Andrews is involved in the Reach scheme.For more information, see notes about contextual requirements.
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|
|220 students in this cohort||180 Home students||40 International students|
|195 students in this cohort||165 Home students||30 International students|
|205 students in this cohort||175 Home students||30 International students|
|125 students in this cohort||105 Home students||20 International students|
|145 students in this cohort||60 Home students||85 International students|
|160 students in this cohort||60 Home students||100 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.
First three years at St Andrews, automatic progression onto partner school (assuming assessments are passed).
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester, & Barts formal pathways.
Spiral curriculum, full body dissection, clinical placements in GP and hospital setting.
Emphasis on anatomy.
BSc (Hons) in Medicine achieved after three years.
As explained in its overview of teaching formats, "Modules are taught through a combination of: lectures, laboratory-based practicals, small group tutorials, clinical placements, audio-visual capture system for training and feedback on clinical skills, computer-based resources, research project."
St Andrews medical school students do not have intercalation options for students during their first three years at St Andrews. Students can have subsequent opportunities for intercalation at partner medical schools: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Barts, Manchester (see those partner schools for intercalation options).
Year one at St Andrews introduces students to Medicine with an general overview of structure and function of each body system, followed by a semester centred detailing the musculoskeletal system. Students learn clinical skills and history taking from the offset, aided by workshops with volunteer patients and a single general practice placement at the end of the year.
The second year at St Andrews covers the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary systems. In light of the spiral curriculum, students revisit themes from the first year of the course, such as acute care and holistic medicine. In year two students indicate their preference for partner institutions, with allocations based on ranking and academic performance.
Year three begins with teaching on the nervous and endocrine systems in the first semester, before progressing to a dissertation in the second semester. Students have one day clinical placements in a variety of hospital specialties each week. Dissertations can take the form of laboratory research or literature review, and run in tandem with clinical skills teaching to prepare students for progression to partner universities. Provided that all modules have been passed, this progression is automatic and does not require an additional application.
This chart highlights gender and disability data reported by St Andrews 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||63.8% female students||36.2% male students||10.3% students with disability||89.7% students without disability|
|2016-17||61.7% female students||38.3% male students||9.6% students with disability||90.4% students without disability|
Although medicine was taught at St Andrews from 1450, the current medical school at St Andrews was etablished in 1897, with teaching undertaken at University College, Dundee until 1967. The medical school teaches medical students for the first three years of their training, with students completing this training at different partner medical schools in the UK (including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Barts).