Gateway to Medicine at the University of St Andrews


The Medical School at the University of St Andrews offers a ‘Gateway to Medicine’ which is a one year programme taught in the Faculty of Science but with contributions from staff in Medicine. Entrants to the ‘Gateway’ who pass the Year at an appropriate level and meet the other requirements for progression will transfer into the Medicine 6 year degree programme.

The purpose of the ‘Gateway’ is to promote the uptake of Higher Education, specifically the study of Medicine, among those groups that are traditionally under represented at university. The ‘Gateway’ provides the opportunity for students who have completed S5 at school to study at first year undergraduate level and then progress to the Medicine A100 course at St Andrews.

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Only applicants who have just completed S5 will be considered. 

To be eligible for the ‘Gateway’ applicants should meet some of the following criteria:

• Attended the Sutton Trust Summer School at St Andrews or have engaged with the REACH project at St Andrews.
• Have no background of progression to HE in the family.
• Reside in an area of socio-economic disadvantage.
• Be eligible for free school meals.
• Be looked after (or have been looked after) as a result of a local authority order.
• Be in receipt of an Education Maintenance Allowance.
• Attend a school which has low numbers of pupils who progress to Higher Education.

• AABB at Scottish Higher, to be obtained at one sitting in S5, must include Chemistry and one other of Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
• If Biology, Mathematics and English have not been passed at Higher, each must normally have been passed at Intermediate 2 (grade A or B) or National 5 (A or B) or equivalent.
• Potential applicants should email a note of interest to the Schools Access office ( who will confirm eligibility to apply.
• On the day Scottish Higher results are published University staff will contact potential applicants who have indicated an interest, to ascertain what Higher grades they have achieved and advise if the pupils could apply for the ‘Gateway’.
• Application (by direct application form) will take place immediately after the Scottish Higher results are published.
• Suitable applicants will be called to interview.
• Offers will be made in time for applicants to enter the ‘Gateway’ in September the same year.
Students will build on their studies from school by taking First Year (level 1000) modules in Biology and Chemistry. In addition they will be able to choose further First Year (1000 level) modules in any Science or Arts school. The aim is to help the student adapt to life at University with a view to eventual entry onto the Medicine Honours programme, while leaving options open for those who are not able to meet the entry requirements for Medicine or decide Medicine is not for them.


Students will enter the ‘Gateway to Medicine’ on the BSc General Degree course. ‘Gateway’ modules are as follows:


Semester 1 Core modules Semester 1 Optional modules
BL1101- Biology 1 Any other 20 credits from Science or Arts
CH1401- Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Semester 2 Core Modules Semester 2 Optional Modules
BL1102- Biology 2 Any other 20 credits from Science or Arts
CH1601- Organic and Biological Chemistry
Students will have the opportunity to prepare for transfer to the Medicine degree by:
o Undertaking some volunteering/work experience in a medical context.
o Obtaining an understanding of professionalism as relevant to medicine.
o Developing academic and non-academic skills relevant to medicine.
• If a grade of at least 12.0 has been obtained in all modules at the first sitting the student would be eligible to request transfer into the Medicine Honours degree (A100).
• To enter Medicine, as well as passing all modules at grade 12, students will require to:
o Have achieved a suitable UKCAT score (to be specified by the School of Medicine) in the sitting of the test either before entry to the ‘Gateway’ or in the summer immediately after the ‘Gateway’.
o Be successful in the Multiple Mini Interview (to take place during the ‘Gateway’ year).
If all modules are passed but not at grade 12.0 students can remain in the Faculty of Science with the opportunity to transfer onto a BSc Honours programme where pre-requisites have been met.
• Financial support in the form of a Scholarship may be available for ‘Gateway’ students.
• Bursaries and scholarships for entry into Medicine or other named programme after the ‘Gateway’ Year, can be applied for.
• SAAS funding for the ‘Gateway’ as normal with the degree pathway stated as General Science, can be applied for.


Gateway to Medicine "Transition" from School of Medicine on Vimeo.

“I think it prepared me for University much more than sixth year would have…”Catriona (2016/17)

Gateway to Medicine "Confidence building" from School of Medicine on Vimeo.

“Through this programme, I’ve been able to build up my knowledge of sciences and build up my confidence…”Caitlyn (2016/17)

Gateway to Medicine "Unconventional" from School of Medicine on Vimeo.

“I would recommend it to anyone hoping to pursue medicine from an unconventional background…”Jakub 2015/16)