What are the entry requirements?

sturecruit@st-andrews.ac.uk

Introduction

There is a wide range of entrance qualification options for students. To find out more about the minimum entrance requirements for your qualifications, please read details about your qualification type and/or the country in which you have studied, by selecting from the list below.

Non-native English speakers should also read about English Language Requirements below.
Re-taking examinations
Candidates who take more than the normal number of years to obtain their qualifications will only be considered if there have been extenuating circumstances that are fully documented. The re-taking of AS modules would be allowed as long as the A2 qualifications were achieved after 2 years of study.

Applicants who have recently had a change of career direction resulting in new subject options might be considered if their application is supported by a very strong previous academic performance and excellent predictions. Three A levels would still be required at one sitting. Please email medadmiss@st-andrews.ac.uk for guidance.
English Language Requirements
For entry to Medicine at St Andrews, all non-native English speakers must achieve 7 in all four areas of the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) exam, to be taken at one sitting. This is irrespective of any other English qualification achieved. IELTS scores have a recommended two year validity period and this time limit will be applied. Current General Medical Council (GMC) guidance recognises the IELTS exam as the most appropriate qualification evidencing English Language proficiency.
Qualifications Required

UK Clinical Aptitude Test

All candidates applying to Medicine at St Andrews, including International students, are required to sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test. This should be sat in the year before the year of entry to the Medical programme. The deadline for sitting the test is usually the first week in October but the exact date can be found on the UKCAT website. Applicants re-applying for Medicine must re-take the test each time they re-apply.
Use of UKCAT at St Andrews
  • The UKCAT test can vary each year. Please be aware that for the 2017 sitting of the test (used for 2018 entry), the Decision Analysis subtest will be included and scores will range from 1200 to 3600.
  • The 2016 UKCAT test (used for 2017 entry) did not include the Decision Analysis subtest and scores ranged from 900 to 2700.
  • For 2017 entry the lowest UKCAT score for applicants called to interview at St Andrews was 1800 (that equated to around 2400 in previous tests when all 4 subtests were included and the range was 1200 to 3600).
  • For 2018 entry we won't know the likely UKCAT scores for those to be called to interview until we have assessed all applications.
Use of UKCAT in selection for interview
We have a limited number of interview places (around 400). To be considered for interview applicants must have a strong academic record; a positive reference and relevant, medically related work experience (see the 'Qualities and Experience' tab). Applicants meeting these requirements will be ranked on the basis of their UKCAT global score. Those ranked in the top 400 or so will be given an interview. Decisions to make offers will be based on the interview score and the global UKCAT score.
Use of Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
We intend to use the SJT as an element of our interview process; with the score being incorporated into the interview score.
UKCATSEN
Applicants applying to St Andrews having sat the UKCATSEN will need to supply evidence of the need for extra time in the form of a medical diagnosis or report from an appropriately qualified teacher or specialist. The evidence should include a statement of how much extra time the candidate has been allowed in examinations. The Medical School will consider whether to accept the evidence put forward for having sat the UKCATSEN. If you need further advice please email medical.admissions@st-andrews.ac.uk. Information about the UKCATSEN can be found on the UKCAT website.

Candidates who have been allowed more than 25% extra time in examinations should be aware that they should discuss their support needs with the Disability team at the University of St Andrews before application, to ascertain what support arrangements the University could put in place for them should they enter as a student. Contact details can be found at the following link: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/advice/disabilities/

Qualities and Experience

Medicine is a profession that requires commitment. Your personal statement should explain your reasons for wanting to study Medicine and why you think that you would make a good doctor. You'll need to be able to demonstrate that you fully understand what a medical career involves and are aware of current developments. We will expect you to have an insight into medicine and healthcare gained from general reading or from attending medical careers conferences, talking to doctors or medical students.

Applicants should have gained work or shadowing experience in a caring or health environment. This does not have to be in a hospital or GP's surgery but could be in a nursing home or local hospice or through working with people who have ill-health or a disability. Successful applicants will be able to show evidence of the following:

  • Personal qualities such as empathy, good communication and listening skills, leadership skills and the ability to work in a team.
  • A well-informed understanding of what a career in medicine involves.
  • Commitment to medicine by organising work experience or shadowing. Experience of working with ill or disabled people, preferably in health care settings.
  • Commitment to academic study, staying power, perseverance and intellectual potential.
It is important that the choice to enter medicine is made with insight into where it might lead, the expectations of others, the role of life-long learning, and with awareness that the course is a training for professional practice.

In considering the commitment involved in becoming a doctor, the following web pages provide important guidance:

Fitness Criteria

It is important that the choice to enter medicine is made with insight into where it might lead, the expectations of others, the role of life-long learning, and with awareness that the course is a training for professional practise. Medical students are expected to behave with the utmost integrity from the very start of their training.

In St Andrews you will be working within a professional environment and you will be studying to obtain a university degree that automatically allows you to progress to your clinical training at a separate institution. It is therefore essential that you are able to fulfil Fitness Criteria requirements.

Fitness Criteria requirements are based on the General Medical Council’s publication of Good Medical Practice, incorporating the points outlined in Duties of a Doctor.

At the start of each year, medical students at St Andrews are required to submit a signed declaration (Medical School Agreement) which indicates what is expected of young professionals in training. If a student's conduct falls below acceptable standards this could lead to a student being referred to the Faculty of Medicine Fitness to Practise Committee. Included in this declaration is a requirement for students to consent to being videoed as part of their training in clinical medicine. Applicants should read the document carefully before accepting an offer from St Andrews.

Disability

A disability need not be a bar to becoming a doctor. Applicants who have a disability will need to consider what effect that disability could have on patients and colleagues and how it would impact on their capacity to function as a medical practitioner in an effective and safe manner.

It is important that disabilities and health conditions are declared at the time of application so that any reasonable adjustments required can be put in place by the time of entry to the medicine course.

In the first instance applicants with a disability (including dyslexia) or other health problems are advised to contact the University’s Disabilities Adviser (Using the address below) before submitting their application to UCAS to explore what support will be available from the University.

Student Services
University of St Andrews
KY16 9UZ
tel (01334) 462020
For more information please see:
HEOPS - Standards of medical fitness to train

HEOPS – General guidance on adjustments

Criminal Records

Entrants to Medicine will also be required, as part of the non-academic conditions of their offer, to undertake satisfactory criminal record screening. This involves applying to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. The scheme provides the applicant and the employer (or university for medical students) with a live update of the person's fitness to work with regulated adults and/or children.

Please see information on the disclosure of criminal convictions in the University's admissions policy.

For more information see the PVG guidance

Immunisation

Entrants to Medicine will be seen by the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services (OHSAS) following admission. During this process each entrant will be screened for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection and any necessary immunisations and antibody tests will be performed. All entrants are required to complete a course of immunisation against hepatitis B virus. There will be no financial charge to entrants for this service.

Infection with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV does not mean that training to be a doctor is impossible but applicants should consider at this stage whether or not this is the career option that they wish to pursue. Any entrant student who is found to be a carrier of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV will require special counselling; as such a situation will place restrictions on the student's clinical training and limit his or her medical practice following qualification. Applicants who have had an infection of this nature and wish to discuss this further before making a decision, can be put in touch with our Occupational Health Services who will be able to advise on current policy. Contact email: medclinical@st-andrews.ac.uk

For more information please see: HEOPS guidance for medical students