The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and has consistently ranked in the top 50. Edinburgh Medical School is renowned for preparing its students to become great doctors. Established in 1726, the University of Edinburgh is known for both its teaching and its global reach in research. 

About The Course

Edinburgh University offers a 6-year MBChB degree programme which equips its students with skills and knowledge they need to become a competent doctor. The course is modern and innovative and trains students for complex and uncertain situations in healthcare. 

The Medicine programme at Edinburgh also provides accreditation that is recognised by overseas bodies (the US, Canada, and Australia).

The first two years will consist of studying topics such as anatomy, pathology and microbiology, as well as the social and ethical angles of clinical practice. Practical clinical skills are also learnt, such as interviewing patients, resuscitation, as well as clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. Skills are advanced through GP-based teaching, community projects and workshops.

In year three, students will take on research-based study that leads to a Bachelor of Medical Sciences Honours degree. This intercalated degree includes biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, neuroscience, zoology and many more.

In the fourth year, all aspects of healthcare and clinical medicine are studied. Development of practice experience through placements also takes place. In the fifth year, various speciality areas are explored whilst students work as part of teams on hospital wards. Individual research projects also occur, in partnership with a clinical tutor.

In your fifth year, you will observe various specialities and complete a research project alongside a clinical tutor. You will apply all your learning in your final year and have the opportunity to assist junior doctors as well as undertake supervised duties of F1 doctor.

Edinburgh’s six-year Medicine degree is designed to prepare students for the challenges of medical practice.

Structure Of The Course

Year 1

Students will get the opportunity to learn about the foundations of biomedicine and sociology. Main aims of Year 1 will include 

  • Anatomy, pharmacology, and prescribing
  • SEAM (social and ethical aspects of medicine) – meaning of illness, medical ethics, public health, health improvement. 
  • REBM (research and evidence-based medicine) – role of evidence-based medicine, evaluating interventions, critical appraisal, communication of research. 

Students will also start to develop their communication skills, empathy, compassion and understanding the importance of the well-being of patients.

Year 2

Students will begin to develop their clinical and practical skills through examining patients and practising with their peers. You will get an opportunity to work in small groups and take part in clinical projects and learn more about health and disease.  

Year 3

Intercalation Year – Students will be given the opportunity to take a year out to obtain a BSc in their chosen science speciality.

Year 4

Students will enter their clinical year and begin to understand the relationship between the scientific knowledge they have learnt and applying this in a clinical setting. Practical and clinical skills will be developed through experience in both primary and secondary healthcare settings. You will get the chance to understand how a multidisciplinary team works and reflect in your portfolio with regard to your learning.

Year 5

Students will spend most of their time working in hospital wards, rotating through various sub-specialities.

Year 6

You will integrate all previous years of learning and focus on the final clinical skills needed for working in a hospital setting. This will allow you to learn the key skills needed to enter the first year of foundation training. Students will also have chance to complete a medical elective abroad in a country of their choice.

Academic Requirements

GCSEs: Minimum of grade A/7 in Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics. Additional Applied Science is not accepted.

A-levels: A*AA. With A* achieved in Chemistry and one A in Biology, Mathematics or Physics. Further Mathematics can be considered in replacement of Mathematics.

Scottish Higher: AAAAA by the end of S5. Must include Chemistry and two from Biology, Mathematics/Applications of Mathematics or Physics.

Scottish Advanced Higher: BB at Advanced Higher in S6. Must include Chemistry and two from Biology, Mathematics/Applications of Mathematics or Physics.

International Baccalaureate: 40 points. Chemistry at 7 and three 6s achieved in SL (including Mathematics).

IELTs (International applicants only): Total of 7.5 with at least 7.5 in each component.

Bachelor's Degree (Graduates only): Minimum of 2:1 in a medically related subject (Biomedical Sciences, Medical Sciences, Nursing etc). Degrees in other science subjects will also be considered.

Further Entry Requirements

Work experience: Applicants should undertake some form of work experience or shadowing that would allow them to gain insight into the realities of a career in Medicine. This may be discussed in your personal statement and in your interview if relevant.

Personal statement: Personal Statement will not be formally assessed by Edinburgh Medical School; however, it is essential for Assessment Day preparation.

Admissions Process

To receive an interview offer, the academic achievements of each applicant will be scored out of a total of 20 points by 2 members of the admissions team. This will contribute to 25% of the overall score. The UCAT will contribute 17.5% and SJT 7.5% to the overall score with the rest of the 50% from the interview score.

Admissions Tests:

All applicants are required to sit the UCAT in the year of application. Applicants will be required to meet a minimum threshold UCAT score as part of the admissions process. For those applying for the 2024 entry, the cut-off score is 2470. Students applying with a score below this will not be considered. Furthermore, those who have achieved a Band 4 in the situational judgement test will also not be considered.

Interview Type: MMI

Interview Topics:  Assessment Day – short interviews in MMI style.

Interview Topics: 

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Role-play 
  • Ethical Scenarios 
  • Motivation and Passion to pursue Medicine 
  • Responsibilities 
  • Personality and Skills 
  • Empathy 
  • Why Edinburgh?

Admissions Statistics

Total number of applicants: 2380
Total number of places: 278
Total number of entrants: 568
Acceptance rate: 23.87%


Home students: £1820 pa
Rest of UK: £9250 pa
International students: £37500 pa (The price is for the first three years; Year 4,5,6 - £51,500 )

Teaching Methods

Teaching style: Edinburgh Medical School teaches through a combination of methods to suit all students. Teaching will be delivered through lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, placements, and project research. Students will also be offered help through a designated Clinical Tutor who will deliver teaching through hospital workshops.

Intercalation mode: All undergraduate medicine students at Edinburgh Medical School undertake a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci ), which is an intercalated Year 3 of the MBChB programme. It allows students to research an area of interest to them, learn valuable new skills and experience aspects of academic medicine.

Graduate Prospects

Graduates from University of Edinburgh Medical School will receive both a BSc in Medical Sciences and a MBChB degree which comes under the primary medical qualification (PMQ). All students will be able to qualify to a provisional registration with the GMC and be able to undertake foundation training. 

Around 99% of students will go on to work or further study 15 months after completion of the medicine programme. The average earnings 15 months after graduation is around £36,000 and this can increase up to £53,000 around 5 years after starting work.


Is Medicine at University of Edinburgh hard to get into?

Entry to medicine at Edinburgh is extremely competitive and each application will be assessed by 2 members of the admissions team. Different weightings will be given to different academic qualifications.

What is the lowest UCAT score that Edinburgh will accept?


How does University of Edinburgh score applications?

The academic portion of the application will be given a score out of 20 and will contribute to 25% of the overall score. The UCAT will be weighted 17.5% and the SJT 7.5%. Finally, the interview will contribute to the remaining 50% of the overall application score.


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