So you want to apply to medical school in Scotland?

Everyone knows applying to medical school is super competitive – but with free fees on offer for Scottish students at Scottish universities, the spots at these medical schools can often have the highest number of applications in the UK.

Therefore, when you pick your perfect combination of four medical schools on UCAS, it is important to be fully aware of the selection process for each course and choose tactfully based on your results.

At the Applican course, we offer a full guide on all the medical schools across the UK, and help our students select the courses that best fit their profile. With 89% of Applican students receiving an offer for medicine last year, we believe that the information that we have is invaluable: this article offers a flavour of the guidance that we give at our courses.

University of Edinburgh 

Often the highest ranked Scottish medical school, Edinburgh is notoriously difficult to get an offer from. Boasting world class research facilities and teaching – Edinburgh is renowned for medicine.

Some things have changed this year in the Edinburgh selection process which is really important to be aware of. The programme is now 6 years long, with a compulsory intercalation in third year. The University do not interview undergraduate applicants (yet!), so the personal statement and UKCAT combo is of total importance!

UKCAT: High score usually required, significant emphasis on SJT section. Most successful applicants will have a Band 1 or 2 in the SJT.
PS: They give special weighting to some specific aspects of the personal statement. Jack Henderson, the mentor for the Scottish Applican course and 5th year Edinburgh medical student, is an expert at crafting personal statements for the Edinburgh selection process. Some of these key things include an interest in academia, leadership, teamwork and a care for others.

University of Glasgow

Known for it’s research opportunities and emphasis on PBL teaching, The University of Glasgow medical school is a popular choice.

UKCAT: Selection to interview is based completely on UKCAT ranking. The top 800 get called to interview, so only apply if your UKCAT is strong!
PS: Not used for selection to interview, but we advise if you are applying here to include lots about problem solving skills to use in your interview! At Applican’s course, we help to give your personal statement direction based on what course you apply to.
Interview: Traditional panel based. Often use personal statement for the basis of the interview. One interview tends to include an issue or ethical questions that you are expected to discuss in detail.

University of Dundee

The graduates of the Dundee medical school are sometimes considered the best clinicians in Scotland – this is because of the high clinical focus of their course from day 1.

UKCAT: Selection to interview is completely based on UKCAT and N5/Highers/GCSE combination.
PS: Of little importance – only used in several MMI stations.
Interview: MMI. At the Applican course we spend the second day preparing our students for MMI style interviews. Dundee MMI is infamous for having some bizarre and tricky actor stations in their  MMI.

University of St Andrews

Only lasting three years before students complete their last three clinical years in Edinburgh or Manchester; St Andrews medical school offers an excellent pre-clinical medical programme.

UKCAT: Highest 400 UKCAT applicants will be selected to interview.
PS: St Andrews ask for evidence of your qualities and experience that is suitable for medicine. Similar to Edinburgh Medical School applications, it is important to tick off exactly what they are looking for in your personal statement.
Interview: MMI. Your score in the MMI is combined with the SJT section from the UKCAT. 

University of Aberdeen

Boasting some of the highest student satisfaction scores of all medical programmes, Aberdeen offers excellent teaching, but also one of the most competitive application processes. 

UKCAT: Used as a component for selection to interview. Last year the lowest score to get brought to interview was 2180.
PS: Do not place a significant emphasis on personal statement.
Interview: MMI. The MMI set up is very similar to Dundee and St Andrews stations. 


Preparing to apply to Scottish medical schools can be particularly difficult. At the Applican course we help our students pick which universities to apply to based on their academic profile, as well as helping to adjust your personal statements so that they are suitable for the universities you pick. We also prepare all of our students for each type of interview process they will face.
With 89% of our students receiving an offer for medicine last year, we believe that the information that we have for medical applicants is really useful.

Our UKCAT and Applican courses will be running in summer 2018!

Book your place here!