What do my Scottish Exam results mean for Medicine?

Results day is upon us and a whole year of your work and preparation is about to appear on one piece of paper. Whilst receiving results can often be blinded by panic and emotion, translating your results into a strategic application to medicine and thus your chances of becoming a doctor is really the big question you must consider next.

What Grades do I Need?

We know that for many of you, today will be spent furiously looking up entry requirements for medicine at every medical school you can think of. To help you with this, we have created a table showing you the grade requirements for medicine for Scottish applicants at each of the 5 Scottish medical schools

What do I do now?

Your next steps depend on the stage of exams you have just completed:


National 5s

Your National 5 results might feel like the biggest deal in the world right now, but you have to remember several things in the context of applying to medical school. 

Your National 5 results will not gain you a place in Medicine, nor do they absolutely rule you out of one. 

  1. No matter if you get straight As or a mixed bag with a few Cs, this does not secure nor break your chances of medicine. There are so many routes to becoming a doctor, so no matter what you get, take a deep breath and remember it might still be possible! (The only grades Scottish universities really care about at N5 are biology, chemistry, english and maths)
  2. For Medicine, it is more important to get better grades in core subjects (Maths and English) and subjects that allow you to take specific Highers (Biology and Chemistry) than others. So if you have lower scores in these subjects, you might want to think about resitting or reconsidering your options...
  3. Your N5s act as a platform to grow from, not a trampoline that propels you to an excellent application. Your focus should now be shifting to how to maximise your portfolio for an application next year: volunteering and work experience should be your next project after results day!



These results matter quite a lot, but again - these scores do not promise or completely ruin your chances of getting an offer for Medicine. When analysing your results consider these things:

  1. Should I be thinking strategically about my Advanced Highers? Regardless of everything else in your application, if you don't get top scores in your Highers and Advanced Highers at the end of next year, you will struggle to get into Medicine. If you have had a bad Higher result, by actually carrying that subject through to Advanced Higher and getting a super score, this can sometimes mean that Universities overlook the Higher blip...
  2. How will I balance my academics next year? Unless you REALLY want to do 3 Advanced Highers we advise against it as there's nothing to be gained in terms of minimum academic requirements, but everything to lose. All 5 Scottish medical schools will accept 2 Advanced Highers and an additional Higher in S6 and the workload is much more reasonable, so unless you need to compensate for a less than perfect Higher or are wanting to applying to a prestigious Non-Scottish medical school, we recommend you go for the sane choice of 2 Advanced Highers and 1 crash Higher instead.
  3. Can I still do Medicine? Absolutely. Regardless of what scores you turned out this results day, what is in your control now, is making you application as strong as it possibly can be. This means getting a great UKCAT score, crafting an exceptional personal statement, getting work experience and fine tuning your interview technique. Your exam results can improve down the line, if you really want to be a doctor, your focus must turn to the medicine application process now.


Advanced Highers

These results also matter quite a lot, but again like highers don't be despondent if they're not idealThe common questions you might ask yourself may be:

  1. Where can I still apply? Unfortunately, Advanced Highers do matter and some universities will just flat out reject your application if you do not meet their minimum standards. As with Highers though, all universities are different so it's worth while trawling through their application criteria and importantly EMAIL AND CALL THEM DIRECTLY. You might think that you're annoying them but it's their job to answer any questions you have, so go nuts!
  2. Can I still do Medicine? Absolutely, however if you don't meet the minimum requirements it is trickier but but definitely not the end of the road. No little letters on a piece of paper can tell you if you'll be a good doctor or not, so don't give up and you'll get there even if it takes a little longer than you'd hope. If you've exhausted all undergraduate opportunities in the UK, then you have 2 options - 1) study medicine abroad at an English-teaching university, or 2) apply again as a graduate. They may seem like the worst possible choices, but if you really want to be a doctor then investing 3/4 years doing something you don't want so that you can spend the next 45 doing something you do isn't the end of the world (and a few years experience will, in this graduate's opinion, make you a better doctor anyway (sorry Jack!))
  3. I got the grades - what next? For those with conditionals you have nothing to worry about - so sit back and bathe in the glory that in a few weeks you will be beginning medical school. For those applying for 2018 entry, one word - UKCAT. After meeting minimum academic criteria your next big hurdle is the UKCAT, and you need to nail it. Our courses run across Scotland and the UK and are run by current medical students who have years of combined experience teaching the test (and we've all done it ourselves which is more than can be said for other companies!) But take today off - you've earned it!

For personal advice please give Team Applican a ring to discuss your options and any questions that have cropped up this Results Day.
Our mobiles will be open all day so give us a ring!
Jack: 07769502211
Erin: 07789098657

Securing your place in Medicine depends not only on your SQA exams; more importantly it requires a strategic selection of university choices, a perfectly crafted personal statement and the highest score you can muster in the UKCAT. Applican's courses guides you through this application minefield and helps you personalise your application to the results you receive in your exams. Below are the Scottish Applican dates this year:

UKCAT: 25th August 2017
Applican Course: 9th-10th September 2017

UKCAT: 19th August 2017
Applican Course: 2nd-3rd September 2017