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Frequently Asked Questions - Medicine

Can I visit the Medical School?

The main Medicine Visit Day is held annually in June. We also hold a Visit Day in September

More information about Visit Days can be found at our Pre-Application Visit Days webpage.

We regret we are unable to arrange individual visits to the Medical School at any other time.

How many places are available each year?

There are 147 places available from 2013 of which up to 13 can be allocated to overseas-fee students.

How many applications are received each year?

For entry in 2013 we received just under 1800 applications. This includes over 274 applications from graduates, and around 184 applications from overseas-fee applicants.

What is the pre-medical year?

There are two distinct entry routes into the pre-medical year.

One is designed for very able students who do not have either Higher Chemistry or A level (A2) Chemistry, the other is to Widening Access through a supported premedical year for local applicants who are unable to gain direct entry to A100 because of significant adverse personal or educational circumstances.

The pre-medical year is not a Foundation course for those with insufficient school achievement.

Please visit the Medicine Course webpage for full details of the entry requirements for the pre-medical year.

What are the academic entry requirements?

All entrants enter the 1st year of the Medicine course. There is no advanced entry into year 2 available.

UK applicants (including Scottish) and those studying the International Baccalaureate, or the Irish Leaving Certificate should check the visit the Medicine Course webpage for full details of the entry requirements, including subjects required.

Scottish Applicants additionally should note that our specific SQA qualifications refer to only Highers and then only to those taken in 5th year.  Offers will be conditional, based on three Advanced Highers/Highers taken in 6th year, normally at BBB grades.

Applicants from other countries should visit the International Admissions webpage for their own country.


  • Qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting. The selectors do not consider applications based on retaken examinations.
  • Other qualifications of equivalent standard will be considered, and more information is available from Admissions and Student Recruitment.
  • An English language qualification may also be required, please visit our English Language Requirements webpage.
  • All applicants must sit the UKCAT test in their year of application unless certified exempt because there is no testing centre in your country.

Do you accept resits?

No, qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting. The selectors do not consider applications based on retaken examinations.

Do you accept applications from graduates?

The Medical School selectors will consider applications from graduates, in a Science discipline (for first year entry only). The minimum academic requirement for graduate entry is an upper second class Honours degree (or equivalent). Without this class of degree, obtained or expected, an application will not be successful. Previous academic attainment will also be taken in to account.

All offers to a current PhD students will be conditional on the formal submission and written confirmation of the acceptance of the PhD dissertation.

Do you accept applications based on Foundation/Access courses?

The Dundee Medical School does NOT consider applications based on any Foundation or Access courses.

Do you consider transfers?

We do not consider applications from existing students on other degree courses. Such students must complete their degree and apply for entry as a graduate.

Occasionally we will consider applications from existing medical students to transfer their studies to Dundee but all of the following conditions must be met. Exceptional circumstances justifying transfer to Dundee; satisfactory academic progress; satisfactory professional reference; sufficient capacity in relevant student cohort.

Contact the medical school office directly if seeking transfer.

How do I apply and what is the deadline?

All applications must be made on-line through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) before the closing date of 15th October in the year prior to that of intended entry.

Visit our How to Apply webpage for more information, including UCAStv videos.

Is the UKCAT test required?

All applicants have to undertake the UKCAT during the summer prior to application. Please check the 'How will my application be assessed?' section for information on how the UKCAT score is used.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications are ranked on academic achievement and UKCAT score. The top 550 will be invited to select an interview time to suit them via our online booking tool. We also invite applicants to provide information about any adverse circumstances which could have affected their education and applications will then be ranked again using this extra information and approximately another 50 invitations to interview will be issued.

From the 2013 entry cycle the aspects scored are :


All applicants must offer our minimum academic requirements but those with evidence of higher academic achievements will be rated more highly. We consider the primary qualification (A levels, Highers, Degree class etc) and also the relevant previous stage (GCSE, Standard Grades, School exit exams etc. as appropriate). So past achievements are relevant as are exceptional achievements such as 6 Highers A grades in one sitting, Masters degrees, PhD etc. The high level of competition means the minimum qualifications will rarely secure an interview without an exceptional UKCAT score.


Your UKCAT score will be factored into the pre-interview rank. There is no specific cut off applied but obviously a high score is advantageous.

Our analysis of the 2013 applicants revealed the average calculated from applications received was 2520 and the average for those gaining offers was 2720.

Applications without UKCAT will be rejected.

Please visit the UKCAT website for information about the test, two complete practice tests, important dates and information about bursaries available

Other Non-Academic Achievements

From 2013 cycle information on non-academic achievements and references will not be considered until interview.

Thereafter, we aim to rate applications as fairly as possible based upon the various forms of other evidence which is presented on the UCAS form. There is no ideal formula and we would not wish to promote particular activities. Hence we consider these under separate headings, which receive equal weight.

Some examples are given below but this list is not exclusive or exhaustive. The selectors will consider achievement in all areas and prefer evidence in more than one area. Non-academic achievements will be discussed at interview and we may seek confirmation of these at our discretion.

  • Competitive achievement – e.g. chess or sport at national level or above
  • Talents – music, drama, public speaking, leadership qualities
  • Social responsibility – voluntary work, teamwork, youth organisations
  • Employment – entrepreneurial, sustained engagement, achievement

Medical Experience

We encourage up to two weeks relevant work experience (or equivalent) as it is helpful for providing awareness of and insight into career choice. This will be discussed at interview but is not scored. We do not credit the volume of work experience and would discourage applicants seeking to acquire experience in excess of that required to inform career choice. We do not encourage work experience in resource poor settings where you may be exposed to risk or take up scarce staff time.

Please note we intend to ask applicants to inform us where their experience has been acquired and verify a selection.

Contextual Assessment

Dundee Medical School seeks to operate as transparent and fair admissions process as possible. To assist this we have introduced a formal system by which candidates can inform us of major adverse factors which they believe have had a significant impact on their application. Examples might be personal illness or a role as a carer.

We invite all applicants to do so through a web based questionnaire in October. These are used as described in the relevant section. Please note ALL claims will require supporting documentary evidence and/or an additional interview if an offer is being made because of an adjustment for an applicant's background.


The professional assessment offered by the referee on the UCAS form is also considered. 

Weighting of components

The precise weighting of the components is reviewed 'in cycle' each year and may be modified according to the distribution of scores presented and in the process of considering contextual factors. However, the basic schema balances the Academic score (60%), UKCAT decile (40%) for school leavers and UKCAT decile (60%), Academic score (40%) for graduates. Following interview, provided the process has run smoothly, candidates are ranked on the interviews score alone, i.e there is a 'clean slate' with no carryover of the pre-interview rank.

Video guide: applying to study Medicine at Dundee

Take a look at our YouTube video about applying to Medicine and the Dundee Interview.

Is work experience essential?

Work experience allows applicants to gain some experience of a career in health care.  This may include working with people who may be ill, disabled or elderly as well as by shadowing a doctor.  

The selectors recognise that not all applicants will have the same opportunities to gain such experience, but expect everyone to be informed about their career choice.  In general terms they look for work experience lasting two weeks (or equivalent) and do not encourage more than this. 

Guidance on GP related experience in the UK is available from the RCGP Scotland webpage.

Will I be interviewed?

After the initial assessment by the selectors, around 600 applicants will be invited for interview. Interviews are held on specific dates in January (Dundee) and December (Asia). We believe it is essential for doctors to have excellent interpersonal communication skills and therefore no offers are made without interview (this includes overseas applicants).

What is the Dundee Interview like?

The University of Dundee divides its medical school interview process into a series of 10 seven minute 'mini interviews'. This reduces the risk of your whole interview getting off on the wrong foot, which occasionally happens with traditional formats. It is also a far more reliable process. 

The usual topics are covered but within bite-size sections rather than a single discussion which offers you a number of separate opportunities to sell yourself.  You can expect to be asked about your understanding of: a medical career, the curriculum here in Dundee, aspect of your UCAS statement as well as current medical issues in the press, including ethical topics.  

In addition we will be looking to assess your communication skills and approach towards teamwork through a series of interactive stations where you have a task to complete or actor to talk to.

Since its introduction, applicants have expressed a preference for this system compared to 'standard' interviews.  There is also now considerable evidence that this is a better method of selecting medical students.  There is a full briefing before the interviews start.

We use the same process in both Dundee and Asia.

Take a look at our YouTube video about the Dundee Interview:

When will I hear the decision of the selectors?

We shall be making some 'early offers' to those who have really excelled in the interviews and will clearly merit an offer of a place however others perform. Likewise, if it is clear based upon previous experience that an interviewee has not done well enough to stand a chance of 'making the cut' then we shall issue a rejection as soon as we can. For those who have performed well but require detailed comparison against the overall group we can only advise that you will have to wait until all interviews are completed and analysed. We anticipate issuing decisions for this group in early March.

What are your views on deferred entry?

Applications for deferred entry will be considered on an equal basis provided you intend to spend your gap year in a manner which will benefit you educationally or socially. Information about your intentions should be provided on the UCAS application. All the necessary academic requirements have to be obtained before the year out starts.

Can I get help with funding?

The Dow Memorial Trust awards up to six scholarships valued at £2,000 per annum for each of the 5 years of study, subject to a satisfactory academic record. All students awarded a place to study medicine and dentistry can apply and selection is usually made on financial hardship grounds.

More information is available on our Medical School scholarships webpage.

What is the overseas tuition fee?

The current level of tuition fees is shown on the Medicine course webpage. For more information you can also visit the International Applicants Fees and Funding webpages.

Are there any other requirements?

As medicine is a professional qualification and clinical contact is now an early component of our course all entrants are required to sign the Medical School Charter and will be offered Occupational Health Assessment during the first semester.

Medical Schools Charter

The Dundee Medical School has adopted the Council of Heads of Medical Schools Charter. It will be a requirement that you 'sign up' to this in the first semester and again on entering the clinical years (4 and 5). You should therefore download this document and check you are willing to abide by the codes of conduct described.

Please note point 7.7 which requires you to 'immediately inform the school of any factors that might affect his/her performance', which we take to include health or disability issues prior to admission. Not doing so can itself be regarded as showing you are 'not fit to practice', so please contact us if you are in any doubt.

We treat any such information in a confidential and supportive manner in line with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Health Screening

New regulations came into force in 2008 regarding screening for infection diseases for both NHS staff and yourselves as students. As a result we shall be asking applicants invited for interview to complete a confidential health questionnaire which will be retained by the Occupational Health Service here in Dundee.

During the first semester you will be offered screening for TB, Hepatitis C and HIV, plus Hepatitis B vaccination. Although these are offered and not compulsory, declining would have implications for both training and future career choices (as you are deemed potentially a risk to patients). These tests have to be performed in an accredited NHS centre so there is little point in arranging pre-testing; however it has been suggested that overseas fee paying students may wish to consider this before taking up their place. This is totally at your discretion and cost.

Can I receive feedback on my application? Can I appeal?

Our admissions process has been carefully designed and is applied with a number of quality checks in place, including reviewing all those who have just 'missed the cut'. However, should you have reason to believe your application has not been fairly assessed please contact us by e-mail to by 4th January and we will review your application. We cannot accommodate appeals after this date as there is insufficient time to arrange interview. This does not affect the formal right of appeal to the University.

We also offer feedback on unsuccessful applications for those that request it. This is based upon a review of your UCAS form or interview scores and will indicate areas of weakness that may be improved should you wish to reapply. Unfortunately we do not have capacity to offer more detailed individual feedback or enter into further correspondence regarding your application.

Please note the following deadlines as requests outside these dates will not be processed:

  • For rejection prior to interview you must request feedback by 4th January.
  • For rejection after interview you must request feedback within one month of notification.

What is the GMC (General Medical Council)?

The General Medical Council GMC registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Their purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

Graduates are entitled to provisional registration with the GMC with a licence to practise, subject to demonstrating to the GMC that their fitness to practise is not impaired.

How can I obtain further information about a Career in Medicine?

The British Medical Association has a number of helpful resources for those considering a career in medicine, as does the Medical Schools Council.

Can I undertake an intercalated BMSc degree?

Yes. Medical students who have successfully completed Phase 2 of the Medicine (MBChB) course can apply to undertake the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Medical Science in specified subjects. More information can be found on the BMSc webpage

Contact us ...

Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: +44 1382 384697