Gateway to Medicine MBChB

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • UCAS: A104
TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Would you like to become a doctor but are not sure whether you have studied the correct subjects or have high enough grades? Gateway to Medicine can help you make the best possible start to studying medicine if you do not meet the entry criteria for our MBChB Medicine course.

Gateway is a one-year course specifically designed to support you towards progressing on to the five-year Dundee MBChB course.

Maybe you haven't studied sciences (chemistry) to a high enough level (Higher or A-level) or perhaps your school grades have suffered due to hardship (adversity) in your personal or home or school life.

Find out about our Contextual Admissions policy

The course will empower you for success and build your confidence through personal and professional development.

Our experienced staff will support you from day one and work closely with you to help you achieve your potential. You'll also benefit from our small and friendly learning community that will make you feel at home and supports your learning.

You'll also gain an additional qualification when you pass the Gateway year: A Certificate of Higher Education in Life Sciences (CertHE).

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As far as possible, what you study will be tailored to your personal academic needs and aspirations. If you are short of chemistry, maths or physics, or you are still not confident in these subjects, you will study those in Semester 1.

Most students study several life sciences (biology) modules throughout the year. Some choose to boost their strengths in the sciences further by taking laboratory modules.

Once you have chosen the right science subjects to get you ready for progressing to the MBChB course you will select other subjects to complete your timetable.

You might choose psychology due to its relevance to understanding how patients behave and the signs and symptoms of neurological disorders. You can also choose anatomy modules which cover human anatomy and comparative anatomy, plus another module gives you the option to study parts of the human skeleton in detail.

We can also offer three medical modules. These cover key healthcare themes: healthcare provision in the UK, getting familiar with a working hospital - Ninewells in Dundee - by shadowing senior medical students, and making a difference by volunteering in the local community in a caring role. Our students find these medical modules valuable and enjoyable, plus they will help you learn how to talk to patients, which is something everyone finds a bit intimidating to begin with.

Teaching takes place on either the city campus or at Ninewells Hospital. Volunteering takes place locally in Dundee.

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Selection for interview is based on academic performance and UKCAT score.

Widening access applicants

Qualification Grade

SQA Higher

ABBB / BBBBB grades at Higher, to include chemistry and another science subject. The other Highers can be your own choice and this choice of subjects will not influence the assessment. All to be obtained at first attempt and at one sitting. Achievement at National 5 / Intermediate 2 will also be taken into account.
GCE A-Level BBC at A-Level (A2), to include chemistry and another science subject. The third subject can be your own choice; we have no preference. Results to be obtained at one sitting and at the first attempt at A-Level examinations, two years after GCSE. Achievement at GCSE and AS level will also be taken into account.

Applicants with a non-science background

Qualification Grade

SQA Higher

AAAAB grades at Higher, to include no more than one science subject and to exclude chemistry. All to be obtained at first attempt and at one sitting (5th year). Achievement at National 5 / Intermediate 2 will also be taken into account. Offers will be conditional on the attainment of three Advanced Highers/'crash' Highers taken in 6th year.
GCE A-Level AAA grades at A level (A2), to include no more than one science subject and to exclude chemistry. These results should be obtained at one sitting and at the first attempt at A level examinations, two years after GCSE. General Studies is an acceptable subject. Achievement at GCSE and AS level will also be taken into account.
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) AAAAAA grades at Higher level, to include no more than one science Higher and to exclude chemistry.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

Minimum of 37 points, to include 6, 6 and 6 at Higher level. Subjects at Higher level should include no more than one science and exclude chemistry. Plus 3 subjects at Standard Level with an average of grade 6.
Graduate Entry A minimum of an upper second class Honours degree in a non-science subject is required to allow consideration. This should be the first degree obtained. Previous academic attainment will also be taken into account.
All offers to current PhD students will be conditional on the formal submission and written confirmation of the acceptance of their PhD dissertation.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

All applicants for the Gateway to Medicine (A104) course need to sit the UKCAT test in their year of application unless certified exempt because there is no testing centre in your country.  There is no minimum cut-off score. More information about the UKCAT test and how and when to register for it can be found on the UKCAT website.

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

We only accept IELTS, TOEFL, Pearsons and Cambridge Advanced English for this course.

IELTS Overall7.0
Listening 7.0
Reading 7.0
Writing 7.0
Speaking 7.0

 English Language Requirements

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

Assessment methods

This depends on your personal module selections. There are usually formative (practice) exams to help you prepare for summative (count towards your grade) exams.

Often modules make use of both continuous assessment (where coursework submissions or in-course tests count towards your final grade) and end of module exams.

Assessment methods include:

  • online examinations (for example: short answer questions, multiple choice questions, extended matching questions)
  • written examinations
  • workbooks
  • quizzes
  • laboratory skills tests
  • anatomy spot (practical) tests
  • essays
  • reflective reports/essays
  • written scientific reports
  • oral presentations
  • producing a digital visual teaching resource in teams
  • situational judgement tests

Teaching methods

Depending on your personal module selections the teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • small group sessions
  • practical classes
  • laboratory classes
  • tutorials
  • teamwork tasks
  • team-based learning
  • shadowing placements with senior peers
  • volunteering placements with local volunteering organisations

What you will study

Some of these modules are normally considered mandatory (core), others are optional. You won't be able to take all of them and your adviser of studies will help you choose at the start of the course.

Semester 1

Core modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 10

This is a module that introduces aspects of two major concepts: the basics of heredity and evolution. For basics of heredity, an introduction to genetics, inheritance of traits, and the fidelity of genetic information over generations will be given. The concept of evolution will consider Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection, the nature of variation, the ways in which selection acts upon variation and descent from a single common ancestor. Finally the concept of molecular evolution explores how genes and genomes evolve to produce the diversity of life systems observed today.

Credits: 10

Semester: 1

This is a module that introduces aspects of major concepts: The gene, evolution and biological organisation.

The concept of the gene covers major topics such as DNA, genes, genomes, reproduction and heredity.

The concept of evolution introduces the topics of multicellularity and the benefits of being multicellular.

The concept of biological organisation introduces the topic of chemical transmission and how characteristics are retained from simple animals such as the coelenterates to more complex animals such as the chordates. The need for a nervous system and the early development of nervous systems including simple nerve nets are explored from an evolutionary perspective.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 20

This module introduces the application of the physical sciences and mathematics to the life sciences. The module covers aspects of basic physics, chemistry and mathematics including numeracy and mathematical application, biophysics, organic, and physical chemistry and the introduction to and use of numeric and scientific literacy. The use of technology to support and enhance application within the life sciences will form a significant part of this module, which will be both theoretical and practical in delivery.

Optional modules

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will start with a mandatory introduction to health and safety and basic lab skills. There will be one field excursion and a series of practical classes that will cover techniques of isolation and culture of microorganisms and gram staining. Other set practical classes include: arthropod diversity and insect dissection, forensic entomology and the analysis of DNA.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop the generic skills introduced in BS11003 with specific emphasis on health and safety and basic laboratory practice. The ability to work effectively as part of a group will form a significant part of this module. Students will extend their information literacy skills by locating and accessing scientific resources to support their learning.

To support the group lab project, students will receive guidance on lab book / record keeping, experimental design and project planning, in addition to interpretation of data and presentation of project results. You'll also be encouraged to reflect on and evaluate their own learning throughout the semester, identifying areas for development and consolidation.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 20

This science based optional module may be of particular interest if you intend to specialise in later years in either pharmacology or drug discovery. The module will look at several classical English texts in which poisonings play a pivotal role in the plot. After examination of the text, the symptoms will then be unpicked and possible poison molecules identified along with their source. You will be able to explore the darker side of pharmacology and look at the importance of dosage and how molecules used to cure can also kill.

10 credits

An overview of the gross anatomy of the human body as well as an introduction to histology, which is the microanatomy of the body. The structure of the major body systems are introduced in a series of lectures, and reinforced in practical sessions that examine pre-dissected human specimens. The practical sessions also serve as an introduction to the Human Anatomy Laboratory.

10 credits

You will learn about the NHS, public health and human factors in medicine. This module is compulsory if you are resitting the admissions interview (MMI) during Gateway.

Introduces students to core topics of Psychology and its scientific foundations, including evolutionary, social, cognitive, and biological psychology, and research methods.

Semester 2

Core modules

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module develops aspects of four major concepts: The cell, the gene, evolution and biological organisation.

The concept of the cell covers major topics such as cell division, chromosome structure, sexual reproduction, germ cells, meiosis and fertilisation.

The concept of the gene covers the major topic of genetics, introducing genes and alleles, and gives a functional explanation of Mendel’s Laws.

The concept of evolution introduces topics such as the Mesozoic ecosystem structure and the transition of life to land, including the dominance of insects, amphibians and reptiles. Consideration will be given to the physiological problems of life on land (reproductive freedom from water, breathing air [especially during the mid-Devonian drop in global oxygen levels], water conservation and the emergence of the mammal-like reptiles). The concept of biological organisation covers topics such as changes in posture, heart anatomy, respiratory capacity, temperature regulation and endothermy in terrestrial vertebrates. Fluid balance, homeostasis and the basic principles of endocrinology are introduced, together with the basic concepts of neurophysiology, muscles and movement.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module develops aspects of three topics: Energy and Metabolism, The Cell and its Environment, and Animals: Form and Function.

Energy and metabolism introduces the major topics of chemical and biological thermodynamics covering enzymes (as biological catalysts, their structure and basic  mechanisms), enzyme kinetics, energy  flow and transfer and the basic principles of  metabolism in autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms.

The Cell and its Environment develops the topic of cell structure, covering intracellular compartmentalisation and trafficking; lipids and membranes, with specific emphasis on the biochemical and biophysical properties of membranes.

The Animals: Form and Function topic starts with the basic concept that specialised cells form tissues and organs which in turn interact at the level of the whole- organism. Physiological systems (endocrine, nervous, circulatory, gas exchange and  excretory) in animals of increasing complexity are used as examples, highlighting  links between form and function and to illustrate the importance of homeostasis.

Optional modules

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop laboratory and research skills introduced in semester 1 of Level 1

  • Optical techniques – Students will use a spectrophotometer to produce a standard absorbance spectrum, apply the Beer -Lambert Law to derive unknown concentrations from known values of absorbance and perform a Bradford Assay
  • Protein purification – Students will experience two techniques that are commonly used to separate mixtures of proteins: size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS PAGE) 
  • PCR - In conjunction with its associated workshop, this laboratory exercise aims to give students a basic understanding of the practical application of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the use of agarose gel electrophoresis for the analysis of DNA samples.
  • Enzyme kinetics – Students will gain practical experience of a typical enzyme assay procedure.
  • Digital skills – online scientific literature searches
  • Protein expression – Students will learn how to purify and analyse a recombinant protein.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop the generic skills introduced in BS12003 with specific emphasis on data presentation, interpretation and analysis. The ability to work effectively as part of a group and the  application of peer support and peer-assessment will form a significant part of this module. Students will extend their information literacy and scientific writing skills by researching and presenting an area of current research in poster format, giving due attention to scientific writing protocols. Students will be encouraged to reflect on  and evaluate their own learning throughout the semester, identifying areas for development and consolidation and setting appropriate targets.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 20

This module outlines the historic development of  the Life Sciences from alchemy with its origins in ancient Egypt to the present day. It covers key milestone events such as identifying the structure of DNA and cloning of Dolly the sheep and includes pivotal figures such as da Vinci, Darwin and Watson and Crick. The module explores the relationship between art and science through botany, anatomy and forensic art and reviews modern popular science writers such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins and Nick Lane. The module goes on to examine the significance of the philosophical framework within which science is  developed and how this has impacted upon the direction of scientific thought. The  moral and ethical implications of scientific research and devel opment are analysed within traditional and contemporary contexts such as bodysnatchers, stem cell  research, use of animals and humans in research and the nature/nurture debate. The role of the media in shaping society’s opinion and interpretation of science is discussed in relation to the public understanding of science.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 20

The purpose of this module is to inspire students to think beyond their programme of studies and plan their own business/research idea. This module will consist of:

  • Inspire Dundee - lectures from inspirational members of staff who run their  own companies.
  • Intellectual Property - discovering what people want to think about when protecting their own ideas, an overview of patent law.
  • CV Writing skills
  • The Money Pot - where to obtain funding and how to write a successful proposal.  
  • The Plan - writing business plans and discovering how much money is needed to set up a business/run a lab.

This module will provide an overview of comparative vertebrate anatomy, with a focus towards musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Students on this course will learn through a selection of lectures, workshops and practical sessions, which reinforce key concepts towards understanding form and function. By the end of the module, students will be able to apply their knowledge across areas of the animal kingdom and present anatomical concepts using digital media, to various audiences. 

10 credits

Students enjoy shadowing 4th year medical students and allied health professionals on the wards at Ninewells Hospital

Promotes understanding of three core topics (Developmental, Social and Cognitive Psychology) in experimental psychology and research skills in conducting, analyzing, and interpreting psychological experiments.

Both semesters

Optional modules that run in both semesters

10 credits

This module gives you the chance to volunteer with one of the excellent local volunteering organisations

10 credits

Students are given teaching, support and feedback as they learn the anatomy of one of the body systems, research a related medical condition of interest to them and write a scientific report

10 credits

Students are given teaching, support and feedback as they learn the anatomy of part of the human skeleton, research a related medical condition of interest to them and write a scientific report. If you pass this module in Gateway, you will be exempted from the equivalent module in 1st year medicine 

To guarantee entry to the Dundee MBChB course you'll need to
 maintain a B3 module grade average 
 meet the acceptance level in the UKCAT standard test 
 pass the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Most Gateway students are expected to achieve the requirements for progressing onto the Dundee MBChB course.

If you don't achieve the B3 module grade average, the MMI standard or the UKCAT standard there are other courses you may apply to transfer onto.

The option to transfer onto Level 2 of a Life Sciences, Anatomical Sciences or Psychology course at the University of Dundee is normally available, providing all internal transfer conditions are met on a case-by-case basis.

I was diagnosed with polio at 9 months of age, which left me severely disabled. Because of the type of medical care I have received and always being exposed to the medical world, my love for medicine continued to grow as I grew older. I remember always wanting to be on the opposite side of the hospital bed. But unfortunately I missed a whole chunk of my education to be in the hospital and then on bed rest. This meant that I couldn’t achieve the grades necessary to get into medicine.
I was given a second opportunity through the Gateway year. I was sceptical but excited at the same time. The gateway year was absolutely designed for me. I was able to catch up on a lot the gaps I had in my education whilst working towards my goal. I was given every opportunity to discuss any issues I was facing financially, personality or socially. I met a lot new people who are now some of my very close friends.

Ramza Bibi
Current MBChB student

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2018-19

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £18,600 for the Pre-Medical year

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students Fees for September 2019 entry will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.
Rest of UK students Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Government and will be published when confirmed.
Overseas students (non-EU) This course is not open to overseas students

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

UCAS deadline for Medicine / Gateway to Medicine: 15 October

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code
Apply NowGateway to Medicine MBChBA104