• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Medicine
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study Mode: Full Time

ScotGEM is designed to develop doctors interested in a ‘generalists’ career within NHS Scotland, including a focus on rural medicine and healthcare improvement.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework
Provisional only and non-binding. The following is indicative and for information only. The terms may be subject to change.

ScotGEM is designed to develop doctors interested in a career as a generalist practitioner within NHS Scotland, with a focus on rural medicine and healthcare improvement. It offers a unique and innovative 4-year graduate entry medical programme tailored to meet the contemporary and future needs of the NHS in Scotland.

The course will capitalise on the existing strengths of medical teaching in the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews and our local health boards in Fife and Tayside. In addition, our collaboration with NHS Highland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and the University of Highlands and Islands will enable us to develop a truly distinctive programme offering training that is ideal for those interested in a career as a generalist practitioner. This includes offering extended opportunities to train in remote and rural areas.  The ScotGEM programme will be tailored to the specific needs of graduates, taking account of the experience acquired during their initial degree.

ScotGEM logo

Mini facts

  • The first intake will be around 40 students commencing in academic year 2018-19.
  • The programme will open for applications through UCAS on 1 September 2017.
  • The GAMSAT and UKCAT situational judgement tests are both required for admission.
  • Subject to confirmation, applicants assessed as Home (Scotland/EU) funded for fee status purposes will have their tuition fees paid for by the Scottish Government.
  • bursary package may be available but this is subject to confirmation. Further details will be posted here in due course.
  • ScotGEM is focused on enthusing graduates to become generalist practitioners (not necessarily GPs), with experience in rural health care.  However, the course will prepare students for any branch of medicine with appropriate further training.
  • Year 1 will be based at the University of St Andrews and within Fife, however, components of the course in years 2, 3 and, potentially, year 4 will include periods of living and studying in other regions of Scotland.

Medicine MBChB

The University of Dundee’s School of Medicine is ranked 1st in Scotland and 5th in the UK (Guardian Good University Guide 2017)

Clinical Skills Centre, School of Medicine

About ScotGEM

ScotGEM takes advantage of the expertise of three universities and four health boards to offer an outstanding medical training.  It is designed to develop doctors interested in a career as a generalist practitioner within NHS Scotland, including a focus on rural medicine and healthcare improvement. 

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

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

What you will study

ScotGEM will address all core MBChB requirements as stipulated by the General Medical Council (GMC) (see Outcomes for Graduates).  However, the ambition of the ScotGEM programme is to produce a cohort of high quality, adaptable, and compassionate clinical leaders.  Hence you will also contribute to local communities whilst you train, through facilitated social and health care based ‘voluntary’ work. 

Course Structure

Year 1 will be based at the University of St Andrews and NHS Fife, where, from week one, your learning will be focused around real patient scenarios using an approach known as Case Based Learning. Semester 1 will use cases to focus on foundational medical sciences to underpin subsequent more challenging scenarios.  Consultation skills will be introduced early alongside topics such as biochemistry, pharmacology and anatomy and weekly clinical experience in the community.  For instance, a case of a ‘student with a sore throat’ might lead into examination of the throat and neck, related anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology and the public health issues connected to arriving at university. The course is designed as a spiral in which the complexity and challenge of the cases builds as you and your peers become more effective learners.

Semester 2 is anchored to body systems so that related regional anatomy and examination skills can be learnt in parallel.  All the time you will be engaged in small group workplace-based learning for one day per week, supported in the community by dedicated Generalist Clinical Mentors (GCMs, who are trained GP tutors).

Year 2 is largely structured around the lifecycle but will be delivered in different regions.  You will be expected to spend some weeks away from Fife with opportunity to study in Tayside, the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway. NHS Boards will provide accommodation when required.  You will continue to work for a day each week with a GCM in their practice but also spend an additional half day in a specialist clinical environment.  Year 2 closes by providing experience of unscheduled care (GP, Emergency department, ambulance etc.) and two periods of project work related to the five underpinning Vertical Themes (see Figure x). 

Throughout the course these five Vertical Themes will also develop expertise as ‘Agents of Change’ within the health service. For example, students might work with a group of general practices to research and analyse prescribing patterns before implementing an agreed improvement.

Year 3 is designed as a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship with students being immersed into a community for the duration of the Year. You will be based in a general practice, seeing many patients each week and following a selection through their illness journey.  This approach works especially well for graduates and has been shown to develop more patient-centred doctors with improved decision-making skills.

Year 4 offers you, as a now competent generalist student, opportunity to be immersed in the hospital environment and prepare yourself for work as a junior doctor through two one-month Foundation Apprenticeships and other hospital based clinical attachments. You may choose areas of particular interest, perhaps a potential career choice, which you can experience in greater depth. You will also arrange an 8-week elective of your choice.  

Semester 1 - Foundation Sciences Cases

Semester 2 - Body System Cases

Year 2 - Life Cycle Cases

Year 3 - Longitutinal Integrated Clerkships

Year 4 - Hospital Clinical Rotations and Electiv

Transition - Virtical Theme Projects

ScotGEM Curriculum

Curriculum Overview  

Year 1 and 2 - Case Based Learning

  • Community Based Practice
  • Foundation Sciences (Semester 1)
  • Body System (Semester 2)
  • Life Cycle (Semesters 3-4)
  • Vertical Theme Projects 

Year 3 and 4

  • Transition to Clinical Practice
  • Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships
  • Hospital Rotations + Elective 

Vertical Themes

  • Informatics
  • Quality Improvement
  • Prescribing and Therapeutics
  • Public Health
  • Community Engagement

ScotGEM Cirriculum Overview

ScotGEM Curriculum overview


ScotGEM will use a wide range of teaching methods from the beginning much of which will be delivered within an NHS setting.  A Case-Based Learning approach in the first two years will prepare you for an exciting range of clinical learning opportunities in years 3 and 4. 

  • The ScotGEM course will be based on clinical cases from the outset.  These will be supported by a set of learning objectives, lectures, practical classes, tutorials, simulated and ‘real’ clinical and consultation skills plus extensive supported independent and peer-peer learning.
  • Your learning will be underpinned by a sophisticated online Curriculum Management System (GEMonline), which will give access to a wide range of resources and enable progress to be monitored for all including the geographically dispersed class from Year 2.  For instance, regular online self-assessment tests and workplace based learning assessments will be required.
  • Increasingly, especially in Year 2, learning will become more self-directed and you will be reliant upon yourself and your peers to explore, investigate and learn from the cases (still guided by clear learning objectives and with synchronised centrally organised teaching).  This approach will set you up well for learning based on real patients in the clinical environment.
  • The Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship in Year 3 will allow you to join a team and learn whilst becoming increasingly involved in patient care.  You will select patients to follow through and study them, their conditions and their care in more detail.  Where relevant you will attend specialist clinics, operations etc. as you follow these individuals’ journey through the healthcare system.
  • Finally, in Year 4, you will experience intensive hospital attachments that involve shadowing Foundation Doctors and other secondary care attachments.

Please note that some placements, in particular most of Year 3, will be in rural areas and you must be prepared to live and study in this context. 


Each year will require you to pass assessments of knowledge, clinical skills and a portfolio demonstrating professional development.

  • In Years 1 and 2 you will be assessed on your knowledge using a mix of online multiple choice questions and short answer written assessments.  Year 3 will use online multiple choice questions aligned with the planned General Medical Council common exam (Medical Licencing Assessment).
  • In every year, there will be a portfolio assessment based on a mixture of engagement with learning, workplace-based performance and project work related to the Vertical Themes.
  • In every year, there will be an Objective Structured Clinical Examination.

The assessments will be selected specifically for the ScotGEM course but drawing heavily upon those available within both medical schools.  Thus, your progress will be benchmarked against existing UK standards throughout.


ScotGEM’s is new and being advertised for applications prior to final approval of all parties. Accordingly, some material terms and conditions are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed such as a joint award. Statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the Universities of St Andrews, Dundee and the Highlands and Islands concerning, among other things, ScotGEM’s approvals, objectives, operations, outcomes and processes, while accurate at the time of writing may change prior to the launch of ScotGEM and the first intake of students. The parties will update and notify applicants as soon as reasonably practicable of any changes which affect them directly.

Graduates and Employability

Upon successful completion of the proposed ScotGEM programme, graduates will receive a primary medical qualification (PMQ), which allows them to apply for subsequent postgraduate training in any speciality through normal routes. It also entitles graduates to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period provisional registration will normally expire.

Provisionally registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post graduates will need to apply during the final year of their undergraduate course through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis.

Hitherto, all suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, although this cannot be guaranteed. Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. Graduates will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. Graduates need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time. There is some discussion about whether to remove provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens, then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed a BMBS (or equivalent) degree. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.

The GMC is currently considering a formal assessment that UK medical graduates would need to pass in order to be granted registration with a licence to practise. Although no final decision has been taken as to whether or when such an exam will be introduced, applicants should be aware that the GMC envisages that future cohorts of medical students may need to pass parts of a medical licensing assessment before the GMC will grant them registration with a licence to practise.

Applicants assessed as either Home (Scotland/EU) or RUK (England, Wales, N Ireland) for fee status will be eligible to apply for the ScotGEM programme.

If you are assessed as Home funded for fee status purposes, your tuition fee will be paid for you by the Scottish Government. For 2017-2018, the tuition fee is £1,820. The 2018/9 fee level will be confirmed by early September 2017

EU students applying for entry in 2018/19 and assessed as Home funded, have their fee status guaranteed for the duration of their programme.

If you are assessed as RUK, you will be charged in line with RUK fee levels which may increase annually during the course of your study. The 2018/9 fee level will be confirmed by early September 2017. For guidance, the 2017/8 tuition fee is £9,250. Information on funding will be published on our webpages as it becomes available.

A bursary package may be available to all students, still subject to confirmation. Further details will be posted on our web page in due course.


  • Upper Second or First class Honours degree (or equivalent) (achieved or predicted) is required. Applicants will not be considered if their first degree does not meet this requirement, even if they subsequently gain further degrees (Bachelor, Masters or PhD).
  • Arts and Science Honours degrees will be accepted.
  • Applicants who are on, or have been on, a medical degree course will not be considered, including any intercalating degree.
  • Chemistry Higher or A level (Grade A or B) or equivalent.
  • Mathematics Standard Grade (Credit 1 or 2) or Intermediate 2 (grade A or B) or National 5 (Grade A or B) or GCSE (Grade B) or equivalent.
  • Non-native speakers of English will also be required to sit the IELTS and obtain 7 in all 4 areas of the test to be taken at one sitting.
  • Up-to date study skills are required. Applicants must have undertaken academic study in the last 3 years prior to entry to ScotGEM. Academic study that would meet the requirement would include an undergraduate degree, a masters, PhD or any qualification to SCQF Level 6 (with a minimum of 24 credits). An Open University 30 credit module would also be acceptable.

Interviews will follow a Multiple Mini Interview format and will be conducted at the University of Dundee.

Information about work experience, fitness criteria and criminal records disclosure requirements will be published in due course.


  • The Scottish Government will be introducing a bursary scheme for ScotGEM entrants, the terms of which are in the process of being finalised. Terms will be announced as soon as possible but it is anticipated that there will be an element of return of service to NHS Scotland in exchange for the bursary. Details of the scheme will be posted on University websites in due course.
  • Please note that those who are 'overseas' for fee purposes are not eligible to apply for this course.
  • Applicants will only be allowed to apply to ScotGEM twice.
  • Applicants applying to this programme may apply to the A100 courses at the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee, in the same application cycle.
  • Applications and decisions will be processed through the University of St Andrews.
  • Further details of the application process will be published in due course.

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

  Degree UCAS Code