Medicine is about helping people – treating illness, providing advice and reassurance, and promoting good health. Your studies will take place in a purpose-built centre which provides an ideal learning environment. Right from the start you will get to practise clinical skills and make use of innovative technology.
The MBChB programme in Glasgow is based on integration of clinical and preclinical subjects, and on student-centred learning, and has a spiral course structure. This means that you will revisit topics on several occasions as you progress through the programme, each time with a more clinical focus and increasing depth. The programme produces well-rounded doctors with the potential and basic knowledge to pursue a career in any one of the medical specialties.
The programme is based around vertical themes that comprise the basic disciplines of medicine, such as anatomy and physiology, pathology and microbiology, clinical medicine and clinical surgery. Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, problem-based learning, practical laboratory sessions and clinical bedside teaching.
The programme comprises four phases:
Phase 1 takes up most of the first semester. This is a broad sweep of biomedical subjects, and early clinical and vocational skills. During this phase you will acquire the fundamentals of biomedical science, and the skills necessary for self-directed learning. The themes covered in this section include homeostasis, basic anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, and the fundamentals of health and illness in communities.
Phase 2 takes up the second half of first year and all of second year. This is a system-based, integrated approach to biomedical sciences and basic clinical problems relating to individual systems.
Phase 3 takes up the first 15 weeks of third year, during which time you will move from the University campus and spend more time in the teaching hospitals in Glasgow and in the wider West of Scotland. Through regular clinical bedside teaching you will develop clinical skills in the hospital and general practice environment. This is combined with more in-depth didactic teaching on the principles of medicine and surgery, the pathological basis of disease, and clinical investigation and laboratory analysis, including radiology, clinical biochemistry, pathology and microbiology.
During the summer vacations after third and fourth years you will be required to undertake two four-week periods of elective study. These are in subjects and locations of your choice and are designed to develop individual interests and to experience medical environments other than those provided on the programme.
Phase 4 comprises of the second half of year 3, all of year 4 and year 5 up to graduation. This is the final part of the programme, during which you will be attached to clinical specialties, including obstetrics and gynaecology, child health, psychological medicine, general practice, and more specialised aspects of medicine and surgery. During this phase you will spend most of your time in hospital attachments in Glasgow and in the wider West of Scotland and learn the clinical and practical skills necessary to work as a junior doctor.
As well as the core topics you may also choose a variety of student-selected components in second, third and fourth years. These allow you to personalise your learning experience and to pursue topics that are of special interest to you. A student-selected component may be linked to an elective to allow you to carry out projects overseas or to complete research projects.
If you do well in the first three years, you may have the opportunity to undertake an intercalated degree programme, which provides an excellent introduction to research. This is invaluable in extending your educational experience or if you are considering pursuing an academic career. A BSc (Hons) can normally be completed in one year. On completion of the programme you return to the MBChB. For programmes available, please see: School of Medicine: intercalated degrees.
During the elective period of the programme you will choose a topic to study in greater depth either in Glasgow or elsewhere. Students who have arranged electives outside the UK and EU have travelled to the USA, Canada, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean and Africa.
Medical career options are varied, ranging from hospital-based specialties such as surgery, to community-based specialties such as general practice. A degree in Medicine opens the door to careers in clinical research, and also to many other career opportunities.
Following your final examinations, there is a nine-week period of study in preparation for work experience in which you will shadow a Foundation Year 1 doctor. Almost all of our graduates start their careers as doctors with the NHS in hospitals around Scotland, although some travel further afield to various parts of England and Northern Ireland.
Fitness to Practise
Where a programme of study requires the student to act in the course of practical training in a quasi-professional role in relation to patients, children, clients or service-users or where the qualification provides a direct licence to practise, the University has a duty to ensure that the student is fit to practise. Fitness to Practise is assessed not only in terms of academic attainment but also in accordance with relevant professional concerns and expectations. Students registered to study medicine are subject to separate Fitness to Practise procedures. A copy of the Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise will be made available to MBChB students.
Hepatitis B is a serious blood-borne virus (BBV). This can be passed between a doctor and patient. Healthcare workers must ensure that they do everything possible to protect themselves and their patients from this infection.
Students must complete a full course of immunisation against the Hepatitis B virus. The immunisation process can take up to nine months and applicants are therefore advised to commence this process at the earliest possible opportunity. However, it is not a requirement for students to have completed the immunisation process prior to registration. Please also note that your GP is NOT under obligation to immunise you.
Medical students can complete the full course of Hepatitis B immunisation by attending the University’s Occupational Health Unit. This can only be done once they are registered as a student. The immunisation process must be completed by 30 June of the first year of the programme. A candidate who has not satisfactorily completed their Hepatitis B immunisation will not be permitted to register and attend classes in the following session until such time as this has been satisfactorily completed.
Confirmation of a student’s Hepatitis B Surface Antigen status is identified by the University’s Occupational Health Unit’s screening programme, prior to registration in September. No student will be registered without having this blood test. Identification of Hepatitis B in a potential student will not preclude registration to undergraduate Medicine. At the health screening, students will be tested for blood-borne viruses.
If you are concerned you may be at risk of being a carrier of the Hepatitis B virus or any other BBV you should have this checked immediately, and if positive, you must contact the Medical School as soon as possible so that discussion can take place on whether reasonable modifications would be required to be made within the undergraduate course.
Disclosure Scotland – Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme
If you are made an offer to the MBChB programme you will be required to undertake a Criminal Convictions check. It is your responsibility to pay for the check. Details regarding this process would be sent with an offer letter. If an unsatisfactory criminal records check is received or the records check is not received by the Medical School’s deadline date you may be excluded from the programme.
At the end of the undergraduate programme you will receive your MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ). Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council, subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. 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 you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis.
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. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council. You 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, you need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
UK entry requirements stated are the minimum entry requirements for applications. Qualifications should be obtained within five years of the entry date.
Highers: Applicants are required to achieve AAAAA or AAAABB by the end of S5 at the first sitting, including Chemistry and Biology, and either Maths or Physics. Applicants must have English at either Grade 2 Standard Grade or an Intermediate 2. It is acceptable to take Biology/Chemistry/Maths or Physics as a crash Higher in S6 provided Grades AAAAA or AAAABB are achieved by the end of S5. A minimum of Grade B would be required in any crash Higher subject studied in S6. Biology and Human Biology are considered as equal subjects.
Candidates are not considered for entry to Medicine from S5. Candidates must complete S6 at high school and are advised to achieve a minimum of two Advanced Highers in S6 at Grades AB to be obtained in one sitting.
A-levels: AAA in three A2 examinations at one sitting to include Chemistry and one of Maths, Physics or Biology. General Studies is NOT acceptable as a third subject at A2. A GCSE pass in English at a minimum of Grade B is also required. If Biology is not studied at A2 level, it should be taken at AS level, Grade A required. Biology and Human Biology are considered as equal subjects. We do not consider Maths and Further Maths as two separate subjects at A-level.
IB: Total score of 36 (excluding bonus points) to include Chemistry at a score of 6 at Higher Level and Biology at Higher Level with one from Mathematics or Physics at Standard Level. A minimum of 6 points in English at a minimum of Standard Level is also required.
Applying for Medicine
All applications must be received by UCAS by 15 October. Late applications are not normally considered. If applying for Medicine (A100) you must limit your choice to four medical schools only. If you apply to more than four medical schools, your application will not be forwarded to institutions by UCAS.
You are encouraged to read the MBChB admissions policy and procedures document: see Undergraduate Medical School: Medicine admissions.
All applicants must complete the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (www.ukcat.ac.uk) by the deadline date in the same year as application Information on how the UKCAT scores will be used in the admissions process is available at: Undergraduate Medical School: Medicine Admissions: UKCAT.
You may be invited to attend an interview. These normally take place in December. Candidates receiving offers are those who not only achieve the academic standards required but who also show they have seriously considered the implications of a medical career and who display the characteristics desirable in a future doctor, as well as demonstrating a commitment, motivation and enthusiasm for a medical career. Although specific work experience in a hospital or general practice is not essential, it is important for all applicants to find out about the realities of a career in medicine. Meeting minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an interview.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 7.0
- no sub-test less than 7.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 100; no sub-test less than 24
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): A minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): B minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 68; minimum 60 in writing
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.