Degree of Doctor of Medicine


The Degree of Doctor of Medicine is governed by Resolution No. 562 of the University Court which came into effect on 1 September 2006 with provision that:

1.    The Degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) may be awarded by the University of Glasgow in the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences.

2.    The Senate may make Regulations, which are subject to the approval of the University Court, governing the award of the Degree, and in particular the presentation of the thesis upon which the award shall be based.  These are set out in the section entitled ‘Regulations’.


1.     To be admitted as a candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine a person must normally be a graduate in Medicine and Surgery of at least four years’ standing. In addition, the person must have been engaged since graduation for at least three years in either scientific work bearing directly on their profession, or in the practice of Medicine or Surgery.

2.     A prospective candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine shall submit in advance a brief account of the work on which the thesis will be based. The work must be carried out in the University of Glasgow or an Institution recognised for this purpose by the University Court, on the recommendation of the Senate. Before a candidate offers themself for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, the College shall normally require the prospective can­didate to have undertaken a period of full-time registered study of no less than two years, or four years part-time, under the supervision of a member of staff in the College or in the recognised Institution appointed for the purpose. Senate reserves the power, in exceptional cases, to reduce this period by one academic year.

A candidate must submit the thesis for examination within four years of registering for full-time study or within six years of registering for part-time study.  

A candidate holding an appointment as a member of the teaching or research staff of the University of Glasgow, paid through the Finance Office or directly by a grant awarding body approved by the University Court, may register part-time whilst being subject to the same provisions regarding minimum periods of full-time study if they devote the major part of the day, typically 75-80% of their time, to research studies.

3.     A candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine shall submit for the approval of the College a thesis on any branch of knowledge comprised in or related to the curriculum for the Degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, and shall normally be required to present themself for oral or other examination in the subject matter thereof. In undertaking such an examination the candidate must follow any requirements for the assessment as stated by the Graduate School. The thesis must be in English.

4.     The Examiners for the Degree shall be drawn from the Professors, Readers and Lecturers in the College together with such other internal and additional Examiners as the Court shall appoint.

5.     A thesis may be considered unacceptable if it does not conform to accepted national standards of clinical research, ethics or animal welfare. Where original research involves human subjects the candidate will be required to confirm that each study protocol was reviewed in advance and approved by an independent Ethics Review Committee and that appro­priate informed consent was obtained. In the case of studies involving laboratory animals, the candidate is required to confirm that the animal care and welfare and the procedures performed are conducted under an appropriate Home Office Licence or other national regulations.

6.     Two copies of each thesis are required. These may be soft-bound but otherwise should generally conform to the British Standard Institution’s Recommendations for the presentation of theses (BS4821:1990) which is available for consultation in the University Library or from the College Graduate School, with whom theses should be lodged.

7.    A person satisfying the requirements stated at §1 may be accepted as a candidate for the degree by published work if they are:

a)   (i)   a graduate of the University of Glasgow, or

(ii)  a member of staff of the University of Glasgow who has been employed for the full-time equivalent of at least two years, or

(iii) a former member of staff of the University of Glasgow who was employed for the full-time equivalent of at least two years and presents as a candidate for the degree within one year of leaving the University’s employment, and

b)   is not already in possession of any Doctoral Degree in the same subject area.

Such a candidate may submit the results of original observations already published in medical or scientific journals or in the transactions of learned societies or otherwise in place of a thesis. Such published papers submitted in lieu of a thesis must be related and accompanied by a statement, preferably in the form of an essay, showing the relationship between the various studies and placing the whole work critically into perspective with the general state of knowledge in the field of investigation to which the candidate’s researches are related.

8.     A thesis will not be approved unless it gives evidence of original obser­vation and makes a significant new contribution to knowledge. It should include accurate references to the literature of its subject.

9.     A declaration signed by the candidate that the work has been done and written up by themself must be submitted with the thesis. Where material based on work undertaken in collaboration with others is included in the thesis or reprints, a separate statement clearly defining the extent of their personal contribution must also be submitted by the candidate. If any of the material contained in the thesis has been completed sometime before the date of submission, the candidate in their own interests should provide evidence of the originality of such work, for example, published papers. If any part of the subject matter of the thesis has been included in a thesis submitted or already approved for a Degree or Diploma in this or another University, the candidate must make a declaration to this effect and must lodge with their thesis a copy of such previously approved thesis and a full statement of the extent of any overlap.

10.   An adequate and informative summary of not more than 1,000 words should be bound in each copy of the thesis. One further unbound copy of the summary is also required.

11.   If approved for the degree, one hard-bound copy of the thesis and one electronic copy shall be deposited with the University Library. The bound copy should normally be produced to the standard defined in BS4821:1990, and the electronic copy must conform to University Library specifications published at https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/research/enlighten/theses/formattingyourthesis/. It is the University's normal practice to make the bound copy available for consultation in the Library, and to permit computer download of the electronic copy through its repository service, Enlighten.  Such access may, however, be restricted under provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

12.   In the case of a thesis not approved for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, the Higher Degrees Committee, on the recommendation of the Examiners, may permit a candidate to re-submit the thesis on one occasion only and no later than one year from the date of the original submission. In the case of published papers submitted in lieu of a thesis in accordance with §7, a candidate may not apply for re-examination for the degree of MD by published work until the lapse of at least three years from the date of the original submission.

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