Let's talk about The Dundee Medical School, its admissions process, campus, history, and more important information to consider before you make your final decision in the application year, read on!

Looking for medical application guidance?

Overview of the Medical School

  • The Dundee Medical School origins are intrinsically linked with the ancient University of St Andrews founded in 1411, and the University College of Dundee (UCD), founded in 1883. The Medical School building opened in 1904 as part of UCD which became Queens College of St Andrews in 1954. The University Charter was awarded to Queens College becoming the University of Dundee in 1967; a natural extension of this change of status was the formation of an independent Dundee Medical School.
  • In 1974 the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School was officially opened. The University Teaching Hospital at Ninewells is well supported by the other two main acute University Teaching Hospitals, Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI), in the South and Stracathro near Brechin in the North. Stracathro has a wide range of clinics, day surgery and imaging services forming what is known as an Ambulatory Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (ADTC). Perth has a similar health service profile to Ninewells inclusive of a busy A&E facility, O&G, General Medicine and Surgery.
  • Among its notable alumni are: Sir James W. Black, Notable pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate; Narendra Patel, Baron Patel of Dunkeld, Notable obstetrician, present Chancellor of the University; and Dr William Alexander Young, Notable doctor, surgeon and epidemiologist who studied and treated many tropical diseases in West Africa, particularly yellow fever.

Campus and Facilities:

  • Kirkcaldy, Fife – containing part of the school of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Perth Royal Infirmary – clinical research centre
  • Ninewells Hospital – containing the School of Medicine
  • Main campus of the University
  • Facilities:
    • Clinical Skills Centre (CSC) and Dow Simulation Suite
      • Anatomical models and manikins
      • Diagnostic and therapeutic equipment
      • Resuscitation equipment
      • HARVEY, the cardiac simulator
      • Videos of key examinations
      • Tele-medicine links within and beyond the campus
      • Simulated and real patients
      • Self revision rooms which can be booked
    • Ambulatory Care Teaching Centre
    • Interactive Teaching Suite
    • Lecture theatres
    • Teaching laboratories
    • Library and Learning Centre
  • National and International Rankings
    • Complete University Guide ranking for medicine: rank 12 (2016)
    • Guardian University ranking for medicine: rank 4 (2016)
    • QS World ranking for medicine: rank 101-150 (2016)
    • Times Higher Education for medicine: 90 (2016)

MBBS Programme Information

General overview:

  • There are two entry routes to medicine:
    • A100 five-year programme
    • A104 Pre-Medical A104 course
  • The curriculum move from teacher-centred to student-centred.
  • The key features of the curriculum are:
    • A core curriculum with student-selected components
    • The spiral form, with its interlocking phases, allowing topics to be revisited in more depth
    • A body-system-based approach, providing a focus for students’ learning
    • A framework of nearly 100 core clinical problems to develop reflective practice
    • An ‘assessment to a standard’ approach which emphasizes the overall outcomes of the curriculum and which uses a range of methods including online examinations, OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and portfolio assessment.
  • To accommodate various learning preferences, there are several teaching and learning methods:
    • small group discussions
    • clinical teaching
    • lectures
    • e-learning
    • clinical skills sessions
    • peer learning
    • simulation
    • integrating science and specialties (ISS) sessions
    • laboratory and practical work

Number of students on this course:

There are 134 places available of which up to 12 can be allocated to overseas-fee students.

Course Structure and Length:

  • The A100 programme duration is 5 years and the Pre-Medical A104 course is a six-year programme.
  • The programme is divided in two main phases:
    • Phase 1: Systems in Practice (SiP)
    • Phase 2: Preparation in Practice (PiP)
  • Phase 1: Systems in Practice (SiP):
    • Runs from the beginning of Year 1 until the end of Year 3.
    • It is based on the various organ systems of the body and is an integrated course that focuses on normal and abnormal structure, function and behaviour, basic and clinical sciences, and hospital and community perspectives.
    • Problem-oriented learning (where learning is structured around examples of clinical problems).
    • Each year is made up of a period of system-based teaching, Integrating Science and Specialties (ISS) blocks, examinations and Student Selected Components (SSCs) :
      • Principles and three systems are covered in Year 1
      • Seven systems in Year 2
      • Five in Year 3
  • Phase 2: Preparation in Practice (PiP):
    • Years 4 and 5
    • Moves towards a task-based learning approach
    • A series of around 100 ‘core clinical problems’ provide students with a framework for an integrated view of medicine.
    • PiP begins with a transition block, followed by a series of core clinical placements and a final Preparation for Practice block.
      • The Transition Block: designed to ‘pull together’ the cross-systems teaching, and to equip them with generic skills.
      • Core clinical placements: students are expected to organise their learning around the core clinical problems, observing these problems in different contexts and settings.
      • The Preparation for Practice block allows for further development of experience preparing the student for their role as a junior doctor.
    • Students undertake foundation apprenticeship blocks in general practice, medicine and surgery.
    • Includes Student Selected Components with an elective and clinical SSC’s.
  • The The Pre-Medical Year covers a combination of biology, chemistry and biophysics in 6 separate modules through the year.

Course Content:

  • Year 1:
    • Principles block: first eight weeks:
    • Structural Principles
    • Functional Principles
    • Molecular Principles
    • Psychosocial Principles
    • Disease Mechanisms
    • Defence Mechanisms
    • Principles of Drug Therapy
    • Safe Medical Practice
    • System blocks:
    • Respiratory
    • Reproduction
    • Cardiovascular
    • Infection an immunity
  • Year 2:
    • System blocks:
    • Renal
    • Gastrointestinal
    • Nervous
    • Musculoskeletal
    • Ageing
    • Endocrine
    • Haematological
  • Year 3:
    • System blocks:
    • Child and family
    • Special Senses: ENT
    • Ophthalmology
    • Dermatology 
  • Years 4 and 5:
    • Transition block: first eight weeks of year 4
    • Five clinical attachments, each of eight weeks duration:
      • General Medicine (4 weeks), Infectious diseases (1 week), Neurology (2 week), Oncology (1 week)
      • General Surgery (4 weeks), Ophthalmology (1.5 weeks), Otolaryngology (1.5 weeks), Urology (1 week)
      • Anaesthetics (1 week), Emergency Department (1 week), Orthopaedics (1 week), Rheumatology (1 week), Ageing & Health (2 weeks), Dermatology (2 weeks)
      • General Practice (4 weeks), Psychiatry (4 weeks)
      • Child Health (4 weeks), Obstetrics & Gynaecology (4 weeks)
    • Preparation for practice:
      • Acute care block
      • Foundation apprenticeships blocks: shadow year 1 foundation doctors
    • Student Select Component

Teaching locations:

  • Ninewells Hospital – School of Medicine
  • Perth Royal Infirmary
  • Kirkcaldy, Fife

Integrated BSc opportunities (courses on offer):

  • Opportunity to take an intercalated year during which they study for a Bachelor of
  • Medical Science (BMSc) Honours degree.
  • There is a choice of courses, each of two semesters in duration.
  • The intercalated year is normally taken between Years 3 and 4.
  • At present courses are available leading to an Honours BMSc Degree in:
    • Anatomy
    • Applied Orthopaedic Technology
    • Biochemistry
    • Clinical Research
    • Forensic Medicine
    • Human Genetics and Experimental Medicine
    • Human Reproduction, Assisted Conception and Embryonic Stem Cells
    • International Health
    • Medical Psychology
    • Neuroscience
    • Pharmacology
    • Physiology
    • Sports Biomedicine
    • Teaching in Medicine. 

Open day dates:

  • Monday 29 August 2016
  • Saturday 24 September 2016

Term dates:

  • Semester 1: 12 Sep 2016 – 16 Dec 2016
  • Semester 2: 16 Jan 2017 – 26 May 2017
  • Easter Vacation: 03 Apr 2017 – 23 April 2017


Extra Postgraduate MBBS Programme Information

  • The School of Medicine offers Taught courses, PhD studentships, Research degrees.
  • Taught Courses Available:
    • Cancer biology
    • Clinical Audit & Research for healthcare professionals
    • Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy
    • Human Clinical Embryology and Assisted conception
    • Medical Education
    • Motion Analysis
    • Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Technology
    • Orthopaedic Science
    • Orthopaedic Surgery
    • Palliative Care Research
    • Psychological Therapy in primary care
    • Public Health
    • Quality Diabetes Care
    • Sports and Biomechanical Medicine

MBBS Admissions

Application process:

  • Meet entry requirements
  • Ensure that you have sat the UCAT for undergraduates
  • Submit the UCAS application
  • Attend the interview (if applicable)

Entry requirements:

A100 programme:

  • SQA Higher/Advanced Higher: AAABB (minimum) at the same sitting of Highers, to include chemistry and another science subject. Biology require at least to Standard Grade or Intermediate2/National 5.
  • GCE A-Level: AAA at A-Level (A2), to include chemistry and another science subject.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC): AAA AAA at Higher Level, to include chemistry and another science, plus biology to at least Ordinary Level grade B
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): 37 points (minimum) at grades 6, 6 and 6 at Higher level, to include chemistry and another science at Higher Level, plus three subjects at Standard Level with an average of grade 6
  • Graduate Entry: A minimum of an upper second class Honours degree in a relevant life science subject
  • Cambridge Pre-U: have to include Chemistry and Biology and the grades required in the three Principal Subjects will be D3.

A104 programme six-year programme:

  • SQA Higher: AAAAB grades at Higher, to include no more than one science subject and to exclude chemistry.
  • GCE A-Level: AAA grades at A level (A2), to include no more than one science subject and to exclude chemistry.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC): AAAAAA grades at Higher level, to include no more than one science Higher and to exclude chemistry.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): 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

Candidate Selection:

  • Applications are ranked on academic achievement and UCAT score:
    • Academic: those with evidence of higher academic achievements will be rated more highly
    • UCAT: There is no specific cut off applied but obviously a high score is advantageous.
  • The basic schema balances the Academic score (60%), UCAT decile (40%) for school leavers and UCAT decile (60%), Academic score (40%) for graduates.
  • The top 550 will be invited to select an interview.
  • We 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.
  • Information on non-academic achievements and references will not be considered until interview
  • Following interview, candidates are ranked on the interviews score alone.

Interview procedure:

  • Interviews are held on specific dates in December and January
  • The interview is in MMI (multiple mini interview) format
  • You can expect to be asked about:
    • Understanding of a medical career
    • The curriculum in Dundee and current medical issues in the press, including ethical topics.
    • We will also use information provided in your UCAS personal statement.
    • We will be looking to assess your communication skills and approach towards teamwork.

Extra important information for candidates:

  • Decisions regarding interview invitations can be expected in early December.
  • Offers of places will be made in March.
  • Offers may be conditional or unconditional depending on the application and include requirements in terms of the Disclosure Scotland PVG certification.
  • Feedback is available for unsuccessful applicants:
    • If you have not received an invitation to interview we will write to you with general feedback on the applicant profile
    • If you do not receive an offer following your interview we will be in a position to offer more detailed feedback on your performance in each component of the interview.
  • Transfers from St Andrews: you will join the Dundee 3rd year cohort and, like in other clinical centres, graduate after a further 3 years training.

Admissions contacts:

Extra important information on Specialty Programmes for medical students


  • 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.


  • There are the following PhD programmes available:
    • Science Without Borders: PhD projects are available in the following themes:
      • Cancer
      • Cardiovascular and Diabetes
      • Imaging and Technology
      • Neuroscience
      • Population Health
    • BBSRC PhD Studentships – biosciences
    • MRC 4-Year PhD Studentships: Medical Research Council
      • Cancer
      • Neuroscience
      • Diabetes
      • Population Health Sciences
    • A* 4-Year PhD Programme: in collaboration with A*STAR Singapore

Other MBBS extras relevant to UK medical students – NA


unlock infinite medical wisdom

Just leave your email in the box and you’ll receive weekly updates and the best tips for your medical application!

unlock infinite medical wisdom

Just leave your email in the box and you’ll receive weekly updates and the best tips for your medical application!

Book A Free Consultation

Book a 15-minute slot with our friendly team to get some useful application advice and decide which 6med support is best for you.

Or you can call us directly on 0333 050 7764.