Medicine is a vocational course, one in which the student is trained to become a medical professional. The range of specialty options after qualification is very wide, but nevertheless, making such a career choice, particularly at a young age is a daunting task for many applicants.

Training to be a doctor involves extensive and dedicated study, both as an undergraduate and life-long, after qualification. To avoid the disappointment of non-completion of a degree, or indeed complete disillusionment with a subsequent career in medicine, we need to ensure that applicants enter this profession with their eyes open and understand the implications and commitments of such a career.

It is important to understand that there are Academic Requirements (ie the minimum achievements required in examinations) as well as Non-Academic Requirements for Medicine. In addition, all applicants must take the Universities Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT).

We therefore expect candidates to have attempted to find out what a career in medicine entails. It is important for candidates to inform us of what they have learned from this research, rather than just list their experiences.

Medicine is a career in which time-management, team working and decision-making are very important. We look for candidates who lead full and busy lives, as well as achieving academic success as this tends to reflects the lives they will lead after qualification.

You will be aware that entry to this programme is highly competitive, attracting large numbers of applications from highly qualified and motivated applicants.  Additionally, we are required to manage the number of students admitted to our programme from different parts of the UK, in order to meet targets set by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council, which are set annually.

The Medical Schools Council has produced a set of very helpful resources for applicants to medicine.


We are happy to consider an application from a candidate who has previously applied to our medical programme but was unsuccessful.

However, we recommend that candidates who have been unsuccessful in their first application ask for feedback from the Admissions Lead to ensure that a second application addresses areas of weakness. It should be noted that where a candidate is applying for a second or third time, the Admissions team will take into account information from earlier applications and any interview outcomes.

Where a candidate has applied to the Aberdeen MBChB degree programme and been unsuccessful on three occasions, we are normally unable to consider any further applications.

Deferred Entry

Some candidates prefer to secure a place at university for a year ahead, allowing them to "take a year out" before entering medical school to start their studies. Perhaps they feel they are too young to attend university immediately after leaving school, or wish to undertake projects abroad with a voluntary organisation. Others, including mature or graduate candidates, work to raise finance to support themselves through university. All of these reasons are valid.

However, deferred entry will not be granted to applicants whose current courses of study will not be complete at the start of the 'deferred' year. This includes school candidates from S5 who intend returning to school to complete S6, as well as those who are part way through an undergraduate degree programme.

We expect applicants to have a clear plan of activity for the year, preferably involving work of a caring nature. The admissions team will certainly look favourably upon applications which include as much relevant experience in healthcare as possible.

The decision to apply for deferred entry should be noted on the UCAS form at the time of application. A request to defer once an offer of a place has been given for the current admissions cycle cannot normally be considered.

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