The University of Aberdeen offers students the opportunity to study medicine in a thriving medical school that is co-located on one of the largest clinical sites in Europe with superb teaching and extensive research facilities.

Our medical programme aims to produce excellent doctors who will be able to assimilate and apply new knowledge throughout their careers and who will themselves contribute to the advancement of medicine.

Clinical experience is central to teaching and you will be able to undertake arguably the most widespread and diverse clinical placements in the UK. There are clinical campuses at Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin and Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, and all students undertake hospital-based clinical placements outside Aberdeen. Exciting placements are now on offer across the Highlands and Islands in locations such as Fort William, Stornoway, Wick, Orkney and Shetland. This variety of placements allows our students to experience not only inner-city medicine, but also gives a unique opportunity to see how health care is delivered in areas far removed from large teaching centres.

Our remote and rural option is undertaken in Years 4 and 5 for students with a special interest in careers in the remote and/or rural setting. These students are based at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness but undertake their clinical attachments within more distant locations. 

Our extensive network of teaching general practices around Scotland also gives students opportunities to experience patient care in a community setting.

The course you will undertake forms part of our revised curriculum that utilises the resources available in the Suttie Centre, a purpose built Centre for Teaching and Learning. In addition to hosting timetabled teaching, this superb development allows students to access anatomy and clinical skills facilities throughout their undergraduate curriculum for their own revision.

Joining the Aberdeen MBChB

Bridging Course

You will be initially welcomed to the Medical School and complete the necessary documentation within the MBChB Office. You will need to be issued with University and Hospital ID badges and attend Occupational Health to ensure your health and immunisation details are known and registered.

You will be given an initial tour of the Foresterhill site and the Library where you will be logged on to the university network and shown how to set up your individual e-mail accounts.

You will be given an outline of the MBChB programme in general and Year 4 in particular, including our assessment methods (exam structure).

Thereafter, the Bridging Course includes the following activities:

  • Update in communication and clinical skills and in CPR.
  • Introduction to the Foundations of Primary Care.
  • An orientation to Hospital ward teaching.

As we are keen to help our St Andrews students integrate into the Aberdeen curriculum as easily as possible, we will happily consider other topics for inclusion in the bridging course, should students feel their need.

MBChB Year 3

In Year 3, you will learn about the reproductive system, psychiatry, haematology and immunology, and begin to learn more about the application of Foundations of Clinical Method (FoCM) to specialty systems including paediatrics and care of the elderly. Year 3 FoCM teaching will cover a number of important areas. You will be expected to consolidate and integrate your existing skills on your clinical attachments.  You will also learn safe and effective methods for a number of new procedural skills throughout the year required for investigation and management of patients.

An exciting feature of Year 3 is the 6 week Medical Humanities SSC, a unique opportunity for full time study in an area that will help give students a different perspective on medicine. Students can chose from a variety of subjects which currently include:

  • Global health and Humanities
  • History of Medicine
  • Modern Languages for Medical Students.

Your Clinical Years – MBChB Years 4 and 5

In year 4, your diagnostic and management skills are developed through clinical practice and contact with patients. You undertake nine five-week clinical blocks that will ultimately cover all the body systems and give you experience of all major medical specialties. These clinical opportunities are based in hospitals and the community, in and around Aberdeen and Inverness. Students undertake at least one clinical block in Inverness.

Year 5 (final year) is very much an apprentice year that prepares you for the competent, safe, effective and professional practice of medicine as a pre-registration foundation doctor. You will gain extensive clinical experience during three attachments in medicine, surgery and GP/psychiatry over the widest of locations. Worldwide locations are commonly sought during the project-based elective. Prior to qualification, professional skills will be enhanced by undertaking two Professional Practice Blocks and Student Assistantships in each block.

Student Electives  

In your final year, you may choose to travel virtually anywhere in the world to undertake an 8-week project-based elective. The organisation and planning of the elective commences in Year 4, when much advice is available for its development.  

Further Information

The Great Outdoors  

There is a wealth of world class facilities available that cater for most possible sporting and social activities around Aberdeen. There is also a very active Medical Student Wilderness Society which has in recent years organised summer trips to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the Inca Trail in Peru, incorporating studies of altitude sickness.