Covid-19 MBChB Guidance

SQA qualifications:  National Five, Higher and Advanced Highers.

For pupils who were unable to sit exams and were awarded calculated grades for the exam diet of summer 2020/21 and choose to complete course assessments and sit exams in summer 2021, these will not be considered a resit.

These exams will need to be taken alongside any qualifications normally scheduled for the summer of 2021.

  • S5 - If S5 pupils wishes to improve the National Five exam grades awarded in 2020/21, they could choose to sit the National Five exam or exams alongside the usual suite of Higher qualifications taken in S5.
  • S6 - If pupils in S6 wish to improve the grades of their Higher which was a centre assessed grade awarded, they could opt to take the Higher alongside the normal 3 x S6 exams (e.g. a new Higher and 2 Advanced Highers or 3 Advanced Highers). There is no need to resit a Higher if you are taking Advanced Higher in same subject.

GCE A-levels

For pupils who were unable to sit A level exams in summer 2020/21 and choose to sit the exams in either the autumn or summer exam diet to improve the centre assessed grades awarded, the university will not consider this as resits.  However only one sitting of the exam will incur the exemption and if the exam is taken at both autumn and summer exam diet, the summer sitting will be considered a resit.

SQA Qualifications
  • Standard Entry: Five Highers at AAAAB.  
  • Adjusted Entry : Four Highers at AAAB. For more details see
  • Any queries regarding the suitability of qualifications offered should be made directly to the Medical Admissions Office prior to submission of the UCAS form.
  • Additional documentation that is sent directly to the Medical Admissions Office in support of an application can only be considered if it is received by the UCAS deadline of 15 October.


  • Normally AAAAB from five full academic courses to be taken at one sitting; from Highers and/or Advanced Highers. We require five programmes of study, to demonstrate breadth and volume, in order to cope with the academic demands and rigour of Medical School.


  • The Admissions Committee will not normally consider applications to Medical School directly from Year 5.

Candidates who have achieved the Entrance Requirements, i.e. five full academic courses @ AAAAB or better in S5, may choose to continue their studies in S6 and are free to choose a programme of study which is of particular interest to them, noting: that we expect candidates to engage fully with a S6 programme of study. Higher Biology will prove useful.

Typical (SQA) offer

  • Should our S5 minimum requirements of AAAAB in appropriate subjects be achieved then a typical offer would be conditional with achievable S6 conditions being set.  A typical offer would be to achieve BBB in S6.
  • If our S5 requirements are not met, a typical offer will be conditional upon achieving a minimum of the grades below in three appropriate subjects in S6.

Subject requirements

  • National 5 qualifications;  
    • English and Maths are required (Grade B minimum); 
    • Biology and Physics are recommended but not compulsory (Grade B minimum).
    • A combination of Grade A & B passes at Standard Grade / National 5 is expected, especially in science subjects.
  • Higher qualifications 
    • Chemistry (Grade B minimum);
    • Two subjects are required from Biology/Human Biology, Maths, Physics.
    • Two further Highers in most other subjects – applicants should check with the Medical Admissions office if in doubt..
    • These may be taken across the Senior Phase – S4 to S6
    • There is no requirement, and therefore no advantage given, to obtaining the three sciences required in one sitting. Maths is regarded as a science.

Failure to achieve Highers of AAAAB at first attempt in S5

If AAABB or AAAAC are achieved at first attempt in S5, further studies in S6 can be considered providing applicants are estimated to achieve one of the following programmes of study:

  • One new Higher @ A plus two Advanced Highers @ minimum BB or
  • Two new Highers @ AA plus one new Advanced Higher @ minimum B or
  • Three Advanced Highers @ ABB (Chemistry required plus one science) or

Note: The majority of successful applicants have achieved AAAAB or better at first sitting normally in S5.

Only sitting 4 Highers

AAAA in four Highers taken at first sitting may be considered:

Further S6 studies must include:

  • One (specified) Higher @ A plus two Advanced Highers @ minimum BB or
  • One (specified) Higher plus one new Higher @ AA plus one new  Advanced Higher @ minimum B.

It is very unlikely that candidates who have attempted only three Highers at first sitting will be considered.

First sitting of Highers in S6

First sitting of Highers in S6 may be considered if this is the result of very exceptional personal difficulties, such as ill health.  Supporting documentation must be supplied and sent directly to the Medical Admissions Office when the application is submitted.  Please see our Extenuating Circumstances Policy for more information.

Five S5 Highers without S6 studies

Only under very exceptional circumstances can applications from candidates be considered who only offer five S5 Scottish Highers without additional S6 studies.  Supporting documentation must be supplied and sent directly to the Medical Admissions Office when the application is submitted.

  • AAAAA in five Highers taken at one sitting.
  • Chemistry is required plus two of Maths, Biology & Physics, plus two other Highers.
GCE A-Levels
  • Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects can be offered in combination with A-level subjects to meet our academic requirements. Please contact Medical Admissions for Pre-U grade requirements.

Typical (GCE A-Level) Offer

  • A typical offer will be Conditional upon achieving AAA at one sitting in three appropriate subjects at first attempt at A2.


GCE (A-Levels)

To be considered: Achieve / be predicted to achieve AAA in three A-Levels taken together at first sitting over a maximum of two years of study.

  • Chemistry is required
  • One subject from Biology/Human Biology, Maths and Physics is required
  • One further A-Level in most other subjects. Check with Medical Admissions Office if in doubt about suitability of a subject
  • Combinations of Chemistry, Biology plus a Non-Science subject are as acceptable as all-science combinations
  • General Studies and Global Perspectives and Research are not acceptable
Please Note:  Academic score is awarded on the basis of predicted/achieved A2 grades.
Failure to achieve A-Levels of AAA at first sitting

Please see our Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

GCE (AS Levels)

AS Level attainments currently do not form part of our academic requirements, as it is on A-Level achievement that any offer is made.

  • AS module re-sits are permitted providing the final three A-Levels are undertaken simultaneously over two years of study

Grade 6 passes in English Language and Maths are required.

  • Biology is recommended; Physics is recommended (or Dual Award Science)

A combination of Grade 6-9 passes at GCSE is expected, especially in science subjects.

International Baccalaureate

Typical IB Offer 

  • 36 points overall (including core), with 3 appropriate subjects at HL each to achieve grade 6 and 3 appropriate subjects at SL (see below) with an average of 6.

To be considered:

Achieve /be predicted to achieve 3 subjects at Higher Level (HL) at Grade 6 or better:

  • Chemistry is required
  • One of Maths/ Biology/Physics 
  • One other subject

plus 3 other subjects (including one science if 3 not offered at HL) at Standard Level at an average of Grade 6.

  • IB must offer Chemistry plus one further science at HL and one further science at SL
  • We will accept SL and HL grades for both the ‘Analysis and approaches’ and ‘applications and interpretation’ pathways to meet our entry requirements.
  • Maths studies is not considered a science.