Why study medicine?

18 December 2020
Colourful graph showing DNA sequencing

What is a medical degree?

A degree in medicine provides you with a broad knowledge around everything to do with medicine. You will develop an understanding of medical sciences, disease processes, medical conditions and diagnostic techniques that will help you go on to work in the medical industry.

A degree in medicine typically lasts between three and six years, depending on what university you go to and where in the world you choose to study – at the University of Aberdeen for example, Medicine (MBChB) takes five years.

Reasons to study medicine

There are a variety of reasons to study medicine at university, from a rewarding career to making a real difference to people’s lives.

Make a difference to people’s lives

If you have a genuine concern for the welfare of others and want to contribute to making a significant difference to human lives, then a medicine pathway is for you. Whether you’re working in hospitals or laboratories, you will be working towards improving human wellbeing and alleviating people’s pain and suffering, from discovering cures to medical operations.

If you’re face-to-face with patients, it won’t only be your medical skills that will be making a difference, it’ll also be your empathy and people skills that can go a long way in someone’s life.

Wide choice of career options and specialities

Becoming a doctor is not the only career path from a medical degree. There are a huge variety of specialisms for you to choose from and pursue as a career. You could specialise in areas such as neurology, cardiology or radiology or you could look at opportunities outside of the hospital in teaching, research or management.

You don’t need to worry about choosing your specialism straight away either, as you’ll have the length of your degree to make your decision.

Work anywhere in the world

Medicine is a globally recognised field, with medical knowledge and practice greatly aligned across the world. Your degree will be valued in countries from all continents and with global demand for doctors and medical professionals, you’ll be able to find a job in a country of your choice.

Working abroad means you can experience a new culture while getting paid and progressing your career. However, make sure to check if you require a license to practice in the country you want to work in.

With the University of Aberdeen, the first three years of your degree will be delivered on the Foresterhill Campus, one of the largest healthcare campuses in Europe, where you will benefit from access to world-renowned research facilities as well as several hospitals and general practice facilities. Your final two years will be spent completing clinical attachments across Scotland, which will aim to build your experience in the field and prepare you to achieve your potential in your career.

Intellectually fulfilling and challenging

Medicine is a fascinating and complicated field that offers life-long learning opportunities. From the start of your degree and then right on through your career in the medical industry, you will be learning all of the time. It’s a field that advances each day, offering new cures and new procedures to fight diseases new and old. Your degree and future career will require you to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to overcome challenges such as diagnosing patients.

Respected career with high salary potential

Whether you become a doctor or pursue a career as a medical researcher, graduates that work in the medical field are often respected for their willingness to make a difference in people’s lives and the strong grades and hours of study required.

You’ll often be rewarded for your hard work too. Careers in the medical industry have the potential to have high salaries as you gain good experience and work your way up into senior roles.

Why study medicine at the University of Aberdeen?

The University of Aberdeen offers top-class medical degrees that will give you the knowledge and skills needed to have a successful career in the industry. There are a range of benefits to studying a degree in medicine at Aberdeen:

  • Ranked 2nd in the UK for Medicine (Guardian League Tables 2021)
  • 1st in the UK for overall student satisfaction for Medicine (National Student Survey 2020)
  • The opportunity to study on one of the largest clinical sites in Europe
  • A state-of-the-art anatomy facility
  • Access to the Clinical Skills Centre which boasts state-of-the-art facilities to assist in the delivery of clinical teaching
  • Early patient contact - from the start of your degree you will work with Patient Partners and start with clinical attachments straight away

How to study medicine in the UK

If you want to study medicine abroad then the University of Aberdeen International Study Centre can help you. Our Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences - Pathway to Medicine is your route to a degree in medicine at the University of Aberdeen.

This three-term programme will give you an introduction to studying a medical degree and help you settle into life studying in the UK. You will develop your English language and academic skills that will prepare you for the highly competitive selection process for a place at the medical school at the University of Aberdeen.

You can find out more about studying our medicine pathway and the competitive selection process on the programme page.