Pathway to Medicine FAQs


Got questions about our exciting Pathway to Medicine programme? Here’s everything you need to know about embarking on your medical career with the International Study Centre.

All you need to know

Our Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences - Pathway to Medicine is a three-term foundation course. Following the selection process, successful students will then progress to the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway, which consists of three years in Aberdeen and two years of clinical experience in Sri Lanka.

About the Pathway to Medicine

  • Do I need to sit the UCAT before entering the Undergraduate Foundation Programme?

    No, you will take the UCAT after completing the Undergraduate Foundation Programme - which is usually in June, with the option to sit the exam in your home country. The International Study Centre will help you to apply and prepare for the exam.

  • What happens after completing the Undergraduate Foundation Programme?

    After completing your Undergraduate Foundation Programme, those who are selected for a place on the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway will spend the first three years of the medical programme in Aberdeen, one of the largest health campuses in Europe, where facilities include a large teaching hospital, paediatric and maternity hospitals and world-renowned University Research Institutes. 

    Successful completion of these three years then allows you to complete the final two years of your medical degree undertaking clinical experience in Sri Lanka.

  • What happens if I don't get selected?

    We advise you to have a backup degree option from our Life Sciences pathway. This means that if you don’t manage to progress to the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway, you can instead progress to the second year of a related degree. You will not be able to transfer into a medical degree, but you are welcome to apply to a postgraduate medical programme If you achieve a minimum of a 2.1 on your degree.

About the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway

  • What are the advantages of doing my clinical experience in Sri Lanka?

    By completing your clinical experience in Sri Lanka, you are benefiting from cheaper tuition fees than in the UK. You will also gain healthcare experience in two countries, experiencing two healthcare systems: both the NHS and private. You will develop your understanding of common challenges, as well as the different approaches to addressing them.

  • Will I be paid during my clinical experience?

    No, you will not be paid as part of your placement years.

  • Will I have clinical placement opportunities in Aberdeen with the NHS during my first three years?

    Yes, you will have clinical placement opportunities starting from your first year of University in both hospital and community settings.

  • Where will I do my placement?

    Asiri Health is a large provider of private healthcare in central and southern Sri Lanka. You will rotate through a range of placements - for example Asiri Central and Asiri Surgical in Galle and other locations, as well as in a range of GP-type placements in approved practices.

  • Is the programme accredited by the General Medical Council and the Sri Lanka Medical Council?

    The necessary procedure for gaining GMC approval for the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway is well underway. The MBChB at the University of Aberdeen is a recognised international medical degree by the Sri Lanka Medical Council.

  • What is a typical day on placement like?

    During years four and five of the MBChB degree, students are on placement Monday - Friday on a full-time basis. Some out-of-hours experience may be provided during some of the blocks. Actual start and end times may vary depending on the nature of the clinical experience for that particular week in the programme.

  • Are scholarships available?

    Students with outstanding academic qualifications (e.g. 3 A* grades at A Level or equivalent) can apply for a University of Aberdeen merit scholarship of £3,000 for their first three years of study (subject to maintaining the required academic performance throughout their studies at Aberdeen). Students will be advised on the application process for this scholarship on commencement of their studies.

  • Who are the professional partners of the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway?

    Asiri Health are a clinical placement partner for the final two years of our Sri Lanka Medical Pathway. They will host our students when they return to Sri Lanka to complete the intensive clinical Years 4 & 5 of their MBChB degree.

    IIHS support our students during Years 4 & 5 when they transfer to Sri Lanka to complete their MBChB degree. Support provided includes access to IT facilities, a library and other learning support plus course information and pastoral care.

Applying for the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway

  • How many places are available?

    There are up to 15 places available for the best students meeting the entry requirements on the programme.

  • Who can apply for the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway?

    The Sri Lanka Medical Pathway is only available to fee-paying international students.

  • What is the application process?

    Progression from the Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences to the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway is competitively awarded and is dependent on achieving the required academic and English grades, as well as performance in the UCAT and at multiple mini interviews.

    Students will also be required to write a personal statement as part of the application, as well as submitting an Academic Reference from your Personal Academic Tutor.

  • What progression support is provided?

    Every student will have a Personal Academic Tutor whilst at the International Study Centre, you will have regular meetings with your Personal Academic Tutor to monitor your progress and support will be tailored as required depending on need.

  • What happens if I don't get selected?

    We advise you to have a backup degree option from our Life Sciences pathway. This means that if you don’t manage to progress to the Sri Lanka Medical Pathway, you can instead progress to the second year of a related degree. You will not be able to transfer into a medical degree, but you are welcome to apply to a postgraduate medical programme If you achieve a minimum of a 2.1 on your degree.

  • Can I retake exams during the programme?

    You can reattempt your exams under the University’s normal regulations, but it will prevent you from progressing to Medicine. However, a Life Sciences degree may be available as a backup option.

Your future career

  • What degree will I be awarded?

    After successful completion of years one to three at the University, you will be awarded a Bachelor of Clinical Medicine Science (BClinMedSci). After successfully completing the five-year programme, you will receive the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB).

  • Where can I practice medicine after completion of the programme?

    You will be able to practice medicine anywhere that recognises a UK primary medical qualification – this includes the UK, Australia, Sri Lanka, the USA and Canada. You may be required to sit that country’s appropriate medical licensing exam as a graduate of an international medical programme.

Living in Sri Lanka

  • Do I need a visa to study in Sri Lanka?

    If you are not a Sri Lankan national, you will require a visa to study in Sri Lanka. The University will assist you in your visa application in the third year of your degree.

  • Where will I be living?

    Colombo and its surrounding suburbs offer comfortable secure and affordable accommodation. Advice and guidance regarding accommodation in Sri Lanka will be provided by IIHS prior to your arrival in Sri Lanka.

  • What is the language barrier like?

    English is widely spoken in Sri Lanka – in particular in the healthcare settings you will be involved with. As there is in the UK, interpreter services will be used when there are language barriers to communicating with patients.

  • How much should I budget for living costs?

    In Sri Lanka, the living costs would range between £350 to £500 per month depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

  • Will there be opportunities for paid work during my studies?

    Student visas in Sri Lanka do not permit students to work part-time during their studies. The immigration department in Sri Lanka is currently looking at this and the rules may change in the future.

Still have questions?

If you didn't find what you were looking for, you can ask us over our online enquiry form and we will do our best to answer your questions.

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