Pathway to Medicine FAQs

In case you have any questions about our Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences - Pathway to Medicine, here’s everything you need to know about taking the first steps to starting your medical career with the International Study Centre.

About the programme

Our Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences - Pathway to Medicine is a three term preparational course. Following a competitive selection process, successful students will progress to a MBChB degree at the University of Aberdeen's impressive Medical School. 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.

About the Pathway to Medicine

  • How many places are available on the pathway programme?

    Each year there are up to 20 places available for the Undergraduate Foundation Programme Life Sciences - Pathway to Medicine at the International Study Centre. Offers will be made on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to you meeting the English language requirements and being on track with your predicted grades/school report to meet the academic entry requirements.

  • What is the application process for MBChB?

    During your Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences - Pathway to Medicine, you will be required to complete an application form, which will include a personal statement and an academic reference from your Personal Academic Tutor. You will also have to undertake multiple mini interviews and the online UCAT.

  • What support is provided?

    You will have a Personal Academic Tutor whilst at the International Study Centre, who will have one-to-one meetings with you to monitor your progress. This support will be tailored depending on your needs including:

    • bespoke modules, designed to introduce you to the UK health system, the NHS and patient care
    • help to find resources and materials to prepare you for all application stages
    • feedback on your draft application and personal statement before you submit these to the Medical School
    • preparation support for your interviews, including mock interviews from both the International Study Centre and the Medical School.
  • Can I retake exams during the programme?

    For entry to MBChB, you must achieve the required grades at the first attempt. If you fail, you can reattempt your exams, but it will prevent you from progressing to Medicine. However, a Life Sciences degree may be available as an alternative option (subject to achieving the required grades).

  • When do I need to sit the UCAT?

    You will take the online UCAT after completing the Undergraduate Foundation Programme - which is usually in July, 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.

  • When will I know if I have been selected? Is there anything else I need to do?

    If you are accepted on to the MBChB degree, you will be notified directly by the Medical School in August. You will then be required to undertake an occupational health assessment and to join Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. You will be responsible for paying this fee.

    If you are not successful in progressing to the MBChB programme, you can select an alternative degree in the area of Life Sciences (subject to achieving the required grades).

  • What happens if I don't get selected?

    We advise you to have an alternative degree option from our Life Sciences pathway. If you are not successful in progressing to the MBChB programme, you can select a degree in the area of Life Sciences (subject to achieving the required grades).


  • How much is my tuition fee for the pathway programme?
    For the latest tuition fee and other costs for studying with us at the University of Aberdeen International Study Centre, please visit our fees page.
  • How much is my degree study?
    Visit the University of Aberdeen's website for information on fees for the MBChB. Please note that the Scottish Government requires all overseas medical students to pay a mandatory £10,000 per academic year levy to cover the additional cost of clinical teaching in NHS Scotland. Should you be successful in meeting all entry requirements for your degree study, you will be required to pay this annually. The University will collect this levy on behalf of the Scottish Government and make the payment to them directly. The tuition fee as advertised therefore is inclusive of the ACT levy.

Your future career

  • What degree will I be awarded?

    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.

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.