Edinburgh Medical School

Outcome of the course

What happens once you complete your MBChB.

Student filling syringe

At the end of the undergraduate programme you will receive your MBChB degree, which is a primary medical qualification (PMQ).

Holding a PMQ entitles you to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC), subject only to its acceptance that there are no Fitness to Practise concerns that need consideration. Provisional registration is time limited to a maximum of three years and 30 days (1125 days in total). After this time period, your provisional registration will normally expire.

Provisionally-registered doctors can only practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts: the law does not allow provisionally registered doctors to undertake any other type of work. International students who graduate from UK medicals school are entitled to provisionally register and work in the UK as Foundation doctors but must check their own country's regulations if they wish to return home to work immediately after graduation.

To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post, you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates these posts to graduates on a competitive basis. All suitably qualified UK graduates have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme, but this cannot be guaranteed: for instance, if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

Successful completion of the Foundation Year 1 programme is normally achieved within 12 months and is marked by the award of a Certificate of Experience. You will then be eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). You need full registration with a licence to practise for unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK.

Although this information is currently correct, students need to be aware that regulations in this area may change from time to time.

The GMC is currently considering the introduction of a Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA), which all UK medical graduates would need to pass in order to be granted registration with a licence to practise. The expectation is that this assessment, which is being designed at present, will apply to all UK medical students entering their final year in Autumn 2022 for graduation in summer 2023 and thereafter. Further details of this proposed assessment can be found at: 

https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/projects/medical-licensing-assessment

Separately, there is some discussion about whether to remove the requirement for provisional registration for newly qualified doctors. If this happens, then UK graduates will receive full registration as soon as they have successfully completed a PMQ. It should be noted that it is very likely that UK graduates will still need to apply for a training programme similar to the current Foundation Programme and that places on this programme may not be guaranteed for every UK graduate.