Postgraduate study

Doctor of Medicine MD

Awards: MD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Doctor of Medicine

The MD is a higher degree undertaken by clinically qualified staff normally during their postgraduate medical training. Applicants must be working in the South East of Scotland, either employed as a member of staff of the University of Edinburgh, or as an NHS employee, or as a research worker employed or self-financed or grant-funded, in the University of Edinburgh or an associated institution or an NHS establishment.

A thesis for the degree of MD must deal with one or more of the subjects of study in the curriculum for the degrees of MBChB or with subjects arising directly from contemporary medical practice.

We have interests in:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Clinical Brain Sciences
  • Cognitive and Neural systems
  • Genetics
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Medical Education
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • Population Health Sciences
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Reproductive Health

Generic training in presentation skills, project management and writing skills is delivered through the University's transferable skills programme.

We have excellent facilities on our campuses at the Western General Hospital, Little France and in the Central Area.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, and a qualification that can be registered with the General Medical Council. You should also have at least one year of experience in scientific work bearing directly on your profession, or be in the practice of medicine or surgery.

You will work in south east of Scotland, either employed by the University of Edinburgh or by south east of Scotland NHS, or be a research worker employed, self-financed or grant-funded at the University of Edinburgh, an associated institution or an NHS establishment.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MDMedicine2 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
MDMedicine3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MDMedicine4 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Office
  • Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Applicants must have at least two supervisors who can demonstrate that they have received up-to-date training in postgraduate student supervision and are members of academic staff of the University or honorary members of staff, and have appropriate expertise in research. They will be located in the University of Edinburgh or in NHS facilities within the supervision of the NHS Education for Scotland in the South East of Scotland.

Before making an application, you must first make contact with your potential supervisor/s and write a research proposal. See our list of our research centres for staff contact details:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Office
  • Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB