Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

BSc Medical Sciences

UCAS code: B100

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Study abroad

Year 1

You will take three compulsory courses: Medical Sciences 1; Medical Biology 1; and Molecules, Genes & Cells 1. You will also be expected to take at least one course in biological chemistry.

You will choose other courses from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical option courses. Medical Sciences 1 defines the unique identity of the programme, introducing a breadth of disciplines that integrate to contribute to our understanding of health and disease.

Year 2

You will expand your knowledge in basic biomedical sciences and further develop an integrated approach to understanding the science that underpins medical practice.

You will take three compulsory courses: Anatomy & Pathology 2; Biomedical Sciences 2; and Microorganisms, Infection & Immunity 2 alongside additional courses chosen from biomedical, biological or other disciplines across the University.

Anatomy and Pathology 2 is a programme-specific course that introduces an integrated approach to the structure and function of the human body at different levels of organisation and develops key programme-specific healthcare themes.

Year 3

You will develop expert specialised knowledge in medical sciences that enables you to understand current research and to discuss critically its significance and implications.

You will develop key skills in critical analysis, research and communication alongside increasing biomedical knowledge. You will study three compulsory courses: Health, Illness & Society 3; Clinical Biochemistry & Endocrinology 3; and Clinical Immunology & Haematology 3A plus three option courses.

The compulsory courses explore further the links between basic research and the clinical situation. Health, Illness & Society 3 is unique to this programme. It provides an important focus on developing awareness of healthcare-specific professional and ethical relationships, covering aspects of social medicine from the understanding of disease at a population level to the global allocation and use of healthcare resources.

Year 4

You will have opportunities to actively engage in research, discuss and analyse high-profile issues and reflect on and re-evaluate themes addressed in earlier years.

You will study the compulsory course Medical Sciences 4 alongside two option courses that allow analysis of high-profile contemporary issues in medical sciences.

With individual supervisor support, you will complete a major research project that involves either original, laboratory-based medical research, clinically-related research or literature analysis-based research.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2018/19)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place at both the University's Central Area and the King's Buildings campus.

In the final year some teaching takes place in the Chancellor's Building at Little France, and the Western General Hospital.

All sites offer state-of-the-art lecture theatres and laboratory facilities. You will also have access to the University’s library and computer facilities.

Study abroad

There is currently an opportunity for up to two students to study at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, in Year 3.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of tutorials, lectures, practical work, problem-based learning and computer-assisted learning.

All courses are supported by a virtual learning environment that offers self-assessment tools, online course resources and student discussion forums alongside a dedicated medical sciences electronic personal development portfolio.

How will I be assessed?

In-course assessment and exams are used in all years of the programme. Your degree classification will be based on your performance in Years 3 and 4.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2018/19)

You will be prepared for careers in a range of areas, including biomedical or clinical laboratory sciences, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare or medical teaching, medical writing, healthcare management and clinical trials management.

The strong research element of the programme is an ideal preparation for anyone considering a career in postgraduate research.

Although this programme is not a qualification in medical practice, the skills and knowledge gained provide an excellent platform for applications to graduate medical programmes. Graduates can also enter careers in veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy. However, to enter these professions you will need to pursue further study and training.

Typical offer range

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAB - ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 36 points with 66 at HL in Biology and Chemistry - 32 points with 56 at HL.

Access threshold

The access threshold for a contextual offer is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 56 at HL.

Find out more about access thresholds and contextual offers

Detailed requirements for all applicants

To be considered for an offer of a place all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6, to include Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. Qualified applicants are advised to take Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Higher level where possible. National 5: Mathematics at Grade B. English at Grade C.
  • A Levels: ABB, in one sitting, to include Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. GCSEs: Mathematics at Grade B or 6 and English at Grade C or 4.
  • IB: Overall score of 32 points, including HL Biology and Chemistry, one at Grade 5 and one at Grade 6. Mathematics and/or Physics are recommended. SL: English at Grade 5 and Mathematics at SL Grade 4.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AB to include Biology and Chemistry.
  • A Levels: AAB, in one sitting, to include Biology and Chemistry.
  • IB: Overall score of 36 points, including HL Grade 6 Biology and Chemistry.

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 23 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 169 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each ""Communicative Skills"" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Medical Sciences

Additional costs

No additional costs.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding