Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

MBChB HCP-Med for Healthcare Professionals

UCAS code: Not applicable

School: Edinburgh Medical School

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Introducing MBChB HCP-Med for Healthcare Professionals

HCP-Med for Healthcare Professionals is an innovative 5-year medical degree specifically designed for experienced healthcare professionals, clinical scientists and veterinary surgeons living and working in Scotland.

For the first three years, you will study part-time and online, while continuing part-time in your current employment. You will also have clinical attachments (general practice and hospital) and three, compulsory, residential weeks in Edinburgh each year.

For years 4 and 5, you will join the main undergraduate MBChB programme full-time and be based in Edinburgh.

While emphasising teaching in general practice, HCP-Med for Healthcare Professionals will allow you to follow a career in any medical speciality.

Years 1 and 2

In your first two years, you will study clinical sciences such as:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • pharmacology

You will also study the social and ethical aspects of medicine.

You will learn practical clinical skills such as:

  • resuscitation and interviewing patients
  • developing your clinical reasoning
  • decision-making skills

Our ‘Knowledge to Clinical Practice’ module will ensure a linkage between clinical sciences and clinical practice. In your general practice attachment, you will learn history-taking and examination, and gain an understanding of how GPs assess and manage patients.

Year 3

In Year 3, clinical attachments are one day per week. You will study core specialities such as respiratory medicine and cardiology. Online teaching will be reinforced using case-based learning in clinical attachments.

Years 4 and 5

In years 4 and 5, you will join years 5 and 6 of the main MBChB in Edinburgh and you will rotate through a number of specialities, working on hospital wards as part of a team. An apprenticeship model will prepare you for employment in the postgraduate Foundation Programme. You will have the opportunity to assist trainee doctors and, under supervision, undertake some of the duties of a Foundation Year 1 doctor.

Your focus will be on developing practical skills and knowledge of:

  • general and acute medicine
  • emergency medicine
  • surgery
  • anaesthetics
  • intensive care

In years 4 and 5 full-time study would be expected and a variety of shifts would be required for the clinical years, including late/overnight.

How will I learn?

Online teaching will use the following methods:

  • video introductions to each module, which include the learning outcomes
  • pre-recorded narrated lectures which cover the main learning points
  • discussion forums
  • online quizzes
  • virtual tutorials which use problem-based or case-based learning
  • podcasts
  • curated online resources.

GP placements involve apprentice-style observation of surgeries, practice-based tutorials and shadowing of members of the primary care team. The residential weeks will be used for teaching practical skills, group work and team building.

Clinical placements

In years 1-3 of HCP-Med for Healthcare Professionals, you will be placed in general practices and hospitals within a reasonable distance of your home addresses. In years 1 and 2, you will attend your placement for one session per week and in year 3, for 3 - 4 sessions per week.

For information about clinical placements in years 4 and 5, and guidance on professional standards on clinical placements, including dress codes, you will refer to the MBChB Programme handbook.

Full-Time Clinical: Years 5-6

These years are mostly based in clinical settings, with less formal teaching and more experiential and self-directed learning. Online resources are particularly valuable. Modules run constantly and you will rotate through them in different sequences.

Modules are mostly based on attachments to particular specialities and locations, rotating around 30 or more attachments over three years. This gives you the experience of all types of patients and settings.

How will I be assessed?

Face-to-face teaching only takes place during the residential weeks. You have to be in Edinburgh for assessments and there may be times when assessments are outside of residential weeks.

In years 1 and 2 the knowledge tests are held in December and June, with anatomy spot-test taking place in July. In year 2 clinical examinations (OSCE's) are held in May.

In year 3 you will have your knowledge tests and clinical examinations (OSCE's) will be held in May.

Medical Licensing Assessment

The General Medical Council (GMC) will introduce a Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) in 2023.

The MLA is intended to demonstrate that everyone who obtains registration with a licence to practise medicine in the UK has met a common threshold for safe practice.

To obtain registration with a licence to practise, you will need to pass both parts of the MLA:

  • a knowledge test, set by the GMC
  • an assessment, delivered by the Medical School

This will evaluate your clinical and professional skills. You must also demonstrate your fitness to practise.

We take part in the UK Foundation Programme Scheme. This places graduates in Foundation Doctor posts across the UK.

Many graduates also go on to work with distinguished national and international research groups.

What happens when you complete your MBChB?

At the end of your programme, you will receive your Bachelor of Medical Sciences Honours degree and MBChB degree, which is a Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ).

Once you hold a Primary Medical Qualification and have passed the Medical Licensing Assessment, you qualify for provisional registration with the General Medical Council (as long as there are no Fitness to Practise concerns).

Foundation Year 1 posts

Once you are a provisionally registered doctor, you can practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts. You cannot undertake any other type of work.

To obtain a Foundation Year 1 post, you will need to apply during the final year of your undergraduate programme. You should do this through the UK Foundation Programme Office selection scheme, which allocates posts to graduates on a competitive basis.

So far, all suitably qualified UK graduates from Edinburgh have found a place on the Foundation Year 1 programme but this cannot be guaranteed in all instances; for example, if there were to be an increased number of competitive applications from non-UK graduates.

The Foundation Year 1 programme usually takes 12 months to complete. On completion, you will be awarded a Certificate of Experience.

Full registration

Before you can begin unsupervised medical practice in the NHS or private practice in the UK, you must have full registration with a licence to practise.

Once you have your Certificate of Experience, you are eligible to apply for full registration with the General Medical Council.

Please be aware that these regulations may change from time to time.

Outcome: what happens when you complete your MBChB

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a science or healthcare subject. We will also consider non-science based degrees supplemented with SQA Higher/GCE A Level Chemistry at grade C or above.

We will also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree or an Ordinary degree, or their international equivalents providing they are in a science or healthcare subject.

You need to have worked as a qualified healthcare professional, clinical scientist or veterinary surgeon, for at least two years prior to the start of the programme and be registered with one of the following:

  • Association of Physician Assistants (anaesthesia)
  • Faculty of Intensive Care
  • Faculty of Physician Associates
  • General Dental Council
  • General Optical Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists
  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

If successful, you will need to provide evidence of support from your current employer as a condition of the offer.

University Clinical Aptitude Test

You must sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) and your score will be assessed as part of your application. We have no minimum score requirement. Tests taken between July 2022 and September 2024 will be accepted for consideration.

We consider the Situational Judgement section of the UCAT test separately. Applicants who score a Band 4 in the Situational Judgement section of the UCAT test will not be considered for entry.

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)


In addition to assessing your performance in your first degree and UCAT, you will be assessed and scored on two broad criteria.

1: Evidence of recent engagement with academic study and grounding in science subjects in the three years prior to the start of the programme. This could include, for example:

  • a second degree
  • further academic study at SCQF Level 9, 10 or 11 including, but not limited to MSc modules, PGCert, or PGDip with a minimum credit value of 20
  • SQA Higher(s) at C or above, taken as further graduate study in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Human Biology

Recent graduate applicants with no opportunity to undertake further postgraduate qualifications will not be disadvantaged.

2: Evidence of working effectively as a healthcare professional, clinical scientist, or veterinary surgeon, such as:

  • performance in current role
  • teamwork and professionalism
  • effective relationships with patients (some applicants may have limited experience working with patients; evidence of any patient contact will strengthen the application)

Half of the total assessment is made up of:

  • first degree and any further academic study (15%)
  • UCAT score (17.5%) and situational judgement test banding (7.5%)
  • personal statement (10%)

The remaining 50% is attached to the interview.


Selected applicants will be invited to an assessment day, which will involve an interview comprising four stations. If you are invited to an interview your invitation will provide more information about the stricture of the day. The assessment day score will make up 50% of the total score used to rank your application.

Fitness to practise

The University has a responsibility to ensure that students enrolled on a degree that involves practical training in a clinical environment, and that leads to a professional registerable qualification, are fit to practise. This is assessed according to the requirements and standards of the profession the student wishes to enter.

Further information about fitness to train is available on the Higher Education Occupational Physicians/Practitioners website.

Higher Education Occupational Physicians / Practitioners

You should notify us of any condition that could affect your fitness to practise at the application stage. However, if a condition develops or is diagnosed after this point please notify us so we can look into support arrangements with you.

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.5 with at least 7.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 110 with at least 25 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 191 with at least 191 in each component.
  • PTE Academic: total 80 with at least 80 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

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

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 (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old at the start of the month in which your programme of study begins.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 76 with at least 76 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

Applications for September 2025 entry open on 2 September 2024 and the deadline is 15 October 2024.

Applications are not made through UCAS. Instead, please apply through the University using our online application form.

Apply online

To apply you must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme and have been ordinarily resident in Scotland from 1 August 2024. EU nationals living in the UK need to have settled or pre-settled status via the EU settlement scheme to be eligible for the Scotland tuition fee rate.

As this programme is funded there is no option to self-fund if you do not fall into these categories.

For overseas nationals living in the UK, funding is not likely to be available, unless you meet certain conditions. For more details see our information for overseas nationals living in the UK.

Overseas nationals living in the UK

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 Discover Uni data available.

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

  • For any queries about HCP-Med, please email Johana Russotto Ramirez (Senior Admissions Officer, HCP-Med focus)
  • Email: HCP-Med@ed.ac.uk

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