top of page
Writing an application

Your one-stop shop for all things application related!

You Can Be A Doctor:
Application Guide

Subjects and Grades

What subjects should I take if I want to study medicine?

It's important start planning as early as possible if you think you want to study medicine at university. This is because the subjects you take may affect your ability to apply straight to medicine. Universities want students to have a strong foundation of knowledge to build on - and there are subjects that are required for university. 

Whilst the general requirements of the Scottish Universities are similar, each university in Scotland may have specific requirements which can occasionally change. We will try and keep this section as updated as possible but it is important for you to check yourself on the university websites before you apply! 

National 5s

The subjects you take for National 5s influence which ones you'll be able to do for highers and advanced highers. In most schools, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, and English are mandatory National 5s so this doesn't really matter as most universities like to see 'sciencey' highers.

Your choice of other subjects should be things you enjoy and think you can do well at - as some universities might look at National 5s scores as part of your application

Top Tip: Choosing National 5s
  • Pick subjects you enjoy and are good at

  • Be aware that to do subjects at Highers level, they need to have been taken at National 5s

  • However, maths, science, and English are mandatory at most schools - the other subjects you pick don't really matter! 

Highers / Advanced Highers

Whilst National 5s aren't all really that important, Highers are! Even if you score well in the UCAT, smash the SJT, and perform at interview, universities still require certain subjects and minimum grades to be achieved in highers before you'll get a place (usually AAAAB or above). The standards may seem high but remember that widening access students may have slightly lower grade requirements! 

Each university has specific subject and grade requirements and these may change from time to time. We will try to keep things as up to date as possible for you! 

Higher Requirements
Widening Access Higher Requirements
Essential Subjects
Advance Higher Requirements
National 5 Requirements
St Andrews
AAABB Highers + BB Advanced Highers
One of: biology/human biology, maths, physics
Biology: A | Mathematics and English: B or above
One of: biology, physics, maths
Biology: A | Mathematics and English: at least B
AAABB Highers + CC Advanced Higher
Two of: biology, physics, maths/application of maths
Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics: B
AAABB Highers + BB Advanced Highers
Chemistry + Biology
One of: physics, maths
English: B or above.
Two of: biology, physics, maths/application of maths
English and Maths: B.
bottom of page