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ScotGEM Launchpad

Important things to do before coming to the University as an entrant on the ScotGEM (MB ChB) Programme


The beginning of your journey as a doctor in training starts now and we are looking forward to meeting and working with you in September.

The ScotGEM Launchpad web page is a place where you will find a lot of useful information about things to do before you get here, and what you will need to do when you arrive.

Welcome from ScotGEM Programme Director



We realise you will be very excited to join the ScotGEM programme and both St Andrews and Dundee Medical Schools.  We are excited to meet you too. 

Our team has been preparing for your arrival, whatever form COVID allows it to take, and we look forward to helping and encouraging you along the path to becoming a Doctor. That path is often difficult but is varied and interesting. You will learn much about yourself while learning medicine, as it is an all-encompassing profession. Being a Doctor is a privilege and we aim to make your journey with ScotGEM a truly unique and rewarding experience.

As you will have seen on our website, the curriculum is exciting and innovative. We are introducing some cutting-edge medical education techniques and technologies amidst a dispersed and community facing course. Our goal is to work closely with you as a ‘community of learners’, and with your help we will create the best course possible.  We will all have to be flexible and adapt to the emerging COVID situation as it pans out, but you can be reassured we will provide the very best learning opportunities we can.  We are now well set up to work around varying limitations whilst maintaining clinical learning.

You will have a great opportunity to revisit University life in both St Andrews and Dundee. Both are truly special places; St Andrews is one of the oldest universities in the UK. It is small enough to be friendly, and large enough to provide the facilities and recreational opportunities of larger institutions. Dundee is renowned for offering a superb student experience in a dynamic city currently enjoying a waterfront renaissance. Thereafter Scotland becomes your oyster, and you will be living and studying in some of the most beautiful areas across our NHS partner boards.

We want to encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities ScotGEM will bring you, not only to succeed in your studies, but also to enjoy the variety that St Andrews, Dundee and wider Scotland offer.

I look forward to meeting you and introducing our excellent team who are ready to guide you through your medical studies.

Jon Dowell

ScotGEM Programme Director



Welcome from School President


My name is Orrin and I am the President for the St Andrews School of Medicine 2020/21.

My role is to represent all students within the School of Medicine and across the university and support you all in any way I can to make your transition into and succeeding time at St Andrews as fluid as possible.

Transitions are challenging and intimidating times, fuelled by anxiety and confusion. It doesn’t have to be that way! Even in these unprecedented times revolving around COVID-19, myself and the rest of the School of Medicine are striving to make your transition the best it can be, so that you can be excited about what it feels like to be immersed as part of the School of Medicine. We’re always here to help.

Look forward to diving into many societies! Make friends (i.e. Bute Medical Society) & pursue your interests with extra-curricular academia (i.e. Surgical Society, Students For Global Health, etc.) to soak up as much of the student lifestyle as a Medical Student as you can.

‘’Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” –Hippocrates

So get hyped! I look forward to meeting you all soon!

Welcome from the Bute Medical Society President



Welcome to Medical School: All the time spent slaving over your biology homework, memorising answers for your interviews and trying to figure out how all the different shapes in the UCAT form a pattern (and how on earth that actually relates to medicine!?) have finally paid off.

I know I speak on behalf of all medical students everywhere when I say that you’ve honestly jumped the biggest hurdle there is when it comes to becoming a doctor. The application process is so tough and something I never want to do again so you’ve all done so well to get here!

Take the next few months to relax, let your hair down and spend time with friends and family (as much as you can during quarantine) as you have a busy year ahead. One thing that I found extremely comforting going in was that you’re now only in competition with yourself. You don’t have to compete against your friends, you don’t need to get top grades in every exam (I certainly don’t), you just need to do as well as you can and want to do.  

Adjusting to uni life can be difficult at first: balancing learning how to study, making new friends and living alone for the first time can be tough! For me, and I’m definitely not saying do this, I put more focus on making friends and enjoying living by myself in the first semester than learning to study. So, surprise surprise, I paid for this in the Christmas exams when I didn’t do as well as I wanted. This came as such a shock to me and gave me the reality check I needed to focus more on my studies in semester 2. However, I wouldn’t change what I did for the world. Everyone settles in at different speeds and eventually finds their way and I had the best first semester ever. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is: it was a tough fight to get a place, but now you’re here you want to work with your friends and support each other, celebrating everyone’s successes. If you do that, you can survive any exam stress and you will enjoy yourself more than you can imagine.

So aside from the medicine that you’ve come here to study, being at university itself is incredible and will be some of the best years of your life (before those long junior doctor shifts). To keep sane while juggling anatomy, pharmacology and the multitude of disciplines we’re all trying to absorb, we’ve got a society that organises the fun for you, so all you need to do is show up! So, let me briefly introduce The Bute Medical Society.

Who am I?

My name is Cait Murphy, I’m from Glasgow and I’m the Bute Medical Society President for the upcoming academic year. When you start in September, I’ll be in my 3rd and final year, so I like to think I have a fair bit of experience and a few pearls of wisdom that I can share with you all, ensuring you get the most out of your 3 years at St Andrews. It is such an incredible place to study medicine and I honestly can’t quite believe that I’m over halfway through. You’ll see my face lots around the med school so please feel free to come up to me and ask any questions you have about anything or just for a chat. I promise I’m not scary!

What’s the Bute Medical Society?

As well as being the largest and one of the oldest, Bute is the most active society at The University, comprising over 500 students. Being a medical student and a ‘Butie’ come hand in hand, since the society plays such an intrinsic role within the medical school. Although most of our members our medics, we welcome any student at the university with open arms. The hard work of our committee and outstanding contributions from our members have earned us multiple awards over the past few years, including “Best Event” for our annual Bute Ball and “Best Society” for overall achievement.

Why should you join?

Our society hosts both social and academic events throughout the year – we work hard to ensure there’s something for everyone! However, it’s going to be highly unlikely that we will be able to hold a large number of social events, especially in semester 1. This is due to current social distancing measures and we also have to accommodate for the fact that some of you may not be able to return to St Andrews for the beginning of the year. That being said, I’ll pick out a few highlights about why being a Bute Member is an experience not to be missed:

Hecklings: A welcome social event for all freshers, normally held in the first few weeks of the semester, involving games and challenges hosted in town. Hecklings is always unforgettable, a great laugh and a night to make memories and lots of new friends. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that Hecklings will be able to take place at its normal date and time this year. Even though Hecklings won’t be held at the usual time, all of us at the BMS are very keen for it to happen at some point during the year. It’s a night that every St Andrews medical student remembers (or not)!

Academic talks: Whether supplemented by wine & cheese or coffee & cake, there’s something for you. We encourage speakers to expand and challenge our medical knowledge, on topics within and beyond our curriculum. Recently we’ve been fortunate to hear from famous faces such as Ben “Bad Science” Goldacre and Giles Yeo from the hit TV show “Trust Me I’m a Doctor”. Hopefully, throughout semester 1, we will be able to hold some virtual talks for you all to enjoy and engage with as these always prove extremely popular with all our members.

Balls: We host three balls during the year. FAF Ball, in the first semester welcomes freshers. Bute Ball is a magical winter event, filled with great music, ceilidh dancing, delicious food and lots of added extras. St Vitus Ball at the end of the year celebrates the end of exams, helping you blow off steam in style. Sadly, St Vitus Ball couldn’t take place this year, for obvious reasons, and it is unlikely that FAF will take place in the first semester also so expect 2021 to be even bigger than normal to make up for lost time. Bute subsidises these events so you get the best value for money balls in town.

Sports teams: Whether you aspired to be a professional athlete before deciding medicine was your calling, or if, like me, you have the coordination of a rhino – there’s something for you! Bute FC, Bute Rugby, Bute Hockey and Bute Netball are all set up for your arrival and they’re all on the lookout for new members. Training and matches are flexible around the very busy medicine timetable, so you don’t need to worry that it’ll be too big a commitment. If you want to have a look at what our sports clubs get up to, check out our football and rugby teams on Instagram: @butefc and @officialbuterugby.

Bute Revue: You’ll all very quickly meet the lecturers and Med Dems, so what better way to end the year than make fun of them and your fellow medical students at a comedy show? Undoubtedly one of the best nights of the year, this event never fails to impress and will have you crying with laughter.

What’s on during freshers’ week?

As I’m sure you’re aware, you guys are coming to university in some of the most unprecedented and uncertain times we’ve ever experienced (yet another reason why it’s so amazing that you’ve gotten this far!). Because of this, it’s highly likely that Bute’s and the entire University’s Freshers Week will look very different to normal. Hopefully we’ll still be able to hold some of our smaller events with social distancing measures in place but, best case scenario, this is what our Freshers Week will look like.

  1. Alongside introductory talks on Monday, you’ll meet me and tours of the medical school will be running in some capacity. This could, hopefully, be in person but is likely to be a virtual tour so you can all orientate yourselves when it comes to having classes.
  2. On Thursday, we host our annual Medic Freshers’ Fayre. All the medical societies and unions will have a virtual stall making it easy for you to sign up. Most societies (including the BMS) will be looking for some 1st year reps to join the committee, which is a great way to get involved. I was 1st year rep for Bute and absolutely loved it, it was a great way to meet new people, especially in other year groups.
  3. Finally, (if you last this long) on Sunday we’ll be hanging out at the University Virtual Freshers’ Fayre, so if you didn’t get a chance to catch us or any other societies on Thursday now’s the time! Unfortunately, because it will be online, The Bute Medical Society won’t be able to hand out the mountains of free ice cream that we are normally armed with from our famous sponsor: Jannetta’s Gelateria (I’m especially sad about this). However, this will definitely be making an appearance at another event at some point this year so get excited for that!  Here’s the link for the “St Andrews Medic Freshers 2020” Facebook group.

Is there anything I should be doing now?

Keep up to date with information and check out your fellow medics before you come to St Andrews by joining our official “St Andrews Medic Freshers 2020” Facebook page. During the year this will also be a platform for lots of posts about upcoming events, elections and lots more. If you have any questions for us, you can:

  1. Pop Butemed Soc (our society profile, add us!) a message on Facebook
  2. Before Fresher’s Week you can email me directly at During term-time you can email our secretary on
  3. Check out our website which we’ll update closer to Fresher’s week with details about upcoming events and our new committee members (dressed in snazzy navy polo shirts)

The best preparation for medical school is to not worry or stress! Soon you’ll be busy with forms to fill out, stethoscopes and lab coats to buy and packing your life up to move to a small town on the East Coast. Freshers Week can be overwhelming so I know taking a minute to chill is easier said than done but I promise everything will fall into place eventually.

I know I speak for all Bute Medical Society members and staff at the University when I say we can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces around the medical school. You’ve made the right choice picking St Andrews. Relax, enjoy your summer and stay safe.

Welcome from the ScotGEM 2019/20 Year 1 Class Rep.

Dear ScotGEM 2020

Welcome to St Andrews! We hope that your year will begin as ours did, but in such unprecedented times, there may be adaptations. All of ScotGEM’s staff are working hard to make sure your learning experience is delivered to you in the most productive way possible as things return to normal. The ScotGEM team are amazing, if you need to know anything, ask!

Take some time to get to know the lay of the land as you will be travelling around for the next few months. Bring your car if you can. My first piece of important advice is get to know people on your course, make friends with your colleagues as you will rely on each other throughout the year. I found remembering medical nomenclature was like learning a new language, this is where your conversations within your peer group help. Discussing what you have learned with each other will help the vast terminology stay in your head.

You have to be very well prepared for this course from the start. Get reading up on anatomy and physiology through the summer. Each week you will look at a new case, my advice is to have all the reading covered before you start especially your CLIC guide as this will form the foundation of your GCM day in the practice. This day will most likely be a Thursday and will be your favourite day of the week. The GCMs are ScotGEM’s most valuable resource. From the first case you will be immersed in their day, learning from them and importantly their patients.

Have all your kit ready for the start of the year, you will need it, lab coats are essential from week 1! Anatomy is very condensed and you have lots to learn in a short time. Use the anatomy guides and read them before the session. The Med Dems (medical demonstrators) are there with Fraser and Ennis to answer any questions you have, ask them and explore the clinical relevance of the anatomy.

Get to know your way around SOLAS. This is ScotGEM’s individual online platform which will be your go to area for everything that you learn. Your timetable, exam results, portfolio is all here. Familiarise yourself with it and have it on all your devices. There is a handy timetable link to upload the timetable to your calendar. You have to be very organised on this course and SOLAS will be your most vital tool.

My final piece of advice is to be ready for an intense year. The volume of readings and learning is quite frightening at first but with preparation you will find your stride. Find time to rest, you will need it and switch off in between. Providing we get back to some sort of normality by September, some second years, including myself, will be around the medical school building. Stop and say hello, or ask questions, we look forward to meeting you!

Shannon McDonald

ScotGEM Yr 1 Student Representative


How do you do?

Some key staff at the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews are shown below.

You can view a list of all staff and contact details on the School of Medicine website.

Things to do before I arrive...

Download the ScotGEM Launchpad checklist

The ScotGEM Launchpad  Checklist is a pdf checklist which you can print out and use to help you to keep track of the things you need to do as you prepare to start your medical training at St Andrews.

Checklist can be seen here


Read essential documents: ScotGEM Student Contract

The updated ScotGEM Student Contract will be available by the end of July.   A link to the document will be provided below (until the contract is updated you can view the 2019/20 version).

The ScotGEM Student Contract should be downloaded and read before arrival – however do not sign the contract yet – you will be asked to do this when you are here.

ScotGEM Student Contract.

Read essential documents: School of Medicine Handbook /ScotGEM section

Students should be familiar with the School of Medicine Handbook . There is a section of the handbook, which relates specifically to MBChB ScotGEM  .

Click for web based handbook

Download and prepare: Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme

Before Orientation week you are required to complete a ‘Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme’ application. This application form is to be completed online and sent back to us at:

Please read the information and related documents with Advice for Medical and Health Psychology Students (formerly: letter from the Schools Disclosure Officer).

Complete and return: Occupational Health Questionnaire

The Occupational Health Questionnaire was emailed to you along with your ‘First Letter’.  It should be completed and returned directly  to the NHS Tayside address on the Questionnaire as soon as possible.

A copy of the document can be found here: 

Where possible face to face consultations will be kept to a minimum and near me video conferencing  and telephone will be used as far as possible.

You will be called on receipt of your questionnaire to arrange an appointment that suits you. If they can’t reach you they will use email (please check your spam boxes regularly as sometimes NHS emails end up there). 

SMS text messages will be sent as reminders 24 hours prior to an appointment.

Arrange Accommodation

Accommodation should be arranged before you arrive .

For St Andrews visit the University’s new entrants and orientation web page and follow the accommodation link .

Accommodation may also be available at through the University of Dundee.

ScotGEM applicants who wish to be considered for student residences at the University of Dundee  may contact to request an application invitation to be sent to them .

See the University of Dundee website for more information

Review and complete essential tasks at the University New Undergraduate Students Page

The New Undergraduate Students page contains important information for students who are matriculating (registering) at the University of St Andrews for the first time as entrants to the ScotGEM Programme.

Be aware that there are a number of admin tasks to do before you come to St Andrews. You will find a helpful list on the New Undergraduate Students page.

Complete the Preparatory Task for ScotGEM

Welcome to ScotGEM. You already have lots of pre-existing ideas about Medicine, because Medicine is about people and you have been living with them, observing them, thinking about them in one way or another all of your life. Many of you will have had contact with medical professionals, doctors, nurses or other members of the allied health professionals. Something about these interactions has made you aspire to join the medical profession. Professionalism is something we are all striving towards. It is easy to recognise professionalism when we see it in action but much more challenging to define the term.

Your first ScotGEM task:

What does professionalism mean to me? Assignment Briefing: 300 words (+/- 10%) Access your pre-existing knowledge and experiences and use this to form the basis of your written response to the question; “What does professionalism mean to me?” There is no requirement for references. In addition Identify THREE keywords that for you, epitomise professionalism. List these words below your paragraph We don’t want you to:

  • Conduct a literature search.
  • We don’t even want you to use google.
  • We especially don’t want you to worry about this task.

We do want you to:

  • Spend about an hour on the task.
  • Write from your personal viewpoint you may all have different ideas (we hope so!) but they will all be valid.
  • Submit the document as a pdf to  by Thursday 2 September 2020 at 16.00.
  • Come along prepared to discuss your views on professionalism in a small group session facilitated by your Generalist Clinical Mentor (GCM) during Orientation week.
  • Save an accessible, electronic copy of the file as this will be one of the first pieces of work we require you to upload to your professional portfolio (more about that in orientation week).

Things to bring...

Personal documents

You will need these documents when you are in St Andrews:

  • Passport.
  • Driving License or an alternative formal piece of identification with your address (a bank statement is a good example).
  • Birth Certificate (not a copy)
Immunisation History

Students must research their own Immunisation History to establish an immunisation record for their life to date, this probably involves a visit to their GP. Students are strongly encouraged and keep this record to prove their Immunisation History through their studies and working life. You should bring your Immunisation History with you when you come to St Andrews. There is more to read about this and related matters in the Occupational Health Questionnaire and accompanying notes (see ‘Things to do before I arrive…’  on this page).

Where a student cannot evidence to OH that they have had a BCG (TB) immunisation or have had a negative mantoux or IGRA blood test done in the last 5 years  they must be screened and found non infectious prior to commencing clinical work. 

Text books


We are aware that you will have many questions about the course and what you should be doing to prepare. We are often asked ‘What shall I do about textbooks?’ For this reason we thought it would be useful to give you this list of recommended texts and to offer some advice about buying them. Purchase of books is not compulsory, but you may find it useful to meet your specific learning needs. When choosing textbooks we try to ensure that they will be useful for your 4 years in the ScotGEM Programme. Although our list may seem lengthy and expensive, it is unlikely that you will have to buy any other essential texts while you are at St Andrews. The books will be available for purchase from Blackwell’s Bookshop located in the Students Association Building in St Andrews. Blackwells  can be reached at tel: 01334 476367 or email: . In making a decision to select textbooks, not only do we try to find those best suited to our course but also, if possible, the books also include access to the publisher’s on-line learning resources.


The Medical School and the University library have licensed several ebooks from different publishers (see reading list). This provides on-line access to the texts without restriction using your University user name/password combination. In addition to the core reading list which you may consider buying, there are additional texts available on-line. Though these are considered to be very useful throughout our curriculum, we do not think it is essential for you to buy these actual texts. An important thing to note about most ebooks is that they are often not accompanied by the extra on-line resources which are available if you buy the texts and activate the access codes to the publisher’s web site.

University of St Andrews MBChB (ScotGEM) Reading List (2018/2019)

Reading throughout the first two years of the curriculum will be largely drawn from these 2 lists of books.

The Medical School and the University library subscribe to a number of key eBooks which will be available online to all medical students. Our advice is to wait until you get to St Andrews before making decisions about purchasing, as some of these books are heavy! Note that the library only holds ~20 copies of each so it is recommended that students who prefer using physical copies consider buying their own copies in order to access the course literature in their own time. Additionally, most textbooks offer online resources that you can access using a code found within your purchased copy of the textbook. You should check that you are buying the most recent edition. Books can be ordered in advance by contacting Blackwell’s bookshop within the Student Union (

Stethoscopes, Pocket Masks and Laboratory Coat

You will need to have your own stethoscope, pocket mask and laboratory coats for our clinical skills training.   Advice about face coverings will be provided nearer to the time, in line with national guidance. Necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for clinical skills training will be provided.

Stethoscopes:  We currently recommend the Classic Littmann III stethoscope, which you can find at:   The Classic Littmann Classic III is all you need; you will NOT require a specialist cardiology- or electronic stethoscope.

Where do I get a Stethoscope and Pocket Mask?

Use Google to research this. Last year the BMA ( British Medical Association) had a good offer on stethoscopes if you join.

There are a variety of suppliers and some special deals may be available after you arrive in St Andrews.

Pocket Masks: You will need a pocket mask, the clinical skills team recommends the Laerdal LD040 or LD021 masks. These can be purchased from:

Laboratory Coats: You will need a white ‘Howie’ lab coat for the Dissection Room. Although there are some available for purchase locally (from the shop in the Students Association), supplies are limited and it may be better to buy one before you come to St Andrews.

Safety Glasses: You will need your own safety glasses for dissection. There are many suitable types, some examples are:

Fob Watches

If you do not already have a fob watch we have some for sale and can be purchased from Dr Lysa Owen in CLIC

Clinical Skills Dress Code
We also require students to follow the NHS Fife Dress Code and Uniform Policy in any clinical environment, on any patient contact and within clinical skills.  This may affect the clothing you pack.  See summary as below:

  • Wear your identity badge that confirms you are a student.
  • Dress in a discreet and professional manner to convey a professional image and create and maintain public confidence. Denim jeans, short skirts or revealing tops which expose large areas of flesh are not appropriate clothing to wear.
  • Wear appropriate footwear (clean, soft soled, closed toe shoes). Trainers or excessively high heels should not be worn.
  • Tattoos that could be considered offensive should be covered where this does not compromise good clinical practice.
  • Keep hair tied back and off the collar.
  • Arms should be ‘bare below the elbow’. Long sleeves should be rolled up.  Wristwatches, fitness tracker wrist-straps and bracelets must not be worn when in clinical areas.
  • Jewellery is restricted to wearing one plain metal finger ring and one pair of plain stud earrings. Any other visible body piercings should be removed.
  • Keep finger nails short and clean. No nail varnish, false nails or nail extensions should be worn.
  • White coats, neck ties or lanyards should not be worn.
  • Pens or scissors should not be carried in outside breast pockets.
  • Store your stethoscope in a safe place such as your pocket or in your bag when moving between clinical areas or during breaks. Stethoscopes should not be worn around the neck.

For the purposes of learning clinical skills students practice non-intimate examinations on each other.  You may therefore also wish to pack some sports wear, such as shorts (+/- leggings) and a t-shirt; or an acceptable suitable equivalent.

Examples of clinical dress code are:-


Things to think about...

IT skills

During your time as a medical student you will need to be competent with the Microsoft products Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you are not as familiar as you would like to be with these programs, you can enrol is some formal training with the university. The University offers some IT training resources.

Blood borne viruses

At the time of entry to Medical School students will be screened for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection, and any necessary immunisations and antibody tests will be performed. All entrants are required to complete a course of immunisation against hepatitis B virus. If you have been infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV this does not mean that you cannot train to be a doctor but it is important to consider at this stage whether or not this is the career option that you wish to pursue.

Any entrant student who is found to be a carrier of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV will require special counselling, as such a situation will place restrictions on the student’s clinical training and limit his or her medical practice following qualification. If you have had an infection of this nature and wish to discuss this further before making a decision, we would be happy to put you in touch with our Occupational Health Services who will be able to advise you of current policy.

If you are infected with any of these diseases you should consider your position carefully. If you wish to discuss this with an Occupational Health advisor, please contact the admissions team and we can arrange this for you. Further advice can be found in the Medical Schools Council publication Medical and dental students: Health clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis


If you feel your health or a disability may impact on your studies please get in touch early.

We want  you to achieve your full potential. If you want to explore this further contact putting “support” in the subject line.

Agents of Change Placements

ScotGEM: Changing the future medical workforce – Third sector placements for medical students.

Dr Heather Shearer, Agents of Change Lead

Email:; Twitter: @hlshearer

Meg Wright, ScotGEM Service Learning and Community Engagement Vertical Theme Lead; Twitter @megwright10



Year 1 ScotGEM medical students will complete at least 20 hours in third sector community placements, offering positive benefits for both the students and third sector partners.


The longer-term impacts of Covid-19 on university study, student placements and third-sector community organisations are still emerging as this information is published.


The ambition of the ScotGEM programme is for new doctors in the 21st century to be able to both deliver care and develop healthcare systems. Much medical training is focused upon using techniques to gather information from each individual patient in order to inform the choice and delivery of treatment. However, to practice as an effective medical professional within local and global communities we believe that a fuller understanding of these communities is essential.

Through spending time with third-sector organisations, you will be able to develop a fuller understanding of the social determinants of health and the impact on health and well being. You will also see ways that you can work in partnership with third-sector organisations to give the best clinical care you can.

Examples of previous students’ activities include:

  • Accompanying staff on home visits to families and individuals
  • Attending support groups
  • Creating and offering food parcels
  • Community gardening
  • Developing activities for children and young people
  • Meeting with and supporting people who live on the streets

What this means for you

You couldn’t learn this in a classroom. You have to experience it” Dominic Pascoe, ScotGEM Y1 2018/2019

As a ScotGEM student, you are required to undertake one of these placements. Information and support will be provided to help you make choices about what kind of placement activity you would like to experience.  We endeavour to meet your placement preferences.

When you start the course in September, you will be given details about what placements are available, when they occur and how you submit your preferences. In the meantime, can you please think about the type of voluntary sector placement you would like to take part in? This may continue from previous experience you have had, or you may wish to try something different.

Attached  is one example of a student’s poster from their experience in 2019/20.  View Poster here:


Any questions..?

First, please have a look at the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below …

I've got a question about IT, or computers...

It’s good that you are thinking about IT.

We’ve made a special section of Launchpad just for questions about IT.

You can find this here…

I've got a question about Orientation Week?


The School will be running induction events during orientation week, including some academic events towards the end of that week. We are preparing to deliver teaching for next semester (including orientation week) under dual delivery (, aware that some students may need to self-isolate, quarantine or may otherwise be delayed in joining us. The University will be providing all students with further information during the summer – The situation is ever-evolving, so please do continue to monitor the situation and advice.

Tours of the School of Medicine for parents/families will be virtual Online – details to follow.

Monday of Orientation

The formal School of Medicine orientation begins at 9.00am on Monday of Orientation week this will be a live online sessions – Links to all sessions will be provided.

At this introductory event, you will be welcomed by the Dean of Medicine, the ScotGEM Programme Director, the Year 1 Lead and the Lead GCM.  We will also explain all the events that are planned for Monday and the rest of Orientation Week.

During Orientation week there will be a full programme of introductory classes specifically organised by the School of Medicine for new medical students – where possible these will be delivered live and online.  Your attendance at these classes is essential since they will help you to find you feet in the early stages of you medical course.

The full programme for ScotGEM students can be viewed by clicking here

The programme includes a checklist of non-timetabled tasks to complete before and during Orientation week

What about improving my study skills?

The University Orientation Week Programme includes courses in study skills.   Although we are committed to supporting you during your medical studies, we are unable to provide individual help on a daily basis. The School provides many resources to help you self-assess your own progress, and the University provides study skills sessions via CEED for those requiring additional help, but you ultimately have to take charge of your own studies. The responsibility for your success now falls on your own shoulders (this is a health warning!).

I still have another question…

If you have questions that are not covered in the FAQs, we’re here to help.

You can contact us by emailing or you can use the form below to send us your question. Either way, please do get in touch.

Please use this form to send us your questions

Enter your question



Orientation week

The University, Students’ Association, Societies and the Athletic Union organise a whole series of social and academic activities during Orientation Week. Find out more about Orientation Week at the University.

As well the University Orientation events, the School of Medicine is organising a programme specifically for new ScotGEM  medical students to help you prepare for the beginning of your course .  The provisional programme can be viewed here:




Finding your way about

These should help you to find your way here, and around the Medical building:

School of Medicine

University of St Andrews

North Haugh

St Andrews

KY16 9TF

School: +44 (0) 1334 463599

Admissions: +44 (0) 1334 461886

ScotGEM enquiries: +44 (0) 1334 463619

fax: +44 (0) 1334 467470