University of Aberdeen School of Medicine

University of Aberdeen School of Medicine

name =Aberdeen Medical School
latin_name =

established =1497
type =Medical school
dean=Prof Michael Greaves MB ChB, MD, FRCPath, FRCP, FRCPE, FRCPSG
head =
endowment =
staff =
faculty =
students =
undergrad =
postgrad =
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city =Aberdeen
state =
country =Scotland
campus =
affiliations =University of Aberdeen
website = []

Aberdeen University Medical School is a school of the College of Life Sciences and Medicine at the University of Aberdeen. There has been a medical school at the university since the founding of King's College in 1495. Indeed, the university was the seat of the first medical school in the English speaking world. [cite book|first=Jennifer|last=Carter|title=Crown and Gown: Illustrated History of the University of Aberdeen, 1495-1995|year=1994|location=Aberdeen|publisher=Aberdeen University Press] As of 2008 the Medical School takes 175 British students per year and an additional 13 from overseas cite web|url=| British Medical School Statistics||accessdate=2008-09-08] .


Today, the school is based at the Foresterhill site in Aberdeen although undergraduate teaching, specifically anatomy, also takes place at Marischal College. The main teaching hospitals are Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Woodend Hospital and the Royal Cornhill Hospital. Teaching is also provided in Inverness, mainly at Raigmore Hospital and in Elgin at Dr Gray's Hospital, as well as at various other hospitals in the Highlands and Islands.cite web|url=|title=What does the Medical Programme Offer?|publisher=University of Aberdeen|accessdate=2007-02-19] ["The teaching hospitals are the following. In Aberdeen: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, the Royal Cornhill Hospital, Woodend Hospital and Woolmanhill Hospital. In Inverness: Raigmore Hospital and New Craigs Hospital. In Elgin: Dr Gray's Hospital. In Fort William: Belford Hospital. In Stornoway, Isle of Lewis: Western Isles Hospital. In Kirkwall, Orkney: Balfour Hospital. In Lerwick, Shetland: Gilbert Bain Hospital."]


The current Dean of the School is Professor Michael Greaves, a Consultant Haematologist. There are two active Regius Professorships, the Regius Chair of Medicine and Regius Chair of Surgery. The Regius Chairs of Midwifery and Anatomy are in abeyance.


The school offers three undergraduate courses and numerous postgraduate opportunities.
*Undergraduate taught degrees
**Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery – MB ChB
**Bachelor of Science in Medical Science – BSc (Hons)
**Bachelor of Science in Health Science – BSc (Hons)Postgraduate degrees are offered as taught courses, generally leading to the degree of Master of Science (MSc), and as research degrees either at a master's (MSc, MRes, ChM) level or at doctoral (PhD, MD) level. [cite web|url=|title=Medicine|publisher=University of Aberdeen|accessdate=2007-02-19] [cite web|url=|title=Biomedical Science|publisher=University of Aberdeen|accessdate=2007-02-19]

MB ChB course structure

In common with other Scottish medical schools, Aberdeen offers a five-year programme, leading to the award of the degrees of "Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery", MB ChB. Most teaching is traditional and didactic and problem-based learning is used rarely, unlike in Glasgow. The course is divided into four "Phases", detailed below. There is also the opportunity to undertake a further year of study to gain a BSc (Hons) in Medical Science.

Phase I

Year 1: Fundamentals of Medical Sciences After a short Basic Science in Medicine course including lectures in physiology and biochemistry, lecture courses and anatomy sessions on each different system address all normal aspects. These are complemented by practical sessions. The Community Course takes place one morning a week. Small groups of students are taught at local general practices and encounter the many services for ensuring health in the community. For example, pairs of students visit a family with a newborn at home. The Communications Course involves small group tutorials and role play in the Clinical Skills Centre. A 4 week Student Selected Component allows small groups to choose from a wide range of healthcare topics, carry out in-depth research and report and present their findings.

In Phase I students begin to acquire understanding of the medical sciences which underpin medicine, the skills for effective self learning, and professional communication and attitudes appropriate to the profession.

Phase II

Year 2 & two thirds of Year 3: Principles of Clinical Medicine

After an introductory Principles of Disease course, lecture courses on each different system (gastrointestinal, respiratory etc) address all abnormal aspects, "viz", diseases. The Community Course continues one morning a week but now the emphasis is on disease, disability and rehabilitation in the community. Two Medical Interviewing and Communications Courses involve small group tutorials, role play with ‘simulated patients’ including personal video sessions, in the Clinical Skills Centre. Clinical skills teaching and practice occur 2 mornings a week in the Clinical Skills Centre and the wards where students become adept at communication and clinical examination of patients. In two 4 week Student Selected Components, small groups choose from a wide range of topics on the molecular basis of medicine and then, population based disease. The groups carry out in-depth research, report and present their findings.

In Phase II, students are introduced to the concept of diseases and their general effects on patients, along with basic aspects of their investigation and management.

Phase III

Year 3 (remaining third) & Year 4: Specialist Clinical Practice

The phase begins with a Student Selected Component exploring ethical issues. The subsequent period consists of nine five-week clinical blocks organised partly by body system, e.g. alimentary or urinary, and partly by the ‘multi-disciplines’, Child Health and General Practice. During this phase students observe the theory from Phase II being put in to clinical practise in clinics and on wards and you will come into close contact with patients and relatives.

In Phase III, students develop their diagnosis and management skills for both individual patients and patient populations of all ages, with medical conditions affecting any of the body systems.

Phase IV

Year 5: Professional Practice

Phase IV is very much an apprentice year where students prepare for the competent, safe, effective and professional practice of medicine as a Foundation House Officer. The phase comprises four courses. In these, students have the opportunity to explore clinical areas that are of particular personal interest, whilst practising under supervision, a range of core skills common to all areas of medical training. The remaining course is a project based elective on a medical topic, often undertaken overseas.

Intercalated Degree

At the end of Phase II, there is an opportunity to undertake an intercalated Honours Biomedical Science degree. The programme, which comprises both taught and research elements, is one year long and allows study in depth of an area of biomedical or clinical science. Appropriate training is provided. Each student works on an individual research project of their choice. By the end of the programme students are able to undertake and critically evaluate research and understand the basic principles of research methodology.

Medical Society (Medsoc)

Aberdeen Medsoc was a society set-up originally to bring medical students together in a social capacity. It is the oldest Aberdeen University Student Society and today has over 600 members. Annual social activities include Beerienteering, Medsoc Ball, Doctors v Medics Sports Day, Medsoc Revue and most recently a Fashion Show with proceeds going to a local children's charity.

Departments and Units


* Child Health
* Environmental & Occupational Medicine
* General Practice & Primary Care
* Medical Microbiology
* Medicine & Therapeutics
* Mental Health
* Obstetrics & Gynaecology
* Ophthalmology
* Pathology
* Public Health
* Radiology
* Surgery


* Centre for Rural Health
* Dugald Baird Centre
* Health Economics Research Unit
* Health Services Research Unit [cite web|url=|title=Departments and Units|publisher=University of Aberdeen|accessdate=2007-02-19]

Famous alumni

*Robert Brown - discoverer of Brownian motion
*Sir Graeme Catto — president of the General Medical Council
*John James Richard Macleod — co-discoverer of insulin and Nobel Prize winner
*Sir Patrick Manson — "Father of Tropical Medicine"
* Sir Alexander Ogston — discoverer of "Staphylococcus aureus"
* The Very Reverend Professor Gordon McPhate - Dean of Chester Cathedral


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