Bursaries for new graduate medicine course

Up to £16,000 in return for service in NHS.

A bursary of £4,000 per year will be made available to students on Scotland’s new graduate entry medical course.

The optional grant, worth £16,000 over the four year course, will be payable to students who agree to work in Scotland’s NHS for a certain time period. For each £4,000 claimed, there will be a commitment to one year of service.

This return of service arrangement, sometimes known as bonding, is used in other countries and has been used for dentistry training in Scotland.

The ScotGEM course will be hosted by the universities of Dundee and St Andrews with support from the University of the Highlands and Islands, and will have a particular focus on general practice and rural working.

In addition to the return-of-service bursary, the Scottish Government will pay the tuition fees for eligible students.  Currently, eligible students for free tuition are those assessed as “home funded” for fee purposes (Scottish domiciled/EU students).

ScotGEM will have 40 places and is open to people who already hold a degree who want to move into medicine as a career. After completing the degree, graduates will then complete foundation and specialty training before starting work as fully-qualified doctors. For graduates opting to receive a bursary, the ‘return of service’ commitment begins at the start of their Foundation Training.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“I’m pleased to be able to offer these bursaries for students on our ScotGEM course who are willing to commit a certain part of their service to Scotland’s NHS. I hope this will encourage students to consider this course as a route into a medical career.

“Along with the free tuition for eligible students, this represents an attractive package for potential applicants.

“ScotGEM is an entirely new concept for Scotland, with a particular focus on rural medicine and general practice. These are two priority recruitment areas for Scotland’s NHS, and they are also extremely rewarding career paths.”


 Applications open in September but anyone interested must register for the preliminary aptitude tests GAMSAT and UKCAT.  Registration for GAMSAT closes on 4 August.

More details of the ScotGEM course can be found on the University of Dundee and University of St Andrews websites.


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