Financial support for medical and dental students – Scotland

Students on university courses in medicine (recognised by the General Medical Council) and dentistry (recognised by the General Dental Council) may be eligible for financial help from the NHS as part of their course.

Funding for medical and dental courses varies between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. This page provides details about the system in Scotland.

Find out more about the system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The information here is for guidance only. In all cases, make sure you contact the relevant funding authority as regulations can change and individual circumstances vary.

Standard 5-year degrees

In Scotland, your tuition fees for a first degree in medicine or dentistry (standard five year courses) will be paid in full by the Scottish Government if you are ordinarily resident in Scotland and qualify as a Scottish home student. Please contact Scottish Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) Tel: 0300 555 0505 for more information and to check your residency status.

You can also apply to SAAS for living cost support, including loans and bursaries.

If you study outside Scotland in the rest of the UK, you can apply to SAAS for a tuition fee loan, up to £9,000. From the fifth year of study, you can apply to SAAS for payment of your tuition fees in full.

If you are studying medicine at St Andrew’s University, the funding is different. Scottish home students have their tuition fees paid for the first three years. If you transfer to a university in the rest of the UK fees of £9,000 (2016 rates) apply for year four of your studies. You can apply to SAAS for a loan for your fourth year. In the fifth and sixth year you can apply to SAAS for payment of your tuition fees in full.

NHS Dental Bursary Scheme in Scotland

NHS Scotland National Education Services and the Scottish Health Directorate offer a dental bursary for students studying the dentistry (BDS) degree at Dundee and Glasgow universities from the second year onwards and for all years for those studying the four year graduate entry (BDS) at Aberdeen University.

If you claim the dental bursary you will be required to stay with NHS Scotland in dentistry for a specified period of time, which varies according to the number of years you claim the bursary for.

The dental bursary scheme also enables students taking dentistry as a second degree at a Scottish university to have their tuition fees paid, currently £1820 per year for a student ordinarily resident in Scotland. There is no period of contracted employment for those claiming tuition fees only. This scheme applies to all UK and EU students.

Application forms for the NHS dental bursary scheme are available from Scottish dental schools. Use our course finder to locate universities approved to degrees in dentistry in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The NHS Dental Bursary Scheme is under review for students commencing from 2017-18.

Accelerated degrees

Students ordinarily resident in Scotland studying an accelerated graduate-entry programme in medicine or dentistry at a university in the rest of the UK can apply for a loan and grant for living costs in all years of the course.

Intercalated degrees

Funding for an intercalated degree as part of medicine and dentistry degrees in Scotland is not automatic. If the intercalated degree is compulsory, (as in the case of Edinburgh University) funding is available for eligible students.

The Scottish Government offers Scottish students a ’plus one’ year, where fees are paid for an additional year under certain circumstances. Scottish students may be able to use this to fund an intercalated Bachelor’s (eg BSc) degree if they have not already used their ’plus one’ funding. Funding is not available for intercalated Master’s degrees. For more information contact the Scottish Awards Agency for Scotland

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve