University of Aberdeen School of Medicine

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Aberdeen Medical School
Established 1497
Type Medical school
Dean Prof Michael Greaves MB ChB, MD, FRCPath, FRCP, FRCPE, FRCPSG
Location Aberdeen, Scotland
Affiliations University of Aberdeen

Aberdeen University Medical School is a school of the College of Life Sciences and Medicine at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Medicine has been taught at the university since the founding of King's College in 1495. Indeed, the university has been described as the first medical school in Scotland and even the English speaking world.[1] Nevertheless, this assertion has been called into question as medical teaching already existed at St. Andrews, Oxford and London and even as late as 1787 there were calls "for the establishment of a medical school" in Aberdeen.[2] As of 2008 the Medical School takes 162 British students per year and an additional 13 from overseas.[3]


The School of Medicine and Dentistry is made up of three divisions:

  • Division of Medical and Dental Education
  • Division of Applied Health Sciences
  • Division of Applied Medicine


  • Centre for Rural Health
  • Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health
  • Health Economics Research Unit[4]
  • Health Services Research Unit[5]

Former Departments[edit]

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


Today, the school is based in the newly built Suttie Centre for Teaching & Learning on the Foresterhill site in Aberdeen. 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.[6][7]


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.

Division of Medical and Dental Education[edit]

The University of Aberdeen offers undergraduate courses in medicine (MB ChB), dentistry (BDS) and a BSc programme in Health Science.[8]

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.[9]


Medical wards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

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.[6]

The Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, one of the school's teaching hospitals
The Institute of Medical Sciences, where medical science research is performed

The Division of Medical and Dental Education also offers an intercalated BScMedSci (Hons) in Medical Science,[10] usually at the end of Phase II. 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.[6]

Medical Society (Medsoc)[edit]

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 it 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.

Famous alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Carter, Jennifer (1994). Crown and Gown: Illustrated History of the University of Aberdeen, 1495-1995. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. 
  2. ^ A complete collection of the papers ... - Google Books
  3. ^ " UK Medical School Statistics". Retrieved 2008-09-08. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Health Economics Research Unit". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Health Services Research Unit". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 9 October 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c "What does the Medical Programme Offer?". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  7. ^ The hospitals used for undergraduate placements 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. In Wick: Caithness General Hospital
  8. ^ "About the School". School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  9. ^ "Biomedical Science". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 19 February 2007. 
  10. ^ "Undergraduate Teaching Programmes". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 

Coordinates: 57°09′23″N 2°08′03″W / 57.1564°N 2.1343°W / 57.1564; -2.1343