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University of St. Andrews (Postgraduate Medical Degrees) Act 2002

Summary of and Background to the Act

3.This Act reinstates the right of the University of St. Andrews (the University) to award postgraduate degrees for research in medicine.

4.This Act partially dis-applies paragraph 17 of Schedule 6 to the Universities (Scotland) Act 1966 (c.13) (“the 1966 Act”) which prevents the University from holding examinations in medicine and granting medical degrees.

5.The 1966 Act reconstituted the ancient Universities of Scotland and separated Queen’s College in Dundee from the University of St. Andrews to form the University of Dundee. The University could no longer offer medical degrees as there was no teaching hospital in the St. Andrews area and the clinical part of the medical degree offered at the University was moved to the new University of Dundee. As a consequence of the establishment of the University of Dundee, the 1966 Act removed the University’s right to grant medical undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. It also removed the University’s right to grant degrees in surgery, midwifery and dentistry.

6.The Act allows the University to award medical postgraduate degrees such as that of Medicinae Doctor (MD) which is a postgraduate research degree available at other universities to those already qualified as medical practitioners.

7.Under paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the 1966 Act, where the University has power to grant a particular degree, a new degree course can be instituted by a resolution of the University Court (the supreme governing body of each University) on the recommendation of the Senatus Academicus (the supreme academic body of the University under the presidency of the principal). Under section 5 of the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 (c.83) the Senate has power to superintend and regulate teaching and discipline at the University. This includes the drawing up of regulations that set out the admission criteria for any degree courses that the University has power to offer and the duration and requirements for the particular degree.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills


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