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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Specialised Foundation Programmes (SFP)

Scotland is one Specialised Unit of Application (SUoA). Scotland offers 51 posts across the four distinct regions - East, North, South-East and West with links to the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In Scotland the F1 year is a generic clinical Foundation year which allows newly qualified doctors to gain experience in a range of clinical posts with the F2 year focusing on academic elements alongside additional clinical experiences. 

The primary objective of this programme, as for all other Foundation Programmes, is to ensure satisfactory clinical training through the attainment of Foundation competencies as defined by the Foundation Curriculum and demonstrated through the Foundation Turas Portfolio. 

These SFP pages are for recruitment purposes and are not used to provide information for current trainees. Current Foundation trainees should visit the Scotland Deanery website for information about their training. 


Overview of post numbers - for posts commencing August 2024

Region               Total Posts Research Posts Teaching Posts Leadership Posts
East             6  trainees can decide on their preferred theme once they have commenced in post    
North  12  6  6  0
South-East  15  15  0  0
West  18  18  0  0
TOTALS 51      



The intention of the Specialised Foundation Programmes (SFPs) is to allow some Foundation Doctors to develop academic skills in addition to the clinical skills that are gained during the foundation years. The SFP in Scotland provides excellent opportunities to develop Research, Education and Teaching and Leadership skills in addition to the standard competencies outlined in the curriculum. We very much hope the programme will inspire and encourage these individuals to pursue a career in Academic Medicine in the future. As with all Foundation Programmes, the primary aim of the SFP is to enable doctors to acquire and demonstrate the competencies described in the Foundation Programme Curriculum. Doctors on the SFP are required to maintain the same clinical skill level as those on a purely clinical programme, which means that SFP doctors must carry out their academic work in addition to their foundation training.

Throughout the UK different approaches are taken in the provision of academic training in Foundation Programmes and this is also the case in Scotland, where there are a wide range of opportunities available across the different regions. The focus on developing clinical skills means that NHS Education for Scotland (NES) does not support funded study leave during F1 and there is no study leave budget. There is more time available for academic development during F2 in Scotland and this differs across the regions.

Trainees will be allocated to the specialised programme and associated rotations after national application, longlisting, shortlisting and interview.

Each of the programmes start with a generic clinical F1 year which allows for newly qualified doctors to gain experience in a range of clinical posts, with the F2 year focusing upon academic elements alongside additional clinical experience.

Further information on the specialised programmes offered in each region, the recruitment process and timetable, can be found by following the links on the left-hand menu.

The Compendium of Academic Competencies can be found here.

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