My son is studying in grade 11 in Dubai following the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) syllabus. He's chosen physics, chemistry, biology and psychology. He wants to study medicine in the UK. Please advise us on the admission requirements. 
Gugan, Dubai

An undergraduate degree in the UK is usually five to six years depending on the college. While names and styles may be different, all degrees in medicine provide the same qualification.

Only 8 per cent of the total seats are offered to international students. High grades in school and a minimum score of 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) would be a good starting point. Your son will need two science subjects (preferably chemistry and biology) and another one, which can be a critical thinking subject like in your son's choice psychology. In addition to school grades students are required to appear for competitive exams and UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) which is a requirement in most medical schools. Others require him to take the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test). A good idea would be to check the specific requirements of the university of your choice. Finally the shortlisted students are called for an interview.

To enhance his application, your son should participate in extracurricular activities like shadowing a doctor, social service activity, internship in a hospital/clinic, etc. The personal qualities required include commitment, perseverance, compassion and the ability to communicate.

Deadlines for applications to courses are usually a year prior to the start date. Care needs to be taken for various cut-off dates like registration for UKCAT/ BMAT and English test.

Tuition fees for international students tend to be high.