A Holyrood committee has backed a Bill which will allow St Andrews University to award medical and dentistry degrees.
The institution has not been able to offer these degrees since 1966 to allow for a split between the university and Queen’s College – which would create Dundee University.
The Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee has now said it supports the general principles of the University of St Andrews (Degrees in Medicine and Dentistry) Bill.
But it will still need to be passed by the Scottish Parliament as a whole before it becomes law.
If this happens, students currently studying the ScotGEM course – a four-year graduate entry programme focusing on rural medicine and healthcare improvement – will be able to graduate with the qualification when their studies conclude in 2022.
Health Committee convener Lewis Macdonald said: “St Andrews University has been educating Scotland’s students for more than 600 years.
“However for the last 50 years, they have been prevented from providing degrees in medicine or dentistry.
“The committee supports the general principles of the Bill, which would see this prohibition lifted and allow ScotGEM students to receive joint degrees from St Andrews and Dundee universities.
“We do acknowledge, though, concerns that St Andrews potentially opening a new medical school could affect progress in widening access to medicine and this should be taken into account in any future proposals.”