Two of the top three medical schools in the world are located in the UK, but there are many other top-notch colleges and universities offering top-notch medical education all around the nation. You may access some of the most cutting-edge learning environments in the world to study medicine in the UK, where the most knowledgeable brains in every area serve as the leaders.
The UK has some of the world’s best and oldest universities, which provide a matchless education to students coming from all walks of life, backgrounds, and countries. Medicine is just one of the many fields of study available to students out of the countless options being offered. Study medicine in the UK can land you a career in nursing, surgery, therapy, anesthesiology, pharmacy, or maybe as a hospitalist or doctor. There are so many more career options that a student can specialize in if they are planning to study medicine in the UK.
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Why study medicine in the UK?
The education of international medical students in the UK has a long history. Globally recognized for their academic rigor, clinical expertise, and personal traits like professionalism and compassion, doctors with UK training practice medicine.
The UK is actively involved in the global community, and we understand that the cultural contributions made by international students enhance everyone’s experience. The British medical education system draws brilliant individuals from across the globe and from within the nation. The system provides them with thoroughly thought-out instruction and opportunities to work with professionals and researchers in the subject matter to maximize their potential.
Many of them go on to become global leaders in clinical practice, research, and teaching, in addition to writing books and articles. Additionally, several renowned medical institutions around the world were founded by British medical graduates. Due in large part to the tight regulation and accreditation by the General Medical Council, the UK has a high level of confidence in the education of its medical professionals. The General Medical Council’s advice on all facets of medical education is also helpful to medical schools. One advantage of studying medicine in the UK for students, in particular, is that they can begin at age 18 and do not need to get a degree in another field first.
What is medicine all about?
- The study of health and healing is known as medicine. It is one of the main foundations for the health and medical industries. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, among others, are closely tied to health.
- The practice of medicine encompasses many different facets of health, including medical research, disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
- Allopathic medicine is another name for conventional modern medicine. This entails the use of medication and surgery backed by dietary changes and counselling.
- Herbal medicine, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, art therapy, and other complementary and alternative medical practices are examples.
- Pre-clinical and clinical medical education will teach you about the various aspects of the human body as well as how to identify and treat illnesses.
- After five years in college, or four if you only count the graduate program, you can start working with patients. Becoming a specialist in a particular area of medicine, however, will require several more years of education.
What abilities are required to study medicine?
Study Medicine in the UK is best for people who are prepared to devote a significant amount of time to becoming doctors. Before deciding to enroll in this course, make sure you have the following attributes to show that you are prepared:
The capacity to work under pressure
Making blunders while working as a doctor might cost you your career and possibly even your freedom. As a result, doctors in general experience a lot of strain on a daily basis and are compensated handsomely for their work.
- Analysis of various information types
Understanding the symptoms, a patient exhibits and putting them together to determine the patient’s condition is diagnosing a patient. The sufferer could then receive medical care.
- Interpersonal and communication abilities
Doctors need to be very good at interacting with patients and the general public. This includes the capacity to communicate complex ideas while evoking empathy and compassion in interactions with patients.
Today, a doctor’s job could be simplified to merely fulfilling patient requests. The patient’s autonomy is paramount. The clinician must be able to uphold their moral principles and refuse to provide treatment that they sincerely believe will hurt their patients.
Specializations in Medicine
It can take 10 years or longer to become a specialist or general practitioner throughout one’s training to become a doctor in the UK. A doctor who wants to specialize must be fully committed to doing so because specialization will force them to devote the remainder of their professional lives to their chosen professions.
These are the most sought-after specialities in the UK:
|Popular specializations in the UK||Descriptions|
|ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat)||Otolaryngologists work primarily regular hours, just as their colleagues in the field of optometry. Due to the connection between the respiratory system and the ears, nose, and throat, ENT specialists frequently practice across a variety of subspecialties, making their work both complex and fulfilling.|
|Ophthalmology (Eye)||The UK has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world, and surgical techniques like LASIK and cataract removal are quickly gaining popularity.|
|Dermatology||It can be challenging to keep a healthy-looking complexion with the persistent humidity and sporadic clouds. In addition to their regular office hours, dermatologists have access to the most advanced skin treatments themselves.|
|Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBG)||The OBG physician works to enhance the health of women and supports insemination and postpartum care. Beyond that, the real fulfilment and joy of the work come from bringing new life into the world and seeing the happiness on parents’ faces as they cuddle their newborn children.|
|Pediatrics||Pediatrics combines medicine with the delight of working with children and young people, making it ideal for those who once harbored aspirations of becoming educators or childcare providers.|
|General Surgery||General surgery combines all other specialties, and it doesn’t get much more practical than this. Even though the long hours and frequent procedures can be extremely demanding, the variety and interest of the cases they manage ensure they never grow bored or settle into a rut.|
UK Clinical Aptitude Test
Some UK medical and dental institutions use the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) as part of their admissions process. A cognitive ability, attitude, critical thinking, and logical reasoning test is being administered online. There are four tests of reasoning and one of situational judgment.
- Verbal Reasoning– Examines the capacity to analyse textual information logically and draw a conclusion using reasoning: 21 minutes, 11 passages to read, and 44 questions.
- Quantitative reasoning– 36 questions, 9 tables, charts, and other pieces of information, 24 minutes, and an assessment of your ability to solve numerical issues.
- Abstract reasoning– 13 minutes and 55 questions are used to evaluate the candidate’s ability to infer relationships from information using convergent and divergent thinking.
- Decision Analysis– evaluates the capacity to process a variety of information in order to infer relationships, make wise decisions, and select the best course of action: 32 minutes, 1 information-rich scenario, and 28 questions (basic calculator provided).
- Situational Judgment– evaluates how you react to situations and how well you understand medical ethics: 67 questions on 20 scenarios in 27 minutes.
Entry requirements to study medicine in the UK
Undergraduate: If you intend to pursue a career in medicine, you must enroll in a medical school, which is frequently a division of a university and has close ties to the area’s medical facilities. Students must have AAA grades in either biology or chemistry to begin their undergraduate studies. International students who want to study medicine in the UK at the undergraduate level must have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall and 6.5 in each of the four component areas (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
|STPM||AAA, A1 in all three subjects and all remaining subjects at A2|
|English||IELTS (minimum 7.5 overall), TOEFL (minimum 650 or 112)|
|A Level||AAA in either Biology or Chemistry|
|IGCSE||Grade B in both English and Mathematics|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||35 points|
|Additional pre-requisite||Pass UCAT Test|
Foundation: After completing their two-year undergraduate program, medical students will proceed to Foundation training, which will take an additional two years. Graduates from medical schools, other postgraduates, and different healthcare professionals are all involved in this. You will enter your specialized training path after finishing.
Speciality training: When you have finished your four years of school, the real work can start. Once you’ve chosen your area of specialization, the admittance procedure is very competitive, so you’ll need to put in a lot of effort to ensure you can get a spot in the field you want to concentrate on. A Certificate of Completion Training will be given to you once you have successfully completed your training, which may take up to seven years (CCT).
|Bachelor’s Degree||Good results|
|Working experience||Minimum 6 months (vary on the universities)|
|English||IELTS (minimum 7.5 overall), TOEFL (minimum 650 or 112)|
|Additional prerequisites||Pass interview (for some universities)|
|Supporting documents||Recommendation letter, updated CV|
Tuition fees for medicine in the UK
Depending on the course and university chosen, there are several tuition fee variations in the UK. Here is the expected annual tuition for the top UK institutions’ Health & Medicine programs:
|Bachelor’s Degree (except Nursing)||£ 20,000 – 40,000 per year|
|Bachelor’s Degree (Nursing)||£ 9,000 – 15,000 per year|
|Master’s Degree||£ 7,000 – 13,000 per year|
The aforementioned amount just covers the tuition; it does not include any other costs or living expenses. The cost of living for students in the UK varies depending on where the university is located and where they live.
As noted previously, the employment opportunity for this degree is great and can always be found throughout industries and sectors.
Following are a few career alternatives for graduates to think about:
- Medical research and development
- Emergency Medical
- Medical teacher
- The clinical forensic medical examiner
Compared to other countries, the UK has a relatively high wage for this line of labor, albeit it varies depending on the occupation.
The following table displays the various employment categories and predicted salaries for graduates in health and medicine in the UK:
|Doctor||£75,000 – 12,000 per year|
|Nurse||£23,000 – 60,000 per year|
|Midwifery||£23,000 – 40,000 per year|
|Medical researcher||£50,000 – 70,000 per year|
|Pediatrician||£80,000 – 105,000 per year|
|Surgeon||£90,000 – 400,000 per year|
What topics are covered in a medical course?
Depending on the primary specialization you choose, the subjects you encounter will change. A sample of the courses available in the bachelors in medicine and bachelor in surgery-
|Phase 1 (Year 1)||Introduction to Medical Studies and Medical SciencesIntroductory clinical competenciesSystems based learning and teaching (Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Gastrointestinal and Liver, Musculoskeletal, Skin, Nervous, Genitourinary, Endocrine, Reproductive, Hematology, Immunology)Integrated Clinical DemonstrationsMulti Professional ExperienceEarly Years General Practice PlacementCommunity Attachment SchemePublic Health and Population Health ScienceMedical EthicsPersonal and Professional DevelopmentStudent Selected Components (SSCs)|
|Phase 2 (Year 2)||Research ProjectEarly Years General Practice PlacementClinical Attachments SSCsClinical Medical SciencesClinical Skills|
|Phase 3 (Year 3 & 4)||Clinical Team AttachmentsChild HealthWomen’s HealthMental HealthSSCs (including Community-based and an Elective)Medical SciencesAcute Clinical CareContinuing Clinical CareCommunity and Public HealthSpecialty Clinical AttachmentsFurther SSCs including Medical Audit|
|Phase 4 (Year 5)||Final Preparation for becoming a Junior DoctorLICP2 and LICP3Student assistantship|
|Year 5||Medicine Student Internship Program Surgery Student Internship ProgramPediatrics Student Internship ProgramGeriatric Medicine Student Internship ProgramOrthopedic Surgery Student Internship ProgramDermatologyInfectious DiseasesClinical Skills and Life Support TrainingElectives|
How to apply to Study Medicine in the UK
- Find the right medical school for you
- Your personal written statement
- Getting work experience in a caring role
- Submit your application.
- Medical school admission tests
- Attend an interview.
- Get offer letter
- Start preparing for life as a medical student.
- Original transcripts or certified copies of them
- Your degree certificate in original or certified copies
- A certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL scores, or the original (if English is not your first language).
We suggest international students regarding visas, immigration, and other topics. To ensure they have enough time to apply for their visa, we advise international students to submit their applications as early as possible.
You might need to apply for a visa if you are not from the UK and do not already have residency here.
The type of visa you need depends on how long your course will be:
- Courses lasting longer than six months: student visa
- Courses lasting less than six months: Regular Visitor Visa
In order to be sponsored for a student visa, international students need to enrol in one of our full-time programs. You will not be able to enrol in part-time courses if you are a student living in the UK on a student visa (with the exception of some modules).
Top Universities to Study Medicine in the UK
If you are planning to study medicine in the UK and aspire to become a leading professional in your desired field, then you need to know what the best universities are and what grades you need to get into them.
The Complete University Guide has released a list of the best universities to study medicine in the UK. Here are the top five from their list:
1. University of Oxford
Ranked amongst the top universities in the world, the University of Oxford has produced some of the leading minds in various fields including Stephen Hawking, Oscar Wilde, Rupert Murdoch and many more. If you want to study medicine at Oxford University, then you should have at least an A*AA in A-Level or equivalent to fulfil the admission requirements for the Undergraduate program.
2. University of Cambridge
Another world-renowned institution, Cambridge University, also has numerous notable names in its list of alumni, including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall, William Wordsworth, and many more. Anyone who wants to get admitted to the Undergraduate program must fulfil a set of requirements including an A*A*A in A Level.
3. University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is one of the four ancient universities of Scotland. Though not in the same league as Cambridge University or Oxford University, the University of Glasgow also has some notable names attached to its list of alumni, including William Thomson, Adam Smith, and Edwin Morgan. Anyone who wants to get admitted to their undergraduate program must fulfil the admission requirements, including an AAA at A Level.
4. Swansea University
Founded in 1920, Swansea University offers a three-year undergraduate degree in medicine. The university has produced some brilliant but lesser-known individuals, including Edward George Bowen, Terry Matthews and David Cornthwaite. The entry requirements for BSc Applied Medical Sciences set by Swansea University include an AAB or ABB in A Level.
5. Imperial College London
The London-based public research university, Imperial College London, aims to benefit society through breakthroughs and advancements in the fields of medicine, science, business and engineering. The university’s alumni, including Alexander Fleming, H. G. Wells, Thomas Henry Huxley, Frederick Gowland Hopkins, Sir William Henry Perkin, and Alan Blumlein, share this philosophy. Imperial’s medical program is, without doubt, one of the best in Europe. They offer a wide range of teaching principles, which include theoretical study and a variety of practical tasks as well. Another interesting facet of studying medicine at Imperial is that students are able to engage with patients, which is not a feature at other universities in UK.
The typical medical course at Imperial lasts six years and includes an undergraduate degree which leads to an MBBS. Like many of the best medical institutes in Europe, they place an emphasis on clinical practice as well as intensive research techniques. Naturally, if you want the best, then you have to meet a number of prerequisites. Falling among the best UK universities for medicine, entry requirements are high which means prospective students must have extraordinary grades in science subjects like biology and chemistry. In addition, they must have an excellent BMAT score too. When applying to Imperial College London for medicine, potential students must prepare for an interview as well. Those who reside in other countries and wish to pursue medicine at Imperial must note that competition is fierce when it comes to admissions of overseas students.
6. The University of Warwick
In the latest rankings released this year, Warwick climbed three places and moved into the 54th slot in the worldwide rankings. That is a testament to the work done at the university, and the field of medicine is no different. The University of Warwick, located on the outskirts of Coventry, recently became a member of the illustrious Russell Group of Universities. This is essentially the equivalent of the Ivy League in the United States and includes two dozen of the best research-intensive universities in UK.
Falling among the best UK universities for medicine, Warwick also ranks high when it comes to employability rankings. This is another factor that students consider when seeking options because the quality of education is one determinant while employment is another matter altogether. Students can pursue a four-year-long MB ChB or Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. The course can be arduous, but the challenge is extremely rewarding. By the time students are finished, they are trained to become diligent and determined doctors. They are able to execute the highest standards of clinical practice and patient care.
7. The University of Bristol
Another member of the Russell Group, the University of Bristol and its medical school offer wonderful opportunities for students. It is ranked in the top ten universities in the UK and is 51st in the world. Bristol offers an MB ChB Gateway to Medicine (6 years) and MB ChB Medicine (5 years). The former is an intercalated degree which is highly rewarding and includes a year away from conventional medical, dental or veterinary studies, hence the additional year.
Anyone who wants to be accepted to the MBBS/BSc Medicine program at this prestigious institution needs to fulfil the entry requirements, which include an AAA in A Level. While these are the crème de la crème amongst universities offering medicine, there are many other universities that offer quality education and excellence in the subject.
Which UK University is best for medicine?
The University of Glasgow is one of the four ancient universities of Scotland. Though not in the same league as Cambridge University or Oxford University, the University of Glasgow also has some notable names attached to its list of alumni including William Thomson, Adam Smith and Edwin Morgan.
What are the entry requirements needed to be a doctor?
International students who want to study medicine in the UK at the undergraduate level must have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall and 6.5 in each of the four component areas (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
Which year of medical school is the hardest in the UK?
3 and 4 years of medical school is the hardest in the UK for international students.
What are the best medical universities in the UK?
Best medical universities are-
1. University of Oxford
2. University of Cambridge
3. University College London (UCL)
4. Imperial College London
5. King’s College London
6. University of Edinburgh
Is Cambridge or Oxford better for medicine?
Ranked amongst the top universities in the world, the University of Oxford has produced some of the leading minds in various fields including Stephen Hawking, Oscar Wilde, Rupert Murdoch and many more.