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Health and Medicine in the UK

Course overview

As a leader in medical research journals and publications, ranked second in the SCImago Journal and Country Rank, the United Kingdom is one of the best places to study healthcare and medicine. Leading institutions such as UCL and the University of Oxford offer programmes that are both research and clinically intensive with all medical programmes accredited by the UK’s General Medical Council. Students in the UK may pursue programs in medicine and health sciences which include pharmacy, physiotherapy, sports science, and medicine and surgery. Postgraduate programmes offer a very wide range of specialisations including cognitive neuroscience, forensic speech, health statistics, and molecular medicine.

Medical schools in the UK offer high-quality programmes and abundant resources. Teaching styles vary between institutions. While institutions like the University of Oxford segregate their programme into pre-clinical and clinical stages, others like Imperial College London blend theory and practice from the first year of study. Most universities organise clinical placements and internships in hospitals as part of the curriculum so that students can gain practical experience and a holistic understanding of the theoretical aspects while learning professional conduct and experiencing real-life situations in healthcare.

Medical schools in the UK boast high employability with exposure to giving graduates from UK medical schools an edge in pursuing careers internationally and in the UK.

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Why study health sciences and medicine in the UK?

  • The UK is a leader in medical research, producing the second-highest number of medical papers and citations. Students benefit from world-class facilities, a rigorous curriculum and hands-on training.
  • Students studying health sciences and medicine gain practical experience and industry insight with patient contact and internships, which are incorporated into the curriculum. NHS experts and professionals mentor students during clinical placements.
  • Medical schools in the UK offer a wide range of fields of study, including dentistry, pharmacy, clinical psychology, pathology, physiotherapy, and anesthetics.
  • High-quality programmes open up local and international opportunities in the field of healthcare.

Key facts about studying health sciences and medicine in the UK

  • The 2020 QS World University Ranking featured 84 UK universities and four in the top ten, a testament to its excellent education. The University of Oxford offers the top-ranking medical programme in the world, while the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and University College London are ranked 2nd, 9th, and 14th, respectively.
  • Starting June 2021 international students that graduate from UK universities are eligible to remain in the UK for 2 years after graduation to look for work via the new Graduate Immigration Route.

Choosing your health sciences and medicine university

  • Academic Excellence - Research on reviews and teaching professors can give a good insight into the course curriculum in addition to course descriptions. Understand if any internships, hospital or clinical attachments are available to ensure a more holistic and practical education.
  • Cost - While tuition fees shouldn’t vary too much for the same course, the kind of financial assistance and scholarships available to you may differ more substantially depending on which country or region you’re from. Generally for courses like medicine there are very limited financial assistance and scholarships available for international students.
  • Location – Whether it’s the urban cosmopolitanism of London or the more rustic vibe of Cambridge you prefer, look for a university situated in a region that offers you the best mix of lifestyle and standard of living.
  • International Student Support - Find a university that offers well-planned support for international students, as they can advise on essentials such as accommodation, student welfare, and post-graduate employment opportunities.

Admission requirements for universities in the UK

Admission to a medical school in the UK can get competitive. It is important to note that applications to UK medical schools are highly oversubscribed. Students are advised to start working on their applications early to ensure that they meet the application deadline of October 15.  

Students not only need to fulfill the typical requirements - academic transcripts from your prior qualifications, be that your ‘A’ or ‘O’ level transcripts or high school records, ID documents, personal statement, and references - but also take additional tests.

These include the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) and Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

Another critical part of the assessment will include the Personal Statement to be completed in the UCAS application form as well as any work experience which can include voluntary work.

Students will be required to prove their English proficiency by taking a language test such as IELTS, TOEFL, or UCLES. The requirements for IELTS (Academic), the most common test are as follows:

  • For undergraduate programmes, an overall score of 6.0 and no less than 5.5 in each section.
  • For postgraduate programmes, the requirement is 6.5 and no less than 6.0 in each band.

Individual institutions often have higher language requirements for medical and health sciences students, who should become proficient via

Most medical schools in the UK require prospective students to take an entrance exam and attend an interview. Skype interviews are the norm for international students.

Finding what fits you best can be overwhelming. Let us help! We will help guide you through the entire process from course selection to university and visa application. Speak to our education specialists now for free.

Information That You Need To Know

Study in Different Cities in UK

UK Higher Education Level

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Student visa requirements in the UK

You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel to the United Kingdom. Your application date is the date when your application fee is paid.

Employment prospects in the UK

Working part-time while you study can be a great way to cover your living expenses in the UK and can also help gain work experience in your field of study.

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