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Health and Medicine in United Kingdom

Course overview 

As a leader in medical research, 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 many healthcare programmes accredited by the UK’s General medical council. Students in the UK may pursue programs in health and medicine education including pharmacy, physiotherapy, sports science, and medicine and surgery. Graduate programmes include specialisations in 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 such that students can gain practical experience and a holistic understanding of the material while learning professional conduct and handling healthcare real-life situations.

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


Why study health 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 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 and medicine in the UK

  • The 2021 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 7th, 8th, and 10th, respectively.
  • International students receive a two-year work visa for the UK upon graduation.
  • The United Kingdom ranked 33rd on the Global Peace Index in 2021, improving by 6 ranks from 2020.

Choosing your health and medicine university

Here are some key things to look out for in choosing your health and medicine university in United Kingdom:

  • 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. Look for a university that offers scholarships and determine if you are eligible, some scholarships are only awarded to students in certain countries and regions.
  • 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 United Kingdom universities

Admission to a medical school in the UK can get competitive. 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) and the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).

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 healthcare students, who should become proficient in Medical English.

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.

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