International students studying medicine in UK- Important facts to keep in mind!

international students studying medicine in uk
Medicine / studying in UK

International students studying medicine in UK- Important facts to keep in mind!

It’s not uncommon to see international students studying medicine in UK. That’s because the UK has many excellent medical schools. The salaries of medical practitioners working in the UK are also pretty impressive! This is a major incentive for potential doctors to study in the UK

However, if you want to study medicine in England or Northern Ireland, there’s a lot you need to know. Programs are majorly competitive, which means you need to stand out from the crowd. 

UniApp rounds up for you the important facts you should keep in mind when choosing to study a medical program in the UK! Read on to learn more about this topic. 

Top medical colleges in the UK for international students

The first thing you probably want to know as potential international students studying in UK is what the top schools are. We’ve picked out five great options for you to consider if you want to study medicine abroad there: 

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is well known worldwide for being a top university. It has renowned medical programs. The school of medicine is a small and selective school. This means students enjoy a comfortable and unique learning environment. Students are also encouraged to take part in cutting-edge research during their study time.  

2. University of Cambridge

Another great medical school in the UK is the medical program offered by the University of Cambridge. The school has the second-oldest MBBS program in the UK. It has incredibly high teaching standards to produce well-versed and compassionate medical graduates. Students graduate ready to take on the medical world by storm.

The school offers students two kinds of medical programs. One is the standard medical program, which is for those who want to study a bachelor’s degree. The second type is the graduate degree, which offers students graduate-level medical degrees. 

Read more: The best universities to study medicine in the UK 2023

3. Queen Mary University London

The Queen Mary University of London is a good contender for a medical school in the UK. It is one of the best schools worldwide to get a medical degree at. Students study an excellent theoretical program for the first three years. 

Following this, students get a more hands-on practical approach. The university dramatically stresses practical work. It focuses on producing graduates who can solve medical problems in the globalised world we live in. This is as opposed to simply teaching theoretical knowledge. 

Read more: Study medicine abroad- Your Top five study destinations in 2023

4. King’s College London

The 4th school on our list is King’s College in London. This school is one of the best in England. Medical students get a highly diverse medical education. This curriculum is unique, with both practical and theoretical foundation courses. 

Students also receive clinical training. This allows them to have close contact with patients and gain practical knowledge. The university also offers students help to get clinical placements at district general hospitals in the United Kingdom. 

5. Queens University Belfast

Finally, Queen’s University in Belfast is located in Northern Ireland. It has excellent medical programs for aspiring doctors to pursue. Students who choose this school enjoy an exciting study experience. They are placed in clinical practices in many hospitals in Northern Ireland. At this university, this happens from the first year onwards! 

The school of medicine has a slogan of ‘Patients as Partners’. It has a close-knit relationship with the community in Northern Ireland. It applies its educational and outreach programs there so the community can take advantage of the doctors-to-be. 

Read more: 3 Things you Should Know to Transfer from Pharmacy to Medicine

Medical education in the UK 

If you want to study medicine in Europe and in the UK in particular, you’ll be curious about how medical education in the UK works. Medical degrees in the UK are made up of different stages. In this section, we talk a bit about this! 

Here are the different stages international students studying medicine in UK pass through to achieve their medical degree: 

1. Bachelor’s degree

This is the primary and foundational stage that all medical students go through. This program lasts for an average of 6 years. It includes several clinical placements in various settings, such as hospital and community venues. 

Read more: How to get a bachelor’s degree in medicine?

2. Foundation degree training

 After completing their bachelor’s degree, students go on to study a two-year medical program. They must complete this medical training so they can further their medical education. 

3. Speciality, General Practice (GP) and run-through training

 After graduating from their foundation degree training, doctors choose to specialise in a certain area of medicine. They can also choose to specialise in general practice to become a family doctor (general practitioner). How long the training will last depends on the area of medical specialisation. 

For example, some are just run-through programs while others start off with some core training. After completing their training, students can go on to receive their licence. After getting their license, they are finally qualified to work as \medical professionals in the United Kingdom. 

UK Medical School Entry Requirements

International students who want to study medicine in UK need to also be aware of the medical school entry requirements. Entry requirements for medical school differs depending on the level of education you are applying for.

If you want to study medicine in English in Europe like in the UK, you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • AAA Grades, with either Chemistry or Biology as a subject requirement
  • An IELTS score of at least 6.5 across the reading, writing, speaking and listening sections. They should have an overall score of at least 7.0.
  • Passing the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) might be an optional requirement. The UKCAT test is an online exam that tests cognitive abilities, logical reasoning and crtiica thinking. It has four kinds of reasoning tests: Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning, decision analysis and situational judgement. 

Read more: What are the Top 10 Universities to Transfer to Medicine?

Can international students study medicine in UK for free?

International students interested in studying medicine in UK might want to know if they can study for free. In general, it’s hard to study a medical degree for free but there are some scholarships available. 

In this section, we will discuss how much an average UK MBBS program costs as well as some of the scholarships that can cover your study costs. Read on to learn more! 

Average UK MBBS program cost 

In general, the average MBBS program in the UK costs you anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000 British pounds on an annual basis. Because programs are around 5 or 6 years long, this can end up being pretty expensive. This is in addition to other costs that students must cover. 

Examples of living costs that students may need to pay are the following: 

  • Accommodation costs like rent 
  • Food costs like groceries and eating out 
  • Utility bills like heating, electricity and internet costs 
  • Mobile phone bills 
  • Transportation costs
  • Personal expenses like entertainment costs and gym costs, among others. 
international students studying medicine in uk
UK Doctor reading some documents.


There are several scholarships that can help students to study in the UK with free tuition or at a minimal cost. They can also offer students stipends to cover other living costs and even pocket money. These scholarships are offered by universities, government organisations private organisations.

Here are some of the scholarships worth looking into if you want to find something to help cover your costs: 

1. Hull York International Medical College Scholarship

One of the most common scholarships that medical students look into are the Hull York Medical scholarships. This scholarship gives international students financial support to be able to study at the university. 

The scholarship offers students 2400 GBP. This means it covers around a quarter of the tuition fees for the first two years of study.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:
  • Must be from any European country or UK country
  • Must be registered at the University of Hull at the medical program 
  • Must have a household income of 25,000 British pounds or less
  • Must have an offer letter from the university, proving they are eligible for academic study 

Read moreStudy Medicine Online- Find out Your Study Options!

2. Global Health Future Leaders Scholarship

The Global Health Future Leaders Scholarship is another good scholarship to research. This scholarship is offered by Liverpool’s School of Medicine.It is offered to students who study Tropical Medicine and Hygiene programs. The scholarship fully funds postgraduate courses for two international medical students. 

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:
  • Must be citizen of a country other than UK
  • Must have scored higher than 6.5 in the IELTS and 80 in the TOEFL exams
  • Must have scored a minimum of 60 per cent in previous education 
  • Must have work experience of at least one year in the medical field 

3. Faculty of Medicine Scholarship 

The Faculty of Medicine Scholarship is offered by the Imperial College in London. It offers a full scholarship for international students who want to study a medical degree in the UK. 

To be eligible for the program, you have to have studied any subject related to a STEM degree. It’s a merit based scholarship. This means that students have to have previously excelled academically to win the scholarship. 

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must not be a citizen of UK
  • Must be a full-time graduate student pursuing a medical master’s degree 
  • Preference is given to those who have previous work experience in the medical and health sciences fields.  

Is it hard for international students to get into medical school in the UK? 

Next, you might be wondering how hard it is for international students to get into medical school in UK. To make things more clear, the applicants to places ratio is about 1:4. This means it’s highly competitive in nature. Most applicants have previously excelled academically and fulfill all medical school requirements. 

Furthermore, there are only 7,000 places in UK medical schools for every 24,000 students who are applying. This isn’t very many at all! This means that medical programs are some fo the most competitive ones out there. 

When applying for medical school, you’ll apply as usual through UCAS. You can choose up to 4 schools to add to your application. You sometimes have the extra choice to apply for one extra place for any other subject. Some medical schools may also allow you to write a personal statement separately for a 5th medical school, but not all schools. 

If you want to strengthen your application and stand out from the crowd, you can try the following suggestions: 

1.Try volunteering

Volunteer work can demonstrate empathy and motivation.You can also learn many skills that you can talk about during any interviews. It’s not mandatory but can help boost your application. 

2. Learn how to excel academically

You should work on your actual studying skills, not just studying the subject. You should actually learn how to learn, rather than just memorise the syllabus. Find out how to become academically excellent to prepare for medical school. 

Read more: The Ultimate 10 Best Study Tips for 2023

3. Become well-rounded! 

Becoming well-rounded is also highly recommended. You should show you are motivated and tough. After all, medicine is one of the toughest careers to pursue. It isn’t for the faint hearted. Select extracurricular activities strategically, as application committees will look through them. 

Why should international students consider studying medicine in UK?

Finally, you might be wondering why you should consider studying in the UK. There are several perks to studying medicine in the UK. The following are some of the perks to studying medicine in the UK: 

  • 43 of UK Universities are part of the top 650 medical schools in the world. 
  • Average salary of a UK Doctor is from 61,300 GBP to 318,000 GBP annually. This makes it a highly paying career. 
  • Medical programs in the UK are excellent. Students gain hands-on learning knowledge, attending trainings at world-class hospitals. 
  • Students graduate with a globally approved medical degree that they can work with practically anywhere worldwide! 

Read more: 7 Tips to study medicine in Europe in 2023

For international students studying medicine in UK, there are many excellent insitutions to choose from. University of Oxford, Queen Mary’s University and Queen’s University in Belfast are only a few of the top schools! At these schools, you can gain the full medical educational experience.

Keep in mind that medical degrees can last a long period of time to be completed in the UK. That’s why they can be pretty expensive! Thankfully, there are several scholarships to look for to help minimise or cover all your costs. 

If you don’t know what degree you want to study, contact the academic experts at UniApp. They can also help you find a good scholarship or funding opportunity for you.

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