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Medicine Courses in the UK

Learn more about MBChB and MBBS programmes to study at UK medical schools

Medicine is one of the most competitive courses in the UK to gain entry to, but every year, thousands of international students are accepted into medical schools across the UK. The entry standards for any medical school to study an MBBS are strict and exacting. Admission interviews can be tough, and students should expect questioning on motivation, previous work, and personal interests, as well as being able to produce evidence of all previous achievements, including relevant work experience. Many medical schools will expect completion of the clinical aptitude test, UCAT.

Medicine UK application

If your grades are of the highest standard, and if you can prove that you have set your heart on studying and working in this field, then applying to read Medicine in the UK is for you. 3 As at A-level, including chemistry or biology, an IB of 38 or IELTS score of 7.0 is the academic standard required for a Bachelor of Medicine degree in the UK.

A strong first degree and a successful career record are required for graduate Medicine, and work experience of one day a week for six months in a hospital, care home, hospice or other caring environment is the sort of evidence of intent the medical schools will be expecting and looking for. Understanding the National Health Service and how it works is also crucial for international applicants.

Admission to medical degrees in the UK is highly competitive, with many more qualified applicants than available spots. Students need to have a strong academic record and relevant work or volunteer experience to be considered for admission.

Medicine Course Duration

A Bachelor of Medicine in the UK is an undergraduate degree typically taking 5-6 years to complete. A Master's in Medicine typically takes 1-2 years to complete and requires a strong background in the sciences and/or healthcare.

Medicine Degree Tuition Fees

Medical tuition costs are higher because of the length of medical courses, which typically require 4-6 years of study. Because of this, many medical schools offer medicine scholarships to students to help with the cost of their education.

On average, international students can expect to pay between £25,000 and £45,000 per academic year when studying MBBS in the UK.

University Course International Fees

University of Cambridge



University of Aberdeen

Medicine, MBChB


University of Edinburgh

MBChB Medicine


Imperial College London

MBBS Medicine


University of St Andrews

Medicine BA (Hons)


Medicine Degree Types

Bachelor of Medicine

A Bachelor of Medicine, also known as an MBBS, prepares students for a career in medicine, including roles such as doctors, surgeons, and medical researchers. To pursue a Bachelor of Medicine degree in the UK, students must have completed high school or its equivalent with a strong academic record, including biology, chemistry, and physics.

A UK Bachelor of Medicine degree includes classroom learning and clinical experience. In the early years of the course, students learn about the basic sciences and medical terminology, while later years focus on clinical skills and patient care. Students typically also participate in clinical rotations in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Master's in Medicine

A Master's in Medicine is a postgraduate course that focuses on advancing the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals in a specific area of medicine. To pursue a Master's in Medicine, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in medicine.

A Master's in Medicine typically includes advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, epidemiology, clinical research, and patient care coursework.

PhD Medicine

A PhD in medicine is an advanced degree that involves conducting original research in a medical field. It typically takes 4-6 years to complete, and after completing your PhD, you may pursue a career in academia, industry, or government. Many PhDs in medicine go on to work in research, development, and regulatory affairs in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In contrast, others become university professors and researchers or work in government agencies like the National Institutes of Health.

Graduate Medicine Careers and Salary

Students graduating from an MBBS course in the UK have various options. Many opt for further study, but common career paths include:

  • General Practice: Many doctors choose to work as general practitioners, providing primary care to patients in the local community
  • Hospital Medicine: In roles such as cardiology, neurology, oncology, paediatrics, emergency medicine
  • Surgery: Surgeons who specialise in performing operations on patients
  • Public Health: Public health doctors work to improve the health and well-being of entire communities through initiatives such as vaccination programs and health campaigns
  • Research: Some doctors choose to work in medical research, either in an academic setting or in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Education: Medical educators work in universities, teaching the next generation of doctors and other healthcare professionals

Average Salary for Medicine Professionals

The average salary for medical professionals in the UK varies widely depending on the specific field of medicine and the experience level. Based on data from the National Careers Service and the NHS, here are a selected number of medical specialities and the average weighted salary.

  • General Practitioner: £72,000 - £105,000 per year
  • Surgeon: £79,860 - £149,400 per year
  • Consultant: £82,096 - £110,683 per year
  • Psychiatrist: £79,860 - £107,668 per year
  • Physician: £40,000 - £102,500 per year
  • Medical Researcher: £25,000 - £60,000 per year

Graduate Employability Rate for Medicine

According to the Guardian University Guide 2024: Medicine subject rankings, the following five universities have the highest percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs or are in further study at a professional or higher education level within 15 months of graduation.

  1. University of Cambridge (100%)
  2. University of Edinburgh(100%)
  3. Imperial College London (100%)
  4. University of Glasgow (100%)
  5. University of Bristol (100%)

Medicine Entry Requirements

If you decide you want to study medicine, you will need to enrol at a medical school, which is often part of a university but will have strong links to local hospitals and medical practices. Students will need exceptional grades in biology, chemistry, and physics for undergraduate medicine.

In the UK, most medical schools require applicants to sit for the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). These tests assess your critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Some universities may also require applicants to have work experience in a healthcare or medical setting to demonstrate their commitment to the field. Shortlisted applicants will typically be invited to an interview, which can be conducted in person or online, to assess their suitability for the course.

For international students wishing to study medicine at the undergraduate level, an IELTS score of no less than 6.5 across all four categories - reading, writing, speaking and listening – with an overall 7.0 score is generally required at most universities.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is part of the selection process of some UK medical and dental schools. It is an online test designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. There are four reasoning tests and a situational judgement test.

  • Verbal Reasoning. Assesses ability to think logically about written information and arrive at a reasoned conclusion: 21 minutes, with 11 passages to read and 44 questions.
  • Quantitative reasoning. Assesses ability to solve numerical problems: 24 minutes, 9 tables, charts, graphs, etc., as information and 36 questions.
  • Abstract reasoning. Assesses the ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking: 13 minutes and 55 questions.
  • Decision Analysis. Assesses ability to deal with various forms of information to infer relationships, make informed judgements, and decide on an appropriate response: 32 minutes, 1 scenario full of information and 28 questions (basic calculator provided)
  • Situational Judgement. Measures your responses in situations and your grasp of medical ethics: 27 minutes and 67 questions on 20 scenarios.

Where can I take the UKCAT test?

The test is taken at your local test centre, with each subtest in a multiple-choice format. Past papers are unavailable, but specimen questions are on the UCAT website. Applicants must take the UCAT at the following universities:

Where can I study a Medicine degree in the UK?

  • University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine
  • Aston University Medical School
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  • University of Bristol Medical School
  • University of Buckingham Medical School
  • University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
  • Cardiff University School of Medicine
  • University of Dundee School of Medicine
  • Edge Hill University Medical School
  • The University of Edinburgh Medical School
  • University of Exeter Medical School
  • University of Glasgow School of Medicine
  • Hull York Medical School
  • Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine
  • Keele University School of Medicine
  • Kent and Medway Medical School
  • King's College London GKT School of Medical Education
  • Lancaster University Medical School
  • University of Leeds School of Medicine
  • University of Leicester Medical School
  • University of Liverpool School of Medicine
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • University of Manchester Medical School
  • Newcastle University School of Medical Education
  • University of East Anglia, Norwich Medical School
  • University of Nottingham School of Medicine
  • University of Nottingham - Lincoln Medical School
  • University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division
  • Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Queen's University Belfast School of Medicine
  • University of Sheffield Medical School
  • University of Southampton School of Medicine
  • University of St Andrews School of Medicine
  • St George's, University of London
  • University of Sunderland School of Medicine
  • Swansea University Medical School
  • University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine
  • University College London Medical School
  • University of Warwick Medical School
  • Brunel University London, Brunel Medical School
  • Ulster University, School of Medicine
  • University of Chester Medical School
  • University of Surrey School of Medicine

Medicine School Rankings 2024

To learn more about the best medicine courses in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking Medical Schools in the Guardian University Guide 2024 below:

  1. University of Aberdeen
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. University of St Andrews
  4. Swansea University
  5. University of Edinburgh
  6. Keele University
  7. Imperial College London
  8. University of Oxford
  9. University of Glasgow
  10. Brighton Sussex Medical School

Study Medicine in the UK

If you are interested in studying medicine in the UK, arrange your free consultation today. Don't forget the Medicine Service provides interview practice with a doctor who sits on the admission panel of a UK medical school.

Medicine Degree FAQ

Four out of the top ten medical schools in the world are in the UK. UK medical schools are a popular destination amongst international students who want to study MBBS in the UK.

Yes, various scholarships are available to study medicine degrees in the UK. Contact an SI-UK consultant to learn more.

The subject requirements for medicine graduate entry in the UK are physics, chemistry, and biology. However, some of the top medical schools in the UK might also require students to study mathematics.

For medicine graduate entry in the UK, students must study chemistry and biology with either maths or physics.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the medicine graduate entry in the UK.

Top medical schools in the UK advise students to get relevant medical experience as a volunteer or intern to strengthen their medical application.

The short answer is no. Without biology, you cannot qualify for medicine graduate entry in the UK.

To study medicine in the UK, students must study physics or maths apart from chemistry and biology.

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