How To Successfully Apply to UK Medical Schools From China
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
Applying to UK medical schools may be attractive for students from China, with the UK’s universities making up four of the top 10 globally, and further universities in the top 20. A UK medical degree will be recognised across the world – and of course also opens up the possibility of practicing in the UK.
The following is an overview of key information regarding applying to UK medical schools from China.
Grade Requirements for Students applying to Medicine from China
Ideally you will have studied the IB – if this is the case, you should have at least 36 points, with 6,6,6 in HIgher Level subjects to include Biology and Chemistry. If not, you will likely need to have completed a year of university in China.
Here are some examples of entry requirements for those that have not taken the IB or international A Levels:
King’s College London states that the ‘Senior High School Certificate and/or Hui Kao are not considered suitable for direct entry to undergraduate study at King’s.’ Instead, applicants will need to take an International Foundation program.
Manchester states that ‘due to differences in the China and UK education systems,’ they will not accept applicants direct from high school in China. Instead, they expect that applicants complete a foundation program recognized by the university. If this route is taken, then an average of at least 80% at senior high school year three must be attained, including in key science subjects.
Bristol explains that it will only accept applicants who have successfully completed at least one year of a Chinese university degree at a ‘prestigious university.’
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Finances/Fees for Medicine in the UK
Fees for overseas students in the UK can be expensive, and this is certainly the case for those looking to study Medicine – especially at the prestigious Russell Group universities. As a ballpark figure, expect to pay around £30,000 pounds a year. As examples, Edinburgh charges around £32,100 per year on average for its six year course, whereas Manchester charges £27,000 for pre-clinical years and £46,000 for clinical years.
Job prospects in the UK and in China
Job prospects in the UK are fantastic, as all UK Medicine graduates can expect an offer of employment from the National Health Service. Specialty training following this can be competitive.
Looking at job prospects for those planning on returning to China, there are relatively recent decrees by the government that provide important information. In 2011, the ‘Notice on foreigners applying for doctors’ qualification examination of the People’s Republic of China after obtaining China’s medical degrees’ was introduced, and made the Chinese physician qualifying examination open to foreigners. From 2012, qualified foreigners could therefore apply for the Chinese Medical Licensing Examination. As a Chinese citizen who is returning to the country, the situation would be somewhat different, but likely to be simplified rather than made more complex. It appears that a recognised international medical qualification (like the UK’s MBChB or MBBS etc) would allow a physician to register for, and be awarded, the ‘Foreign Doctor’s Qualification Certificate.’
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3 Key Tips for Applying to UK Medical Schools from China
Firstly, make sure that you are aware of the emphasis placed on experience and voluntary work by UK universities. This will require coordinating with local hospitals or charities to gain experience, and subsequently reflecting on this experience with UK doctors or medical students as far as possible, in order to be prepared for questions on it at interview.
Next, look into both the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) and UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test). These two entrance exams for UK universities are quite different from one another, and no university will require both – meaning that you should understand which suits you better. Ensure that you work through as many practice questions as possible, with worked answers, in order to improve.
It’s also a great idea to learn as much as possible about the UK’s healthcare system. That could mean reading up on the NHS, its history and structure, it could mean considering the way that UK medical courses are run, or it could mean understanding the GMC and its role in governing Medicine in the UK. Again, discussing these institutions with doctors and medical students who are already in the UK will be very advantageous.