How To Successfully Apply to UK Medical Schools From India
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
Medical schools in the UK are a popular destination for international students, making them highly competitive. Students from India who are interested in studying in the UK should ensure that they are familiar with the application process as early as possible, and that they understand which qualifications are likely to be accepted by UK medical schools.
The following is an overview of key information for potential applicants to UK medical schools from India.
Grade Requirements for Students applying to Medicine from India
You will stand the best chance of admission to a UK medical school if you have taken the IB (International Baccalaureate) rather than the standard Indian Year XII Certificate. If you have taken the IB, you should have at least 36 points, with 6,6,6 in Higher Level subjects that include Biology and Chemistry.
If you have not taken the IB, then the situation is somewhat more complex. Here are some examples of what UK medical schools require – you should take the time to speak to admissions departments to understand their requirements in detail.
King’s College London requires at least 90% overall in the Higher Secondary Certificate from Standard XII, to include Chemistry and Biology, with GCSE grade B in both English and Mathematics. IELTS at grade 7 is also required,l although if you have sat English as a Standard XII subject and have at least 80% then this requirement is waived.
Oxford states that you must have studied with the CBSE (All-India SSC) or CISCE (ISC) boards. For CBSE, they explain that, ‘we are aware that students will not know their grades at the point when they are applying. As an indication, therefore, we will be looking for marks of 91 or above for A1 and 81 to 90 for A2.’ Grades A1, A1, A1, A2, A2 with A1 in Biology and Chemistry are required. For the CISCE board, you must hold an overall grade of at least 90%, with at least 95% in three subjects to include Sciences, and 85% or more in the other two subjects.
Bristol outlines that, as they understand that most Indian candidates have been taught in English, they will accept CBSE or CISCE English at 70-80% in lieu of IELTS. A typical offer for a student offering either the CBSE or CISCE Standard XII Certificate would be 90% (which is seen as equivalent to A*AA at A Level).
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Finances/Fees for Medicine in the UK
Medicine in the UK is expensive for those applying from overseas, although compared to a US college the rates seem far more reasonable. Russell Group universities are generally more expensive than those outside the group, although this is not always the case. Within the Russell Group, universities are generally priced similarly, and more prestigious universities are not necessarily more expensive than less prestigious ones. As a rough number, you should expect to pay at least £30,000 per year. Manchester charges £27,000 per year for pre-clinical years and £46,000 for clinical years – Edinburgh charges an average of £32,100 per year.
Job prospects in the UK and in India
Job prospects in the UK are very solid, as all UK graduates will receive a guaranteed offer of employment in the NHS. Traditionally, doctors that have made the move to the UK will remain in the UK, as average doctors in India will earn only between £13,500 to £22,000 per year, whereas a UK doctor will earn around £80,000 to £100,000 when fully qualified as a specialist or GP.
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3 Key Tips for Applying to UK Medical Schools from India
You should ensure that you are aware of the UCAT and BMAT, and that you consider which one you will find easier – and cross-reference which universities will require which test. Most universities require UCAT, although a significant proportion require the BMAT. None require both. You should practice thoroughly with mock questions, and ensure that the question bank you use has worked solutions in order to improve.
Practice MMI questions with a UK medical student or doctor, ideally one who has recent experience in the structure of the MMI and what UK universities are looking for.
Ensure that your personal statement is reviewed as far as possible by a UK medical student or doctor, who will be aware of what you should write, and what you should seek to particularly emphasise when writing.