UK Medical School Requirements For International Students
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
UK medical schools continue to be a popular choice for overseas students. As it stands, the UK has four medical schools in the global top 10 – Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and Imperial, with Edinburgh and King’s College London also in the top 20 globally. However, the number of international students who may take up places at UK medical schools is capped. As it stands, international students may not make up more than 7.5% of the total, according to guidance from the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
This is a summary of relevant information for overseas applicants to UK medical schools. Note that we also have specific articles for residents of the countries that make up the majority of overseas students in UK medical school.
Grade Requirements for Students applying to Medicine in the UK
You will stand the best chance of admission to a UK medical school if you have taken the IB (International Baccalaureate) or international A Levels. 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 taken A Levels, then your offer will be based on the standard A Level offer.
To provide an overview:
The following medical schools require less than 36 IB points: UEA, Keele, Kings.
Medical schools which require a total of 36 points or more: Aberdeen, Birmingham, BSMS, Exeter, Hull-York, Glasgow, Lancaster, Leicester, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Plymouth, Southampton, QUB, St George’s.
Medical schools which require a total of 37 points or more: Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Manchester, Sheffield.
Medical schools which require a total of 38 points or more: Barts & The London, Durham, Imperial, Newcastle, St. Andrew’s, UCL, Cardiff
Medical schools which require a total of 39 points or more: Oxford
Medical schools which require a total of 40 points or more: Cambridge
If you have taken your home country’s High School Certificate or equivalent, you will need to check with the university admissions department to see if they will accept it. Some countries’ certificates will be accepted due to similarities in their educational system and that of the UK, whereas others’ will be too different. If the certificate is not accepted, then you will have to take a recognised foundation year, from which you can progress into the first year of Medicine.
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Finances/Fees for Overseas Students Studying Medicine in the UK
Sadly, Medicine is very expensive compared to other UK degrees for students from Overseas. This is often due to the clinical years being markedly more expensive than the preclinical. Russell Group universities may charge more than other, less prestigious, universities. However, you may also find that fees are not necessarily linked to a university’s prestige or global placement.
In general, expect fees of £30,000 per year at least. Manchester provides an example of a UK medical school that charges very differently for pre-clinical (£27,000 per year) and clinical (£46,000 per year).
Job prospects in the UK and back home
Job prospects in the UK are much the same for an overseas student as they would be for a UK citizen. That’s because the National Health Service essentially guarantees a job for any graduate of a UK medical school, such is the demand in the UK for doctors. Most overseas graduates are likely to remain in the UK to take advantage of good pay and great training opportunities. For those that wish to return home, opportunities may be more limited in certain countries (like the United Arab Emirates) or readily-accessible and highly in demand (like Australia).
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3 Key Tips for Applying to UK Medical Schools from Overseas
You should look to gain a thorough understanding of the National Health Service, the General Medical Council, and the history and structure of Medicine in the UK. You will be likely to enter the profession here and remain in the country, so being able to show that you have reflected on the practice of Medicine here is invaluable.
Ensure that you practice MMI questions as far as possible with UK medical students or doctors, who will be able to ask the right kind of questions, and crucially be able to provide feedback that will help you develop your answers and succeed at interview.
Research both the UCAT and BMAT, look into which universities demand which test, and reflect on which test you are more likely to succeed in. When you know which you will be sitting (or if you are sitting both) then you should use as many practice questions as possible, and ensure that you use practice banks with worked solutions in order to improve.