In the UK, medicine is recognised as one of the most competitive courses, with top universities annually drawing in thousands of international students for MBBS programmes. From conceiving the vaccine in 1798 to performing the world’s first foetal ultrasound to developing the world’s first fully articulated prosthetic hand in 2013, the UK stands at the forefront of medicinal education and has been driven to make discoveries and inspire the next generation.
It’s why more than 22,000 medical students travel to the UK from overseas to get knowledge and expertise, opening up a respected career path they can follow wherever they go. If you possess strong academic abilities and can demonstrate your aptitude for this field, then applying to study medicine may be the right path for you.
Medical schools in the UK offer students the opportunity to practise in real-world healthcare settings, making them ready to take on any challenge after graduation. The medical qualifications obtained from the UK open doors to numerous opportunities worldwide, thanks to the language skills, research insights, and high-level practical training that the students acquire.
With over 60 specialisms available for Indian medical students, modular course structures enable students to tailor their learning experience to their interests and focus. Furthermore, students gain real-world experience, access the latest technology and insights, and develop communication skills that they will rely on throughout their careers.
The duration of studying medicine In the UK differs depending on the level of the degree. For undergraduates, it takes 5 - 6 years to complete an undergraduate course, 2 years to complete postgraduate courses, and a further 4 years to finish any PhD programmes.
To study medicine in the UK, students need to pass the respective medical entrance exams before being accepted to a UK medicine course. For undergraduate medical courses, students need to successfully appear for the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) and the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) for postgraduate courses.
If you decide you want to study medicine as an undergraduate in the UK as an Indian student, 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. To initially study at the undergraduate level, students will need AAA grades, with either Chemistry or Biology as a requirement, with an additional favourable subject like physics, maths, or another science-related subject.
For international students wishing to study medicine at the undergraduate level, an IELTS score of no less than 6.5 across all four categories is required. An IELTS score of no less than 6.5 is required for international students wishing to study Medicine at an undergraduate level. This must be across all four categories:
Generally speaking, most UK universities will require an IELTS score of at least 7.0 before accepting you to start studying medicine.
Once your undergraduate study of two years has been completed, medical students in the UK will then move on to Foundation training, lasting another two years. This brings together medical school graduates, other postgraduates and various health care providers. Once completed, you will move into your specialist training path.
Once you have completed four years of study, now the serious work begins! The entry process, once you have decided on which area you wish to specialise in, is highly competitive, so plenty of hard work is needed to ensure you can secure a place in the area you wish to focus on. Training here can last for anything up to seven years, depending on the specialisation, and upon completion, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion Training (CCT).
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.
The test is taken at your local test centre, with each subtest in a multiple-choice format. Past papers are not available, but there are specimen questions on the UKCAT website. Applicants must take the UKCAT at the following universities:
The cost of studying medicine in the UK is more when compared to the other courses for a few reasons, such as course duration (5-6 years) and access to specialised equipment, extensive training, and other resources.
The typical MBBS fees in the UK for Indian students on undergraduate medicine courses range between £25,000 to £45,000 per academic year and around £39,500 per year for postgraduate programmes. To help with the fees for studying medicine in the UK, you can apply for schemes such as scholarships, which can help reduce the costs involved.
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University of Cambridge
University of Aberdeen
University of Edinburgh
Imperial College London
University of St Andrews
There are various types of medicine degrees available within the UK to study as an Indian student. To pursue a career in medicine, you will need to complete an undergraduate course, a postgraduate course, and depending on the role you have in mind, a PhD in medicine too.
Undergraduate medicine courses cover a broad range of medical knowledge and skills, including anatomy, pharmacology, pathology, and clinical skills. Admissions to undergraduate medicine courses are highly competitive and typically require high grades in science subjects.
Postgraduate medicine courses in the UK include Master of Science (MSc) degrees, postgraduate diplomas, and postgraduate certificates. They can be completed part-time or full-time and cover areas such as oncology, cardiology, and neurology.
PhD programs in medicine allow students to conduct in-depth research in a specific area of medicine. These programs typically last for three to four years and require a significant amount of independent research.
Medicine is a highly respected and lucrative career in the UK, with a wide range of career paths available to graduates. These include general practice, surgery, psychiatry, radiology, paediatrics, obstetrics, and gynaecology, among others.
The average salary for medical professionals can vary greatly depending on their speciality, level of experience, and location. According to data released by National Careers Service and the NHS, here is how much medicine practitioners earn according to their specialisations:
According to the Guardian University Guide 2023 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.
With the number of positions medical graduates can move into, numbering over 60, there is no shortage of opportunity depending on what area you wish to specialise in. Areas of expertise generally fall into the following categories:
There are many top UK universities that offer medicine courses. You can explore a complete list of UK universities that offer medicine courses by using our course search function and searching for medicine.
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 2023 below:
The UK is home to some of the top medical schools in the world. As an international student, you can study MBBS in the UK for your bachelor’s degree. For postgraduate students, there is a range of specialisations available that students can choose according to their interests.
Yes, there are over seven scholarships available to study MBBS in the UK for Indian students. Popular scholarships include the Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine scholarship and the King’s College London Global Health & Social Medicine scholarship.
To study medicine at a UK university, there are prerequisite subjects you need to have studied and passed as part of the entry requirements for most medical schools and colleges. The compulsory required subjects needed for medical school are chemistry and biology. Some medical schools will require an additional subject in either maths, physics, or another science-related subject.
Because studying medicine in the UK is highly competitive, you will have to have scored at least AAA grades in these subjects to qualify.
The cost of studying medicine in the UK for Indian students can range from £25,000 - £45,000 per academic year for undergraduate courses. The fees for postgraduate courses can cost up to £39,500 per year. The reason medicine degrees are so expensive is because of the long course duration, as well as needing access to specialist equipment and training.
You can apply for various schemes such as scholarships, grants, and bursaries to help with fees involved with studying medicine in the UK.
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