10 Best Medical Schools in UK

Have you heard about the medical schools in UK? There are over 20 medical schools in UK. The article below explains the 10 best medical schools in UK. You would want to try them out. 

The United Kingdom (UK) is an island country that is situated northwest of mainland Europe. It consists mainly of mainland Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) and the northern part of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland). It has other smaller islands. The UK is low-lying in the east. It has mountains that can be found in the north of England, in Scotland, in Northern Ireland, and in Wales.

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts:

  • primary education;
  • secondary education;
  • further education and 
  • higher education. 

It is expected of every child in the UK to legally have their primary and secondary education which happens to take place when the child is about 5 years old until the child is 16 years old.

The education system in the UK is also split into the following “Stages”, and they include:

  • Stage 1: 5 to 7 years old
  • Stage 2: 7 to 11 years old
  • Stage 3: 11 to 14 years old
  • Stage 4: 14 to 16 years old

From the above, we can say that in UK, primary school education begins at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising stages one and two under the UK educational system.

Also, in the UK, some primary schools are split up into Infant and Junior levels. They are usually separate schools on the same site. The infant level has an age range (Stage 1), which is from age 5 to 7. The Junior level has its age range (Stage 2) to be from age 7 to 11.

This applies to other stages, where the child has his or her secondary school education (both in the junior and senior categories) which usually happens when the child is 11 years of age and ends at age 16. Age 16 is important because the child is ready for the next level of his or her life, so he or she sits for an exam (GCSE).

The subjects the child selects and the GCSE results are very important for his or her Further Studies (A-Level or IB) and his or her University admission.

In the UK education system, once a child reaches the age of 16 per se, he or she can start a 2-year program which leads to A (Advanced) level examinations. Students specialize in 3 or 4 subjects, that are usually relevant to the degree subject they wish to follow in the university. Levels are state examinations and are recognized by all UK universities and by institutions worldwide.

At the end of Year 13, following the examinations in each subject, the students receive A-level Certificates.

In the UK, a British bachelor’s degree normally takes three years to complete and most are awarded at the honors level. Examples of first degrees are B. A (Bachelor of Arts), B.Eng (Bachelor of Engineering), and B.Sc (Bachelor of Science).

Also, note that state colleges offer some 2-year vocational diplomas that grant exemption from the first and sometimes the second year of a degree program to students. Some private tutorial colleges offer a one-year diploma program which is equivalent to year 1 of the university. Students taking 1-year diplomas are awarded second-year entry at some universities. However, all these take place because the child passed A levels successfully.

Medical Schools In UK Entry Requirements

In every medical school, there are entry requirements that are expected to be submitted to qualify a student to be eligible for admission into that institution. Below is a list of Medical School Entry Requirements for medical schools in UK. They include:

  1. Undergraduate medicine entry requirements

Students who apply to a medical school in the UK broadly have two main course choices; the A100 medicine program (which is the standard entry medicine) or the A104 medicine with foundation year.

  1. UCAS Medicine Courses

Standard entry medicine (UCAS code: A100)

Standard entry medicine lasts for usually five years long but can be six. It can have different abbreviations, such as MBBS or MBChB, but all results are in the bachelor’s degree in medicine.

  1. International Baccalaureate

Which are 37 points including chemistry and another science subject.

  1. A-level results

AAA includes chemistry and one other science, such as maths, physics, biology, or psychology.

  1. IELTS

The student should have 7.5 points overall, with no lower than 7.0 in any one component.

  1. Other requirements like a transcript showing the secondary school results of the student, a recommendation letter from the principal and some teachers of the student’s secondary school, etc.

How To Apply To A Medical School In UK 

If a student is applying to medical school in UK, there will be a range of things to consider.  Here is a guide to applying to a medical school:

  1. Subjects you need to study in medicine

For students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, all medical schools in UK accept applications that show:

  • good GCSE grades in maths, science, and English
  • a combination of GCSEs, AS levels, and A-levels
  • chemistry at A-level and often A-level biology
  • one other science subject is also required, for example, physics (or physical science), or mathematics.
  • a good A-level grade in an arts subject such as history or a modern language will usually be accepted as a third A-level.

Students with mainly non-science A-levels are normally required to study a foundation course, which will add a year to the standard five-year undergraduate course.

  1. Applicants to UK medical schools with other qualifications, such as an international baccalaureate, should contact the individual medical schools or UCAS for details on equivalent entry requirements. 

For students who are non-residents of UK? They should do the following when applying to a medical school in UK:

  1. Find the right medical school 

Students need to leave enough time to do research, before applying to medical school. This is because the research will help them to find out what type, of course, will suit them and outline what they need to do for the application process.

Remember, you can only choose up to four medical schools, so many students use the fifth as a backup option, applying to related courses like biomedical science which have lower grades. Consider what other course you’d be interested in taking besides medicine.

  1. Attending university open days and visiting the campus will give you an idea of what life at university is like. 
  1. Putting down your statement on a paper

The most important part of writing your statement is not to rush it. Find out the deadlines, apply them as early as possible and give yourself plenty of time to get your application ready.

  1. Medical schools want to know not just about your grades, but everything about you as a person. Talk about all the things you’ve achieved in your life: personal interests, hobbies, sports achievements, academic prizes, projects you’ve worked on, social groups you’ve been a part of. 
  1. Getting work experience in a caring role

Whether it be as a volunteer or in paid employment, having experience in a caring role is extremely valuable.

Getting hands-on experience will also give you a great insight into the day-to-day life of being a doctor and show your commitment to becoming a medic.

  1. Submitting your application

Have a checklist, double check your application against it and make sure you’re including everything that is being asked for. Have a friend, teacher, family member or careers advisor look through and check all your application items.

Many medical schools have the same requirements, but it’s up to you to be organized and make sure your application is received on time and includes everything required.

  1. Medical school admission tests

Some medical schools use the UCAS tariff point system to designate entry requirements. This point system establishes agreed comparability between different types of qualifications and between applicants with different types and volumes of achievement.

  1. In addition to the application through UCAS, medical schools require applicants to take admission tests.
  1. University clinical aptitude test (UCAT)

UCAT is used as part of the selection procedure for 30 medical schools in the UK. The UCAT test focuses on testing attributes considered to be valuable for healthcare professionals. It aims to ensure applicants selected to medical school have the mental abilities, attitudes, and professional behaviors required to be successful doctors.

UCAT also offers various bursaries for those that require financial support to pay for the test, with applications open from May to September every year.

10 Best Medical Schools In UK

The Best Medical Schools in the UK are:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University College London (UCL)
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Glasgow
  • Queen Mary University of London
  1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford Medical School is one of the best medical schools in UK that teach separate pre-clinical and clinical courses, enabling students to gain a comprehensive overview of medical science, before applying that knowledge in a clinical setting. 

Medical Colleges at Oxford give individual tuition and the very best in pastoral support.

See their website for more info

  1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is one of the best medical schools in UK that is rich in history – its famous Colleges and University buildings attract visitors from all over the world. 

But the University’s museums and collections also hold many treasures which give an exciting insight into some of the scholarly activities, both past, and present, of the University’s academics and students.

See the website for more info 

  1. University College London (UCL)

UCL is one of the medical schools in UK that is a top-ranked university with life-changing research and a progressive approach to academia, making it different from the rest. 

At UCL, students learn by doing—shaping the world around them with a hands-on approach.

See this website for more info

  1. Imperial College London

Imperial College is one of the best medical schools in UK that embodies and delivers world-class scholarship, education, and research in science, engineering, and medicine, with particular regard to their application in industry, commerce, and healthcare. 

They foster interdisciplinary working internally and collaborate widely externally.

See this website for more info 

  1. King’s College London

King’s is one of the best medical schools in UK. It is ranked in the world’s top universities and is London’s most central university, with five campuses in the capital. Our faculties, institutes, and schools deliver world-leading research, enabling groundbreaking discoveries. This research underpins all of King’s teaching and enables them to make the world a better place.

King’s is one of the medical schools in UK that is particularly distinguished in a wide range of health areas including psychiatry, medicine, nursing, and dentistry, and works with teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services to give students a thorough education experience.

See this website for more info 

  1. University of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Medical School at the University of Edinburgh is one of the medical schools in UK. It is one of the largest of its kind in the UK and the teaching team aspires to create an experience where research is cherished and is an important component of the life of every student. 

The six-year Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) degree will equip you with the knowledge, understanding, and skills required to become a Foundation Year 1 doctor. 

See this website for more info 

  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is one of the medical schools in UK that is the world-leading center for research and postgraduate education in public and global health.

They have a unique range and depth of expertise integrating laboratory, clinical, population, and social sciences. LSHTM is highly rated for impact and our research contributes to health policy and practice in the UK and around the world.

See this website for more info 

  1. University of Manchester

Manchester is one of the medical schools in UK. It is the only medical university in UK to have social responsibility as a core goal. For students, this means we take our commitment to social responsibility seriously. 

They encourage students to become the best they can be and to make a difference in the real world by participating in Stellify

See this website for more info 

  1. University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow School of Medicine is one of the medical schools in UK that provides a friendly environment where staff and patients support students in their learning. 

The undergraduate ‌MBChB course is designed to ensure students meet the necessary standards in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that new doctors need, as identified by the GMC in its publication, ‘Outcomes for Graduates.

The University of Glasgow is one of such medical schools in UK that offers a range of online postgraduate programs and short courses as well as free MOOCs (massive online open courses).

See this website for more info 

  1. Queen Mary University of London

The Queen Mary University of London is one of the medical schools in UK that is leading with research-focused higher education institutions. 

Queen Mary is one of the medical schools in UK that offers undergraduate, postgraduate taught programs and postgraduate research degrees across the full disciplinary spectrum – including in subjects that students don’t always find at a Russell Group university. Look for the subjects you are. 

See this website for more info

FAQs on 10 Best Medical Schools In UK

What is the easiest medical school to get into UK?

Below is a list of easiest medical schools in UK a student can choose to apply to:

  • Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
  • Hull York Medical School
  • Durham University, School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health
  • School of Medicine at the University of St. Andrews
  • Medical School at the University of Birmingham
  • Medical School at the University of Manchester
  • University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
  • Leicester Medical School
  • Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Is medical school free in the UK?

Medical schools in UK are not free except in certain situations.

If the student or the student’s parents are not ordinarily UK residents, the student has to pay his or her tuition fees in advance to qualify as a doctor in the UK. 

But if the student is ordinarily a resident of Scotland, the Scottish regional government will pay the student’s fees to study for an undergraduate degree at any university in the UK, including Medicine. 

If the student or the student’s parents are ordinarily a resident of Wales, UK, the Welsh Regional Assembly will give the student a grant plus loan to study any undergraduate subject you like, including medicine, at any university in the UK

How many years is a medical school in the UK?

Before you become a UK doctor you first have to obtain a degree in medicine from a medical school whose medical degrees we accept. 

So, medical courses normally last five years or four years for a graduate-entry program. They involve basic medical sciences as well as clinical training on the wards.

After graduation, the student will enter the two-year Foundation Programme. The student will be provisionally registered with a license to practice while completing the first year. Full registration is awarded when you’ve completed year one.

How many medical schools are in UK?

There are a total number of thirty-four medical schools in the United Kingdom that are recognized by the General Medical Council and where students can study for a medical degree. 

There are twenty-five medical schools in England, five in Scotland, two in Wales, and two in Northern Ireland. It is worthy to note that all medical schools in UK but Warwick Medical School, Swansea Medical School, and Ulster University offer undergraduate courses in medicine. 

The Bute Medical School (University of St Andrews) and Durham Medical School offer undergraduate pre-clinical courses only, with students proceeding to another medical school for clinical studies. Although Oxford University and Cambridge University offer both pre-clinical and clinical courses in medicine, students who study pre-clinical medicine at one of these universities may move to another university for clinical studies. 

At other universities, students stay at the same university for both pre-clinical and clinical work.

Are there medical schools in UK for Canadian students?

Yes, they are:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Glasgow
  • Swansea University 
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Bristol

Are there medical schools in UK for US students?

Yes. They include:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • UCL
  • Kings College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Oxford