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      Medical Education (MBBS) in UK: Eligibility, Costs, Application, Top Universities & Career Prospects

      in UK: Eligibility, Costs, Application, Top Universities & Career Prospects

      MBBS is one of the most sought-after courses after 12th for Indian students. In the past couple of decades, the option of pursuing MBBS abroad is also gaining popularity. Here we will talk about medical education (particularly MBBS) in UKeligibility, costs, required exams, how to apply, top universities, and career prospects.




      MBBS in UK

      Eligibility, Costs, Exams, Application Process, Top Universities & Career Prospects



      Why Study Medicine/MBBS in UK?


      Studying medicine in the UK has always attracted international students, especially from India. Unlike a lot of other countries, most UK medicine programs are in tandem with the Indian medical education system. Having said that, it is equally important to know that medicine courses are one of the most competitive and expensive in the UK. One of the reasons for this is that most medical schools not only offer a theoretical degree but also have strong links with the local hospitals, medical and healthcare centers.


      Study Medicine in UK after 12th
      Image Source: Bristol University

      Apart from the excellent academic level of the degree, students get hands-on experience in the medical industry which proves to be invaluable at the time of seeking a placement. In addition, almost all of the UK medical schools offer scholarships to academically bright students, making it another reason why it’s such a popular course with Indian students.


      An article published on 18th February 2019 stated that there is a rising demand by Indian students to study in medical colleges overseas, with the UK leading the list [1]. Another report in 2019 by the General Medical Council, showed how International Medical Graduates (IMG) are increasing in numbers in the UK medical workforce [2]. These trends show the continuing popularity of UK medical schools where Indian students are concerned.


      Undergraduate Medicine Courses in the UK are of three types


      1. Standard Entry – Directly after Class 12th (5 or 6 years)
      2. Graduate Entry – After a graduation degree in a related subject (4 or 5 years)
      3. Preliminary Year – Also called a foundation year for those who don’t meet the entry requirements (6 years)

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      Postgraduate Courses in Medicine in UK


      Postgraduate medicine degrees in the UK are usually for two years. If you have completed your undergraduate from a country outside the UK, EEA or Switzerland you will need to take the PLAB test. This test is to check that doctors who qualified abroad have the right knowledge and skills to practice medicine in the UK [3]. In addition, some universities classify their degrees like MBBS / BSc Medicine or MBChB. These differences in names are mainly due to historical traditions that result in a bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery being abbreviated in different ways. The degrees themselves are equivalent qualifications.


      Admission Tests for Studying Medicine (MBBS) in UK


      Unlike most of the other courses in the UK, all medical schools require one of the following three admission tests:


      UCAT [4] – Used by 25 schools in the UK. The test scores must be in hand BEFORE the UCAS application is made.


      BMAT [5] – You need to register for the test before the UCAS application is made; although the test is taken only in November. The scores are then directly sent to the universities.


      GAMSAT [6] – Usually taken for Graduate entry courses. 7 standard entry schools use this test. It is to be taken before the UCAS application is made.


      Application Process for MBBS in UK


      Applications are through UCAS [7] and have an early deadline of 15th October of the year BEFORE the start of the session. Application documents usually consist of Class 10th mark sheet, predicted scores, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and any relevant work experience. In most cases, shortlisted candidates need to go for an interview.


      Eligibility to Study Medicine (MBBS) in UK


      Entry requirements typically range from five GCSEs at grades A* or A, including English and maths, and at least a grade B in science. You also need a minimum of three A levels at grades AAA or AAB in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject. English language tests are also mandatory for most universities.


      For Indian students (CBSE or ISC), top universities generally require a minimum of 90 – 95% apart from the UK admission tests and NEET. For Internal Baccalaureate (IB) students, 37 – 39 points are required overall (to include core points) with at least 766 at a higher level, and 6/7 points in Biology and Chemistry.


      For Indian students, IELTS/TOEFL is also mandatory. Finally, universities will also conduct an interview for the final selection.


      Costs and Scholarships to Study MBBS in UK


      Because of their specialized nature and high content of practical training, medical courses in the UK are among the most expensive to pursue. Depending on the ranking of the university and the facilities it provides, tuition fees per year for international students range from 28,000 GBP to 40,000 GBP. Added to this are living costs which largely depend on the location of the university and whether it is a campus or a city institution.


      Only a few universities offer financial support and scholarships for medicine courses and these are usually on the basis of academic excellence. For instance, the Hull York Medical School awards an International Scholarship worth (25%) of the overseas tuition fee for each year of successful study during the first two years of the MBBS course.


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      Top Universities for MBBS in UK (2020)


      There are also a number of rankings available for medical schools in the UK like the QS World Rankings 2020 [8], Guardian Rankings 2020 [9], The Times Higher Education Ranking 2020 [10], and The Complete University Guide UK [11].


      UniversityQS World RankTHE World RankGuardian Rankings UKComplete Univesrity Guide UK Rank
      University of Oxford2111
      University of Cambridge3342
      University of Glasgow51 - 1005673
      University of Edinburgh1924115
      University of Dundee151 - 200151 - 17566
      Imperial College London10497
      Queen Mary University of London51 - 10063158
      Keele University351 - 400401 - 50039
      University of Exeter251- 300201 - 2501410
      University of Aberdeen151 - 200126 - 150211
      University of Bristol51 - 100751912
      University College London (UCL)881613
      Newcastle University51 - 100126 - 1501314
      Cardiff University101 - 150201 - 2501815
      Lancaster University351 - 400251 - 3002216
      King's College London20173217
      University of Sheffield101 - 150942418
      University of Leeds51 - 100126 - 1501719
      University of Plymouth501 - 550501 - 600820
      University of East Anglia301 - 350201 - 2501221
      Brighton Sussex Medical School301 - 350101 - 1251022
      Queen's University Belfast151 - 200151 - 1752523
      University of Nottingham101 - 150126 - 1502324
      University of St. Andrews301 - 350251 - 3002125
      University of Manchester34622926
      University of Hull401 - 450401- 5003127
      University of Birmingham51 - 100101 - 1252028
      University of Warwick101 - 150101 - 1253329
      University of Leicester151 - 200101 - 1252730
      University of Southampton51 - 100126 - 1502831
      University of Liverpool101 - 150573032
      St George’s, University of London201 - 250126 - 1502633
      Swansea University351 - 400201 - 2504NA
      Anglia Ruskin University451 - 500126 - 15034NA
      Aston UniversityNA301 - 40035NA
      University of Bath301 - 350201 - 250NANA
      University of Bradford551 - 600401 - 500NANA
      Bangor University501 - 550401 - 500NANA
      Coventry University501 - 550501 - 600NANA


      Career Options after MBBS in UK


      One of the most important questions of any student is the career prospects after completing a degree from overseas. In courses involving medicine, this becomes even more significant since the recognition of the degree and the ability to practice as a doctor are additional concerns. The following image from the Medical Schools Council [12] gives an idea of the different routes students can follow.


      Study Medicine, MBBS/MD in UK


      The Medical Council of India has a list of overseas medical degrees which it recognizes. Indian students who gain a degree from any of these recognized universities are eligible to practice as doctors in India [13].


      Medicine is a profession one decides to follow early on in life. It requires a tremendous amount of dedication and focus, both at the academic as well as at the practicing stage.  More than a subject choice, medicine is a lifelong choice that easily turns into a lifestyle. The current global crises with COVID-19 has highlighted the sacrifice and hard work that doctors all across the world are doing. It is therefore imperative that students do proper research and explore all options before deciding on medicine as a subject and career choice.



















      Featured Image Source: Aston University

      Author: Sunita Bose

      Sunita Bose is an overseas education consultant and owner of Let’s Talk by Sunita Bose. She has been counseling students from 1999, helping them to make informed academic and career choices through higher education in universities in the UK and Europe.


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