10 Best Medical Schools in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a long tradition of great tuition of medicine. From old universities such as Oxford to more modern ones, the institutions offering medical degrees in the UK are world-renowned, extremely prestigious, and offer a great learning experience in medicine.

Furthermore, studying in the UK gives you access to world-class research facilities and funding, as well as to partnerships around the world for possible joint degrees or further study.

Living in the UK during your studies will be a great experience, as university towns or cities have a great culture of welcoming students and an infrastructure that supports student life. Moreover, you’ll have excellent travel opportunities, within the UK and throughout Europe.

Below are the 10 best medical schools in the United Kingdom

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Is it expensive to study medicine in the United Kingdom?

There is a range of prices within the various countries of the United Kingdom and the universities as well. However, a medical degree is not inexpensive in the UK.

Prices for tuition range between $15,000 and $50,000 a year. Various funding and scholarship options are available, however.

How can you get admission to medical school in the UK?

All university admissions in the UK are done through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which allows each student to apply for four medical schools at a time only. While there are more and more medical school places, competition is fierce and there are national quotas imposed on the number of medicine and nursing students within the country.

Through UCAS, students submit their school grades and personal statements. A lot of universities now require applicants to take entrance exams too, such as the Universities Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or the BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test). There is also usually an interview.

How long do medical schools take in the United Kingdom?

Different universities award different degree names for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree which you will obtain after medical school in the United Kingdom. Regardless, the course of study takes five or six years full-time, depending on the university.

Top Medical Schools in the United Kingdom

1. University of Oxford Medical School

The Oxford Medical Schools is the best medical school in the UK and is in the top 10 worldwide for clinical medicine degrees. It offers a well-rounded intellectual training putting particular emphasis on the basic science research that underpins medicine. All students are required to work on an experimental research project in a field of their interest.

It is required that students applying to the University of Oxford medicine program have a grounding in sciences and have studied Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Math at advanced levels during high school. Admission is highly competitive and only 9% of applicants are successful, for an intake of 154 on average every year.

The University of Oxford awards a BM BCh degree after six years of full-time study.

2. Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London was founded through the merger of multiple historic medical schools in London, such as Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, Westminster Hospital Medical School, etc. It, therefore, has a long history dating back to the 1820s.

The school has campuses across London and enjoys great prestige worldwide, having been ranked 4th in the world by the Times Higher Education University Rankings in 2018.

The six-year undergraduate course of study leads to obtaining the MBBS, while there is also an opportunity to study for a three-year course earning a BSc in medical biosciences.

3. University College London Medical School

UCL has been educating future doctors since 1834 in the heart of London. It collaborates with many teaching hospitals and is considered one of the leading medical schools in the world. Clinical teaching is carried out at University College Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and the Whittington Hospital, as well as many associated institutions throughout London.

With an annual intake of 330 students, this is one of the largest medical schools in the UK. It used three campuses and offers a six-year MBBS split into: fundamentals of clinical science (years 1 and 2), the integrated BSc degree (year 3), integrated clinical care (year 4), and practice in years 5 and 6.

UCL also has a large number of research institutes where students can pursue further research into their fields of interest.

4. University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine

The School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge is ranked among the best medical schools in the United Kingdom. Teaching medicine here started as far back as 1540 when Henry VIII endowed the university’s first Professorship of Physic, Dr John Blyth. Today, patient-centered learning is at the heart of a modern curriculum and a focus on biomedical science drives the School’s core activity. The University of Cambridge has been at the forefront of many discoveries such as the first direct measurement of blood pressure or the discovery of monoclonal antibodies.

The standard clinical course at Cambridge leads to the award of a MB BChir Standard degree. It is a three-year academic course where you can gain admission after completing the pre-clinical undergraduate degree at Cambridge (the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree lasting three years). During the course, one year is dedicated to core clinical practice, then specialist clinical practice, and finally, applied clinical practice.

Students who have obtained a Bachelor’s degree and wish to study medicine can apply as an affiliate student, or to the accelerated Graduate Course in Medicine.

5. King’s College London GKT School of Medical Education

The MBBS degree at King’s College provides an innovative and integrated curriculum for future medical practitioners. It lasts six years including a mandatory intercalated BSc year.

At King’s you’ll have the benefit of practicing at partner hospitals throughout London, such as Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals. You will also benefit from placements at district general hospitals located across the south-east of England.

King’s College is twinned with leading medical schools around the world, offering further exchange opportunities, too.

6. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The LSHTM is based in the heart of London in Bloomsbury and specializes in public health and tropical medicine. Founded in 1899 by Sir Patrick Manson, it has become one of the most respected international institutions in the fields of public health and infectious diseases.

The LSHTM offers a range of Master’s and PhD programs within the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, and Faculty of Public Health and Policy. You will need to have completed an undergraduate degree before applying to study at LSHTM, as this is an advanced study institution only.

7. University of Edinburgh Medical School

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine within the University of Edinburgh offers a six-year Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) degree to prepare you for a career as a general practitioner or a hospital consultant, or launch you into a career of further research.

The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked among the top medical universities in the UK and has been preparing doctors for over 400 years. The degree of medicine at the university includes a year of full-time, research-based study, providing an additional year of study compared to the rest of the Scottish universities. The university has a first-class international reputation for research, as well as an impressive heritage (Charles Darwin was a graduate of the school!).

8. University of Birmingham Medical School

The University of Birmingham houses one of the oldest and most prestigious medical schools in Britain and includes the study of dentistry, nursing, and biomedical science. Located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, the school offers a MBChB degree in five years of full-time study.

Entry requirements are very demanding at the University of Birmingham, with students having to have obtained high marks in their high school leaving exams and to perform well at a face-to-face interview as well.

9. University of Manchester Medical School

Another top medical school in the UK is the University of Manchester, where the MBChB program is also five years long. The program includes the opportunity to have an international placement through a European Studies option, as well as to intercalate for a year to complete a BSc or master’s degree in a subject of personal interest.

In order to gain admission to the medicine program at the University of Manchester, you will need to have a solid science background demonstrated through A-Levels (UK high school graduation exams) or equivalent tests.

10. University of Glasgow School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing

One of the largest medical schools in the UK, the undergraduate medicine program at the University of Glasgow aspires to train medical graduates who are highly sought after in every branch of medicine, equipped for postgraduate training in the UK and abroad, and ready for a career in medicine in the 21st century. In other words, the school’s mission is to provide the latest and best in medical innovative teaching.

The five-year medical degree program leads to the awarding of the MBChB degree and offers a range of electives and practical training options.


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