Best Medical Colleges in the UK

Top-Ranked Universities for MBBS/ General Medicine in the UK: Programs, Entry Requirements, and Tuition Fees

Students from all over the world apply to study medicine at UK universities since medical degrees in the UK take less time to complete than in the USA. Undergraduate medical education takes four to six years in the UK, but seven years in the USA. Since UK medical degrees are worldwide recognized, admission to UK medical schools has become extremely competitive. 

Other medical science specialties, such as dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary medicine, and psychotherapy, are regarded as medical degrees but are not clinical. This article focuses on the best medical colleges in the UK, the programs they offer, their entry requirements, and tuition fees. Continue reading to know more about studying medicine and MBBS in the UK. 

Pathway of Medical degrees in the UK 

The General Medical Council (GMC), a public agency in the UK, establishes standards for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. The GMC decides which colleges in the UK can offer medical degrees. It is also responsible for monitoring, suspending, or removing members from the official register of medical practitioners in the UK when appropriate.

Undergraduate medical degrees in the UK generally begin after secondary education and they take four to six years of study. Following this, students progress to a two-year foundation program (foundation year one and foundation year two) of general training to practice as a doctor and at this level, they are called junior doctors. The foundation program serves as a link between undergraduate medical training and specialty and general practice training.

Upon completion of the foundation program, doctors can train in either a specialist area of medicine or in general practice. General practice training takes three years and depending on specialization, it might take anywhere from five to seven years to finish specialization. After successfully completing their postgraduate training, they receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) which lets them join the GMC’s specialty or general practice register.

List of top Medical Colleges in the UK for international students

The table below shows some of the top-ranked medical colleges in the UK International students can apply to these universities to begin their path to a career in medicine in the UK. Students can apply to universities directly via their websites or via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). UCAS permits each applicant to submit four applications for medicine. The fifth slot can be left blank or used to apply for a non-medical program. Both of these routes are time-consuming. To speed up the admissions process, students can apply through the Gyanberry website.

University Name Complete University Guide Ranking in Medicine QS Ranking in Medicine
University of Oxford 2 2
University of Cambridge 4 4
The University of Edinburgh 5 25
University of Glasgow 6 54
Queen Mary University of London 8 62
Imperial College London 11 8
University of Bristol 14 69
King’s College London 18 16
The University of Manchester 19 38
University of Central Lancashire 601-650 34
St George’s University School of Medicine 301-350 33
University College London 20 7
Queen’s University Belfast 21 NA
University of Leeds 22 101
University of Birmingham 28 64
Anglia Ruskin University NA 501-550
Brunel University London NA NA

Popular Medical Universities in the UK for international students

Because of the intense competition, international students sometimes struggle to gain admission to medical programs offered by well-known and top-ranked universities in the UK. Here is a list of some other well-known universities in the UK that provide excellent medical courses.

University Name Degrees Offered Duration  Start Date Tution fees (USD*/year)
University of Central Lancashire Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MBBS 5 years  September 2022 57,837
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Foundation Entry) 6 years  September 2022 57,837
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery 5 years  September 2022 57,837
St George’s University School of Medicine Doctor of Medicine Program (MD) 4, 5, 6 and 7-year pathways September 2022 42,904
Queen’s University Belfast Medicine MB 5 years September 2022 41,241
Anglia Ruskin University MBChB Medicine degree 5 years September 2022 17,979
Brunel University London 5 years September 2022 51,802

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Best five Medical Colleges in the UK

Medical schools in the UK have their own set of requirements and these vary from one university to the other. The medical courses offered by them also differ in terms of structure and delivery. Students should bear the following in mind before applying to top medical schools in the UK:

  • The medical university in the UK student is applying to must be listed in the Medical Act 1983 and registered with GMC
  • International medical students should apply for a general student visa 
  • Before applying for the visa, the candidate must have an unconditional offer of a spot in medical school as well as sufficient funds to support oneself during the course
  • Students should apply for a visa at least three months prior to starting the course
  • The annual health fee is £300 (377 USD), which students must pay in advance for the duration of their study when completing their visa application
  • Students should have a biometric residence permission to prove their identification, as well as the right to study or work in the UK
  • Students should prepare for personal interviews, as many top UK medical institutions choose students based on their interview performance

University of Oxford

Oxford University was founded in 1096 and has a long history of providing outstanding medical education, research, and learning opportunities. The university provides the following medical courses:

Course Name Duration  Annual fees (USD*/year)
Medicine (Fast-track, Graduate Entry only) BMBCh 4 years 45,952 (preclinical course fees) and 60,686 (clinical training fees)
Medicine BMBCh 6 years  45,952 (preclinical course fees) and 60,686 (clinical training fees)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Admission requirements

  • Secondary school diploma with at least an A in chemistry and one of biology, physics, or mathematics
  • Pass the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT) as part of their application
  • English proficiency test score (IELTS minimum 7.0/TOELF above 100/Pearson PTE Academic minimum 66)

The medical course structure is divided into preclinical stage (years 1 to 3) followed by clinical training (years 4 to 6). The University of Oxford also offers a number of scholarships and funding options for international students studying for medical degrees. Interested students should apply to these courses before October 15, 2022. 

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine was founded in January 1975. It offers two courses in medicine, the standard course, and the graduate course. The university also offers a three- to four-year MB/Ph.D. program for students enrolled in the university’s standard six-year Medicine MB/BChir degree program who want to combine a three-year period of research with their clinical education.

Course Name Duration  Annual fees (USD*/year)
Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine (CGCM) 4 years 76,097
Standard Clinical Course (MB BChir Standard) 6 years  76,097

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Admission requirements

  • Secondary school diploma with at least an A in chemistry and one in biology, physics, or mathematics
  • Pass the  Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) test as part of their admission process
  • English proficiency test score (IELTS minimum 7.0/TOELF above 100/Pearson PTE Academic minimum 66)

The graduate course in medicine is open to outstanding graduates of any discipline, successful completion of the graduate course leads to the MB, BChir degrees in four years. It requires an additional honors degree (2.1 or above) in any discipline. The graduate course is not open to international students, they can only apply for the standard medical course. Students should apply to medical courses at the University of Cambridge before October 15, 2022. 

The University of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Medical School of the University of Edinburgh has a history of more than 400 years of teaching medicine. Its MBChB program was ranked first in the UK for medicine by the Guardian University Guide 2022. Edinburgh Medical School is the first Scottish school to provide a 6-year medicine degree program. Its MBChB program is unique in that it includes a full academic year of full-time, research-based study in year 3. 

Course Name Duration  Annual fees (USD*/year)
Medicine (MBChB) 6 years 40,360 (pre-clinical years), 49,900 (clinical years)
Veterinary Medicine (BVMS) 5 years 43,001

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Admission requirements

  • Secondary school diploma with at least an A in biology or chemistry and physics or mathematics
  • Pass the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) test 
  • English proficiency test score (IELTS minimum 7.0/TOELF above 100/Pearson PTE Academic minimum 70)

University of Glasgow

The history of medicine at the University of Glasgow dates back to 1751. World-renowned physicians such as Joseph Lister (antisepsis), George Beatson (breast cancer), John MacIntyre (X-rays and radiology), William Hunter (anatomy and obstetrics), and Ian Donald (ultrasound) have all contributed to the university’s long and rich history of outstanding achievements in medical science. 

Course Name Duration  Annual fees (USD*/year)
Medicine MBChB 5 years  65,440
Veterinary Medicine & Surgery BVMS 5 years 65,440
Dentistry BDS 5 years 65,440
Diabetes, Renal, Endocrine & Metabolic Medicine (MD, Doctor of Medicine) 2 years 30,140

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Admission requirements

  • Secondary school diploma with at least an A in biology or chemistry and physics or mathematics
  • Pass the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) test 
  • English proficiency test score (IELTS minimum 7.0/TOELF above 100/Pearson PTE Academic minimum 70)

The University of Glasgow also offers B.Sc. and M.Sci. degrees in other medical fields such as nursing, pharmacology, nutrition, and so on. Students interested in these courses should apply by October 15, 2022. 

Queen Mary University of London

The Queen Mary University of London is a leading medical school in the United Kingdom. Its beginnings may be traced back to 1785, when the London Hospital Medical College, England’s first formal medical school, was established. The MBBS programs at the Queen Mary University of London do not follow the usual split pattern of preclinical studies and clinical years; instead, students begin seeing patients in their first term. It offers the following courses in the medical field.

Course Name Duration  Annual fees (USD*/year)
MBBS 5 years  53,485
Medicine – Graduate Entry Program 4 years 53,485
Medicine (Malta) 5 years  33,978
Intercalated Pre-Hospital Medicine (B.Sc.) 1 year 31,650

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Admission requirements

  • Secondary school diploma with at least an A in biology or chemistry and a second science (chemistry, biology, physics, or mathematics)
  • Pass the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) test with the third decile or above
  • English proficiency test score (IELTS minimum 7.0/TOELF above 100/Pearson PTE Academic minimum 68)

Students interested in these courses should apply by October 15, 2022, as the courses begin in September 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

A typical medical degree or MBBS takes four to six years to complete, depending on the medical specialty. Other medical specialties include nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, psychology, and so on, and these degrees often take three to four years to finish. 

Students can apply directly to universities through their websites or through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). These two options are typically time-consuming. Students can also apply via the Gyanberry website to expedite their admissions process.

The UK is well-known for its high-quality medical education, which is recognized worldwide. The universities in the UK are well-equipped with the necessary equipment needed to learn skills required in the medical field. 

The General Medical Council (GMC) sets standards for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in the UK.