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Study MBBS in the UK: Requirements, Costs, and Scholarships for International Students

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Study MBBS in the UK: Medicine is one of the most competitive courses in the United Kingdom to gain entry to, but every year thousands of international students are accepted into medical school. The UK is one of the top ideal study destinations for international students. The United Kingdom is widely known for having one of the oldest and largest clusters of education institutions across the globe.

MBBS is the most selective course in the UK among all other courses. Medical universities in the UK claim the 2nd highest Nobel prize in medicine. However, Medicine is one of the competitive programs for students to opt for. Its quality research programs, mixed culture, and professional training have attracted many students globally. The migration of international students increasing every year.

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That is to say, studying medicine in the United Kingdom is the most competitive course for international students. But, the quality of education provided by the medical universities in the United Kingdom is far better than any other university in the world. Therefore, if you have strong and focused ambitions about a career in medicine then opting to study MBBS in the United Kingdom is a good choice for you. It will give you a successful career in the field of medicine.

Keep on reading to learn more and explore other details for studying MBBS in the UK for international students. However, in this article, we will explain in full details everything you need to know about studying MBBS in the United Kingdom. The requirements, how much it costs to study MBBS in the UK, and also scholarships for international students.

What is an MBBS Degree?

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Latin: Medicinae Baccalaureus, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae; abbreviated in many ways, most commonly MBBS, but also MB ChB, BMBS, MB BCh, MB BChir, and BM BCh), is the primary medical degree awarded by medical schools in countries that follow the tradition of the United Kingdom.

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The MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) is a professional undergraduate degree, which means the focus of the curriculum is to prepare you for a career in Medicine.

Moreover, the historical degree nomenclature states that they are two separate undergraduate degrees. In practice, however, they are usually combined as one and conferred together, and may also be awarded at graduate-level medical schools.

During an MBBS, students approach various subjects, such as Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pathology, Microbiology, and many others. It usually takes 4-6 years to graduate with an MBBS degree.

Furthermore, in countries that follow the tradition of continental Europe or the system in the United States, the equivalent medical degree is awarded as Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) —the latter in the United States only.

Study MBBS in the UK

MBBS in the United Kingdom is referred to as the equivalent of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery which is called MB ChB or MB BCh at some UK Universities. The duration of MBBS in the United Kingdom is 5-6 years. Most of the British medicine courses comprise a six to twelve-week elective period in which students get an opportunity to study outside their home medical university.

Moreover, many students utilize this opportunity to unravel a different culture and experience of how medicine is regarded and practiced around the globe. It doesn’t matter whether you work in the United Kingdom or in any other country after the completion of the course, you will have the chance to earn a generous salary thanks to the honored British degree in your name. Graduates who have earned a medical degree from the United Kingdom are making £21,000-£47,000.

Furthermore, as one of the leading countries for education, studying MBBS in the United Kingdom is an ideal option for students. The UK is home to more than 45 of the universities that were included in the list of top 600 medical universities of the world (QS News Ranking 2020).

It is also a lucrative career option. The average salary of a Doctor in the United Kingdom is 67% more than that of other health and medical occupations. Moreover, the demand for Doctors has been growing and so has their payscale which gives students various career opportunities to explore.

Best Medical Schools to Study MBBS in the UK

According to Times Higher Education rankings 2022, these are the best universities where you can study MBBS in the UK.

  • University of Oxford
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Cambridge
  • University College London (UCL)
  • King’s College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Bristol

Cheapest MBBS in the UK

Moreover, now that we know about some of the top universities that offer MBBS in the UK. How about we also check out the cheapest MBBS in the UK:

  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Birmingham
  • Swansea University Medical College
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Manchester
  • King’s College London
  • University of Dundee

Costs of Studying MBBS in the UK

Furthermore, the cost of studying in the UK might vary depending on your lifestyle and place of residence. However, apart from the tuition fee, you have to pay one-time charges costing around £900. The one-time Pre-arrival includes expenses incurred in:

  • IELTS Registration
  • TOEFL Registration
  • NEET Fees
  • Application Fees
  • Visa Application Fees

Moreover, here are the annual tuition fees of top medical schools offering MBBS in the United Kingdom for international students:

University Course & Duration Annual Tuition Fees
University of Oxford BM BCh Medicine/ 6 years £22,879
University of Cambridge MB BChir/ 6 years £52,000
University College London (UCL) MBBS/BSC Medicine/ 6 years £39,363
Imperial College London MBBS/BSC Medicine/ 6 years £45,640
The University of Edinburgh MBChB Medicine/ 5 years £27,456
King’s College London MBBS Medicine/ 5 years £30,266
University of Glasgow MBChB/ 5 years £47,900
University of Manchester MBChB/ 5 years £26,616
Newcastle University MBBS Medicine and Surgery/ 5 years £33,600
Queen Mary University of London MBBS Medicine/ 5 years £39,363

Furthermore, when it comes to the cost of living, this may depend on the location and your daily expenses or lifestyle. The cost of living in London is a little higher than in other places. The average cost for living in London can be £1,020/month and outside London, it may come down to £820.

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However, you can also opt for an off-campus sharing-based residence with many options like apartments, flats, or hostels. The average cost of accommodation in the UK is £400. The UK has a high-class living style so you shouldn’t bother about the standard of accommodation and hygiene. The monthly bills include transportation, food, electricity, and gas bills.

MBBS Requirements in the United Kingdom

If you decide you want to study medicine, you will need to enroll at a medical school, which is often part of a university, but will have strong links to local hospitals and medical practices.

Moreover, it is important to check the eligibility criteria for MBBS in the United Kingdom. You carefully assess the following points for ease of your admission process:

  • The candidate should be at least 18 years old before applying to the MBBS program.
  • To initially study MBBS, students will need AAA grades, with either Chemistry or Biology a requirement.
  • For international students wishing to study Medicine at the undergraduate level, an IELTS score of no less than 6.5 across all four categories – reading, writing, speaking and listening – with an overall 7.0 score generally required at most universities.
  • Moreover, medical colleges in the UK conduct the tests like the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or BioMedical Admission Test (BMAT) as per the college or university.

UK Medical Entrance Exam

However, just as we mentioned above, medical schools in the UK conduct entrance tests like the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or BioMedical Admission Test (BMAT) as per the college or university. To study MBBS in the UK, you will have to provide scores of NEET/UKCAT/BMAT/GMAT. Below are the minimum scores required for MBBS in the United Kingdom for international students:

  • UKCAT:  650
  • BMAT:  4.5 – 5.0
  • GAMSAT:  60 – 66
  • NEET:  50 percentile

United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) is part of the selection process of some UK medical and dental schools. It is conducted by the medical universities in the UK through UCAS to offer admission to candidates. It is an online test designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. There are four reasoning tests and a situational judgment 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 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 judgments, 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 center, with each subtest in a multiple-choice format. Past papers are not available but there are specimen questions on the UCAT website. The UCAT must be taken by applicants at the following universities.

Study MBBS in the UK: Admission

Here are the basics steps for the admission process for the MBBS course in the UK:

You have to identify the university and course which suits you the most. Firstly, Select Your University” will help you with the choice of medical universities in the UK.

Now after doing research and analysis, arrange your original documents legalized by the authorized bodies. If you are from a Non-EU state then you have to apply to the universities before 1 September and 30 June ( as per semester). If you are from an EU state then apply before 15 January. Here are some general documents that you may need:

  • Academic transcription or proof of your previous academic
  • A certificate that you received from the previous institution
  • Photocopy of IELTS/UKCAT/BMAT scores
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Certificate of English proficiency test – IELTS/TOEFL/C1 Advanced
  • A personal statement that illustrates why you’re coming to the UK.
  • Reference letter(s)
  • CV (if required)
  • Bachelor’s Degree (If your course needs it)
  • Copy of your previous visa (if you have one)
  • Proof of financial ability
  • Statement of Purpose

Then, sign up and register on the UCAS website to fill out and submit your application form. Note: all applicants need to apply through the UCAS portal. If you are done with the above steps, it’s time to relax because like every good thing, evaluation of your profile will take some time.

After confirmation of admission, apply for the immigration process. Visit the British embassy in your country after receiving an invitation letter.

Inform the date of arrival to medical university in the UK. University will send an official representative who will pick up the student from the airport.

Scholarships for MBBS in the UK

Universities offer a variety of scholarships to international students in the UK. Therefore, to ease your monetary stress, you can apply for one of the scholarships for MBBS in the UK. All the scholarships and waivers on the course fees are provided based on excellent academic records throughout or extracurricular achievements. The following are scholarships offered by various universities that provide fee waivers or funds.

  • Chevening Scholarship: £18,000
  • Global Health Future Leaders: Scholarship £2,500
  • Hulk York Medical School International: Scholarship £8,737
  • Imperial College Faculty of Medicine: Scholarship £1,000
  • Rhodes Scholarship: £15,141

Bottom Line

In conclusion, being a highly sought-after degree opens an opportunity for various specializations. The salary of an MBBS doctor in the UK is worth the rush. The average salary of MBBS Doctors/Physicians in the United Kingdom is 276,000 GBP. However, depending on the specialization and position the salary slightly varies.

If you like the challenges and rewards that life as a medical practitioner involves, then you can apply to one of the top schools in the UK. Or you can follow your dream and find a medical school in another country, as long as it suits your needs. Moreover, students can pursue MD/MS with a specialization of their interest after completion of MBBS in the UK.

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