International applicants

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Applicants who are from countries outside of the European Economic Area are defined as international students. Each medical school is permitted to fill up to 7.5% of its yearly intake with international students.

The application procedures for international students are the same as those described on the applications page. However, international students will have additional things to consider.

Fee status

Publicly funded universities usually group the fee status of their students by two categories: ‘home’ and ‘overseas’. The fees for home students also differ between universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, therefore specific requirements should be checked with the universities you are interested in applying to. Normally, home students are required to be both a national and resident (for a minimum of three consecutive years) of the European Economic Area countries. This includes all European Union countries and the UK. Swiss nationals and children of Turkish workers may also be eligible for home status, subject to fulfilling certain criteria. To find out what these criteria are, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.

There are other criteria for an applicant to be considered a home student, but if you are unsure then it is always best to contact the medical schools in which you are interested. For further information on fee status, contact the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Student support and scholarships

Applicants from an EU country may be able to get a tuition fee loan and help with living costs. For more detail, please see the Student Finance website.

If you have not lived in the UK and are a citizen of a country outside of the European Economic Area then overseas fees will apply. These fees vary between the different medical schools and can be found on their websites. The UK Council for International Student Affairs and the British Council offer support to help you work out how much money you will need. The UCAS website has some useful information on funding issues for overseas students.

Information on general scholarships can be found at the nearest British Council office. Scholarships or bursaries available can vary between different medical schools, and they will post information on any funding they offer on their websites. 

The British Council can help you find funding for a chosen course through its scholarship schemes and links with other websites. Many of the scholarships available are only applicable to postgraduate degrees, but some do provide funding to help cover fees for specific subjects, and scholarships may be available for specific institutions. For help with identifying the funding available, visit the British Council website.

The education departments within the UK Government, the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly decide on who is eligible for student loans and grants. The regulations on the different categories for eligible students can be complicated. To help, the UK Council for International Student Affairs has produced a summary for international students and also publishes some general information about fees, funding and student support which is available on its website.  

Visa and immigration

Gaining entry clearance is compulsory for everyone wishing to enter the UK as a student. Students require a Tier 4 visa. Information on applying for this on this can be found on UK Visas and Immigration website. For more information on visa and immigration issues, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Language requirements

If you are applying from outside the UK and you do not speak English as your first language then you are required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency. This requirement applies to both international and EU/EEA students.

Many medical schools will prefer, or expect you to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). There are two versions of IELTS, the Academic test and the General Training test. You will need to complete the Academic test, which is for those who wish to study. Most medical schools will require a minimum score as part of their entry requirements. which will be listed on their websites.  

The IELTS can be taken in over 500 locations worldwide and there is a set fee for sitting it. To find your nearest test centre, visit the IELTS website.