Financing your studies

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Fee status – Home

Publicly funded universities usually group the fee status of their students by two categories: ‘home’ and ‘overseas/international’. In order to be classed as a home (UK) student you normally need to meet all of the following criteria on the first day of the first academic year of the course:

  • You are settled in the UK (this means there is no immigration restriction on the length of your stay)
  • You are ordinarily resident in the UK, and have been for the full three years before the first day of the academic year (ordinarily resident means that your main home is in the UK, and you are choosing to live in the UK)
  • The main reason for you being in the UK was not to receive full-time education.

There are other criteria for an applicant to be considered a home student, and applicants should refer to the full criteria on UKCISA to determine their fee status.

You should note that the fees for home students differ between universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, therefore specific fees should be checked with the universities you are interested in applying to.

Fee status – International

Students who do not meet the ‘Home’ criteria will be considered international students and pay international fees. These vary between medical schools but can be found on each individual university website. You should ensure that you are able to cover the cost of your tuition before beginning a degree programme. 

EU students starting courses in the UK from August 2021 will not be eligible for home student status and will be classified as international/overseas students.

Applying for student loans (home students)

UK applicants can apply for government tuition fee loans and means-tested maintenance loans through Student Finance. Some students may also be eligible for grants or NHS bursary support. It is best to apply for student finance as soon as you have made your UCAS application. With some exceptions for graduate entry programmes, you cannot apply for student finance if you have previously received funding for a different degree.

For more information, refer to the following organisations according to where you currently live:

The Student Loans Company also provide information for applicants living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Students from the Islands are subject to different funding arrangements to mainland UK students. For information on support available to you for tuition fees and living costs you should contact your island education offices.

International students do not qualify for any UK government financial support.

Applying for student loans as a graduate (home students only)

The below information applies to English domiciled students only.

Students on a graduate entry medicine programme (an accelerated four-year course) are able to apply for partial tuition fee and maintenance loans and NHS bursaries. The remaining balance is self-funded.

Students taking undergraduate standard entry medicine as a second degree cannot access any government tuition fee loans (though they can apply for maintenance funding). In the final year of their degree course, students on the standard programme are eligible for NHS bursaries to cover tuition.

You can find a full breakdown of the funding available on the Royal Benevolent Fund website.

Scholarships and bursaries

Universities may also offer their own bursaries or scholarships. It is best to research what is available on the websites of the medical schools in which you are interested.

Other means-tested government grants may be available for eligible UK students:

It can be difficult for international students to access financial support as this is often very limited. You should always check the fee levels at a university before accepting a place. You should check with your university if you are eligible for any bursaries. The British Council may be able to offer you funding and guidance can also be sought from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). Commonwealth citizens may be able to apply for grants from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

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