Study Medicine in Top Universities

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Study Medicine in Top Universities

Studying Medicine is one of the most popular career goal that many have, even before reaching high school.

Medicine is also a versatile field that can be studied anywhere in the world, so one has a variety of choices at disposal. This is why it may sound easy to choose a medical school abroad. However, since it’s a decision that might change your life, it needs to be well planned in advance.

If you narrow your research for medical schools in the world, you have plenty of options which include different teaching styles, cultures and, sometimes, entry requirements. Now you just have to look closer to your option and find the right destination country.

In order to make this process easier for you, we’ve compiled rankings of medical schools, developed by the leading websites in the field of excellence in higher education: World University Rankings 2020 from Times Higher Education and QS Rankings by Subject 2020: Medicine from Top Universities.

Medicine Entry Requirements

Below are some points required for Medicine Admissions.

  • Deciding on a career in medicine
  • GCSE and A-Levels required for medicine
  • Choosing a medical school
  • Considering studying medicine abroad
  • Medical work experience
  • UCAT and BMAT examinations
  • Personal statement for medicine
  • Medical school interviews
  • Deciding on a career in medicine

Higher education courses in medicine take considerably longer to complete than your typical three-year Bachelors and, when coupled with post-graduate study and specialist training, students may find themselves waiting up to 16 years before they become a fully fledged doctor.

Your typical MB ChB (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) takes five years to complete, three years of which is focused heavily on vocational work in hospitals and medical centres.

GCSE and A-Levels required for medicine

That's right, med schools also look at your GCSE grades too when it comes to securing a place. Each medical school has slightly different entry requirements but there are some subjects that would be considered as a necessity to have. Firstly we'll start with your GCSE grades.

The competition you will be going up against for entry into medical schools is very high, therefore, it is crucial that you achieve the best grades possible even for your GCSEs. While ultimately the grades you get at A-levels will be considered first, this does not mean that your GCSEs are not important.  Most medical schools tend to look at the overall picture when it comes to assessing prospective students.  You stand a much better chance, wherever you are looking to study medicine, of being accepted on to the course if you have a strong academic history overall.  So it is obviously very important that you do your best at GCSE level.

Choosing a medical school

Medicine is highly competitive, and this is why students are allowed to make 4 choices of medical school on their UCAS applications with a 5th choice allowed for another course just in case. The latest figures suggest that 80% miss out on a place at medical school altogether and you can expect that it’s often unlikely that you’ll get your first choice, depending on where it is.

The institutions that can award medical degrees are governed by the General Medical Council (GMC), and accredited honours are listed as UK Primary Medical Qualifications (PMQs).

Considering studying medicine abroad

If, on the other hand, you feel unfazed by studying further from home, then there's a chance that studying medicine abroad could be ideal for you.

Studying overseas has become an increasingly popular choice among students in the wake of increasing tuition fees and fierce competition for vacant places at universities domestically.

While quality, cost, and intricacies of overseas study vary greatly depending on region or institution, there are a lot of places in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Czechia, Latvia and Bulgaria, that teach medicine in English. Furthermore, under current EU directives, the resulting qualification must be regarded as equal to its UK counterpart (although we're awaiting confirmation that this will continue to be the case post Brexit).

Medical work experience

Gaining medical work experience prior to your applications is an excellent way of getting a hands-on feel of whether a career in medicine is right for you as well as an invaluable addition to your CV that is required by all universities.

Now this is the strange thing. Getting relevant medical work experience can be one of the hardest tasks facing a prospective medical student. When first faced with the challenge of obtaining work experience students tend to get in touch with GP surgeries and hospitals and request work experience. They are then faced with rejections or being asked to complete lots of forms for the chance to be part of a hospitals work experience programme which often consists of 20 places per year for those lucky students that are accepted, so the chances of getting work experience in hospitals is often very remote. This is down to 3 main factors.

The UCAT and the BMAT

The UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) and BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) are two standardised tests that are common requirements for United Kingdom institutions' entry criteria onto a medical qualification. 

Medicine is ultra-competitive and amongst the various admission demands are the UCAT and BMAT tests. These are by far the most popular choices of admission test amongst medical schools across the UK and are designed to test various areas of your thinking skills, medical knowledge and clinical aptitude. It doesn’t end there, though, as many universities now have their own admissions tests. It all seems very daunting and many students really fear these 2-hour exams that will take place in addition to their A-Levels.

Personal statement for medicine

Composing a personal statement for any degree is a challenge but for medicine, this is your chance to illustrate your academic prowess and work experience alongside a genuine passion and fascination for the medical subjects you love. A personal statement can support your application if your exam results are slightly below your expectations or can enhance a strong set of grades for the best chance of acceptance.

UCAS, the admissions service for universities in the UK, describes a personal statement as "your opportunity to sell yourself to your prospective school, college or training provider." Students are given a 4,000 character limit (which roughly equates to 500 words) in which to show off their appeal to the institutions of their choosing. 

Medical School Interviews

Firstly, if you're preparing for an interview with a medical school - congratulations. Due to the volume of applications that institutions receive, it's an achievement in itself to be called in for an interview, so you must already have made a good impression.

Interviews may seem like the most nerve-wracking component of any degree application. It's important to compose yourself well, speak clearly and show that you’re prepared. Interviews are seen by admissions staff as a great way of getting undergraduates to expand on their qualifications and personal statement while looking into their communicative skills and aptitude.

Cost of Studying Medicine

For international students, the average cost of a medicine degree can be as high as £38,000 per year, depending on the medical school.

At Leicester Medical School for example, UK and EU students pay the standard £9,250 per year, including the iBSc, but if you live in a non-EU country, the tuition fee for the Medical Degree (MBChB) is £20,590 per year for the first two years, then over £40,000 for years 3, 4 and 5.

If you wish to study at a medical school in the UK, you need to be fully aware of all the costs that are involved and budget accordingly. Alongside costs associated with the course, including tuition fees, textbooks and equipment, you will also need to factor in living expenses such as accommodation, food and travel.

Financial support for medical students

All UK medical schools offer a variety of scholarships for students who may need financial support during their studies.

If you are accepted onto an approved course, you may also be eligible to receive financial support from the NHS, the UK’s health service. Financial support can be in the form of:

Tuition fee loan

University scholarships and bursaries

NHS bursary

Maintenance loan (living costs)

Private scholarships and bursaries

Professional studies loan

Study Medicine in the UK

If you are worried about how you might finance your medical fees whilst studying medicine in the UK, arrange a free consultation in London or Manchester today. Our UK education experts can help answer all your questions on available funding at UK medical schools.

Study Visa Process

International Medical Graduates who seek entry into U.S. programs of Graduate Medical Education (GME) must obtain a visa that permits clinical training to provide medical services.

Obtaining a J-1 visa

The most common visa international medical graduates use to participate in U.S. GME programs is the J-1 visa.

The Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor foreign national physicians for the J-1 visa.

Information on eligibility and deadlines is available from ECFMG's Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program.

To apply for a J-1 visa, an IMG must meet the following criteria:

Passed USMLE® step 1 and step 2 CK (or equivalent).

Have a valid ECFMG Certificate.

Have a contract or official letter of offer for a position in a program of Graduate Medical Education or training with a medical school.

Provide a statement of need from the Ministry of Health of the country of last legal permanent residence (LPR) regardless of country of citizenship.

Two-year home-country physical presence requirement

Upon completion of training in the U.S., J-1 visa holders must return to their home country for a period of 2 years to transmit the knowledge they gained in the U.S.

An individual must fulfill this obligation before being eligible for a change or adjustment of visa status to certain types of U.S. visas. These visa types include:

H–Temporary worker

L–Intra-company transferee

U.S.–Permanent resident

J-1 visa waivers

The only exception to the 2-year home residence requirement of the J-1 visa program is to receive a waiver.

Under the law, the following 3 circumstances can provide a waiver of the 2-year residency requirement:

The waiver applicant can demonstrate that he or she will suffer from persecution in his or her home country or country of last legal permanent residence.

Fulfillment of the residency requirement would bring proven exceptional hardship to the applicant's spouse and/or children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The applicant is sponsored by an Interested Governmental Agency (IGA) that is interested in the physician’s continued employment in the United States.

The following governmental agencies have sponsored waivers for international medical graduates:

The Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Veterans Affairs

The Appalachian Regional Commission

The Department of Agriculture

The  Department of Housing and Urban Development

State departments of public health may sponsor up to 30 J-1 physicians per year for waivers to provide care in underserved communities.

Once an international medical graduate receives a J-1 waiver and a state medical license, he or she may obtain a new work authorized status for U.S. employment, which in most cases will be an H-1B visa or an immigrant visa.

Read about U.S. visa requirements.

Other visa types

The H-1B visa is for temporary workers in specialty occupations who hold professional-level degrees. It has no 2-year home residence requirement. The H-1B visa allows a foreign national to enter the U.S. for professional level employment for up to 6 years.

The H-1B visa is available to graduates of foreign medical schools who have passed the necessary examinations, have a license or other authorization required by the state of practice, and have an unrestricted license to practice medicine or have graduated from a foreign or U.S. medical school.

Learn more about visas and immigration at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

An immigrant visa (also known as a green card or permanent resident status) permits a foreign citizen to permanently remain in the U.S.

A lawful permanent resident (LPR) has the right to become a naturalized U.S. citizen after living in the United States for 3 to 5 years.

To obtain immigrant status, one must qualify as a specified immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or another LPR, as an employee of a sponsoring employer or prospective employer or as a "diversity immigrant" under a visa lottery program.

The applicant must not fall into any of the categories of aliens deemed inadmissible by law:


Mental defect

Communist party affiliation

Drug trafficking


AMA advocates for international physicians

The AMA has adopted policy and continues to support legislation that will ensure international physicians, students and residents can practice medicine and obtain their medical training in the U.S.

Read about the AMA's efforts:

Addressing Restricting Admission of Certain Foreign Nationals

Addressing Restricting Admission of Certain Foreign Nationals and DACA

Addressing Travel Ban

Top Universities to Study Medicine

Here are the best medical schools in the UK, according to QS Rankings 2021 by Subject Medicine:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University College London
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • The University of Manchester
  • University of Glasgow
  • Queen Mary University of London

Europe :

  • Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Heidelberg University, Germany
  • University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • LMU Munich, Germany
  • Sorbonne University, France
  • KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • University of Zurich, Switzerland


  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Yale University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Chicago
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Canada :

  • University of Toronto
  • McMaster University
  • McGill University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • Western University

Australia :

  • University of Melbourne
  • Monash University
  • University of Sydney
  • The University of Queensland
  • UNSW Sydney
  • Australian National University
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Canberra
  • The University of Western Australia
  • La Trobe University

France :

  • Paris
  • École Polytechnique
  • Sorbonne University
  • University of Paris
  • Paris-Saclay University 
  • Télécom Paris
  • École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

Standardized Tests Requirements for Medical Schools in Top Universities

How to apply through UCAS?

UCAS Undergraduate Apply 2021  is live- so you can start filling in your application to the universities in September. Even though your application deadline may seem ages away, it’s worth registering as early as possible to save any last minute dramas. If you’re unsure where you want to go or what you want to study, you don’t need to select your universities or courses just yet.

Before you can start your application you need to register on the UCAS portal. When you register you’ll need to answer some basic questions about yourself.  

 Multi Mini Interview Preparation for Medical Schools.

The most popular type of Medicine interview is the MMI, and your interview prep should definitely include this.

MMIs are popular because they help interviewers to assess many different soft skills, and get a better picture of you as a candidate. Plus, you’ll get multiple opportunities to impress during the different stations.

Which Medical Schools Use MMIs?

The following Medical Schools will use MMIs in 2021:

  • Aberdeen
  • Anglia Ruskin
  • Aston
  • Brighton and Sussex
  • Buckingham
  • Brunel
  • Cardiff
  • Edge Hill
  • Edinburgh
  • Exeter
  • Hull York
  • Imperial
  • Kent & Medway
  • Lancaster
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Manchester
  • Norwich
  • Plymouth
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • St. Andrews
  • St George’s
  • Sunderland
  • Warwick

MMI interviews are about showing your interviewer what you’re capable of doing, rather than just telling them. It’s a chance for you to show that you’ve got what it takes to be a medical practitioner — not just the grades and know-how, but the right attitude and skills as well.

The Medical School is testing your ability to make ethical and informed decisions, as well as your critical thinking and communication skills. They will also be interested in your knowledge of current healthcare and social issues, which our Hot Topics section will help with.

Prepare For My MMI Interview

These tips will help you to prepare for your MMI interview:

Use your work experience. Lean on this and use specific examples when giving a response.

Know what it takes to be a good doctor. Make a list of qualities and practice demonstrating them in your responses.

Practice giving eight-minute presentations in response to common MMI interview questions. This will help with time management on the day.

Make sure you understand key ethical concepts relating to medicine, like the four pillars and patient confidentiality.

Keep up to date with medical news, and check out our Hot Topics section. Questions may be inspired by stories or debates in the media.

Get some help. Though you can rehearse certain scenarios, MMI interviews are a lot harder to practice at school or at home, so it’s worth attending our MMI circuits.

Work while studying medicine

Medically related part-time and vacation work

Hospital auxiliary

Healthcare assistant or care worker (you can often obtain this work from a nurse bank or agency)

Medical secretary

Theatre technician

Laboratory work in a hospital

Research scholarship

Where to find work

There are lots of places to find temporary and part time work for students. Good places to start are your Students’ Union, your University’s Careers Service, and Faculty notice boards and emails. For temporary or part time work with the NHS, use the NHS Professionals website. For other temporary work there are many different high street employment agencies that specialize in providing temporary staff. There are also numerous websites dedicated to student jobs.

Start a filing system when you go to University. Keep all your important financial documents such as student funding notices, payslips, bank statements, tax credit awards etc. for at least six years. Take photocopies of important documents if you need to send the originals away.

Internship opportunities for international medical students

A medical internship abroad is a clinical placement you undertake in a fast-paced, low-resource hospital in the developing world.

You’ll see a healthcare system totally different from your own, and get experience with conditions and practices you’ve never seen before.

You can choose the departments you want to rotate through — oncology, surgical, pediatrics, the ED…. It’s completely customizable.

You’ll see unfamiliar conditions like tropical diseases, learn how sociocultural issues affect how care is delivered, and get real-life, in-person experience with global health.

Benefits of a Medical Internship Abroad

On our internships for medical students, you’ll:

Expand your clinical knowledge and skill set

Develop your confidence and resourcefulness

Build your personal and professional network

Sharpen your verbal and non-verbal communication

Become more attractive to employers

The best part is that your placement runs Monday to Friday. So, your evenings and weekends are free to explore a beautiful country you might never again get the chance to visit.


As long as you are a college student enrolled in or have been accepted on a professional medical degree (in medical school) you are eligible.

You can also travel if you are already graduated. However, please note that our placements are educational in their nature and designed to give you experience abroad in a low resource hospital setting under the supervision of local qualified professionals. Read more about our professional placements

Placement for international medical students

The International and Global Health Office is responsible for international placements for all learners of the Faculty, to ensure an educational experience that is enriching and safe for learners as well as ensuring that there is a benefit to the host communities in hosting the student.

International electives allow medical learners the opportunity to participate in a clinical or research experience that will expose participants to diverse medical environments and provide them with hands on learning opportunities.

Each elective placement usually spans from two to six weeks.

Once the placement has been approved, it is possible to revoke this decision and the placement can be cancelled due to a change in conditions in the country, loss of in-country supervisor, OR arising academic or professional concerns on the part of the learner.

Warning: Countries with an advisory of ‘Avoid all travel’ or ‘Avoid non-essential travel’ will not be approved.

Usually, travel dates for first and second year UGME students are during the summer, and upper year UGME students from September to February.

Travel dates for PGME residents depends on their rotation schedule and must be approved by the program director.

Advantages of participating in international electives include:

Developing a better understanding of international health;

Learning about health-care in lower technology societies;

Becoming involved in a cultural exchange;

Using the knowledge gained about other cultures in order to develop a better understanding of Canada's multicultural population;

Developing technical skills;

Encouraging contemplation of a career in International Health.

How We Help 

Our experienced consultants will guide you throughout your journey in pursuit of higher education and admissions into your dream universities/colleges. In specific but not limited to, following areas of assistance is provided by our consultants:

  • Complete Profile Evaluation
  • Guidance on curriculum and subject selection for high school (A levels, IB, IGCSE etc)
  • STEM Coaching - Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business, Maths, Economics, English and many other subjects
  • Preparation of different standardized tests - Undergraduate and Postgraduate
  • Helping you to build your profile by guiding you on leadership skills, co-curricular activities, internship, online courses etc.
  • Shortlist and finalize the best-fit college / university
  • Research the right programs / courses for students
  • Craft academic CV
  • Brainstorm ideas for essays and personal statements
  • Draft pointers for recommendation letters
  • Scholarship and Financial Aid guidance
  • MMI and Panel Interview Preparation
  • Submission of the application form
  • Follow up with the universities and updating the status of the applications
  • Visa assistance and guidance
  • Assistance on safe accommodation options
  • Pre-Departure Guidance

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