If you have decided to study medicine, your training process will be a tough but fulfilling one. It would be fair to expect to be trained by the best and invest your time and energy among professionals who are passionate and opt for institutes with state-of-the-art medical equipment. Studying in the UK has numerous benefits and it would give you the skill and experience you need to confidently face any real-life healthcare situation.
Through exposure to the highly qualified teachers at the medical universities, you can not only be a good doctor but discover treatments by participating in the latest medical research. Let’s look at how the UK stands out among other countries when it comes to studying medicine in the UK.
Why the UK?
The UK has a great medical heritage- the vaccine for smallpox was discovered here in 1789 and the world’s first fully articulated prosthetic arm was invented in 2013. These and many such groundbreaking medical findings attract aspiring doctors to start their medical careers in the UK.
Due to the relationships between the hospitals and universities, you will also get a chance to experience real-life healthcare while you are studying. When you are working with the latest equipment, you will not have any trouble operating it when you start your actual practice.
The UK takes great pride in its free healthcare system- the National Health Service (NHS)- which is a 70 years old organisation- so you can imagine the kind of work ethic they have and you will learn communication skills in this unique environment.
Entry requirements to study medicine in UK
Usually, every medical university has their entry requirements listed on their website and they also have a dedicated email to respond to admission related queries. Here is a general overview of the entry requirements at different levels of medical education for international students:
Undergraduate medical students: For entry into a reputable medical university that is connected to a hospital, you need 3 As in your A levels (with Chemistry and Biology as a requirement). If you do not have A level qualification, then you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in all four categories).
Foundation program: The undergraduate medical study lasts for two years. After successfully passing the courses in these two years, you will move on to the Foundation Program which will also last for two years. This part of your medical education exposes you to other undergraduate students, postgraduate students and other healthcare providers who will help you gain priceless knowledge from their experience.
Specialisation: You will need to decide after your Foundation Program what you will be specialising in. This requires focused hard work and can last up to seven years at the end of which you will be given your CCT (Certificate of Completion Training).
What is the UCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test)?
Most UK medical universities require a UCAT score to gauge the competitiveness of the student. In 2021, 28,690 students applied for undergraduate medical degrees in the UK and only 9,500 were selected. As the competition is very high, it is recommended to take this test and show your abilities to the admission committee so that you can get the interview call or the final acceptance letter.
The test includes five sections- Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative reasoning, Abstract reasoning, Decision Analysis and Situational Judgement. The average score of this test in 2022 was 2500. Here is a breakdown of the different sections of the test:
- Verbal Reasoning: 21 minutes, 44 questions on 11 passages
- Decision Making: 31 minutes, 29 questions
- Quantitative Reasoning: 25 minutes, 36 questions
- Abstract Reasoning: 12 minutes, 50 questions
- Situational Judgement: 26 minutes, 66 questions on 20 scenarios
There are many helpful resources to look for scholarships to support your medical education in the UK. The British Council, the UKCISA and UCAS all have several options listed on their website to help you browse and explore. We understand that can get a bit overwhelming so it is better to book a session with an education counsellor who can guide you through it.