Medicine

Does it make sense to study graduate medicine abroad?

If you can find a place abroad that allows you to graduate in four years and there is no similar option available to you in the United Kingdom, this might be the only way you will become a doctor. However, you do need to bear in mind that studying medicine does also involve interaction with patients. You need to speak the local language to be able to do this effectively. If you start studying abroad after completing a Bachelor's degree, you will be going abroad without the 2-3 years that students typically use to get to grips with the language. This could be incredibly problematic.

Where should I look for four year graduate entry medicine degrees abroad?

We will be adding an extensive list of all the options abroad that we can find to this website. However, we do not currently have that information available.

We are aware of several options in Poland, some in Cyprus and Malta, and we believe there are others in Bulgaria. Clearly there are also options in the Caribbean.

There are MSc degrees in medicine available in the Netherlands but these are taught in Dutch only, never in English.

In the USA medicine is only ever available as a four-year graduate-entry qualification. However, it is extremely difficult to get a place if you have not completed your Bachelors degree at a US university and it is always extremely expensive to study medicine there.

What grades do I need to get in?

Universities often have their own entrance exams. These are typically a multiple choice exam on chemistry and biology but might also include maths, physics, logic and verbal reasoning. Every university is different but they will always place greater emphasis on your performance in their exam than they will on your previous academic record. It is worth bearing in mind that competition for the few graduate entry opportunities available in Europe is fierce.

You may also be required to take a standardised exam such as the GAMSAT.

Will my degree be recognised?

All qualifications taught within the European Union should be judged as equal but it is worth checking with the GMC as they will know more about the relative quality of medical qualifications than we or an education agent can.

We certainly know universities whose qualifications are recognised by the GMC, and whose quality of teaching is recognised worldwide. These universities are not soft options; going abroad is not recommended under any circumstances to students who would be incapable of following a UK medical degree or who are not fully committed to becoming a doctor.

What else should I bear in mind?

Cost can be a major issue when thinking about studying medicine abroad. On this website we try to limit ourselves to recommending options where we know there is financial aid available or where tuition fees are zero. In the case of medicine this is impossible. You need to consider how you will be able to meet the cost of education abroad without relying on student finance from the United Kingdom.

It can be difficult to transfer between universities. If you are planning on starting your medical studies abroad with a view to moving to a British medical school you are likely to be disappointed. In some cases, transferring is impossible because of the different ways in which medicine is taught.

There are a number of education agents operating in the UK who offer to find students places at international medical schools. In our experience it is often unnecessary to use a UK-based agent. However, the customer support of some Central European medical schools leaves a lot to be desired and you might find it easier to apply through an intermediary. It is worth checking in advance exactly which fees would be payable by you as the student and exactly which services the agent is authorised to offer.