Lola561
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I recently graduated with my bachelor's in Neuroscience and Behavior (in the USA) and I am planning to move to the UK with my Fiance (as his career is in politics) in September. I have considered a career as a doctor after college and wanted to know the requirements to enter an MBBS course with a bachelor's. Here are some questions that I have? - Is there an age limit to apply for an MBBS in the UK? (Here in the USA, I would have 5 years to apply with the prerequisites of my bachelor's before I need to go to a community college. - Would I need to take the English proficiency test? I am a French National, but I received my bachelor's from an american univeristy.- Has anyone gone through this process? If so, do you have any recommendations?
Last edited by Lola561; 6 months ago
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artful_lounger
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You have to apply via UCAS for medicine (as with any other degree in the UK), although some GEM courses also require you fill in a separate application form and send it to them directly. The deadline for applying to medicine via UCAS is October 15th of the year before you wish to start (so you would apply by 15/10/20 to start in autumn 2021.

There is no age limit, although they usually want to see evidence of recent academic study if you have been out of education for more than three years. I would note however, the UK government has imposed a cap on the number of international students that can be admitted to medical degrees in the UK, so each medical school has been allocated a quota of international students they can take. It is extremely competitive for international applicants as a result (especially for some courses which are hugely oversubscribed for their limited quota, like Oxford which has I believe something like 80 applicants per international student place on the standard entry course).

Normally medicine is an undergraduate degree in the UK, although you can apply as a graduate to these undergraduate (standard entry) courses. There are also specific graduate entry medicine (GEM) courses, which have varying criteria for the first degree (some accept those from any degree, some from STEM degrees only, some from only bioscience degrees specifically). Undergrad entry degrees usually require A-level Chemistry or Biology plus another science A-level (sometimes specified to be the other of those two), some GEM courses may require this in addition to degree requirements (as above, usually to 2:1 or equivalent standard; some might require a 1st formally and most will probably need a 1st to be competitive) and others may not. I imagine if you took standard gen phys/chem/bio/calc sequences in your degree these will satisfy any such subject requirements but I would recommend checking this with any medical schools you wish to apply to before applying.

For both GEM and standard entry medicine, you usually will need to have undertaken (and reflected on) relevant work experience in a medical environment (sometimes specifically they require it to be in a caring role, and some GEM courses require more extensive experience in the NHS e.g. working at least 6 months within it). Most require some kind of admissions test (the UCAT, BMAT, or GAMSAT - the latter is for GEM only and is quite long and hard as I understand, the former two are used for both GEM and standard entry med). For English language proficiency, you'll need to look on individual medical school's websites; some might accept a degree undertaken in an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, others might require TOEFL/IELTS scores or similar.

I would note that medicine is extremely expensive for international students (something like £50k a year I believe at most medical schools...) with little to no funding available for it. The course is also very long, at 5-6 years for standard entry or 4 years for GEM. Even if you are eligible as an EU student for home student fees and funding, there is still a significant cost for studying the standard entry course as a graduate (~9k a year tuition fees for the first 3 years at least) so you may need to spend some time planning the financial side of that.

My understanding is that UK students (and possibly previously, maybe currently EU students) studying for a second degree in medicine would be eligible for a maintenance loan (normally used for living costs etc) only from Student Finance England for the preclinical (year 1-3) phase, then by NHS bursary for the clinical (year 4-6) phase of the course, for both tuition fee and maintenance bursary. The GEM course has a specific funding model where (home fees) students contribute the first £3000 or so towards tuition fees for first year then get a tuition fee loan towards the rest of the cost, and a maintenance loan otherwise, then I believe are funded by the NHS bursary for the rest of the course as above. I do not however know if international students are eligible for the NHS bursaries. As above, international students pay something like £50k out of pocket for tuition fees directly every year (perhaps more/less for clinical years?) - I'm not really sure whether you would be classified as international or EU, and if EU whether you would qualify for home fees or not (particularly with Brexit etc),

ecolier or nexttime might be able to advise more on how things work for international (or EU) students applying to medicine courses and/or correct any of the above which is wrong
Last edited by artful_lounger; 8 months ago
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Lola561
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You have to apply via UCAS for medicine (as with any other degree in the UK), although some GEM courses also require you fill in a separate application form and send it to them directly. The deadline for applying to medicine via UCAS is October 15th of the year before you wish to start (so you would apply by 15/10/20 to start in autumn 2021.

There is no age limit, although they usually want to see evidence of recent academic study if you have been out of education for more than three years. I would note however, the UK government has imposed a cap on the number of international students that can be admitted to medical degrees in the UK, so each medical school has been allocated a quota of international students they can take. It is extremely competitive for international applicants as a result (especially for some courses which are hugely oversubscribed for their limited quota, like Oxford which has I believe something like 80 applicants per international student place on the standard entry course).

Normally medicine is an undergraduate degree in the UK, although you can apply as a graduate to these undergraduate (standard entry) courses. There are also specific graduate entry medicine (GEM) courses, which have varying criteria for the first degree (some accept those from any degree, some from STEM degrees only, some from only bioscience degrees specifically). Undergrad entry degrees usually require A-level Chemistry or Biology plus another science A-level (sometimes specified to be the other of those two), some GEM courses may require this in addition to degree requirements (as above, usually to 2:1 or equivalent standard; some might require a 1st formally and most will probably need a 1st to be competitive) and others may not. I imagine if you took standard gen phys/chem/bio/calc sequences in your degree these will satisfy any such subject requirements but I would recommend checking this with any medical schools you wish to apply to before applying.

For both GEM and standard entry medicine, you usually will need to have undertaken (and reflected on) relevant work experience in a medical environment (sometimes specifically they require it to be in a caring role, and some GEM courses require more extensive experience in the NHS e.g. working at least 6 months within it). Most require some kind of admissions test (the UCAT, BMAT, or GAMSAT - the latter is for GEM only and is quite long and hard as I understand, the former two are used for both GEM and standard entry med). For English language proficiency, you'll need to look on individual medical school's websites; some might accept a degree undertaken in an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, others might require TOEFL/IELTS scores or similar.

I would note that medicine is extremely expensive for international students (something like £50k a year I believe at most medical schools...) with little to no funding available for it. The course is also very long, at 5-6 years for standard entry or 4 years for GEM. Even if you are eligible as an EU student for home student fees and funding, there is still a significant cost for studying the standard entry course as a graduate (~9k a year tuition fees for the first 3 years at least) so you may need to spend some time planning the financial side of that.

My understanding is that UK students (and possibly previously, maybe currently EU students) studying for a second degree in medicine would be eligible for a maintenance loan (normally used for living costs etc) only from Student Finance England for the preclinical (year 1-3) phase, then by NHS bursary for the clinical (year 4-6) phase of the course, for both tuition fee and maintenance bursary. The GEM course has a specific funding model where (home fees) students contribute the first £3000 or so towards tuition fees for first year then get a tuition fee loan towards the rest of the cost, and a maintenance loan otherwise, then I believe are funded by the NHS bursary for the rest of the course as above. I do not however know if international students are eligible for the NHS bursaries. As above, international students pay something like £50k out of pocket for tuition fees directly every year (perhaps more/less for clinical years?) - I'm not really sure whether you would be classified as international or EU, and if EU whether you would qualify for home fees or not (particularly with Brexit etc),

ecolier or nexttime might be able to advise more on how things work for international (or EU) students applying to medicine courses and/or correct any of the above which is wrong
Thank you so much! This was so helpful.
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