This article explores funding your Medicine degree whilst studying as a graduate student. There are differences in funding details depending on a. Whether you are a graduate student studying an undergraduate or graduate entry Medicine (GEM) course, b. The year of the MBBS programme, c. Your government loans agency for UK students, or whether you are an international student, and d. your eligibility for funding overall. I aim to explore these areas in a little more detail and, overall, hope to provide you with some insight into and reassurance about funding for graduate medical students.
Remember that the universities you apply to will often have bursaries and financial support available, depending on your circumstances. If you are worried about funding, I would advise you to reach out to them and discuss your funding options.
As for most other undergraduate courses, tuition fees for English and Scottish universities are £9,250 per year for domestic tuition (home students) (local tuition fees differ for Scottish students). Tuition fees for Welsh and Northern Irish universities are £9,000 per year for domestic tuition (home students) (local tuition fees differ for Northern Irish students).
Tuition fees for international students, who do not fulfil the criteria to be classified as home students, will be that of international fees. These fees are usually more than those paid by home students however may differ depending on the university studied at. Therefore, it is important to check the international fees stated by the particular universities you are applying to. These fees are often self-funded; there may also be scholarship opportunities, bursaries and charities potentially available to assist with funding in some cases, depending on the university studying at and individual circumstances.
Note – please always make sure to check the universities you are applying to, the year of application and your particular circumstances, as these fees may be subject to change with studying status (local, domestic, international tuition fees) and with time. For example, for the application year 2021-2022, the exact funding details may not be entirely confirmed yet. This article is written in accordance with how funding has worked in most previous years.
As briefly noted above, funding as a graduate medical student differs depending on whether you are a graduate student studying an undergraduate Medicine course or a graduate Medicine course (for further information on undergraduate and graduate Medicine courses check out our blog post 'Deciding on a UK Medical School Tips & Techniques For Graduate Entrants').
If you are a UK graduate student studying an undergraduate Medicine course – you will generally NOT be entitled to tuition fee loans but WILL be entitled to maintenance loans from your government student funding agency. Essentially, students studying a subsequent undergraduate degree will not be entitled to further tuition fee loans for the first few years of the degree (as they will have already received tuition fee loans during their first undergraduate degree). During the initial years of the degree, therefore, tuition fees are self-funded (and/or with access to bursaries and/or charities). The NHS Bursary Scheme funds tuition fees during the later years of the degree. The following link provides further clarification: https://www.medschools.ac.uk/studying-medicine/outreach-and-support/financing-your-studies.
If you are a UK graduate student studying a graduate Medicine (GEM) course – you will generally be entitled to BOTH tuition fee (part) and maintenance loans from your government student funding agency and funding from the NHS Bursary Scheme.
Maintenance loans in both cases will be provided and the amount will depend on the university/location where you study and your individual financial circumstances. Check out this link from Student Finance England for further information with regards to eligibility for English students: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies.
IMPORTANT NOTE – please also see below for a breakdown of funding available depending on the year of study. Different years of the medical degree are funded differently, in the case of BOTH undergraduate and graduate medicine courses for graduate students AND with regards to BOTH tuition fees and maintenance loans.
The following information is related to students ordinarily living in England (home students) and studying at a university in England (like myself). Note that there are often differences between how funding is delivered for students across different areas of the UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales). Below, I have tried to highlight the main differences when studying in other areas of the UK, but please see the links provided for further detail about these differences.
If you are a graduate student studying an undergraduate Medicine course:
It is generally a five (or six) year course in which…
If you are a graduate student studying a graduate-entry Medicine (GEM) course:
It is generally a four year (accelerated course) in which…
Please also see the following useful resource by the BMA (reference to the above information): https://www.bma.org.uk/media/1080/bma-medical-student-finance-guide-england-2018.pdf.
Please check the useful link below for further details of the differences for students of different countries in the UK and different UK universities: https://www.medicmind.co.uk/medicine-ucas-guide/how-is-graduate-entry-medicine-funded/.
Additional links regarding funding in Scotland and Northern Ireland:
Depending on where your home is in the UK – England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – you can apply for funding that you are entitled to (or enquire further which funding you are entitled to) via the relevant government student funding agency, listed below.
Student funding agency: England – https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login
Student funding agency: Scotland – https://www.saas.gov.uk
Student funding agency: Wales – https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk
Student funding agency: Northern Ireland – https://www.studentfinanceni.co.uk
Most universities also offer their own bursaries that students can apply for. The aim of these is to provide financial support to students that are in most need of it.
With regards to universities offering graduate specific bursaries, this seems to depend on the university and the course type (whether you are studying an undergraduate or graduate Medicine course). As far as I’m aware, graduate specific bursaries are more commonly available when studying a graduate Medicine course. Whereas more general bursaries and those that both undergraduates and graduates may apply for may be more common when studying an undergraduate Medicine course. It is always worth checking with the universities that you are applying to so that you understand the financial support available to you (considering your individual circumstances).
Overview about financing the medical degree and loan eligibility – https://www.medschools.ac.uk/studying-medicine/outreach-and-support/financing-your-studies
More detail about funding for graduate students across the UK –
Government student loans agency website links for England –
NHS Bursary Scheme information –
Author: Carolina Williams
Editor: Allegra Wisking