The 10 Best Universities for Medicine in the UK

11 Oct, 2023 | Medicine, University Preparation

If you’re considering studying Medicine in the UK, you likely have a lot of questions about the process! 

Undertaking a career in Medicine is a huge commitment; it’s time-consuming, tiring, and difficult. However, it’s arguably the most rewarding and respected profession out there, and it opens the doors to a world of opportunities like researching, travelling and policy-making. 

Medical careers can vary quite a lot; similarly, Medicine degrees can be structured differently depending on the institution, so choosing the right medical school is an important step in your journey. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best UK universities for Medicine, and dissect – no pun intended! – their unique features.

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford doesn’t need much of an introduction, as it consistently tops the QS World University Rankings and the Times World University Rankings. Its medical school is renowned worldwide, as well as its many laboratories and institutes.

The University of Oxford’s medical school is traditional in its teaching style. The first three years of the course count towards a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Sciences. During the second part of the degree, students gain clinical exposure with access to cutting-edge facilities like the John Radcliffe Hospital.

If you’re interested in medical and translational research, and are looking for exciting opportunities to work alongside some of the most famous scientists in the world, then the University of Oxford could be for you. 

Please note: the OxBright is not affiliated with the University of Oxford.

The University of Oxford is #1 for Medicine in the UK.

2. University of Cambridge

Similarly, the University of Cambridge needs little introduction. One of the oldest continuously-run medical courses in the world, clinical education at the University dates back to the 1500s. 

The University of Cambridge has also retained much of the traditional teaching style and methods, with patient contact happening primarily in the second half of the course. 

The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and Addenbrookes Hospital, offer an exceptional environment to learn the basic sciences and clinical practice alongside an expert faculty.

3. Imperial College London

Imperial College London provides top-notch, ultra-modern facilities for their medical students, including laboratories and clinical simulation areas. 

Imperial’s reputation as a leading institution for medical education and research is wide-reaching. At Imperial, you’ll have the chance to approach medicine in an interdisciplinary manner, gaining experience in medical research, while engaging in clinical training at some of the most advanced hospitals in the country. 

4. University College London

University College London is in the heart of the city, and provides its medical students with unique learning environments and facilities. The UCL medical course is made up of a comprehensive curriculum, which includes early patient contact and practical clinical skills training. UCL also offers the opportunity to engage in medical research, making for a truly integrated medical course. 

UCL’s medical school is associated with prominent hospitals that are renowned worldwide, such as University College Hospital and Great Ormond Street Paediatric Hospital, providing the opportunity to learn from leading professionals in the field.

London is home to some of the top universities for Medicine.

5. Barts and the London School of Medicine

The first medical school in the UK, and certainly one of the best worldwide, Barts and the London maintain high standards to this day. 

Associated with Queen Mary University and located in the heart of East London, you’ll have the chance to observe unique clinical cases and pathologies hard to observe anywhere else! 

If you’re interested in international and tropical medicine, infectious diseases and cutting-edge surgery – again, no pun intended! – then St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the Royal London Hospital are sure to be a rewarding experience. 

6. King’s College London

King’s College London has a prestigious faculty recognised globally for its clinical education. The course at King’s is characterised by its strong clinical focus, providing students with extensive hands-on training. 

Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital are the two globally-renowned hospitals associated with King’s College, and they provide an excellent training environment for curious medical students. 

7. University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow 

The two leading Scottish universities both have renowned medical schools and a strong international reputation for excellence. 

The University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow are two of the best places to study Medicine due to their strong focus on global health and the many opportunities to engage in international projects. 

In addition, you’ll find Scottish universities have tight links with the NHS allowing medical students to gain experience in a variety of healthcare settings. 

The University of Edinburgh is a top university to study Medicine at.

8. University of Manchester 

Located in the heart of England, the University of Manchester’s clinical setting provides students with learning experiences second to none. 

The University is committed to producing well-rounded doctors with a focus on professionalism and patient-centred care. There’s no better place to study Medicine if you’re interested in a varied range of pathologies and clinical cases, and making a real difference in the community! 

9. University of Bristol 

Bristol also has an excellent medical school, with a strong reputation and international recognition. 

The University is research-intensive, with the medical school split into two departments: Population Health Sciences and Translational Health Sciences. As well as research, the University of Bristol offers early contact with patients, allowing for practical skills development throughout the whole course. 

10. Newcastle University 

Similarly, the medical course at Newcastle University focuses on early patient contact and clinical skills training from the very beginning of your first year, training its students in a reputable and well-established clinical setting. 

The University also boasts a unique placement model where students work across three geographical areas for diverse experiences across rural and urban settings.

With the diverse range of teaching styles, course structures, clinical experience and research opportunities, it’s important to thoroughly research potential universities. Be sure to reflect on your individual interests and preferences, as well as your future career goals, so you can have the best possible start to your career in Medicine. 


By Diego Balassini

Diego is a practicing junior doctor, having graduated from Cambridge University, and Barts and The London School of Medicine. His undergraduate thesis focused on cancer biology and therapeutics. He is planning a career in reconstructive and plastic surgery, hoping to draw together innovations from tissue bioengineering, regenerative and stem cell research.

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