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Best universities in the UK for medicine degrees 2022

Find the best universities in the UK for medicine using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022 data

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October 1 2021
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Top 10 universities for medicine in UK 2022

Scroll down for the full list of best universities for medicine in the UK

UK Medicine Rank 2022 WUR Medicine Rank 2022 University City 
1 1 University of Oxford Oxford
2 3 Imperial College London London 
3 4 University of Cambridge Cambridge
4 8 UCL London 
5 12 King’s College London London 
6 28 University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
7 49 University of Glasgow Glasgow
8 58 University of Manchester Manchester
9 60 University of Bristol Bristol
10 62 Queen Mary University of London London 

The UK is known for its National Health Service (NHS), one of the world’s largest publicly funded healthcare systems. Many of the country’s public hospitals have close ties with medical schools.

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In the UK, medicine degrees are available at an undergraduate level, usually through a five- or six-year programme. These programmes allow students to gain a broad knowledge of medicine and include work placements and practical sessions. Students can then specialise through further study. 

Medical students in the UK are expected to have high grades in chemistry and biology, but requirements vary between universities. UK Consortium universities offering medicine degrees require students to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT); and other top universities require students to take the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). International students are also required to take one of these tests when applying to a UK university. 

These are the best universities in the UK for medical degrees, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.


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5. King’s College London

- King’s College offers a five-year medicine MBBS, a graduate programme and a sport and exercise medical sciences BSc. All the courses focus on practical learning. 
- The medical course is divided into three stages. 

King’s College London has partnerships with some of London’s largest hospitals: Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ hospitals. There are two main campuses – Guy’s and Denmark Hill – which house the faculty of life sciences and medicine; the Dental Institute and Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences; and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.

If an optional intercalated degree is chosen, students can extend their five year course to a six year course.

The course is divided into three stages. Stage one offers foundation skills in biomedical and population sciences, as well as the skills for clinical practice. Stage two studies the human life cycle and pathological processes, focusing on patient care in clinical settings. Stage three is geared towards specialising and developing skills for the workplace. During this stage, students can choose to study abroad, extending their global knowledge of medicine.

4. UCL

UCL, like many other universities across the UK, offers a six-year undergraduate medicine course. 
- Students undertake tutorials and clinical experience at the Royal Free and Whittington Hospitals in London. 

The first two years of the BSc medicine course include learning the fundamentals of clinical science. In the third and fourth years, students begin to learn clinical skills. The final two years are spent preparing for practice and specialising.

The university began offering medical courses in 1834, and since then, six alumni have been awarded the Nobel Prize for work in auto-immune disease, adrenaline and the immune system.


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3. University of Cambridge

- The University of Cambridge offers two medicine courses: standard and graduate. 
- Cambridge requires students to take the BMAT before their application will be accepted.

The University of Cambridge’s medical school students can access medicine and medicine-related courses in the school of clinical medicine, the faculty of biology, and the department of physiology, development and neuroscience.

The undergraduate course combines theoretical and practical work in outpatient clinics, GP surgeries and hospitals. 

Graduate and PhD programmes are designed for students looking to pursue a career in academic medicine.

Medicine courses at the University of Cambridge date back to 1540.

2. Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers two undergraduate courses: BSc medicine and BSc medical biosciences.
- Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest in Europe, with campuses across London, as well as numerous partnerships with hospitals and clinics around the UK.

The six-year BSc medicine course combines case-based learning and exposure to patient care as well as lectures and tutorials. The course helps students to develop skills in research techniques, which is helpful for those wishing to go into clinical academic medicine.

The school takes a three-phase approach. Phase one focuses on the foundations of health, disease and clinical practice, and includes the opportunity to undertake clinical research projects. Phase two offers module content learning on top of a research project. The final phase is where students use all the skills they have learned in real-life settings.

Imperial College also offers master’s programmes and scholarships for those who have completed their undergraduate medicine studies and wish to further their skills in the field.

Imperial has contributed significantly to the advances of medicine through research projects on bowel cancer, pandemic solutions and hay fever.

1. University of Oxford

- The University of Oxford has been the Times Higher Education’s top-ranked university for medicine for the past 11 years. 
- Students looking to study medicine at Oxford must take the BMAT in order to be accepted.

The University of Oxford offers a standard medicine course, which gives students a comprehensive knowledge of medical science as well as the skills to adapt this knowledge in a clinical environment.

The first three years are the pre-clinical stage, studying towards a BA honours in medical sciences. The final three years make up the clinical stage, where students work alongside doctors to put their skills into practice. All students on this course also undertake a research project, which encourages them to delve into the scientific research of medicine and develop laboratory skills.

A four-year graduate course for medical studies is also offered.

Notable alumni from the medical school include neurologist and Olympian Sir Roger Bannister, who is known for his research into responses of the nervous system.

Students at the University of Oxford have access to more than 400 clubs and societies.


Top UK universities for medicine 2022

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2022 results

UK Medicine Rank 2022 WUR Medicine Rank 2022 University City 
1 1 University of Oxford Oxford
2 3 Imperial College London London 
3 4 University of Cambridge Cambridge
4 8 UCL London 
5 12 King’s College London London 
6 28 University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
7 49 University of Glasgow Glasgow
8 58 University of Manchester Manchester
9 60 University of Bristol Bristol
10 62 Queen Mary University of London London 
11 65 University of Liverpool Liverpool
12 68 University of Birmingham Birmingham
13 =91 University of Warwick Warwick
=14 =93 University of Nottingham Nottingham
=14 =93 University of Sheffield Sheffield
=16 101–125 Newcastle University Newcastle
=16 101–125 University of Southampton Southampton
=18 126–150 University of Aberdeen Aberdeen
=18 126–150 Anglia Ruskin University ARU East Anglia
=18 126–150 Brighton and Sussex Medical School Brighton 
=18 126–150 Lancaster University Lancaster
=18 126–150 University of Leicester Leicester
=23 151–175 University of Leeds Leeds
=23 151–175 St George’s, University of London London 
=23 151–175 University of York York
=26 176–200 University of Bath Bath 
=26 176–200 Cardiff University Cardiff 
=26 176–200 University of East Anglia Norwich 
=29 201–250 University of Dundee Dundee
=29 201–250 University of Exeter Exeter
=29 201–250 Queen’s University Belfast Belfast 
=29 201–250 University of Strathclyde Glasgow
=29 201–250 Swansea University Swansea
=34 251–300 Birmingham City University Birmingham
=34 251–300 Middlesex University London 
=34 251–300 University of the West of England Bristol
=37 301–400 Northumbria University Northumbria
=37 301–400 Aston University Birmingham
=37 301–400 Bournemouth University Bournemouth
=37 301–400 Brunel University London London 
=37 301–400 City, University of London London 
=37 301–400 University of Lincoln Lincoln 
=37 301–400 Oxford Brookes University Oxford
=37 301–400 University of St Andrews St Andrews
=37 301–400 University of Surrey Guildford
=46 401–500 Bangor University Bangor
=46 401–500 Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh
=46 401–500 University of Essex Essex
=46 401–500 Glasgow Caledonian University Glasgow
=46 401–500 University of Greenwich London 
=46 401–500 University of Hertfordshire Hatfield
=46 401–500 University of Hull Hull 
=46 401–500 Keele University Keele
=46 401–500 Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool
=46 401–500 London South Bank University London 
=46 401–500 University of Plymouth Plymouth 
=46 401–500 University of Stirling Stirling
=46 401–500 Ulster University Ulster
=59 501–600 University of Brighton Brighton 
=59 501–600 Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff 
=59 501–600 University of Central Lancashire Preston
=59 501–600 Edge Hill University Ormskirk
=59 501–600 Kingston University London 
=59 501–600 University of Portsmouth Portsmouth 
=65 601+ University of Bradford Bradford
=65 601+ Coventry University Coventry 
=65 601+ De Montfort University Leicester
=65 601+ University of Huddersfield Huddersfield
=65 601+ Leeds Beckett University Leeds
=65 601+ Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester
=65 601+ The Open University Nationwide
=65 601+ University of Salford Salford
=65 601+ Sheffield Hallam University Sheffield
=65 601+ University of South Wales Pontypridd
=65 601+ Teesside University Teesside
=65 601+ University of the West of Scotland Paisley 
=65 601+ University of Wolverhampton Wolverhampton

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