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Best universities in the UK for medicine degrees 2024

Find the best universities in the UK for medicine using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2024 data

  • Best universities in
November 28 2023
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Top 10 universities for medicine in UK 2024

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

UK medicine rank 2023 WUR medicine rank 2023 University City/Town
1 1 University of Oxford Oxford
2 2 University of Cambridge Cambridge
3 4 Imperial College London London
4 8 UCL London
5 10 King’s College London London
6 21 University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
7 49 University of Glasgow Glasgow
8 50 University of Manchester Manchester
9 =54 University of Bristol Bristol
10 66 University of Birmingham Birmingham

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 2024.

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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. 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.

2. 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.

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford has been Times Higher Education’s top-ranked university for medicine for the past 12 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 2024

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2024 results

UK medicine rank 2024  Medicine rank 2024  University City/town
1  1  University of Oxford Oxford
2  3  University of Cambridge Cambridge
3  4  Imperial College London London
4  7  UCL London
5  13  King’s College London London
6  23  University of Edinburgh Edinburgh
7  49  University of Manchester Manchester
8  53  University of Glasgow Glasgow
9  59  University of Bristol Bristol
10  68  Queen Mary University of London London
11  =74  University of Birmingham Birmingham
12  77  University of Nottingham Nottingham
13  93  Newcastle University Newcastle
=14  101–125  University of Leicester Leicester
=14  101–125  University of Liverpool Liverpool
=14  101–125  University of Sheffield Sheffield
=14  101–125  University of Southampton Southampton
=14  101–125  University of York York
=19  126–150  University of Exeter Exeter
=19  126–150  University of Leeds Leeds
=19  126–150  Queen’s University Belfast Belfast
=19  126–150  University of Warwick Warwick
=23  151–175  Cardiff University Cardiff
=23  151–175  St George’s, University of London London
=25  176–200  University of Aberdeen Aberdeen
=25  176–200  University of Bath Bath
=25  176–200  University of Dundee Dundee
=25  176–200  Lancaster University Lancaster
=29  201–250  City, University of London London
=29  201–250  University of Strathclyde Strathclyde
=31  251–300  Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) East Anglia
=31  251–300  University of St Andrews St Andrews
=31  251–300  University of Surrey Guildford
=34  301–400  Aston University Birmingham
=34  301–400  Bournemouth University Bournemouth
=34  301–400  Brighton and Sussex Medical School Brighton
=34  301–400  University of East Anglia Norwich
=34  301–400  Keele University Keele
=34  301–400  Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool
=34  301–400  Middlesex University London
=34  301–400  Swansea University Swansea
=34  301–400  Ulster University Ulster
=43  401–500  Birmingham City University Birmingham
=43  401–500  Brunel University London London
=43  401–500  Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh
=43  401–500  University of Essex Essex
=43  401–500  Glasgow Caledonian University Glasgow
=43  401–500  University of Greenwich Greenwich
=43  401–500  University of Hertfordshire Hatfield
=43  401–500  University of Hull Hull
=43  401–500  University of Lincoln Lincoln
=43  401–500  London South Bank University London
=43  401–500  University of Portsmouth Portsmouth
=43  401–500  University of Stirling Stirling
=43  401–500  University of the West of England Bristol
=56  501–600  Bangor University Bangor
=56  501–600  University of East London London
=56  501–600  Leeds Beckett University Leeds
=56  501–600  Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester
=56  501–600  Northumbria University Northumbria
=56  501–600  Oxford Brookes University Oxford
=56  501–600  University of Plymouth Plymouth
=56  501–600  Sheffield Hallam University Sheffield
=64  601–800  University of Bradford Bradford
=64  601–800  University of Brighton Brighton
=64  601–800  Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff
=64  601–800  University of Central Lancashire Preston
=64  601–800  Coventry University Coventry
=64  601–800  De Montfort University Leicester
=64  601–800  University of Derby Derby
=64  601–800  Edge Hill University Ormskirk
=64  601–800  University of Huddersfield Huddersfield
=64  601–800  Kingston University London
=64  601–800  The Open University Nationwide
=64  601–800  University of Salford Salford
=64  601–800  University of South Wales Newport
=64  601–800  University of the West of Scotland Paisley
=64  601–800  University of Wolverhampton Wolverhampton
=79  801–1000  Canterbury Christ Church University Kent
=79  801–1000  University of Chester Chester
=79  801–1000  University of Sunderland Sunderland
=79  801–1000  Teesside University Teesside

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