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13 Best Medical School Scholarships UK (Including Fully Funded)

13 Best Medical School Scholarships UK (Including Fully Funded)

Updated on: December 10, 2023
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Written By Dr Ollie

Every article is fact-checked by a medical professional. However, inaccuracies may still persist.

Achieving a medical school scholarship can give you anything from a few hundred extra pounds in your pocket to having 5 years’ worth of tuition fees paid for.

Although UK medical schools don’t run quite as many scholarship schemes as places like the US, there are still plenty of fantastic opportunities out there.

I’ve compiled a list of what I think are the 13 best medical school scholarships for UK universities.

It’s by no means a definitive list, and I’m sure there are great scholarships that I’ve missed off the list, but it should give you a good starting point for finding some options to apply to.

Imperial Scholarship

Value£9,250 each year
Duration6 years
EligibilityHome students with an unconditional offer who might be prevented from studying medicine due to financial constraints
Application ProcessAwarded for outstanding performance during the admissions process

Imperial College London offers a range of scholarships, the most generous of which is the William Anglesea Scholarship.

This scholarship allows a student not to have to pay any tuition fees for the entirety of their 6-year course.

Students are selected for the course if they demonstrate “outstanding performance during the admissions process.”

However, there is a catch.

The scholarship is only offered once every three years. So bad luck if you’re applying during an off-year.

Just note that to be eligible you do have to be a home student who’s already accepted an unconditional offer to study medicine at Imperial.

Hull York Scholarship

Value£2,400 each year
Duration5 years
EligibilityStudents on HYMS MBBS with a household income of £25,000 or less
Application ProcessApplied automatically

The Hull York Medical School scholarship is great because it’s automatically applied to all eligible students.

In order to be eligible, you simply need to show that you’ve got a household income of £25,000 or less.

The annual £2,400 is then either applied as a discount to your accommodation if you’re staying in university halls or given to you as a cash sum if you’re not.

If you’d qualify under Hull York’s criteria, applying to this medical school could be an easy way to get a scholarship locked in, no matter how you get on in the interview process.

The scholarship is open to both students studying MBBS Medicine or MBBS Medicine with a Gateway Year at Hull York Medical School.

Akindolie Medical Scholarship

Value£1500 one-time payment
Duration1 year
EligibilityCurrent UK medical students from a BAME background
Application ProcessSubmit a CV and 300-word personal statement. Candidates also must demonstrate an excellent academic record and evidence of giving back to society

The Akindolie Medical Scholarship was set up in memory of Dr Frank Olufemi Akindolie by his children, to honour their father’s memory.

Dr Akindolie was a German-educated doctor from Nigeria, who built a successful medical practice in Lagos.

After his sad passing in 2012, his children, two of whom are practicing doctors in the UK, set up the scholarship to support the training of future junior doctors.

The scholarship comprises of one bursary of £1500 together with a year’s leadership mentoring and support.

When the judging panel deems appropriate, there are also secondary bursaries of a lesser value that can be awarded.

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, you have to be a current full-time medical student at a UK medical school from a black or minority ethnic background.

To support your application, you need to submit evidence of both an excellent academic track record and evidence of giving back to society outside of your medical studies.

It’s a relatively high bar set to apply, but if you’re eligible, the money and particularly the mentorship could prove invaluable to your future career.

UCLan Scholarship

Value£9,250 annually
Duration5 years
EligibilityApplicants from specified geographical areas
Application ProcessVia the UCAS system

The University of Central Lancashire is one of the very few medical schools to actually offer full tuition fee scholarships to applicants.

There are two regional scholarships and one widening participation scholarship run by UCLan.

Mackenzie Scholarship

The Mackenzie scholarship is offered to applicants from East Lancashire and is jointly funded by both the university itself and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dr Kate Granger Scholarship

This scholarship is offered to applicants specifically from Cumbria, particularly Copeland or Allerdale. The grant is jointly funded by the university and the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Livesey Scholarships

These are offered to two students every year who successfully complete UCLan’s Pathways to Medicine Programme.

The Pathways to Medicine Programme aims to support students based in the North West of England and who are from under-represented backgrounds through the process of applying to medical school.

All three of these scholarships cover all tuition fees for the duration of the 5-year medicine course, with the first two also including clinical placement costs.

So that can equate to an award of over £37,000!

You don’t even have to apply to these scholarships specifically as UCLan will receive all the necessary information from your UCAS application.

The only exception to this is for the Livesey scholarship you will be required to complete a widening participation form.

If you fall into this bracket, you’ll also very likely be able to get a contextual offer for medical school and so get in with slightly lower grades.

BMA Charities

DurationBoth annual and one-off grants
EligibilityMedical students who are studying medicine as a second degree and are in financial difficulty
Application ProcessApply online

The BMA Charities are two charities that help doctors, their dependents and medical students in times of financial crisis.

The BMA Charities Trust Fund offers:

  • Annual grants for medical students who are studying medicine as a second degree
  • One-off grants to medical students who are in immediate and serious financial need

They have a really handy online eligibility checker to see if you can apply for one of their scholarships.

Broadly, you’ll need to be studying medicine as a second degree, be unable to complete your course without financial assistance and have over £25,000 of debt.

Applications for the one-off grants are accepted all year round but only between November and mid-January each year for the annual grants.

You don’t have to be a BMA member to apply and the process normally takes about four weeks from receipt of a completed application to receiving a grant.

John Abernethy Scholarship

Value£5,000 each year
Duration5 years
EligibilityStudents in financial hardship who would benefit from the MBBS programme
Application ProcessAll students who enrol in the School of Medicine are considered for the scholarship

The John Abernethy scholarship is run by Queen Mary University (Barts).

It’s another scholarship where there’s no formal application, but rather eligible students are automatically entered.

Barts Medical School receives all the relevant financial and academic information from your UCAS application and puts the 3 best students forward for the award.

They do this because there are in fact 3 scholarships awarded every year- which means you’re in with a much better chance of landing one compared to medical schools that only reward a single candidate.

Thanks to the John Abernethy scheme, students who Barts deems to be in financial hardship have the chance to receive over a 50% discount on their tuition fees.

Army Medical Services

Value£10,000 per year
Duration3 years
EligibilityEligible to join the British Army
Application ProcessContact an Army career’s centre

Joining the Army is one way to get financial assistance with your medical studies.

If you sign up, you’ll be eligible to receive annual grants of £10,000 for the final three years of your studies.

However, there is a return of service expected if you sign on the dotted line.

By joining up, you’re committing to 4 years of service after finishing your foundation training programme in an NHS hospital.

That being said, becoming an Army doctor could be one of the best decisions you ever make.

From practicing medicine in war zones to disaster relief campaigns, it’s unlikely you’d ever work two days exactly the same.

If it’s something that you think you may be interested in, you do need to apply early though as the complete application process will take about a year before you’re eligible to receive your first payment of £10,000.

Your eligibility for this scholarship will just be the rules that determine whether or not you can join the Army. Broadly, that’s whether you’re a British or Commonwealth citizen.

Find out more about becoming an Army doctor here.

Dundee Global Excellence Scholarship

Value£6,000 per year
Duration5 years
EligibilityHold an offer for Dundee as an international student and have achieved at least BBB at A-level or a 1st class degree
Application ProcessAutomatic application

This scholarship is run by the University of Dundee to reward international students with a strong academic track record.

To be eligible, you have to hold an offer to the University of Dundee, have international fee-payer status and have evidence of academic excellence.

Dundee defines this as a minimum of 3Bs at A-level or a 1st-class classification of an undergraduate degree.

This scholarship is open to any international applicant to Dundee, so the majority of medicine offer holders will presumably meet these academic criteria.

Eligible students are automatically considered for the scholarship, with the potential for £6,000 a year to be knocked off their tuition fees.

The award can’t be backdated to previous years, but if a student has already paid upfront for the course the monetary value of the scholarship may be deducted from accommodation charges.

Gilchrist Educational Trust

ValueAverages around £500
DurationOne-off grant
EligibilityFull-time student at a British university
Application ProcessContact the charity

The Gilchrist Educational Trust supports students in two main ways with their grants:

  1. Students who are facing unforeseen financial difficulties that may prevent them from completing their course
  2. Students who as part of a degree course are required to spend a short period of time abroad e.g. a medical elective

To be eligible for a scholarship to support yourself at medical school, you’ll need to be a current student.

For the first type of grant, which helps students complete their course in spite of unforeseen financial hardships, successful applicants will normally be in their final year of study.

If you want to apply for a scholarship to help fund your medical elective, you can apply at any time of the year prior to your going.

During the Trust’s last financial year, 53 students received either an Adult Study Grant (average £528) or a Travel Study Grant (average £531)

One quirk to note is that the charity doesn’t accept applications electronically. To apply for one of the scholarships, you need to send your application by post!

NHS Student Bursary

ValueTuition fees + £1000 grant + means-tested bursary
Duration1-2 years
EligibilityAll home medical students
Application ProcessNHS bursary account

This scholarship is slightly different from all the others on this list.

Every UK medical student is eligible to apply for an NHS student bursary.

With it, you get all your tuition fees covered, a non-means tested £1000 grant as well as a means-tested bursary.

However, you can only apply from your 5th year for an undergraduate degree or your 2nd year if you’re on a 4-year graduate entry medicine course.

So, if you’re doing a 5-year degree you’ll get your tuition fees covered and a grant for one year, but if you’re doing a 6-year or graduate-entry course you could be funded for 2 years.

The exact value of the bursary depends on quite a few things, such as who you live with, if you’re studying in London or not and your household income, but at a minimum you’ll have all your tuition fees paid as well as the £1000 grant.

This was an absolute lifesaver for me as it just stopped me from sliding into more and more student loan debt at the end of my degree.

To apply, you simply need to make an online NHS bursary account from which you can submit the required forms.

Tocris Scholarship Program

Value$1,500 (GBP equivalent)
DurationOne-time payment
EligibilityStudents pursuing a scientific field
Application ProcessApplications submitted online

Tocris are a bioscience company that supplies scientific reagents and research tools.

They also run a biannual scholarship award to support students who are pursuing study in a science-related field.

To be eligible, you simply need to be enrolled in a science-related course, of which medicine would definitely qualify.

The award is for a single payment of $1,500 that’s sent to your university for them to distribute.

I’ve got to say, I think this is likely to be one of the most competitive scholarships on this list due to the sheer number of eligible applicants.

The Tocris scholarship program is open to any student within the US, Canada and Europe who is pursuing a science-related field (Life Science, Medical Science, Health Science).

That being said, it’s entirely free to enter online so there’s really not much to stop you from giving it a shot!

Brunel Medical School Scholarship

Value15% of tuition fees annually
Duration5 years
EligibilityOverseas fee-paying students
Application ProcessScholarship interview for shortlisted candidates

The Brunel Medical School scholarship has a potential value of over £33,000.

If awarded, a student receives a 15% discount on their tuition fees over the 5 years of their medical degree.

Considering the current annual tuition fees for Brunel Medical School are £44,905, this is quite a considerable sum!

As Brunel currently only accepts international students, this scholarship isn’t available to home applicants.

After Brunel’s MMI interviews are conducted, the top-scoring candidates are shortlisted for scholarship interviews.

Here, a specialist interview panel grades applicants against predetermined criteria in order to decide whom to award one of the five scholarships to each year.

Scholarship holders are expected to act as medical school ambassadors throughout their time at the university and to participate occasionally in various activities to help promote the school.

Sir Richard Stapely Educational Trust

ValueBetween £500 and £1,200
Duration1 year
EligibilityStudents studying medicine as a second degree
Application ProcessAnnual application window

The Sir Richard Stapely Educational Trust makes annual grants to students studying medicine as a second degree who are struggling financially.

The scholarship is open to students from any country, but applicants must be intending to live in the UK throughout their course of study.

The application window opens once at the start of each calendar year, and remains open until the Trust has received 300 applications.

At this point, the window shuts and the 300 applications are evaluated for academic achievement and financial need.

From past experience, roughly half will be supported with the remainder turned down.

Grants normally range from £500 to £1,200 and are intended to support students struggling to meet educational and subsistence expenses.

Frequently Asked Scholarship Questions

Do UK medical schools give out scholarships?

UK medical schools regularly give out scholarships to their students. These range from one-time payments of a few hundred pounds to full tuition fee scholarships. Eligibility varies between medical schools and scholarship type, with financial hardship frequently being a mandated factor.

Can you get fully funded scholarships to study medicine in the UK?

It is possible to get a fully funded scholarship to study medicine in the UK. Imperial College London and the University of Central Lancashire are two medical schools that award full scholarships to eligible students every year. Given their value, they are however often extremely competitive.

Are UK medical school scholarships hard to get?

Achieving a scholarship for a UK medical school can be difficult. Unlike in the US, there are far fewer scholarships available for UK universities, so competition is often comparatively higher. How difficult a scholarship is to get often depends on its value and eligibility criteria.

What are the easiest medical school scholarships to get?

The easiest medical school scholarships to get are ones that are automatically awarded to eligible students such as the Hull York scholarship or the NHS bursary. For these scholarships, if a student meets the specified criteria then they are guaranteed to receive a monetary grant.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact that there will be plenty of other students applying to many of these scholarship schemes, you really don’t lose out on anything by putting in an application.

I’d urge you to give any and all of them a shot, as the worst that can happen is you receive a rejection.

I also think you’d be surprised that for some of the smaller schemes, there really won’t be that many people applying to them at all.

About the author
After studying medicine at the University of Leicester, Dr Ollie now works as a junior doctor in London. His interests include medical education and expedition medicine, as well as having a strong belief in the importance of widening access to medicine.