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Medical Schools In London: Top Choices For Aspiring Doctors

Medical Schools In London: Top Choices For Aspiring Doctors

Updated on: December 3, 2023
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Written By Dr Ollie

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

London is renowned for its world-class medical schools, offering top-notch education and cutting-edge research opportunities for aspiring doctors.

With such a diverse range of institutions, you have the chance to study among the best and become part of the city’s thriving healthcare scene.

Several medical schools in London regularly feature in the global rankings, boasting state-of-the-art facilities and experienced teaching staff.

These prestigious institutions include:

  1. Imperial College London
  2. King’s College London
  3. University College London
  4. St George’s University of London
  5. Queen Mary University of London
  6. Brunel University London

In this article, I’m going to look at the top medical schools in London, comparing their programme offerings, teaching approaches, and research scope.

This information is crucial in helping you find the best institution to kick-start your medical career in the capital.

Imperial College London

Established1907
Course Length6 years
Intake Size~350
Undergraduate ProgrammeYes
Graduate Entry ProgrammeNo

As a student at Imperial, you’ll benefit from the college’s excellent reputation for medical education.

This makes it an ideal institution for you to pursue your medical degree, giving you access to exceptional lecturers, extensive research opportunities, and strong connections with various NHS Trusts and hospitals.

Emphasising a combination of academic excellence and practical experience, Imperial College London offers an integrated Medicine MBBS/BSc programme.

The course exposes you to medical campuses across north and west London, ensuring you gain hands-on experience at numerous hospitals and clinics.

Medical Schools In London Pixel Infographic

This will help you develop your clinical skills and deepen your understanding of real-world medical situations.

Apart from traditional lectures and laboratory sessions, you can expect to participate in small-group teaching, problem-based learning, and clinical attachments from early on in the programme.

This diverse learning approach not only advances your medical knowledge but also fosters essential interpersonal and teamwork skills required in the field.

By choosing Imperial College London for your medical education, you can trust that you are joining a well-established institution that prepares you to excel in your future medical career.

With high-quality teaching, an international reputation, and vast practical experience opportunities, Imperial College London is undoubtedly one of the best medical schools in London.

King’s College London

Established1829
Course Length5 years
Intake Size~450
Undergraduate ProgrammeYes
Graduate Entry ProgrammeYes

King’s College London offers an exceptional Medicine MBBS programme, which integrates medical science with clinical teaching from the very beginning of the course.

You’ll find the curriculum designed to emphasise learning in close contact with patients.

With partner hospitals like Guy’s, King’s College, and St Thomas’ Hospitals, you’ll have opportunities to gain experience at some of the most renowned and busiest teaching hospitals in London.

One of the key benefits of studying at King’s College London is its strong focus on research.

As a student, you’ll be able to engage with cutting-edge medical research and learn from some of the best lecturers and clinicians in the world.

This will undoubtedly enrich your overall learning experience and aid in building a solid foundation for your future medical career.

At King’s, you’ll also have access to a diverse range of placements during your studies.

Thanks to the vast catchment areas for placements, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from a broader variety of clinical settings and patient populations. This should help you to develop a more comprehensive understanding of different medical conditions and treatments.

In addition to the outstanding academic opportunities, King’s College London boasts an impressive ranking among UK universities for medicine, making it an excellent choice for pursuing your medical degree.

The institution has high satisfaction rates for teaching quality, feedback and assessment, reflecting the commitment of the faculty to student success.

University College London

Established1826
Course Length6 years
Intake Size~350
Undergraduate ProgrammeYes
Graduate Entry ProgrammeNo

As someone considering medical school in London, you may want to explore the prestigious University College London (UCL).

The medical school is renowned for its expertise in clinical and translational science, boasting a global reputation as a top medical university.

At UCL, you will find yourself studying at the heart of London, the world’s most global city.

As a student, you will have the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research and learn from leading experts in the field. This will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in your future medical career.

When you choose to study at UCL Medical School, you are not only investing in a world-class education but also joining a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about improving healthcare.

Your experience at UCL will help shape your future in the medical field while enjoying all that the bustling city of London has to offer.

St George’s University Of London

Established1733
Course Length5 years
Intake Size~200
Undergraduate ProgrammeYes
Graduate Entry ProgrammeYes

St George’s University of London offers both a five-year undergraduate programme and an accelerated four-year degree for graduates from all disciplines.

St George’s is renowned for its patient-centred, clinically focused approach to medical education.

You’ll acquire the essential knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes needed to practice medicine competently and professionally.

Throughout your studies, you’ll gain hands-on experience in various clinical settings, enabling you to explore different career possibilities in the healthcare industry.

Located in Tooting, South London, St George’s is part of the University of London system and has a long-standing reputation for being at the forefront of advancements in medical and healthcare education.

As a student here, you’ll have access to cutting-edge facilities and resources, as well as academic staff with extensive experience in their respective fields.

Your medical education will prepare you for success in the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, and you can feel confident that this esteemed institution will provide you with the tools and experiences you need to become a skilled and compassionate physician.

Queen Mary University Of London

Established1785
Course Length5 years
Intake Size~350
Undergraduate ProgrammeYes
Graduate Entry ProgrammeYes

When it comes to pursuing a medical degree in the UK, Queen Mary University of London often stands out as a top choice for aspiring doctors.

With its Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, you’ll find a rich history and a reputation for excellence.

Aerial view of London

At Bart’s, you’ll be joining an institution with a distinguished past.

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is the result of the amalgamation of two eminent teaching institutions: St Bartholomew’s Hospital, founded in 1123, and The London Hospital Medical College, established in 1785.

This makes it the oldest medical school in England and Wales.

You’ll benefit from the university’s experienced teaching staff and high-tech facilities, which provide an exceptional education in modern medicine.

The five-year Medicine programme at Bart’s is designed to prepare you for a successful career as a qualified doctor.

With its rich history, strong reputation, and excellent facilities, Bart’s is a prime destination for those pursuing a medical degree in the UK.

Brunel University London

Established2021
Course Length5 years
Intake Size~110
Undergraduate ProgrammeYes
Graduate Entry ProgrammeNo

At Brunel University London, you have the opportunity to study at one of the newest medical schools in the city.

Brunel Medical School offers a team-based, technology-enhanced 5-year curriculum that leads to a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.

You will be inspired by scientists and clinicians who will teach, support and mentor you throughout your medical education journey.

The goal of Brunel Medical School is to ensure that you graduate with the skills needed as a new doctor, ready to face the challenges of the medical profession.

During the first two years of your MBBS study, you will mainly be campus-based, with on-campus student accommodation in West London, and regular placements in local GP practices.

This integrated approach to medical education combines theoretical learning with practical application, ensuring a solid foundation for your medical career.

As a medical student at Brunel, you will be part of a vibrant academic community in the heart of London, surrounded by opportunities to learn, grow, and excel in your chosen field.

By choosing Brunel University London, you are opting for a modern, technology-focused medical school with strong academic rankings and a truly integrated medical education.

Should You Study Medicine In London?

While it’s easy to see the appeal of the capital, there are of course both benefits and disadvantages to studying medicine in London.

Benefits Of Studying In London

London has a well-deserved reputation for being home to some of the best medical schools in the country.

The city boasts a high level of medical research, access to top lecturers and clinicians, and vast catchment areas for placements, ensuring a broad and comprehensive medical education.

By choosing to study medicine in London:

  • You will benefit from the opportunity to learn from highly regarded and experienced professionals, as London’s medical schools are known for their excellent staff.
  • You will have access to a diverse range of placements, allowing you to gain real-world experience in various medical settings.
  • Studying in a global city like London opens up networking opportunities within the international medical community and potential collaborations with other healthcare professionals.
  • London offers an exciting and diverse lifestyle, with countless cultural, social, and intellectual experiences that will enrich your time during your studies.

Downsides Of Studying In London

While there are numerous benefits to studying medicine in London, there are also some challenges you may face:

  • The cost of living in London is generally higher compared to other cities in the UK, which may result in needing a larger budget for accommodation, travel, and other expenses.
  • London can be fast-paced and overwhelming for some students, making it difficult to balance academic work, socialising, and personal well-being.
  • Competition for places at London’s top medical schools can be intense, which may increase the pressure to perform well during application processes and throughout your studies.

Despite the challenges of studying medicine in London, the benefits of gaining an exceptional medical education in a vibrant and diverse city should be carefully considered.

I’d assess your priorities, financial situation, and career aspirations to decide if a London-based medical education is the right path for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many medical schools are there in London?

There are six main medical schools in London, although only five of them accept undergraduate students. These are Imperial, King’s College, UCL, St George’s, Queen Mary University of London and Brunel, where Brunel only accepts graduate-entry applicants.

How hard is it to get into a London medical school?

Gaining admission to a medical school in London can be challenging, as these institutions have high standards and are often highly competitive. The acceptance rate varies from year to year and between programmes, with approximately 10% to 25% of applicants receiving offers at King’s College, for example.

How do London medical schools rank globally?

London medical schools have a strong presence in global league tables, with institutions like Imperial consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the UK. Their focus on cutting-edge research, innovative teaching methods and state-of-the-art facilities contributes to their impressive global reputation.

What are the typical tuition fees for a London medical school?

Tuition fees for medical schools in London can vary depending on factors like your nationality and the programme you choose. For UK and EU students, fees are £9,250 per year for undergraduate courses, while international students can expect to pay significantly more- often upwards of £40,000 per year.

Final Thoughts

I personally didn’t choose to study medicine in London- I actually studied at the University of Leicester, in the Midlands.

However, I’ve got plenty of friends who did and they pretty much unanimously had an incredible time studying in the heart of the capital.

If you do choose to go to London medical school, you’ll be spoilt for choice as they’re all incredible institutions and are sure to provide a world-class medical education.

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.