Graduate Entry medicine is an accelerated medical degree lasting four years, compared to the usual five or six, for students who have already completed at least an undergraduate degree. Due to this, if you choose to pursue medicine as a second degree, it is worth considering how the costs will differ from your undergraduate course and what options you have to finance the course.

Costs of Graduate Entry Medicine

For UK students, annual fees for Graduate Entry Medicine are typically the standard £9,250 unless you are a Scottish citizen attending a Scottish university, in which case, you will pay less. Fees for international students vary and several universities do not accept international students, therefore their fees are not applicable. If this applies to you, these universities state you are welcome to apply to their undergraduate course instead.

UniversityUK Annual FeesInternational Annual Fees
Barts (QMUL)£9,250£48,700
Dundee/St Andrews – ScotGEM£9,250N/A
King’s College London£9,250N/A
Pears Cumbria£9,250N/A
St George’s£9,250N/A
Worchester (Three Counties Medical School)£9,250£46,500

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Living Expenses and Other Costs

There are additional costs associated with studying medicine besides tuition fees. Most students move away from home for their studies and therefore will need accommodation. Student accommodation can be expensive but may be reduced by living in shared housing with other students.

Facebook groups are often created prior to the start of a course to allow incoming students to connect and many people find their housemates through this.

Other living expenses include food and personal expenses which can also be budgeted by shopping at cheaper supermarkets and cutting down on certain luxuries. Finally, there are costs associated specifically with studying medicine, for example, travel to and accommodation during placements.

Luckily, the NHS Bursary in years two to four includes a Travel Duel and Accommodation Expenses (TDAE) form which all students can access and allows you to be reimbursed for your travel and accommodation costs during clinical placements.

Funding Options for Graduate Entry Medicine

Unlike other second degrees, UK students taking Graduate Entry Medicine are entitled to finance from the UK government student loans company. However, the amount of loan is significantly reduced compared to first degrees, thankfully, the NHS bursary is also available to students which can help supplement this difference. 

The combination of support from the government and the NHS can be quite confusing and changes each year of study so let’s break it down. Just to quickly clarify a term, ‘means tested’ means that the amount of money you receive depends on your household income and ‘non-means tested’ means the amount of money everyone is entitled to regardless of household income.

Tuition fees

Student Finance England (SFE) will pay up to two-thirds of your tuition fee (£5,785) in each year of study. In your first year, you will have to pay the remaining third yourself, but in years 2-4, the NHS Bursary will cover the remaining third, non-means tested.

Living Costs

In your first year, you will have access to a partially means-tested Maintenance Loan from SFE which is the same as what students receive for their undergraduate course (up to £9,978), however, you have no access to the NHS bursary.

In years two and three, the Maintenance Loan from SFE is significantly reduced, to up to £2,643. However, you will then have access to the NHS Bursary which will contribute a non-means tested £1000 each year. The NHS Bursary also provides extra payment for courses longer than 30 weeks, but this is means-tested. The final year is almost exactly the same as years two and three, except the SFE Maintenance Loan is further reduced to up to £2,030.

Most medical schools with an undergraduate medical programme offer the same funding to their graduate medical students. This funding is outlined in the table below.

UniversityAvailable Funding
Barts (QMUL)Two means tested scholarships in addition to a range of other QMUL bursaries and scholarships
CambridgeCambridge offers a Medicine Bursary for each year in addition to scholarships
CardiffCardiff University offers various financial support for their students including Grants, Bursaries and scholarships
Dundee/St Andrews – ScotGEMNo funding or scholarships available for ScotGEM students
King’s College LondonKing’s offers a range of financial support including grants, scholarships, bursaries and hardship funds
NewcastleFour Medicine-specific bursaries and scholarships in addition to wider financial support
NottinghamNottingham Potential Bursary in addition to Medicine scholarships
OxfordBursary packages available to UK students as well as a range of scholarships and bursaries of scholarships and bursaries
Pears CumbriaUK Medical students are eligible for their Imperial Bursary Scheme
SheffieldBursaries and scholarships available to home and international students
SouthamptonMeans-tested Southampton Bursary in addition to other funding support
St George’sSt George’s Opportunity Fund Grant for students with lower income backgrounds in addition to other grants and bursaries
SwanseaA range of scholarships available
Worchester (Three Counties Medical School)Scholarship and hardship fund available
WarwickMeans-tested Warwick Bursary for the first year of medicine in addition to other financial support

Researching and Applying for Funding

Navigating all the different sources of potential finance for your Graduate Entry medical course can feel overwhelming. Start with understanding how much you are entitled to from SFE using their online calculator.

Then, explore the websites of the Universities you are interested in, using the links provided in the table above to discover what funding options they have available and whether you may be entitled.  If you apply to a scholarship, it is worth dedicating some time to preparing a strong application with a compelling personal statement and strong references.

Importantly, do not leave it too late to apply to SFE for your Tuition and Maintenance loans. We recommend you start the process as soon as you have accepted a place at medical school as it can take up to six weeks and you may need to gather documents for your application. SFE applications usually open in April and although you can still apply after starting your course, this will lead to a delay in receiving your loan. 

Finally, further support may be available through independent awards or schemes. If you have a particular medical interest, it may be worth applying to a student essay competition for example which typically provides financial rewards.

Additional Financial Support

Many students choose to pursue part time employment during their studies to supplement their income. It is worth remembering that as  medical degrees are accelerated, the workload is considerable, and you will not have as much free time to work as you did in your undergraduate degree.

If you do choose to work during your studies, employment as, for example, a healthcare assistant, can be a good option that will allow you to remain in a clinical environment and could contribute to your learning. Other students may wish to utilise what they have learnt prior to medicine by tutoring younger students, which can be a useful source of income as it is more flexible than shift work and can be done online.


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