How Much Does it Cost to Become a Doctor in the UK?

Published on 22/03/2022 in
How much does it cost to become a doctor in the UK

The cost of medical education in the UK must be viewed from two perspectives - the cost to the student and the cost to the taxpayer. Both numbers are intricately connected, and they affect each other. Thus, it is vital to investigate both perspectives to reach a satisfactory answer.

Medical Education Price Vs Medical Education Cost

The price of medical education is defined by how much a student pays to study at the university. It is represented by the tuition fees, which cover basics such as lectures, facilities, libraries, and most compulsory events. 

In contrast, the cost of medical education represents how much the government pays to supply all required for studying. These costs include investments and expenses such as building facilities, teachers’ salaries, utilities, and amortisation.

In the UK, local students usually pay less in tuition fees than what a medical degree actually costs. The underlying agreement is that the government is indirectly “sponsoring” future professionals. Thus, taxpayers pay for the long term interests of society.

That’s why international students pay much higher tuition fees. They will return to their home countries after graduation, and there will be no taxes from them in the future. Thus, there is no solidarity principle in the pricing of their education. 

How Much Does It Cost to Study Medicine in the UK?

UK students pay up to £9,250 (€11,070) per year in tuition fees for medical universities. Living costs may vary by another £1000 to £2000 per month (€1200 - €2400), depending on the city and type of accommodation. Thus, the total student expenditures for six years are £55,500 in tuition fees and another £72,000 to £144,000 in living expenses.

The living expenses above assume the student is not living with their parents. Furthermore, many students use scholarships, bursaries, and bank loans to lower the burden of payments. Student loans can additionally raise the costs of studying through their interest rates.

What Is the Cost of Studying Medicine in the UK for International Students?

International students pay much higher tuition fees in the UK because local taxpayers do not subsidise their education. According to the Reddin Survey, different universities set their own tuition fees, and they vary from as low as £10,000 to as high as £38,000.

The living costs for international students are comparable to those for locals. However, foreigners have a visa requirement to provide evidence for financial solvency. They need £1,334 per month for London and £1,023 for courses outside London. The required money is needed for up to 9 months in the year. Nevertheless, such finances are not realistic, considering the rent prices in London and other big cities.

How Much Does Studying Medicine Cost to the Taxpayer?

According to The Telegraph and YouGov, the taxpayer pays an additional £230,000 to what students already pay in tuition fees. This amount was so impressive that the government intended to mandate a 4-year service in the NHS for graduating doctors.

However, independent investigators determined that the actual amount the government was paying was much lower. In reality, studying medicine in the UK costs around 163,000 to the taxpayer. This sum goes directly to students, healthcare providers supporting clinical years, and universities.

While this amount is still impressive, it also reflects how vital medical professionals are to society. Therefore, the cost of studying medicine in the UK is borne by both the taxpayers and the student.

How much does it cost to become a doctor in the UK?

In summary, the cost of becoming a doctor is different to the medical student and the taxpayer. A future physician pays around 55,000 in tuition fees for 6 years. On the other hand, the government pays close to 163,000 in grants to “produce” a medical graduate.

People should consider additional costs for both sides. Living costs in the UK can be between 72,000 and 144,000 for 6 years. Naturally, the expenses would be significantly lower if students lived with their parents.

On the other hand, the government provides a lot of financing as student loans. These loans have somewhat favourable interest rates and service conditions. Therefore, there is a high opportunity cost for issuing such a loan.

In the end, becoming a doctor means a lot more than what it costs. There is a real hunger for medical professionals in the UK, and the educational system is currently unable to provide a sufficient number of doctors.

More and more students decide to study abroad to achieve their dreams. British nationals look to Europe as a source of reliable, prestigious, and safe education. 

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Article written by Medlink Students
We specialise in guaranteeing students' admission into top medical universities in Europe. Trusted by 1000s of students every year, we provide support from your initial enquiry until graduation, and beyond. Contact us now to learn how we can help YOU.
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