List of medical schools in the United Kingdom

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For a list of past medical schools, see List of historical medical schools in the United Kingdom.
Charterhouse Square, home to Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary, University of London. Medical training has taken place at Barts continuously since its foundation in 1123. Its college of medicine was formally founded in 1843. Prior to this date, however, it was already referred to as a "medical school".[1]

There are thirty-two medical schools in the United Kingdom that are recognised by the General Medical Council and from which students can obtain a medical degree. [2] There are twenty-four such schools in England, five in Scotland, two in Wales and one in Northern Ireland. All but Warwick Medical School and Swansea Medical School offer undergraduate courses in medicine. The Bute Medical School (University of St Andrews) and Durham Medical School offer undergraduate pre-clinical courses only, with students proceeding to another medical school for clinical studies. Although Oxford University and Cambridge University offer both pre-clinical and clinical courses in medicine, students who study pre-clinical medicine at one of these universities may move to another university for clinical studies. At other universities students stay at the same university for both pre-clinical and clinical work.

History of Medical Training[edit]

Medical education prior to the foundation of the first medical school in the United Kingdom at the University of Edinburgh in 1726 was most often based on apprenticeships and professors of medicine did very little if any training of students. Few students graduated as physicians during this period.

The earliest place of medical training in Britain was in 1123 at St Bartholomew's Hospital, now part of Queen Mary, University of London. Medical teaching has taken place at the University of Oxford since at least the 13th century and its first Regius Professor of medicine appointed in 1546. Medical teaching began at the foundation of University of Aberdeen School of Medicine in 1495, although even as late as 1787 there were calls "for the establishment of a medical school" in Aberdeen.[3] The University of St Andrews began teaching medicine in the late 15th century. The University of Cambridge appointed its first Regius Professor of medicine in 1540 although it is likely teaching occurred well before this date. Teaching began in 1550 at St Thomas' Hospital, London.

The University of Edinburgh Medical School was founded in 1726 and was the first formally established medical school in the UK. The second oldest medical school in the UK was St George's, University of London, founded in 1733.[4] Outside London, medical teaching began in Manchester[5] in 1752 and Birmingham in 1767.[6] The London Hospital Medical College (LHMC) was founded in 1785 and is now part of Queen Mary, University of London's School of Medicine. In the early 19th century, medical schools in Belfast, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, and Liverpool were formally established, between 1821 and 1842. In the later 19th century a medical school was established at Cardiff in 1893.

The next expansion of medical schools began following the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Medical Education (1965-1968) (the Todd Report), which called for the immediate establishment of new schools in Southampton, Leicester and Nottingham to aid medical education in the United Kingdom;[7][8] all were built between 1970 and 1980. Medical schools at Warwick (located in the City of Coventry), Swansea, Keele (located in the City of Stoke-on-Trent) and Hull (in partnership with York) eventually opened in the 1990s and early 21st century, as well as new medical schools at University of East Anglia (located in the city of Norwich) Durham, Brighton and Sussex, and Plymouth and Exeter. Buckingham University, one of only two private universities in England, launched a graduate entry medical school in 2010[9] although it offers only postgraduate MD qualifications to doctors already qualified to MBBS or equivalent and does not offer initial medical training approved by the General Medical Council at present. It is due to accept its first batch of undergraduates for a four and a half year MBBCh course in 2015 at a cost of £35,000 per year.[10] The school will be known as Buckingham Milton Keynes Medical School and will be in partnership with Milton Keynes NHS Trust.[10] The University of Central Lancashire is expected to submit an application for a private medical school in summer 2013. However, the BMA has expressed concerns that private schools could worsen wider participation in medicine.[11]


The Loxley building, part of the Hull York Medical School at the University of Hull
The University College Hospital Cruciform building, used by the UCL Medical School
The Medical Teaching Centre at Warwick Medical School
Name University Established Comments Degree awarded Ref.
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary,
(University of London)
1995 (St Bartholomew's Hospital- 1123) Formed by the merger of the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital that was founded in 1123 and the London Hospital Medical College, founded in 1785. MBBS [12]
University of Birmingham Medical School Birmingham 1767 Formal medical education began at Birmingham in 1767[6] Merged with Mason Science College in 1900. MBChB [13][14]
Bristol Medical School Bristol 1833 Merged with the University College, Bristol (now University of Bristol) in 1893. MBChB [15]
Brighton and Sussex Medical School Brighton
2002 Affiliated with both the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. BMBS [16]
School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge Cambridge 1842 Teaching of medicine began in 1540. Linked to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. MB BChir [17]
Durham University School of Medicine and Health Durham 2001 Result of a partnership with the Newcastle University Medical School. DUSMH provides pre-clinical teaching, with clinical teaching and medical degrees awarded by Newcastle University Medical School. None (see comments) [18]
University of Exeter Medical School Exeter NA Established after the split of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. BMBS [19]
Hull York Medical School Hull
2003 Affiliated with both the University of Hull and the University of York. MBBS [20]
Imperial College School of Medicine Imperial College London 1997 (Charing Cross Hospital- 1818) Formed by the merger of St Mary's Hospital Medical School, the National Heart and Lung Institute, the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School. MBBS [21]
Keele University School of Medicine Keele 1978 Founded as the Department of Postgraduate Medicine; began teaching undergraduate clinical medicine in 2003 using the Manchester curriculum. As such, the MBChB degree was awarded by the University of Manchester until 2011. From 2012 (2007 intake) the MBChB degree was awarded by Keele University itself. MBChB (see comments) [22]
King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry King's College London
(University of London)
1988 (St Thomas's Hospital- 1550) Result of a merger between King's College London and United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals in 1998. Known as GKT School of Medicine until 2005. Teaching began in 1550 at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School. MBBS [23]
Lancaster Medical School Lancaster 2004 Education undertaken by the Cumbria and Lancashire Medical and Dental Consortium. The MBChB degree was awarded by the University of Liverpool. The General Medical Council approved Lancaster in 2012 to deliver their own medical degree independently. Students starting after September 2013, will graduate with a Lancaster degree. MBChB [24]
Leeds School of Medicine Leeds 1831 MBChB [25]
Leicester Medical School Leicester 1975 MBChB [26]
Liverpool Medical School Liverpool 1834 MBChB [14]
Manchester Medical School Manchester 1752 Medical teaching began in 1752 when Charles White founded the first modern hospital in the Manchester area, the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Takes clinical students from University of St Andrews, Cambridge and Oxford medical schools. MBChB [27]
Newcastle University Medical School Newcastle 1834 Provides clinical teaching and degrees to University of Durham students. MBBS [14]
University of Nottingham Medical School Nottingham 1970 Has an associated graduate school, the University of Nottingham Medical School at Derby. BMBS [28]
Norwich Medical School East Anglia 2000 Medical school of the University of East Anglia. MBBS [20]
Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford Oxford 1220–1255 Medicine has been taught at the University of Oxford since the 13th century. BM BCh [29]
Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry Plymouth NA Established after the split of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. BMBS [30]
UCL Medical School University College London
(University of London)
1998 (Middlesex Hospital - 1746) A merger in 1987 between the medical schools of Middlesex Hospital (1746) and University College Hospital (1834), and a subsequent merger in 1998 with the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (founded as the London School of Medicine for Women in 1874) formed the present school. MB BS [31][32]
Sheffield Medical School Sheffield 1828 Affiliated with the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. MBChB [14]
Southampton Medical School Southampton 1971 Awards Bachelor of Medicine but no formal surgical degree, although graduates are able to become surgeons. Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci) given to undergraduate students alongside Bachelor of Medicine upon graduation. BM, BMedSci (see comments) [33]
St George's, University of London St George's
(University of London)
1751 The second institution in England to provide formal medical education and the only independent healthcare institution in the UK. MBBS [34]
Warwick Medical School Warwick 2000 A graduate-entry course in medicine. Previously Leicester-Warwick Medical School. MBChB [35][36]


The Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen
The Wolfson Medical School at the University of Glasgow
Name University Established Comments Degree awarded Ref.
University of Aberdeen School of Medicine Aberdeen 1495 Medicine taught as early as the late 15th century. Although no formal medical school was established until the 19th century. MBChB [37]
Dundee Medical School Dundee 1967 From 1883 to 1897, University College Dundee was independent. From 1893 to 1967 medicine was taught in Dundee as part of the University of St Andrews. After 1967, medical teaching was under the auspices of the University of Dundee. MBChB [38]
University of Edinburgh Medical School Edinburgh 1726 Medicine has been taught in this city since the 16th century. The University of Edinburgh was the first to provide formal medical training beginning in 1726. MBChB [39]
Glasgow Medical School Glasgow 1751 Medicine first taught in 1637. MBChB [40]
University of St Andrews School of Medicine St Andrews 1413 Medicine taught at St Andrews from 1413. First MD awarded 1696. First Professor appointed 1721. Clinical teaching undertaken at University College, Dundee until 1967. St Andrews awards BSc (Hons), with clinical teaching and MBChB degrees provided by Partner Medical Schools. BSc (Hons) (see comments) [41]



Name University Established Comments Degree awarded Ref.
Cardiff University School of Medicine Cardiff 1893 Founded in 1893 and previously known as the Welsh National School of Medicine and the University of Wales College of Medicine, it was re-amalgamated into Cardiff University in 2004. MBBCh [43]
Swansea University School of Medicine Swansea 2001 Swansea University School provides a graduate-entry course in medicine only. MBBCh [44]

Northern Ireland[edit]

Name University Established Comment Degree awarded Ref.
Queen's University Belfast Medical School Queen's University Belfast 1821 Only United Kingdom medical school to award graduates Bachelor of Obstetrics (BAO) degree. MB BCh BAO [45]

Overseas Territories[edit]

St Matthews University Campus
Name Territory Established Comment Degree awarded Ref.
St. Georges University Grenada 1976 in Grenada, West Indies Uses a US based curriculum MD [46]
Saint James School of Medicine Anguilla 2010 in Anguilla (previously established in 1999 in Bonaire) Uses a US based curriculum MD [47]
St. Matthews University Cayman Islands 2002 in the Cayman Islands (previously established in 1997 in Belize) Uses a US based curriculum[48] MD [49]
University of Science, Arts and Technology Montserrat 2003 MD, MBBS [50]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ The Morning Post (London, England), Tuesday, January 11, 1825; pg. [1]; Issue 16867
  2. ^ "UK medical schools - full list of quality assurance reports". General Medical Council. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  3. ^ A complete collection of the papers ... - Marischal College and University. Google Books. 1787. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "History of MMS (MMS - University of Manchester)". University of Manchester. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "Chapter 2, 1958-1967". Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  8. ^ "Commission on Education". British Medical Journal 2: 57-58.
  9. ^ "Graduate Entry Medical School: MBBS University of Buckingham". Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  10. ^ a b [Student BMJ October 2013, accessed 6 October 2013]
  11. ^ Student BMA news January 2013, accessed 6 January 2013
  12. ^ "About Barts and The London, Queen's Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry". Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  13. ^ "The Medical School". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  14. ^ a b c d "The Medical School". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  15. ^ "Bristol University". Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  16. ^ "about BSMS: Brighton & Sussex Medical School". Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  17. ^ "History of the School". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "School for Health: Undergraduate Medicine - Durham University". Durham University. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  19. ^ "Medical School Homepage". The University of Exeter. Retrieved 2014-08-28. 
  20. ^ a b "HEFCE: News: A thousand more doctors to be trained each year". Higher Education Funding Council for England. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  21. ^ "History of Imperial College". Imperial College London. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Keele University School of Medicine : Research". Keele University. Retrieved 21 August 2007. 
  23. ^ "About King's College London : News and What's On". King's College London. Retrieved 21 August 2007. 
  24. ^ "About the Course". University of Lancaster. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "History of the School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health". University of Leeds. Retrieved 21 August 2007. 
  26. ^ "E-Bulletin: New structure for Leicester Medical School". University of Leicester. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  27. ^ "History of MMS (MMS - University of Manchester)". University of Manchester. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  28. ^ "Medical School - About the University". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 21 August 20071.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  29. ^ "The History of the Oxford Medical School". Medical Sciences Division: University of Oxford. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  30. ^ "Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry". Plymouth University. Retrieved 2014-08-28. 
  31. ^ "UCL Medical School > About the School". University College London. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  32. ^ "Royal Free and University College Medical School > School > History". University College London. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  33. ^ "Alcoholism and Liver Disease :: University of Southampton". University of Southampton. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  34. ^ "History of St. George's". St George's University of London. Archived from the original on 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  35. ^ "Warwick Medical School - About". Warwick Medical School. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  36. ^ "Warwick Medical School: Study". University of Warwick. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  37. ^ Carter, Jennifer (1994). Crown and Gown: Illustrated History of the University of Aberdeen, 1495-1995. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. 
  38. ^ "University of Dundee > Past, Present And Future". University of Dundee. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  39. ^ "College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  40. ^ "University of Glasgow :: Faculty of Medicine :: 17th century". University of Glasgow. 
  41. ^ "Bute Medical School". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  42. ^ Blair, JSG (1987). History of Medicine in the University of St Andrews. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. 
  43. ^ "Card". Cardiff University. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  44. ^ "School of Medicine, Swansea". School of Medicine, Swansea. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  45. ^ "Queen's University Belfast > About Us". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  46. ^ "St Georges University". St Georges University. 
  47. ^ "St James School of Medicine Anguilla". St James School of Medicine Anguilla. Retrieved 16 Sep 2012. 
  48. ^ Rejected in the UK, medical students head for the sun. accessed 6 January 2013
  49. ^ "St Matthews University". St Matthews University. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  50. ^ "USAT - Montserrat". University of Science, Arts and Technology. Retrieved 16 Sep 2012.