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Financial support for students on degree courses in medicine

This page describes the funding arrangements for those studying medicine on standard five year and accelerated courses.


Students on university courses in medicine (recognised by the General Medical Council) may be eligible for financial help from the NHS as part of their course.

If you are accepted onto approved courses, you might be eligible to receive financial support from the NHS. The timing of when this is provided depends on the type of course you are doing.

1) Funding for undergraduate students on standard five-year courses

Gaining admission to the standard five-year courses means you are entitled to receive student loans from Student Finance England for maintenance and tuition fees in the first four years.

From year five onwards, tuition fees will be paid by the NHS Student Bursary Scheme and you will be eligible to apply for a means-tested NHS bursary to cover maintenance costs and a reduced maintenance loan from Student Finance England.

Students starting from September 2012 will also have access to a non-means tested grant of £1,000 as part of their NHS Bursary award.

These funding arrangements will continue to apply if you are starting your studies in academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16 (universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,000 in tuition fees in 2014/15 and 2015/2016).

However, the arrangements for graduate medical students on a five year course are different. In the first four years of the course, they would not be eligible to receive a loan for tuition fees or a maintenance grant regardless of whether or not they have previously received funding. However, students may be able to apply for a full, income based, maintenance loan from Student Finance England. From year five of the training, graduate medical students receive the same support as undergraduate medical students (see above).

2) Funding for graduates on accelerated courses

If you are starting your course in the academic year 2014/15 and 2015/16, you will have to fund the first £3,465 of your tuition fees in the first year. In the subsequent years of your course, the NHS Bursary scheme will pay £3,465 towards your tuition fees. Throughout the course, eligible students will be able to receive a Student Loan Company loan to cover the difference between £3,465 and the tuition charges of their universities, to a maximum charge of £9,000.

3) Funding for 2016/17 and beyond.

Arrangements for funding for students starting their studies in 2016/17 and beyond are yet to be announced.

Further information

Contact the university/universities you are planning to apply to, to find out if the course you are applying to is an approved course and attracts NHS financial support. Use our coursefinder to search for courses.

To be eligible for financial support from the NHS, you must meet certain criteria.

Please visit the NHS Student Bursaries' website for more information including:

  • eligibility requirements
  • the financial support available
  • an online bursary calculator
  • how the process of applying for financial support works
  • frequently asked questions
  • the latest rates
  • details of the adoption award
  • details of the maternity support award

See also "Finance for Medical Students" - produced by the British Medical Association. This booklet explains the financial arrangements as they apply to medical students including the payment of tuition fees, student loans and other support for maintenance costs. It is available from:

BMA Publications Unit
British Medical Association
BMA House
Tavistock Square

You may find the following publications giving sources for financial help at your local library.

  • The Education Grants Advisory Service, c/o Family Welfare Association, 501/505 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 4AU
  • The Education grants directories: Smyth J and Wallace K. Directory for Social Change
  • Charities digest: Chapman M., Waterlow Information

Other sources of financial help may be given by:
The BMA Medical Education Trust Fund, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP. Tel: 02073836142

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