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Student finance

It's not cheap being a student – and studying medicine at any university comes with additional costs. Some are due to the nature of the programme, while others are dependent on the options you choose while studying.

Below is some information on typical costs and how they might be funded, put together in consultation with our current medical student sbased on their experiences.

While this is not a definitive guide, it should offer a clearer expectation of additional and optional costs associated with studying medicine. You should visit the main University website for up-to-date information on tuition fees and financial support.

Almost all Manchester medicine graduates are employed six months after graduating, so it will be worth it in the long run.

What are the costs involved in being a medical student?

As with any other course, there are tuition fees to pay. However, the cost of training for medical students is automatically higher than for students on most other courses due to the fact that medicine courses are five or six years long.

This means you’ll need to pay tuition fees for two or three years longer than those studying other subjects.

You will also need to fund the cost of accommodation and living costs, as well as social activities and society memberships, for longer - all without earning a salary.

Please note that costs for international students are different to those for home students. Visit the University website to find out more.

What other costs are there for medical students?

Equipment

You will need to buy course equipment such as a stethoscope for your clinical years. There is also other equipment that's not essential, but could be useful for preparing for clinical examinations. Many students buy this equipment as a group to save money.

Books

Although it is possible to get through the course just by borrowing from the library, it is likely you will want to have some books of your own.

A core physiology and a core anatomy textbook are what students tend to find most essential. It's a good idea to take some out of the library first to help you decide which ones you’d like to buy.

Students in the years above you often sell their old textbooks. Although these books may be one or two editions old, the content should be very similar, and they will be much cheaper than in the shops.

The University library provides a range of textbooks in electronic format, which can cut the costs of purchasing hard copies.

They are accessible through most internet-enabled devices as soon as you join the University, so you may want to see what's available before buying any textbooks.

In addition, all students at medicine are given an iPad in Year 3. As well as the financial benefits of being able to access e-books, most students report a 70 to 100% reduction in print costs as a result of having an iPad.

Travel

As well as travelling to and from campus, you will have to travel to clinical placements across the north-west of England - and sometimes beyond.

Current students report that during the first two years of study, this adds up to around £25 per year, but in the final three years, this can range from nothing at all - if you can walk to your hospital placement from your accommodation - to hundreds of pounds for a yearly bus pass if you have to get the bus every day.

The University currently provides travel bursaries for placements to help with some of the cost, but this may not cover the whole cost of travel to placements.

Are there costs associated with optional parts of the course?

You may need to expand your budget if you choose to take up any of the optional parts of the medical programme. These include the following.

Elective

During Year 4, you have the opportunity to take a Subject to Endorsement Placement (StEP) or elective to explore a particular field of medical practice.

This takes place in an unfamiliar setting where the scientific, social, economic or cultural standards are different - often abroad or outside the north-west.

Costs for this will obviously vary depending where you choose to go; they can include flights, travel insurance, accommodation, vaccinations, visas and more.

It's entirely up to you - you can choose somewhere that fits with your budget.

European Studies

If you choose to undertake the MBChB European studies programme (where you spend one year in Europe) there are additional low-level tuition fees on top of the normal University tuition fees, payable separately each semester. You will also incur extra travel and living costs.

This option also has a four-month elective placement instead of a two-month one, which may increase living costs.

If you choose this option, separate Erasmus funding can help with this.

Global Health PEP

If you apply and are accepted onto one of the Global Health Personal Excellence Path (PEP) options, you will need to consider additional flight and living costs.

The hospital you are attached to usually provides accommodation, although this cannot be guaranteed.

Intercalation

You may choose to interrupt your medical studies for one year to study an intercalated degree, which gives you the opportunity to study another subject in depth. This enables you to gain new skills, experience a different kind of course and strengthen your CV.

If you choose to do an intercalated degree, you will need to pay tuition fees for that programme. UK intercalating medical students from the fifth year of study onwards (which may not be Year 5 of the medical course) may be eligible for an NHS bursary, which will contribute a proportion of the tuition fees for the intercalating programme.

As there are additional costs associated with any optional element of the programme, you will need to think carefully about whether or not you can afford to take these. It's important to remember that not taking these does not hinder your success in completing the MBChB programme.

What financial support is available?

There is some financial support available, so try not to be put off by the costs involved with studying medicine.

Most undergraduates are eligible for a maintenance and tuition fee loan, which should help (although mature or graduate students may find this difficult to secure). There are also additional bursaries and scholarships available through the University.

Visit the University website to find out more.

NHS bursaries

From Year 5 onwards, some students may be eligible for NHS bursaries.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) pays the cost of tuition fees (known as the fees award) and also provides a means-tested amount of money to help eligible medical students with day-to-day living expenses (known as the maintenance bursary).

You can see if you are eligible and calculate approximately how much money you will be awarded on the NHS website.

NHS bursaries are only available to students who have lived in England permanently for at least three years prior to starting their degree.

Information on who is eligible for an NHS bursary and how to apply can be found on the Money4MedStudents website.

Part-time work

Working part-time can be difficult for medical students. With full teaching timetables and a great deal of self-directed learning on top, some medical students, especially in Years 3 to 5, find they don't have enough time for a job and have to prioritise their clinical training.

Many students do, however, successfully work part-time to subsidise costs. The Careers Service website has information on where you can find part-time work.

What other help is available?

The University can advise you on costs, or help you with managing your money.

We have a Student Welfare and Professionalism Team who can help you with these matters when you are registered on the programme.

We don't want cost to be a prohibitive factor in applying to study medicine, but we do want potential students to be aware of the additional costs that can sometimes be associated with studying medicine.

Please contact us at ug.medicine@manchester.ac.uk if you have any queries.

Other useful resources include:

  • British Medical Association (BMA) – You can find more information and a guide to student finance on the BMA's website.
  • Money4MedStudents – This site provides practical, unbiased information and advice on sources of funding, managing your money and how to borrow sensibly so that you can make your money go further and get the most out of medical school.