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The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

Studying Health and Medicine abroad

Why study health and medicine abroad? From what you’ll study to the career paths you can follow, we take a look at this interesting field of study.

Studying Health and Medicine abroad


Health and medicine refers to the field of diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of ailments and conditions which affect and harm our health and wellbeing. This is such a wide industry, with a number of interesting sectors. It’s for this reason that so many choose to study health and medicine.


Why study health and medicine?


Health and medicine is an incredibly respected profession. Knowing at the end of a day that you’ve improved the quality of life for various individuals is a wonderful thing. While not every scenario works out happily, those that do can affirm your belief in humanity and life itself.


The human body is the same wherever you go and (unfortunately) everyone gets sick, so those in the medical profession are always in demand, all around the world. This provides great flexibility as to where your career can take you. Individuals have the opportunity to move abroad to practice as well as pursue charitable endeavours such as ‘Doctors Without Borders’ to enrich their lives as well as the lives of countless others who they treat.


The human body is a complex system. So, in addition to working in the general field, you can find a focus as a specialist in a particular area such as cardiology or pediatrics. This can be an area which really interests you or one you have prior experience dealing with, and around which you can build a fulfilling career.


Some roles like doctors and surgeons can pay very well, particularly if you move into private practice or you become head of a department at a hospital. It’s common for many doctors and dentists to be earning six figures before they retire.


Who would benefit from studying health and medicine?


Those with a desire to make a real difference in actual lives will find their calling in the health and medicine field. Similarly, because they are likely to engage with individuals when they are at their lowest, a gentle and kind manner is important. Treating a condition compared to treating a patient are two very different things and this is something anyone studying medicine will quickly learn.


There is a vast amount of knowledge to take in and retain as part of any health and medicine course. Therefore, you’ll be required to study extremely hard throughout your degree in order to pass the necessary assignments and exams.


In any medical career course, practical experience is just as important as the knowledge you have. Therefore, many universities make sure students get as much hands-on experience as they can. This not only helps with your final exams and assignments but also on the first day of your career in medicine.


Those in the health and medicine field are often required to work long hours which are far from conventional. Therefore, juggling a personal life with work can be very difficult, especially in the first few years of your career. This is something which students should consider before pursuing a particular path.


What are the entry requirements for studying health and medicine?


Usually a high school qualification in biology will benefit those who wish to pursue a health and medicine qualification. Depending on the university you’re applying to, you may be required to sit an admissions test which is specifically for medicine applicants such as the BMAT or UKCAT. You should always check the entry requirements for a course with the university themselves.


What specific health and medicine courses can I study?




To become a counsellor, you can study a counselling degree at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level. However, when researching this course, you may find that you need to search for associated terms such as psychotherapy or therapy. Particularly at postgraduate level, there are various specialised courses which you can study to further develop your interests. For example, you may have a particular desire to focus on cognitive behavioural therapy, which you can choose to focus on at master’s level.


At undergraduate level, a counselling course will typically take three years to complete whereas a postgraduate course can last for just 1-2 years depending on whether it’s full-time or part-time.






Newly qualified

GBP 20,000 to 26,000 

USD 49,000 - 51,000 

AUD 76,000 - 82,000 


GBP 30,000 to 40,000 

USD 68,000 - 87,000 

AUD 120,000+ 





If you want to become a dentist, your education may take a little longer. Most dentistry courses will take five years to complete with a further 1-2 years in a supervised setting. In short, dentistry involves treating patients and their teeth, preventing oral and dental issues. 


In this line of work, employees need to be good communicators, have excellent attention to detail and interpersonal skills. You can either follow a similar path to hospital doctors or you could choose to specialise in a specific area such as orthodontics or paediatrics.






Newly qualified

 GBP 31,000 

USD 90,000+ 

AUD 114,000+ 


GBP 50,000 - 110,000 

USD 139,000+ 

AUD 180,000+ 





As one of the most popular courses, medicine is also highly competitive. Its popularity could be due to the employment prospects and high demand for doctors all over the world. Other reasons students often  study medicine is the desire to help others.


To be accepted onto a medicine course at university you will need top grades (typically AAA) in A-levels or equivalent. Universities will usually look for applicants who have achieved these grades in science-related subjects such as biology, maths, chemistry or physics. 


If you are interested in medicine but not sure if you want to be a hospital doctor, there are other professions where your skills can be applied. For example, you may prefer to work within research, policy or train further to become a consultant in a particular area of medicine. You may decide that you want to work exclusively with the elderly, children or in an area such as radiology. With high employment rates, medicine graduates rarely struggle to find work.






Newly qualified

GBP 29,000 - 34,000 

USD 52,000 - 55,000 

AUD 65,000 - 70,000 


GBP 40,000 - 43,000 

USD 82,000+ 

AUD 100,000+ 




A career in nursing requires dedication, time-management, critical thinking and compassion. Nursing involves assisting doctors and other medical professionals with the care and treatment of patients. With 94% of nurses finding employment within six months of graduation (UCAS), it’s no surprise that this is such a desirable profession.


To study nursing at undergraduate level you will need to achieve grades ABB/BBC at A-level (or equivalent). However, specific grade requirements will vary depending on the university so make sure you check the website before applying. Most institutions will also ask for at least one science-related subject at this level (biology/chemistry). Other accepted subjects include psychology, sociology, health and social care.


During a nursing degree, you will likely find out what interests you most and what you would rather leave behind. This will allow you to think about the different types of nursing that you may prefer such as paediatric or mental health.






Newly qualified

GBP 24,000 - 30,000 

USD 59,000 - 72,000 

USD 74,000+ 


GBP 31,000 - 37,000 

USD 90,000+ 

USD 97,000+ 



For further inspiration, check out the following health and medicine courses which might also be of interest:



What else can you do with a health and medicine qualification?


This depends on the course you study. Based on the courses listed above, here are a few other possible career options in the health and medicine field, all of which are highly respected:


Studying health and medicine can make for a great university experience and lead onto a number of incredible careers. Find the perfect course in this field for you with our course matcher tool.

Want to check which program suits you the best?
Find out with our new "Course Matcher" tool!

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