ip target image
You are currently browsing our site with content tailored to students in your country

Our cookies

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience with personalized content, relevant ads and enhanced functionalities. By allowing all you agree to the use of cookies as per the cookie policy and remember you can manage your preferences anytime.
The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

Studying Health and Medicine abroad

Why should you study health and medicine abroad? Learn everything you need to know about one of the most popular fields for international students to study...

Studying Health and Medicine abroad

What is health and medicine?

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.


Why study health and medicine?

Studying an area like health and medicine which helps others when they’re at their weakest and most vulnerable is an incredibly respected and sought-after 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; plus, you’re safe in the knowledge that wherever life takes you, you can find a job. 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 made up of many different organs, bones and processes. So, in addition to working in the general field, you can find a focus as a specialist in a particular area such as Cardiology. 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, 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 be good at 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 demeanour is important. Treating a condition and treating a patient are two very different things; with the former, you can learn everything you need from a book while the latter requires honing your interpersonal skills to bring comfort and reassurance to a patient when they are scared, anxious or have many questions.


There is a vast amount of knowledge to learn and retain as part of a health and medicine course. Therefore, you’ll be required to study extremely hard throughout your course in order to pass the necessary assignments and exams – you’ll be treating real people who’ll be putting their lives in your hands so you can’t make a mistake which means knowing your stuff!


However, you need to be able to apply this knowledge in real world scenarios which are likely to occur. Therefore, the practical skills to apply what you know are as important as the theoretical knowledge you retain (especially if you’re a surgeon or in a role where you provide practical treatment). Proving capable under pressure is vital if you plan to work in an area where emergency treatment is required at a moment’s notice, especially when every second counts or with mitigating circumstances.


Those in the health and medicine field are often required to work long hours which are far from conventional. Many can be ‘on call’ which might require dropping everything to see to an emergency or if there is a lack of staff. 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 is the criteria for studying a health and medicine course?

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 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 3 years to complete whereas a postgraduate course can last for just 1-2 years depending on whether it’s full-time or part-time.


infographic, health and medicine, counselling



If you want to become a dentist, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that this is a big commitment. Most dentistry courses will take 5 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 order to be accepted onto a dentistry course, you’ll need A-level grades (or equivalent) AAA/ABB depending on the course and university requirements.


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.


infographic, dentistry, health



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 for studying medicine could be that you have a desire to help others and provide care.


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. So, it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing what to study before degree level.  


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.


doctor, medicine, infographic



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 (in addition to the aforementioned sciences) include psychology, sociology, health and social care etc. During a nursing degree, you will likely find out what interests you most and what you’d 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.


nursing, infographic, salary, medicine

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:


  • Surgeon
  • Consultant
  • Physiotherapist
  • Midwife
  • Nutritionist
  • Pharmacist
  • Psychologist


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

Must read

article Img

Why study law: Top 10 benefits of becoming a lawyer

What do Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, Barack Obama and Mahatma Gandhi have in common? Interestingly, they are world leaders who studied law. One of the oldest academic fields in the world, a law degree is a highly regarded qualification and promises great career opportunities.   For some, to study law is to uphold justice, a noble call that is most commendable (and the world needs more of them); nevertheless, law is not just for lawyers or in the

article Img

What are professional degrees?

When evaluating your study options and doing your research you’ll probably have come across qualifications that are categorised as professional degrees. Perhaps you’re not entirely sure what this means or what differentiates such programmes and courses from academic degrees. You may also be asking yourself if they have a particular impact on your career trajectory. We take a closer look at professional degrees for you and examine what they’re all about.  


Help me choose a subject

Chat with Couru