New Students

Private health insurance

Private insurance is an option for short term or visiting students who feel like they would like more medical support.

Free healthcare with the NHS

Most UK residents are entitled to access the free or affordable medical services on the NHS and therefore do not choose to buy any private health insurance at all.

As you will be living in the UK whilst you are studying, you will have access to the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) from the day that you arrive until one month after your course end date.  

Immigration Health Surcharge

If you are an international student with a Student Route visa, you will have paid an ‘immigration health surcharge’ as part of the visa application process. This payment grants you access to NHS services (in the UK) from the day that you arrive up till the end-date of your visa. 

More information on the Immigration Health Surcharge 

If you wish to stay in Scotland when your studies end

If you are a non-UK student (and have not paid an Immigration Health Surcharge) and you wish to either stay in Scotland after your course ends or to travel outside of Scotland, it is important to check on any reciprocal health agreements in place between your home country and that which you wish to stay in.

Find out more about how the UK medical system works 

Non-EEA students studying for less than 3 months

Non-EEA students studying on courses of less than 3 months' duration are not eligible for free NHS treatment and must take out private health insurance.

Find health insurance 

Health Insurance is necessary to cover the medical costs of any private medical treatment and gives you a choice in the level of care you get and how and when it is provided. 

It also can provide the following benefits:

  • Access to a wider choice of treatments
  • Shorter waiting times for specialist treatments
  • Better hospital accommodation (private rooms)

You should research the options available to you and select the insurance policy which is most suited to your situation. You can do this using comparison websites, for example:

Compare the Market

UKCISA information about medical insurance