New Students

Vaccinations and immunisations

The University encourages you to protect yourself by having the appropriate vaccinations.

It is likely that you have received some vaccinations in your youth or before traveling to Edinburgh, but if you are not sure, speak to your home doctor. 

Below are highly recommended vaccinations that we encourage new students to get before arriving at University:

1. Meningococcal ACWY immunisation

2. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunisation  

NHS Inform Student Vaccines 

1. Meningococcal ACWY immunisation (for first-time university entrants) 

If you are starting university for the first time (only students under 25 years), it is strongly recommended that you get the MenACWY single-dose vaccine at least two weeks before you arrive at the University to protect yourself and others against the rare, but life-threatening meningitis and/or septicaemia (blood poisoning). 

As a new student, you are at an increased risk of MenACWY because you have more close contact with other new students, especially during Welcome Week and if you are living in University accommodation.

If you are a postgraduate and have any queries about this Meningitis and septicaemia you should speak to your doctor. 

MenACWY (NHS Inform website)

2. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunisation (for all students) 

Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious conditions that can have serious, and potentially fatal complications. There have been small outbreaks of mumps and measles within universities over the past few years in the UK among students who have not been vaccinated or have just had one MMR immunisation in their lives.

You should check your MMR vaccination history with your home doctor before you leave for University.  If you have not had two vaccinations, then we would strongly encourage you to make sure you receive both doses before arriving on-campus. 

MMR vaccine (NHS Choices website)


What should you do if you missed getting the necessary vaccinations before arriving at University? 

If you did not get MenACWY and/or MMR immunisation before starting University, we would encourage you to get the vaccine as soon as possible with your registered doctor/GP Practice, ideally in Welcome Week and no later than 31 October.

You need to be registered with a GP to access vaccination services. Please speak to your GP or check NHS Lothian Immunisation for more information.

Task 6: Register with a doctor/GP

Please note: you do not need to offer proof to the University that you have received either of these immunisations, however, it is in the best interest of your health that you protect yourself against potentially life-threatening illnesses.

What about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)? (not all students are eligible)

NHS Inform does recommend getting HPV but not all are eligible.

Most students will have had the HPV vaccine at school. If you missed it, you may be eligible for the vaccine. Your eligibility depends on your gender.

For women and those who were assigned female at birth, you're eligible for the HPV vaccine up until your 25th birthday.

For men and those who were assigned male at birth, you're eligible for the HPV vaccine if you started high school during or after the 2019/2020 academic year. If you have sex with men (MSM) and are aged up to and including 45 years old, you're also eligible for the vaccine. This is because MSM are known to have a higher risk of HPV infection.

Read more about the HPV vaccination for MSM

Useful Links

NHS Scot Inform Student Vaccines

NHS Vaccination advice

Student Health | NHS inform