International applicants


Information on healthcare arrangements for those considering studying at the University of Edinburgh.

The National Health Service (NHS)

The UK healthcare system called the National Health Service (NHS). It is publicly funded which means that healthcare is paid for through taxes, not when medical treatment is needed.

Generally, students do not have to pay for medical treatment. If you study in the UK for more than three months you should be eligible for healthcare treatment through the NHS.

Most doctors, hospitals and other healthcare professionals are provided for through the NHS.

Registering with a doctor

You need to register with a General Practitioner (GP) when you arrive in the UK. Do not wait until you are ill or require treatment to register.

Registering with a GP is easy and free. You may be able to register with the University Health Centre.

Studying for less than 3 months

If you are coming to study in the UK for less than three months, you may not be able to register with a GP. You should get medical insurance before travelling, as the cost of treatment can be expensive - some NHS services, such as emergency treatment, are free and some services have to be paid for.

Pre-existing medical conditions & health insurance

If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you should speak to your local doctor before you leave for advice.

If you need to bring prescribed medicine with you, carry a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription when you travel.

University Health Service

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it may be worth buying health insurance to cover the cost of private healthcare and specialist treatments.

If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss student coming to the UK for less than 3 months, it is highly advisable that you buy medical insurance.

Endsleigh offers an insurance policy specifically designed for international students.

You can find further information on registering with a doctor, as well as information on dentists, opticians, prescriptions and disabilities/chronic health conditions on the New Students website.

New Students - Healthcare