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Health information for International Students

We've collected some information that may help you when settling down in the UK. We highly recommend registering with a GP as soon as possible to get access to help and support for any health or mental health concern.

Please see the University's guidance on registering with a GP here.

You can find your nearest GP using the NHS find a GP tool.

What is NHS?

The NHS (National Health Service) provides professional health for most people living in the UK.

  • International students from the European Union (EU) countries and those from countries who have reciprocal health agreements with the UK qualify for NHS treatment.
  • Full-time International students from other countries qualify for treatment under the National Health Service, provided they are on courses of six months or longer duration.
  • Students' dependants qualify in the same way as students.

Students who are not covered by the NHS provision should take out private health insurance, which can be obtained in the UK, or in the student's home country. Special schemes are designed to meet the needs of International students. Premiums are low, but cover is generous.

Registration with a doctor

  • To obtain access to NHS treatment, students should register with a local GP (General Practitioner) who provides primary healthcare. Many GP's are working in Group Practice/Surgery/Health Centres. 
  • Patients normally have to make an appointment to see a doctor. There are usually male and female doctors in a group practice, and students can choose whom they wish to see.
  • The GP will refer patients for specialist examination or treatment to a Specialist (Consultant) when necessary.

We have a list of local Doctors and Dentist close to the University and accomodation. Click Herehereto access the relevant lists.

Urgent Care Centre (111)

The Urgent Care Centre provide a treatment service for adults and children who may be suffering from relatively minor ailments or injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains, dog bites, burns or scalds, sore throats, ear infections, etc. To make an appointment you must ring 111 which is a free telephone number.

Accident & Emergency (999)

  • Every person in the UK is treated under the NHS in case of an accident or emergency. Dial 999 on any telephone and ask for an ambulance, if necessary. The call is free.
  • Students who are admitted to hospital after treatment in the Accident and Emergency Department will have to pay for staying in hospital if they do not qualify for NHS treatment. Costs for hospital treatment are very high. You should, therefore, take out private insurance to cover such costs.


The GP may prescribe medicines for you to take or apply. All students have to pay a charge for each item on a prescription unless you have a valid exemption certificate. The cost is not always the actual cost of the medicine, but a contribution to the general costs of the NHS. Prescriptions are £8.60 (2017) each, you may be eligable for free prescriptions, you can complete a form called the HC1 form which is available on the reception desk of student wellbeing. You will need to complete this and return it to the address on the form to see if you are able to get free prescriptions.



Dental treatment

  • Charges for treatment by a Dentist (Dental Surgeon) under the NHS depend upon the complexity of treatment required.
  • Many dentists no longer treat people under the NHS and charge independent or private fees. Before undergoing treatment, check that your Dentist works within the NHS and will accept you as an NHS patient (To receive treatment under the NHS you have to be registered with a dentist who accepts NHS patients and make an appointment to be treated.)
  • The University Student Health and Wellbeing has a list of local dentists. Click here to access the list.

Optical treatment

  • All opticians charge for NHS eye tests. The amount you have to pay may vary from one practitioner to another.
  • Find out how much a test will cost and make an appointment.
  • You are not obliged to buy lenses and/or frames from the optician who tested your sight. The optician has to give you his assessment of your eyesight in writing and you can take this to another optician and get the lenses and/or frames.
  • Students may apply for exemption from NHS charges. Application forms (HC1) are available in Doctor's Surgeries, Post Offices and the Student wellbeing reception.

Treatment available

  • Treatment in Accident and Emergency departments - up to the time of admission to Hospital.
  • Compulsory psychiatric Treatment - when a patient is detained on a compulsory order or 'section'.
  • Emergency Ambulance Service (999).
  • Treatment for 'notifiable infectious diseases'.
  • Treatment at a special clinic for sexually transmitted diseases.

Students from Britain, the European community and any country with reiprocal health arrangements are eligible for free treatment under the NHS. If you are in full-time education and the age of 19you may also be exempt from most NHS charges. You may alos be entitled to help with charges on the grounds of low income. However, international students who applied for thier visa after 6th of April 2015, may be required to pay the immigration health charge in order to access NHS treatment.


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