How Does Graduate Entry Medicine Funding Work?

One of the most common questions students who are interested in studying medicine as a graduate have is how the funding works. It is slightly more complicated than standard undergraduate degrees, including standard medicine. However, the most important point is that there is graduate entry medicine funding available!

A common misconception is that if you have a previous degree, you will be expected to self-fund the entire medical course. This is a myth and there is funding available for graduates studying both accelerated and standard medicine programmes.

Note that all the figures here apply to students who ordinarily live in England and assume the student is not living at home. If you’re studying in London the figures quoted here may be slightly lower than the actual amounts you’ll be entitled too.

Four-year accelerated GEM programmes

Graduates studying a dedicated four-year graduate entry medical degree are entitled to more funding than a graduate studying a standard degree. It’s worth noting that these programmes are typically more competitive, and if you have the means to fund a five-year course it might be a good idea to apply to a mix of programmes to maximise your chances of getting an offer.

Year 1 Tuition Fee

Your tuition fee will usually be £9,250 per year. You will be responsible for paying £3,465 of this to the University directly. Some universities will let you pay this termly or in instalments but others may expect it upfront.

If you are eligible for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, you will be entitled to a non-means tested loan for the remainder of the tuition fee.

Years 2-4 Tuition Fee

For the remaining years, the NHS Bursary scheme will pay the first £3,715 towards your tuition fee. The remaining £5,535 will be covered by a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England. This means that over the entire 4 years you will only need to pay £3,465 directly to the university.

Year 1 Living Costs

For the first year, if you are eligible for Student Finance you may be eligible to take out a loan towards your maintenance costs. The first £4,422 of this loan is non-means tested and the remainder is dependent on household income. You may also be eligible for means-tested support from your university for this year.

It’s important to consider that the Student Loans Company consider any student who is over the age of 25, married or in full-time employment for three years to be an independent student. This means that your parents household income will not be assessed for means testing and you’ll likely be awarded the full maintenance loan if your personal income is £0 for the academic year.

Years 2-4 Living Costs

Over years 2-4 the maintenance loan provided by Student Finance England is reduced to £2,534. This is non-means tested and slightly reduced for your final year.

You are also eligible for maintenance support from the NHS Bursary scheme. The first £1,000 of this is non-means tested. Additional money is means-tested, with the maximum possible grant for a 30-week year being £2,643. The majority of medical schools operate a longer academic year than this and an additional £84 per week is provided for any week over 30.

You may also be entitled to other money such asChildcare Allowance or Dependents Allowance.

Students from other UK nations:

Welsh Students

Funding for GEM is virtually identical to that of English students, apart from your living allowance from the Welsh equivalent of NHS Bursary is identical to that of a fifth year standard medical student. This means you can apply for an additional maintenance loan for Years 2-4.

Scottish Students

If you study on the ScotGEM programme your tuition fees will be fully funded! Unfortunately for all other GEM programmes you will have to self-fund the tuition fee for the entire course. However you will be eligible for a student loan to help with maintenance costs.

Norther Irish Students

Unfortunately students from Northern Ireland will have to pay the full tuition fees themselves. Students are eligible for a maintenance loan from Student Finance NI to help with living costs.

Five/six-year standard medicine programmes

Years 1-4 Tuition Fee

Your tuition fee will usually be £9,250 per year. You will be responsible for paying the full amount to the university directly. Some universities will let you pay this termly or in instalments but others may expect it upfront.

Years 5+ Tuition Fee

From Year 5 onwards you will be able to apply to the NHS Bursary Scheme for tuition fee support. Your tuition fee will be payed in full and you will not have to pay this money back.

Years 1-4 Living Costs

For the first four years you will eligible to apply to Student Finance England for a full maintenance loan. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances and where you’re studying.

As with GEM courses, it’s important to consider the Student Loans Company criteria for being classified as an independent student. If this applies to you it means that your parents household income will not be assessed for means testing.

Years 5+ Living Costs

The final years of your course will be funded by the NHS Bursary Scheme. They will provide a non-means tested grant of £1000 for living costs. Additional money is available and is means-tested based on your personal circumstances. The maximum bursary available is £3,191 based on a 30-week year. There will be an extra weeks allowance of £108 per week for any additional weeks spent studying.

Students from other UK nations:

Welsh Students

Funding is very similar to that of English students. One key difference for Welsh students is the living allowance is identical to that of a fifth year standard medical student for the final part of your course. This means you can apply for an additional maintenance loan for Years 5+.

Scottish Students

You will have to self-fund tuition fees for the first four years. In England and Wales this is typically £9000-9250. If you study in Scotland, you will pay £1,820 per year instead. You’ll also be eligible to apply to SAAS for a maintenance loan. For Years 5+ you are eligible for full tuition fee support and a bursary to cover living costs from SAAS.

Norther Irish Students

Unfortunately students from Northern Ireland will have to self-fund the full tuition fees throughout the course. Students are still eligible for a maintenance loan from Student Finance NI to help with living costs.

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311 Comments

LeonMedic Mind Tutor

30 July 2021

It isn’t at all clear what paying a proportion of the tuition fee directly to the University in question means. If this is merely a cosmetic point, why add it?

Anna CharlotteMedic Mind Tutor

2 August 2021

Hi Leon, I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “cosmetic point”. The majority of home students studying in the UK will pay their tuition fees through the relevant student finance company, meaning they won’t perform the transaction themselves as the loan company will pay the loan to the university. The exceptions are described here where graduates may have to pay all of, or a portion, of their fees directly – meaning they will not receive a loan and the money will need to be paid directly by them (from their bank accounts) to the university. This situation is not the norm in the UK hence the emphasis of this in the article. Hope that helped to clarify things for you.

JamesMedic Mind Tutor

23 September 2021

Just to clarify: the SFE loan for years 2-4 (GEM) is available to those who have already completed a full undergraduate qualification?
So one would be liable for £3465 in year 1 only?
Many thanks.

Anna CharlotteMedic Mind Tutor

24 September 2021

For English students studying in England, that’s correct. Your maintenance loan will be non-means tested for Years 2-4 though so this could potentially drop. However you won’t need to directly pay the university any portion of your tuition fees apart from in Year 1.