Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Briefing

Tuition fees for medical school: what is the effect on students?

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 01 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k890
  1. Anne Gulland, freelance journalist, London, UK
  1. agulland{at}

With tuition fees back in the news, Anne Gulland looks at how the current system works and the level of debt faced by today’s medical students

How much are tuition fees at the moment?

Students who started at university in this academic year are being charged £9250 (€10 500; $13 000) a year for tuition, regardless of their course. The BMA says that the current costs incurred by medical students can see them graduating with up to £70 000 of debt.

Have they been been rising?

Yes, the current fees are higher than in previous years. The rise follows a change to university funding rules in 2012. For institutions that received awards in the government’s teaching excellence framework, fees were also due to rise in line with inflation from 2018-19. But the prime minister, Theresa May, announced at last year’s Conservative Party conference that she would be launching a review of tuition fees, further details of which were revealed in January. The review, which is expected to conclude in 2019, includes the potential for fees to vary across courses. However, this may not lead …

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