Accreditations to look for when applying for Medicine courses

When you’re deciding which medical schools and Medicine courses to apply for it’s important to check that they are properly accredited to award you your medical degree.

What does accreditation mean?

Accreditation is defined as: the act of granting credit or recognition, especially to an educational institution that maintains suitable standards. Accreditationis necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality.

By choosing a medical school that is accredited you can ensure that a certain standard of teaching and education is being met.

This means that future employers, both in the UK and abroad, will know that you have been taught to an internationally recognised standard and will have the skills you need to be successful in your career.

Who can award accreditation for Medicine courses in the UK?

In the UK the General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulatory body that decides which organisations can award primary medical qualifications (PMQs).

There are 33 medical schools in the UK, the majority of which are part of a single university, which can award degrees to Medicine graduates.

Sometimes universities come together to become a single medical school and these combinations become a single awarding body for the purposes of exams and qualification awards.

How does the GMC decide which universities can award Medicine degrees?

The GMC regulates all stages of a doctor’s medical education to ensure that high standards are kept. They don’t regulate the medical schools individually but they do regulate academic, teaching, and assessment standards.

As a part of this they ensure that all medical teaching and training reflects the needs of the medical students, patients, trainees, and the health service as a whole.

They do this by consulting with other health care organisations and producing guidance and standards for these organisations to use.

You can find out more about the GMC’s role in undergraduate medical education on the GMC website.

Which UK universities can award Medicine degrees?

The UK universities that are able to award Medicine degrees under the GMC rules are as follows:

Are there any other universities where I can study Medicine that aren’t GMC accredited?

There have been some recent changes to the GMC list of accredited medical schools.

In 2010 the University of Leicester and the University of Warwick as a combination were removed from the GMC list.

In 2014 the University of Wales was also removed from the GMC list.

This is because the universities stopped using PMQs – however the degrees they awarded up until those dates are still valid. The University of Leicester and the University of Warwick now separately issue their own degree awards.

What about non-UK medical schools?

If you wish to study medicine abroad it’s even more important to ensure that your degree will be awarded by an accredited body to ensure that the work you put in is rewarded once you graduate.

If you wish to return to the UK or the EU to practice medicine after graduate you will need to ensure that your qualification is of an acceptable standard.

This means it must have been awarded by:

  • The Avicenna Directory for Medicine
  • The World Directory of Medical Schools
  • The International Medical Education Directory

You can find further information on practicing medicine in the UK without a UK awarded medical qualification on the GMC website.