Health is an important consideration for international students arriving in the UK as services may differ from those offered in other countries.
Health care you can receive in the UK
Students whose courses last at least six months are entitled to free health care under the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). This includes access to a family doctor (called a general practitioner or GP) and most hospital treatment, although there are charges for some services such as prescriptions.
Many students who will be here for less than six months can also access free NHS health care, for example, EU students and nationals of countries with which the UK has a reciprocal health agreement. Full details of your health care entitlement, as well as advice on staying healthy, can be found in the UK Council for International Student Affairs Guide.
If you are entitled to NHS care, you should register with a GP near your accommodation within the first few days of arriving in the UK.
We advise you to register separately with a dentist. You should ask for NHS treatment when you register but be aware that there is a charge for dental treatment. You can find local dentists using the NHS website. Free emergency dental treatment is available from the University Dental Hospital or you can contact the 24-hour emergency dental hotline on 0845 601 859.
You can register with any local optician of your choice. There is a fee for eye tests and all eye treatment. There are many opticians in and around the city. Optometry students operate a clinic in the Carys Bannister building during term time and there are branches of the popular chains, such as Boots, in the city centre.
We recommend that all students are vaccinated against Meningitis C and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).
Meningitis is rare but it is a serious disease which can easily spread among students living in close proximity.
There has recently been an increase in cases of mumps and measles among students in Manchester. In response to this the Manchester Health Protection Unit has strongly advised that you have the MMR vaccination before coming to Manchester if you haven’t already done so.
If you are unable to access these vaccinations in your home country before coming to Manchester, you can get them free of charge from a GP in the UK. If you haven't been vaccinated by the time you arrive, make an appointment as soon as you have registered with a GP.
If you have any difficulties accessing these vaccines from your GP, you should call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 219 9451.
You may need to obtain a certificate confirming you are free from infectious TB before you can apply for a visa. You can find further information at GOV.UK.
- More about mumps on the NHS website
- More about measles on the NHS website
- More about rubella on the NHS website
- Meningitis Now
Health care on campus
We offer an occupational health service on campus where you can access help and advice on managing any health issues that may affect your ability to study. The service also provides details on access to local NHS GPs.
For help with any additional needs you may have, you can get advice from our Disability Advisory and Support Service.