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UK health services

Everyone can feel unwell sometimes, and the health service is here to help when you need it.

It is very important that you register with a UK health service when you arrive in the UK. You must be registered to access NHS healthcare, which is not something you should leave until you are feeling unwell.  

The length of your study in the UK will impact how you can access these services, and what you will need to pay. We suggest organising this in your first few weeks. 

What is the National Health Service (NHS) and how can I register?

What is the National Health Service (NHS) and how can I register? 

  • The NHS is a state-provided health service that covers the cost of most medical treatment and services 
  • It is free to talk to an NHS doctor, but you will need to pay for any medicine they prescribe to you 
  • To access the NHS, you must register with a General Practitioner (GP) 
  • If you need advice, you can call 111, the NHS' non-emergency number
  • In an emergency only, call 999 – emergency treatment is provided at the Queen’s Medical Centre Accident and Emergency (A+E) department, which is close to the University Park Campus

The University of Nottingham Health Service is located on University Park Campus. If you are based at Sutton Bonnington, you can register with a health service closer to you.  

Find out more about the NHS


Choosing the right service

  • Ask your local pharmacist for advice about common minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches, sore throat, or travel health

  • Make and appointment with your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency

  • Visit Nottingham Urgent Care Centre if you have an injury such as a cut, or a sprain, and it can't wait until your GP surgery is open

  • If you need medical advice but it is not urgent, you can call the NHS on 111 or go to

  • Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk

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Your access to NHS healthcare

Students studying for more than six months

As part of your Student visa application, you will need to pay the NHS surcharge or Immigration Health surcharge. This is currently £470 per year for Students, due to increase on 6 February to £776 per year. If you have any dependant family members applying with you, they will also need to pay the same amount.  

Medical insurance will help you pay for health-related costs if you become unwell. For example, if you need to travel back home due to illness and cannot complete your studies, insurance could cover the travel cost for you.

Students studying for less than six months

We advise you to get private medical insurance before you travel because any hospital treatment will be charged. 

You can register with a GP service as a ‘temporary resident’. This will give you access to a family doctor and their services. You will also be able to access emergency and urgent care services, mental health, and sexual health services.  

Students arriving from the EU

For the most current and up to date healthcare guidance please refer to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) information. This information should be updated shortly, specifically in relation to the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU.


Health centre registration

You can register with a local health service based on your term-time address.

If you’re located in Nottingham city, you can register with the University of Nottingham Health Service, conveniently situated in Cripps Health Centre on University Park Campus.

If you are studying at Sutton Bonington or if you are living in Derby city, you can register with a doctor closer you.

For more information and to register, use the button below. 

Register with a health service


What our current students say about preparing to travel to the UK


Vaccinations, TB testing and medication

If you register with the University of Nottingham Health Service, you may be eligble to receive a number of different recommended vaccines. 

Find out more using the button below. 

Vaccine guidance 

Do I need to bring my medication? 

If you need medication, we recommend bringing enough for three months. Some medicines may not be available in the UK, or they may be more controlled.

Contact the University of Nottingham Health Service when you arrive so they can help you get your medication. 


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Find out more

Use our Welcome Kit for International Students to find out more about the healthcare and support services available. 




University Park

Visit our contact us page to find the most relevant contact details for your query