Health advice before you arrive

Find out more about how to prepare for your stay in the UK, including information about prescriptions, pre-existing medical conditions and recommended vaccinations.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Ridgmount Practice

Ridgmount Practice (UCL's partner GP surgery) is now offering online, video and phone consultations as well as face to face appointments. Please get in contact with the surgery to discuss your consultation options ahead of any appointment.

Visit the Ridgmount Practice website for further information.

If you have more general concerns or questions about the virus, please read our advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).


There is no guarantee that you will be able to get the same medication in the UK as prescribed to you in your home country. In order to get medication in the UK, you need to be assessed by a doctor, referred to as a General Practitioner (GP). It is a good idea to bring your current prescription and/or a note from your doctor, with an English translation if necessary. 

In England, most people need to pay for prescriptions. You may be eligible for free prescriptions, for example, if you are aged under-19 and studying full-time.

See the NHS website for details on eligibility for free prescriptions and the current prescription charge. 

Please note that if your course is three to six months long and you are on regular medication, you are advised to bring with you sufficient supplies for the duration of your programme of study.

Pre-existing medical conditions

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it is strongly recommended that you ask your current doctor to write a letter explaining these and any medication you are receiving. You can pass this letter on to your GP in the UK as this will help ensure consistency in your treatment.

We recommend that you inform your doctor at home that you will be coming to study in the UK and discuss any matters related to medication and access to this during your time here with them.

Unlike in many other countries, in the UK GPs are also the primary point of contact for any mental health issues students may be experiencing.


You are strongly recommended to have the following vaccinations before starting at UCL:


All university students under 25 years should be immunised against Meningitis (ACWY). All first year undergraduates are now advised to have a Meningitis (ACWY) booster if they were less than 10 years of age when they received their first Meningitis C injection.


MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). Before starting higher education students should have had two doses.

If you have not had these immunisations, Ridgmount Practice (a local practice near the UCL Bloomsbury campus) may be able to provide them.

While it is not a requirement, it is strongly recommended that you bring along a copy of the vaccinations you have already received, such as a letter from a doctor or a certification in English. There is no requirement for a specific form to provide evidence of vaccinations.

Contact Ridgmount Practice as soon as possible upon arrival if you have not had your vaccinations.