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 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 before attending in person. This will help prevent possible transmission of COVID within the NHS.
If you have more general concerns or questions about the virus, please read our advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
- pre-existing medical conditions;
- accessing healthcare back in your home country.
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.
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.
The UK has now started its COVID-19 vaccination programme, and is giving vaccines to the elderly and most vulnerable first. It may therefore be some time before you receive your vaccine.
Remember that you need to be registered with a GP before you can get your vaccination, so we encourage you to register if you have not already done so to avoid any potential delays.
Full information for UCL students on COVID-19 is available on our dedicated website.
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.
You are strongly recommended to have the meningitis and MMR vaccinations before starting at UCL.
Accessing healthcare back in your home country
During your time at UCL, you may go back home for a period of time and need to access healthcare. It's important that you familiarise yourself with the different rules and regulations your home country has, regarding its citizens who are living abroad but want to access their healthcare. Your should speak to your home GP or health insurance provider and ask what the specific rules are regarding this. Please note that your proof of access to healthcare in the UK will be either your payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge for students coming on a Student visa or proof of having received pre-settled/settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you have full access to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, then you will be eligible for health cards which give you access to state healthcare in certain European countries. See the UCL website for more details on these health cards.