Best places to study medicine in the UK

Looking to study medicine here in the United Kingdom? You need to work relentlessly hard to get into medical school, so you ought to read into and think carefully about the best places to study medicine.

To help you out, we at CIA Landlords have researched the best places to study medicine in the UK. 

Image of medical students talking together.

Brighton came out on top as the best place to study medicine in the UK 

With big skies, sand, seagulls, piers, a vibrant city with a young population, and an excellent first-rate medical school at the University of Brighton, it is little wonder that Brighton came out student on top in our research on the best places to study medicine in the UK. A little later, we shall delve more into the specific reasons why Brighton came out on top.

Image of Brighton Pier.

Overall Rankings Best places to study medicine in the UK
1 Brighton
2 Leeds
3 Exeter
4 Belfast
5 Imperial College London
6 Liverpool
7 Swansea
8 Queen Mary of London
9 Manchester
10 Norwich (University of East Anglia)
11 Cambridge
12 Plymouth

Leeds and Exeter are the second and third best places to study medicine

Leeds and Exeter came in second and third best places to study medicine. Our research unearthed that Leeds as being a forward-thinking city that takes sustainability seriously where there is always something going on, and a fabulous medical school to boot. 

Although it is perhaps a bit more remote than other medical schools in the UK in terms of location, there are benefits that come with this such as fresh air and a quaint cosy small-city feel. So, Exeter managed to finish in third place in our research into the best places in the UK to study medicine. 

Image of the Exeter city centre.

Brighton, Imperial College London, and Liverpool have the highest medical student satisfaction rates 

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the medical schools with the highest student satisfaction rates. 


Why did Brighton finish out on top overall? Well, one factor we took into consideration in our calculations was the student satisfaction rates of medical students and just how happy they were with the course. You may understandably have big expectations before going and starting medical school, so you will want to pick a university with a course that for the most part students are happy and satisfied with. The University of Brighton enjoyed a staggering 89% student satisfaction for its medical course, not bad at all. 

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is also a great place to study medicine, particularly if you like the hustle and bustle of student life in a big city. You will also get the opportunity to do your junior doctor training in some of the best-equipped hospitals in the world and see how the National Health Services functions and helps patients on a day-to-day basis. Satisfaction rates for medical students at Imperial College London at 83% came just behind Brighton, pretty impressive!


Liverpool is a wondrous city, home to lots of history, great architecture, music, sports, and importantly, a top medical school at the University of Liverpool. The Liverpool Medical School got an 82% student satisfaction rate. 

An additional benefit of choosing to go study medicine at the University of Liverpool is that the North of England is generally cheaper than the South, so you can expect to pay less rent per month and for things to be cheaper than in London or Brighton, for instance. 

Rankings for student satisfaction at UK medical schools Medical schools Student satisfaction %
1 Brighton and Sussex Medical School 89
2 Imperial College London 83
3 University of Liverpool 82
4 University of East Anglia 82
5 Queen Mary of London 82
6 University of Exeter 82
7 University of Leeds 81
8 University of Cambridge 80
9 University of Plymouth 80
10 Queen’s University Belfast 79
11 Swansea University 79
12 University of Manchester 75

Leeds, Belfast, and Exeter have the best air quality

Living as a student in a city with terrible air pollution is no fun. It will especially be a nuisance if you enjoy doing outdoor exercise such as jogging, cycling, playing football, tennis, rugby and so on. You should be able to make the most of the great outdoors, not stay indoors due to your fears about the effects of air pollution on your health. 

Leeds is the city in our research with the best air quality rating, with an almost perfect AQI (Air Quality Index) score of 8 (with 0 being the best and 500 the worst). So, jogging and playing sports outside in the fresh Yorkshire air will be a delight if you choose to study in Leeds.

Leeds has an excellent medical school that is highly competitive to gain entry to, so it is definitely one for you to check out.

Rankings Best air quality Air quality index score
1 Leeds 8
2 Belfast 16
3 Exeter 21
4 Manchester 24
5 Swansea 25
6 Liverpool 29
7 Brighton 33
8 Queen Mary of London 36
9 Imperial College London 36
10 Plymouth 41
11 Cambridge 42
12 Norwich (University of East Anglia) 47

All of our top twelve destinations offering medicine have council-backed pay as you ride bike/e-bike hire schemes

Many councils across the UK have decided to introduce public bicycle (and now electric bicycle) schemes after the success of the ‘Boris bikes’ introduced prior to the 2012 London Olympics. Cycling is a great way to get around when you are a student, and if there is one of these public hire schemes with pick-up and drop-off stations in place, you won’t even have to dip into your savings to buy a bike. 

Also, cycling around the place can save you money, help you take in the best views, and is better for the planet. Therefore, we thought it was important to see which of the different places in the UK offering medicine had public bike/e-bike hire schemes in place. All of the top twelve best places to study medicine in the UK have council-backed pay-as-you-ride bike/e-bike hire schemes.


We decided to centre our research around various factors that we feel make different areas of the UK great places to study medicine, including medical student satisfaction scores, air quality levels, and whether there are public bicycle hire schemes dotted around the place for students to use. Why? Well, there’s a lot more to a medical student’s experience at university than academia alone, and different destinations offer different things.

We got the first set of data on student satisfaction levels from the 2023 Medical Student Satisfaction League Table by the Complete University Guide.  

For the second data on air quality, we got these scores by checking each location on the United Kingdom section of the IQ Air website.

Finally, we then compiled together information about council-backed public bike/e-bike schemes by visiting the website of each council, for instance, this page told us information about the Citybike cycle hire in Liverpool.

Originally, we compiled data on these three chosen metrics for all 35 medical schools in the UK. There were some medical school locations that didn’t have a council-backed bike/e-bike hire scheme, but since we viewed this as a negative factor, they didn’t end up finishing in our top twelve places to study medicine in the UK.

After tallying up the results for all 35 medical school destinations, we then narrowed it down to a select top twelve.