Study medicine in Europe
Publication date: 09/10/2018

Consider a programme in medicine or other health-related programmes

students UMF Cluj Napoca

Medicine and surgery are among the oldest study programmes in the history of Europe. In 1180 AD, a manuscript was published by a scholar at the University of Bologna about “Practica Chirurgiae”, the practice of surgery. More than 800 years later, many students apply to study medicine, pharmacy, surgery or other health-related programmes in Europe every year.

These study programmes differ from other programmes. In most European countries, an important part of the bachelor’s programme consists of doing a work placement at the local hospital. This way, you can immediately apply the theory in practice. After the bachelor’s, you will have gained much general knowledge and usually continue your studies to specialise further in a medical field. In some European countries, the undergraduate programme is longer than the average bachelor’s. In Greece, for example, your undergraduate education will be six years. The same goes for Poland, while similar programmes in Ireland take five years. Some countries such as Estonia offer integrated programmes: both bachelor’s and master’s in six years.

Programmes in medicine and surgery are very popular and highly selective. You have to be a top student to stand a chance of being chosen to join the more prestigious med schools in Europe. Do not let this fact discourage you from applying. The programmes are becoming increasingly international and open for international talent. To excel in such a competitive environment, you have to be inquisitive. In the words of Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt (United Kingdom, 2001): “Winning a Nobel Prize isn’t about being clever at all, it's about making… at least in physiology or medicine, it’s about making discoveries, and you don’t have to be clever to make a discovery (…)."

How to apply?

Are you destined to become a doctor or a medical expert? If so, consider your options at a European Higher Education Institution. Application procedures differ for each institution and country, so please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the country profiles and select the country in which you wish to study.
  2. Visit the connected website to explore the institutions that offer medicine.
  3. Apply in the way that the institution suggests.

Are you an international medicine student doing a programme in Europe? Share your story by sending an email to