Becoming a medical practitioner is maybe the most popular career goal that many have, way before even reaching high school. Future doctors nurture their passion for helping others, develop and start studying Medicine-related disciplines, before applying for a medical school.
Medicine is also a versatile field that can be studied anywhere in the world, so you have a variety of choices at your disposal. This is why it may sound easy to choose a medical school abroad but, as any decision that might change your life, it needs to be well planned in advance.
If you narrow your research for medical schools to Europe, you have plenty of options which include different teaching styles, cultures and, sometimes, entry requirements. Now you just have to look closer to your option and find the right destination country. In order to make this process easier for you, we’ve compiled rankings of medical schools in Europe, developed by the leading websites in the field of excellence in higher education (Times Higher Education and QS Ranking).
Why study Medicine in Europe vs. USA?
We all know that there are differences in teaching when it comes to Europe vs. other areas on the globe. Here are some distinctions between medicine studies in continental Europe and the USA:
- The study usually lasts a total of six years, while in the USA the academic period lasts for four years;
- Including the training, the total period before you may begin your career in Europe lasts for 6.5 – 7 years, while in the USA you are considered trained after 10 years;
- Tuition fees are usually lower in Europe for graduate studies in medicine. These are around 60,000 – 150,000 USD. In the USA you will pay 140,000 – 240,000 USD;
- Entry requirements in Europe usually don’t involve exams such as the MCAT, which usually requires 1 – 2 years of preparation.
The best medical schools in continental Europe according to Times Higher Education 2018
1. LMU Munich, Germany (ranked 34th worldwide)
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich has a centuries-old tradition and is one of the most internationally renowned universities in Germany. Research Services support researchers during all phases of research from consultation on third-party funding to the administrative, and legal aspects of projects.
2. Technical University of Munich, Germany (ranked 41st worldwide)
Technical University of Munich is one of the youngest medical schools in Germany, and has active collaborations with over 20 teaching hospitals and clinics. Within the university, the medical faculty has extensive modern facilities, including 24 clinics and 18 institutes that enables students to focus on research and gain valuable practical experience.
3. KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Belgium (ranked 47th worldwide)
The Faculty of Medicine is involved in international projects and networks and is part of the Biomedical Sciences Group. Also collaborating with a hospital, the school usually has a consistent group of international students. Research is also a main focus of the specialists from KU Leuven and there are plenty of studies on science, technology and health.
4. University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (ranked 59th worldwide)
This university holds two educational institutes, which study medicine and medical informatics and a research institute that develops projects in cardiovascular disorders, epidemiology and public health, infectious diseases and immunology, metabolic disorders, oncology and many others.
5. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (rank 62nd worldwide)
Humboldt University of Berlin has an integrated university hospital, Charité which is both a training and a research centre. At Humboldt University, students have the opportunity to engage in student councils and come up with ideas and theories related to teaching, learning and research in the medical field.
Having a wide international outlook, students and staff come from over 80 countries and patients worldwide choose to be treated at Charité as well.
6. Leiden University, Netherlands (ranked 67th worldwide)
You can focus on medicine or medical sciences and pursue your study in the university’s medical centre. Although there is a limited number of students available each year, the university has a strong local reputation.
7. Utrecht University, Netherlands (rank 68th worldwide)
Utrecht University covers several specialisations in medicine and healthcare, including biomedical sciences, clinical health sciences. The medical faculty of Utrecht University works on various healthcare innovations, specifically in areas like circulatory health, cancer care, stem cells, and child health.
Utrecht University works closely with Utrecht University Medical Centre that is divided into two hospitals: one for adults and one for children.
8. Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands (ranked 72nd worldwide)
The university is internationally recognized for its research in health. Its medical centre is the largest of its kind in Europe and it focuses on clinical, health and biomedical sciences, particularly genomics and bioinformatics.
9. RWTH Aachen University, Germany (rank 79th worldwide)
The Faculty of Medicine at RWTH covers around 50 institutes, clinics and centres and medicine degrees have three main focuses in research: medicine and technology, clinical neurosciences, inflammation and consequences.
Around 2,000 students worldwide choose to study medicine at RWTH each year and they can benefit from cutting-edge facilities.
10. University of Groningen, Netherlands (rank 83rd worldwide)
The medical faculty of University of Groningen is oldest medical faculties in The Netherlands and has a close collaboration with Groningen University Hospital. Additionally, a university medical centre was also established in 2005 and is currently one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. The medical centre features numerous research work, with a focus on healthy ageing, particularly in clinical care and education.
QS Ranking includes some other top medical schools in Europe in 2017-2018
1. The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture of the university attracts students from some 150 countries. A stimulating learning and teaching environment and access to excellent facilities are other pluses. Medical degrees here are focused on practical medicine and clinical research.
2. University of Copenhagen, Denmark
At University of Copenhagen, Bachelor and Master medical degrees are mostly research-based and courses take place in real clinical conditions. The university has outstanding facilities, featuring the largest animal research laboratory in Northern Europe.
University of Copenhagen continuously enlarges its collaborations and covers international partners, giving students the possibility to experience clinical work and research in different locations.
3. University of Barcelona, Spain
Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses at University of Barcelona focus on keeping a perfect balance between knowledge and research. The medical department at University of Barcelona includes a research and innovation institute that promotes the activity of medical students, in collaboration with the university hospital.
4. University of Helsinki, FinlandWith an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers, the University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best humanity can achieve. The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of Masters, taught entirely in English, including in health-related subjects.
European universities are among the elite global research and higher education institutions preparing the doctors and medical practitioners. With their cutting-edge research programmes, innovative curricula and teaching styles, they are ideal destinations for students keen on becoming responsible and capable M.D.s or healthcare professionals.