The National Health Service (NHS) is our world-renowned healthcare system, which provides free healthcare to UK residents through public funding.   

To access the UK healthcare system, you will need to take certain steps outlined below, depending on where you from.  

Visit the NHS website for more information about NHS services.  

International students and EU students can find information about UK healthcare here. You should register with a local doctor/GP as soon as possible when you arrive in the UK in case you need medical assistance whilst you are studying at Aston University.

Your local doctor’s surgery 

The nearest NHS doctor's surgery (general practitioner/GP) to campus is the Halcyon Medical Centre. It is based at 24 Martineau Place, Birmingham City Centre, about half a mile from campus and is open seven days a week. In the nearby Boots, you can find additional services such as a Sexual Health Clinic, Dental Outreach and a Walk-in Centre.


If you don't live on campus, you can find a GP's surgery close to where you live here.  

If you are an international student already registered with a GP in the UK, your medical records can be obtained quickly from your previous GP. If you have a UK medical card that has your NHS number printed on it, please take it to your new Birmingham GP in order to speed up the registration process. 

For information about Aston University's health clinics, click here

Medical emergencies 

On-campus: If you need an ambulance or other emergency service, please call Security on 2222 - do not call the ambulance service direct as Security need to allow access to these services and need to know the exact location of the emergency. This will help to improve response times of the emergency services. 

Off-campus: If you need immediate medical assistance (for example because of an accident) you should telephone 999, which is a free phone number. Your call will be put through to an operator who will ask which emergency service you require (Fire, Police, Ambulance). 

What do you have to pay?

Treatment that is free to everyone 

The following treatment is free to everyone

  • Accident and emergency (A&E) services. 
    This does not include follow-up treatments or subsequent admission to hospital as an inpatient. 

  • Compulsory psychiatric treatment or treatment ordered by a court of law.

  • Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and some other infectious diseases. 

  • Treatment for conditions caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic or sexual violence. 

  • Treatment in a prison or immigration detention centre.

Tier 4 students 

If you have applied for a Tier 4 student visa, you will need to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of your visa application fee. If you are studying in the UK for six months and longer, this will be £470 per year. If you are bringing dependents with you, there may be a further cost. 

You can use an online calculator to find out how much you have to pay. 

The surcharge will entitle you to access NHS care at GP surgeries, healthcare centres and hospitals in the UK at no additional cost.  However, you may need to pay for treatment at the dentist or opticians, and medicine collected at a pharmacy. 

For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.

EEA and Swiss students 

Under European law, you are entitled to free hospital treatment. EEA and Swiss students should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Without the card, you may be charged. 

For more information, read the Department for Health’s information leaflet: Healthcare Information for Visitors and Students from the European Economic Area (EEA)

Students from countries with reciprocal healthcare agreements 

You are entitled to free healthcare if you are a national of one of the following countries: 

  • Anguilla 

  • Australia 

  • Barbados 

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • British Virgin Islands

  • Falkland Islands 

  • Gibraltar 

  • Isle of Man 

  • Jersey

  • Kosovo

  • Macedonia 

  • Montenegro 

  • Montserrat 

  • New Zealand 

  • Serbia 

  • St Helena 

  • Turks and Caicos Islands (Individual agreements apply) 

  • Find your local NHS healthcare facilities 

When you arrive in the UK, you should register with your nearest general practitioner (GP) surgery. GPs are trained doctors who initially diagnose and treat medical conditions and refer patients for further diagnosis or treatment if necessary. You won’t have access to this service until you register, so don’t wait until you are ill. 

If you fall ill and have not registered with a GP, you can use your nearest NHS walk-in centre. 

To find healthcare services such as GP surgeries, walk-in centres, dentists and pharmacies nearest to you, use the location tool on the NHS website.

Additional information


Once you have registered with a GP in the UK, we recommend you get the following vaccines (which are free):

  • Men ACWY vaccine: This will protect against four causes of meningitis and septicaemia (meningococcal A, C, W and Y).
  • MMR vaccine: This will protect against measles, mumps and rubella. 

Contraception is free in the UK. For contraception and sexual health advice, you can:

  • Visit your GP
  • Visit a sexual health centre
  • Visit a pharmacy

Women who have had unprotected sex can get emergency contraception to prevent pregnancies from any pharmacist, their GP or a sexual health centre up to 5 days after sex. You should see someone as soon as possible (ideally within 12-24 hours) for emergency contraception to be most effective. There is usually a cost if you go to a pharmacist. 

For more information, visit the NHS website.

Mental health support

Counselling and wellbeing services provided by Aston University 

We provide free and confidential counselling services for students who are having mental or emotional problems, including homesickness.  

Visit the counselling web pages for more details.

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