Study Medicine in Spain

Plenty of reasons come into the surface when thinking about why Spain is such an ideal study destination. For one, it has the perfect balance of quality education and a great outdoors, which, when matched with the cost of studying in Spain, makes for quite a combination of traits. To study medicine in Spain for international students, factors such as language and other requirements play an essential role, especially for students outside of the European Union. In the sections below, we have elaborated the whys and hows of studying medicine in Spain for international students. It is fair to say that the advantages are numerous and all it takes is the right amount of determination, towards to road of becoming a doctor. 

Why Study Medicine in Spain?

Spain is a beautiful country, with a unique culture, exquisite outdoors, impressive cuisine, and a great higher education system renowned internationally for its teaching and research. Spain’s thriving international student population gives it an extra edge in diversity, the meeting of cultures, and personal growth. Studying medicine in Spain can be quite a fulfilling experience for international students. 

So, to sum up, the top reasons on why to study medicine in Spain are:

  • Internationally-renowned universities: Spain has highly ranked universities, with five of them even ranking in the top 200 worldwide universities for medicine. 
  • Great international student community: Back in 2015, there were only 153,193 international students in Spanish universities, which has increased by almost 30% within three years.
  • Beautiful culture: Spanish culture is entertaining, impressive, and exceptional. With the flamenco dance, great food, and an untiring desire to live life to the fullest, Spain is undoubtedly a place to study and relax.
  • Affordable tuition fees: In comparison to destinations like the US, Australia, or the UK, the cost of studying medicine for international students in Spain is both affordable and reasonable.

How to Study Medicine in Spain? 

Studying medicine in Spain, and in any other country as an international student, means you will have to meet specific requirements, related to previous education, student visa, and language requirements. Students who have completed previous education outside of Spain should first apply to verify their qualifications, at the Spanish embassy in their country. In order to study medicine in Spain, international students are usually required to speak the Spanish language, considering that most programmes are taught in Spanish.

Spanish universities offering Medicine degrees were among the first in the Spanish higher education system to introduce a limited number of available open positions known as ‘numerus clausus’. Meaning, medical schools in Spain have a maximum number of students they can admit. The reason for the limitation of open positions was to allow students to get better practical knowledge and avoid overcrowding during hospital training.

After gaining admission to a medical school in Spain, students travelling from non-EU countries must also obtain a student visa to enter and reside in Spain. International students can apply for their student visa at the closest Spanish embassy or consulate in their home country. 

The required documents for a Spanish student visa typically include the following:

  • Completed visa application form(s).
  • Valid passport.
  • Valid ID. 
  • Two recent passport photos.
  • Letter of acceptance.
  • Health insurance.
  • Proof of financial stability.

How Long Does it Take to Study Medicine in Spain?

It will take approximately six years to study medicine in Spain and fully complete a medical programme. The two first years focus on pre-clinical medicine study, which will teach the fundamentals of medical sciences in biology, physics, basic anatomy, physiology, and the normal and abnormal processes within the organ systems. Usually, this is the only period students will have a dedicated time to learn the basic fundamentals of medicine. After having completed pre-clinical training, students will begin their clinical studies under the supervision of doctors. After six years, students can proceed to their specialisation for further training. 

Can I Study Medicine in Spain in English? 

In general, to study medicine in Spain in English, students must know a bit of the Spanish language as well. Most medical programmes are in Spanish, with only a few exceptions where universities mix English and Spanish. You will likely be able to find more English-taught medical programmes at private universities than public universities. If you are interested in pursuing a medical degree and are willing to learn the Spanish language (or already can speak Spanish), you should definitely consider the higher education expertise Spain has to offer. 

How Much Does it Cost to Study Medicine in Spain?

The fees to study medicine in Spain are reasonable and relatively inexpensive, especially in comparison to larger international student hubs, like the US. Just like in any other country, there are significant differences between tuition fees in public and private universities, where private universities have higher tuition fees across their degree programmes.

As to how much it costs to study medicine in Spain for international students, it is fair to say Spanish universities have among the lowest tuition fees in Europe. Specifically, undergraduate programmes can range up to €3,000 per year. At private universities, who set their own fees, the cost of studying medicine can go as high as €20,000 per year.

Which Are the Top Medical Schools in Spain? 

The top medical schools in Spain are also continuously ranked among the top worldwide universities. For example, QS World University Rankings in the field of medicine ranks 5 Spanish universities among the top 200 worldwide universities. Medical schools in Spain are renowned for their state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, and academic excellence. 

Here are the top medical schools in Spain: 

1. University of Barcelona

The University of Barcelona in Spain prides itself for its quality and tradition in medical teaching and training. This university has been training many generations of great doctors, who have made their best contributions to society. The medicine teaching programme at the University of Barcelona pays a lot of attention to the practical component. It includes rotations and clinical practice in many primary care centres and hospitals affiliated to the faculty. Their students get to interact with some of the best professionals in the field of medicine.

2. Autonomous University of Barcelona

The programme in medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona is characterised by its teaching quality and a study plan through clinical practices. Through this programme, students integrate into the competitive research environment and become familiar with the latest scientific advances. Students get to obtain the most specialised medical knowledge earning practical skills at the largest healthcare centres in the university’s vicinity. Apart from this, exceptional importance is placed in gaining communication and teamwork skills, which are often crucial in the profession.

3. Autonomous University of Madrid

This university, located in the Spanish capital, has a dedicated medicine campus north of Madrid. The medical programme at this university is renowned for its educational quality and its teaching and learning methods and facilities. Students get to obtain the necessary skills to become great at their profession and, then, be able to contribute to society for the better. Studying medicine at this university means you will gain your knowledge from one of the best schools in Spain. 

4. Complutense University of Madrid

The Faculty of Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid is known for its excellence and expertise. This university has one of the highest demands for studies in this area, providing programmes in medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, etc. Students learn from the finest teaching methods, clinics, and laboratories to obtain the crucial aspects of medicine and their chosen profession.

5. University of Navarra

Also listed among the top medical schools in Spain, the University of Navarra provides its students with the best possible quality, environment, equipment, and facilities to succeed in their profession. The School of Medicine at this university maintains 31 exchange programmes with prestigious universities in 16 countries worldwide, providing students with the possibility to earn international experience and get a global outlook in the world of medicine.