Joining Instructions: Health and Welfare

All full-time students are required to register with a local doctor. The University medical advisors are The Swan Practice, in Buckingham.

All students

Please read the NHS guidance regarding flu to make you aware of symptoms and when to ask for help.

UK students

Students in full-time education who are under the age of 19 are automatically entitled to full help with health costs (except hospital travel, in which case they can apply to the Low Income Scheme).

Students aged 19 and over entering higher education generally have access to their own resources and are no longer classed as dependent children. They can apply to the Low Income Scheme the same as all other adults to see if they qualify for help.

Further information can be found at:

EU students

Most visitors from EU countries have some entitlements to use the NHS.  The precise entitlement varies according to their status (Are they a worker, a pensioner, spouse, child or casual visitor?).  The Family Health Service Association [FHSA] will regard them as being entitled to NHS treatment, except in cases where the visitor has come to this country specifically to try to obtain free treatment.  This treatment will only be free when it is deemed urgent.

Patients from EU countries who have come to this country specifically for treatment should have written approval from their insurance institution to obtain their treatment here and should be able to produce their E111.  Normally they should have made prior arrangements for the treatment.  GPs should make EU patients aware of their entitlements.

N.B. The arrangements for EU members are subject to constant change by the Department of Health so please check the latest information available.

International students

All students who intend to study continuously for a minimum of six months, proving continuity and being “settled” here, are eligible to medical care from the NHS. The student must be registered with a General Practitioner to be eligible for NHS treatment. These regulations also apply to members of their family who must also show that they have a purpose for residing in this country for a minimum of six months, such as continuous study or employment. If the member of family who comes to England does not register with a General Practitioner and has not been resident for six months, he or she is not entitled to free health care.

For registered patients there is always a fee for prescriptions.  That fee is laid down by the Department of Health and is subject to change, usually annually.  Contraception is free.

The exception to all of the above is ante-natal care.  This is at the discretion of the hospital attended.  Should the patient be pregnant on arrival in this country, ante-natal care usually does entail a fee.

If a student, or a member of his or her family, comes to England specifically to obtain treatment, they will be charged as private patients.  Patients are advised to enquire at the hospital about their detailed entitlements and liabilities.  Please make sure that you fully understand.

With countries where we have a reciprocal agreement, NHS treatment will be provided where the need for treatment arises during the visit and it would be unreasonable to delay treatment until the visitor’s intended return home.  NHS treatment therefore will not be delivered unless the treatment is deemed urgent.

Disabilities / Specific Learning Difficulties

Most students who have a disability or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, will have informed the University during the admissions process of their needs.  However if you have not already done so, it is important to contact the Learning Support Adviser / Disability Officer, who is part of the Student Welfare team, as soon as possible after your arrival.  It may be that your disability or learning difficulty is mild, but it is useful to know what additional support is available.  This can include additional arrangements for exams and/or additional learning support sessions.  Where possible information will be treated in confidence.  However, students are encouraged to allow relevant details to be passed on as appropriate to tutors and lecturers concerned with their academic learning.

If you have a concern, and you are not sure who to ask, please feel free to drop in, email or telephone Student Welfare:

18 Hunter Street
Tel: +44 (0)1280 820200
Ext. 2200

Find Your Course

  • New students


    • Thursday 27 September & Friday 28 September
    • Time 10:00 – 16:00
    • Venue: Chandos Road Building, Station Road (see campus map)

    Please allow 2 hours to complete the registration process

  • Student life

    Find out what it is really like to be a student at the University of Buckingham here.