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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Essential medical information

Registration with a Doctor

We take the health and wellbeing of all our students very seriously. One of your top priorities should be to register with a local medical practice so that you can see a doctor and access health care quickly if you need it. This is especially important if you have an ongoing health condition.

We encourage you to start the process of registration with a doctor in Durham before you arrive at the University. Find out how to register with local Doctors here.


Before coming to University we strongly advise you to establish your own medical history, including your vaccination history, and to ensure your vaccinations are up to date.

It is particularly important that all students have had a vaccination to prevent meningitis and septicaemia. The MenACWY vaccine is highly effective in preventing illness caused by the four meningococcal strains, including the highly virulent Men W strain. In the UK a catch-up programme of vaccinations has been introduced for all first year university students under the age of 25 years. Please arrange an appointment with your current doctor to receive this vaccination before coming to Durham University.

For further information on meningitis and septicaemia please visit the following websites:

NHS Vaccine Information

In recent years there has been a decline in immunity to measles and mumps amongst certain age groups and as a result, there have been outbreaks in universities and colleges. The reason for this decline is that many students will only have had one dose of the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccination compared with the current UK practice of two doses. We advise you to consult with your current doctor and, if necessary, have an MMR booster before you come to University.

A letter regarding vaccinations to share with your current doctor can be downloaded here Download a copy of the letter to your current Doctor here.

If you are unable to receive vaccinations before you arrive at University, you should make an appointment with your Durham practice on arrival.

Medical information for students from overseas

Using our National Health Service
If you are a student from the European Economic Area (EEA) (European Union countries along with Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Norway) you are entitled to free medical care from the National Health Service; however you will need to bring a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by your home country with you, otherwise you may be charged for any hospital treatment you require.

If you are a non-EEA student, you will have already paid a one-time healthcare surcharge as part of your application for a Tier 4 visa which will cover the total time you will be living in the UK. You will then be eligible to receive medical care for most ailments from the National Health Service at no further charge.

For more information please visit:

Leaflets explaining the healthcare entitlements for students, family members of students and visitors from outside the UK can be accessed below:
For EEA students:
For non-EEA students:

Tuberculosis Screening for Students coming from overseas

If you are a student coming from certain countries outside the EEA (European Economic Area), in addition to starting registration with a medical practice in Durham, you should also ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of the Home Office Visa & Immigration Service tuberculosis screening programme. To guarantee that you will be able to enter the UK you must obtain the appropriate medical evidence described on the Home Office Visa & Immigration Service website. Failure to provide this information may result in you being refused entry to the UK.

Details of the need for a tuberculosis certificate and the list of applicable countries are available on UK Government web pages.

We hope that your stay in Durham will be a happy and healthy one. If you have any queries relating to the information contained in this letter please contact your college.

Mr Sam Dale, Director of Student Support & Wellbeing

Your Health and Brexit

We know that the current uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union is concerning for some of our international students. We are working hard for your interests and will keep you informed of developments.