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General Health

All students get ill from time to time. Fortunately, Cambridge has a very wide variety of GP practices, a sports injury clinic, dental service, Counselling Service, and Addenbrooke's Hospital. Support is also available from within your college; your tutor, college nurse, college welfare officer or the Students' Unions' Advice Service will be able to offer further assistance should you require it.

By keeping a selection of essential medications at home, you can treat common conditions in a timely manner and avoid unnecessary trips to see your GP. The University's Student Wellbeing page has some guidance on self care.

College nurses

Nearly every college has a Nurse who will operate surgery hours in college during full undergraduate term. You may wish to see the College Nurse yourself to inform him/her of any pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, on arrival. For details of your college nurse, look at the college website, ask the porters or contact your tutor.


Pharmacists are experts in medicines and use their clinical expertise and practical knowledge to advise people on common illnesses such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, rashes and travel advice. You don't need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist, you can just ask them over the counter. A pharmacist can also help you to decide whether you need to seek more urgent or specialist advice.

Registering with a GP

Every student is encouraged to register with a local GP (General Practitioner) surgery on arrival in Cambridge. We have a list of GPs in Cambridge. It's best to find one in the first few weeks if possible. GPs cannot provide short notice, urgent appointments for people who are not registered so by doing so you'll make the process far quicker in the event that you fall ill.

Most GP surgeries are only open Monday to Friday between 7am - 6pm, so if you have a minor illness or injury outside of your GP's opening hours and it can't wait until the GP is open next, call the NHS 111 helpline and seek advice.


For urgent and life threatening medical problems call 999 and ask for the ambulance service. If you are in College and have to call 999, please ensure the Porters' Lodge is also informed straight away so they can assist and ensure that the paramedics can gain the required access immediately and help the paramedics to locate you.

In an emergency you can also go to the nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at Addenbrookes hospital on Hills Road, Cambridge.

Dental Health

Please visit the University's Student Wellbeing pages for information on dental health.

Health costs

Students are not generally exempt from paying prescription charges, dental or optician's costs unless they are under 19 years old. Students 19 or over can only get free prescriptions if they have a Certificate of Exemption. These are available to some students on the grounds of low income but are only valid for six months at a time, so remember to keep applying even if you are well. All home and overseas students can apply for financial help with health costs - NHS prescriptions, dental treatment, sight tests and glasses.

Advice for Freshers

Coming to Cambridge might be the first time you are living on your own, and looking after your own health. One of the most important things to do is make sure you get all your vaccinations up-to-date.

Advice for International Students

If you are a student from outside the UK, you can read more about how to access health services in the UK here. You can also find healthcare advice for students requiring a Tier 4 visa here.

Serious illnesses

Please visit the University's Student Wellbeing pages for information on serious illnesses such as meningitis and anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction) that can affect students whilst at university.

Information on common student health issues

Below are links to NHS information on other common health issues which may affect students

Women's health

The NHS Choices website has extensive information on women's health issues, including breast cancer, cervical cancer, toxic shock syndrome and thrush .

Men's health

The NHS Choices website has extensive information on men's health issues, including testicular cancer and prostate cancer.