I become unwell

what can I do

It is important that you register with a doctor (also known as a General Practitioner or GP) as soon as you arrive in the UK, this will save you time and inconvenience if you do become unwell.

If you become unwell LSE has lots of support and advice to help you. 

Expand the sections below to find out how to access healthcare whilst you are studying at LSE.

Registering with a doctor and the National Health Service (NHS)

The NHS provides health treatment for those living in the UK, most of which is free.

You can only access the NHS if you are registered with a General Practitioner (GP); these are also sometimes known as family doctors. As soon as you arrive in London, you should register with a GP close to where you live. Do not wait until you are unwell. 

You can find your nearest GP by using the GP finder on the NHS website

Once you have done this check with your local surgery for opening hours and information on making appointments.  You may be asked to provide proof that you are a student when registering with a GP.

After you register, you will receive a personal NHS number which you should keep safe.

For more information visit Healthcare in the UK.

International Students and the NHS

Students from outside the EEA/EU

Overseas students on full-time courses lasting 6 months or longer are usually eligible for NHS treatment. The UKCISA webpages (the UK Council for International Student Affairs) and the NHS website are good places for overseas students to find information about UK health services and eligibility for NHS care.

Even if you are eligible for NHS treatment you may have to pay for prescription medicines. Your doctor or local pharmacist can advise you.

EEA/EU Nationals

It is a requirement that that EEA students and their family members have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (if they are not also in the UK as a worker or as a self-employed person).  Up-to-date information on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance can be found on the UKCISA web pages.

Most EEA citizens can use an EHIC card (obtained in their home country before travel to the UK) to access NHS health care whilst in the UK providing they are in the UK on a temporary basis. For more information visit EU and EAA Nationals

Accessing emergency and urgent care

In an emergency you should dial 999 to call the ambulance, police, fire or coast guard services. This is a free call. A 999 call should only be made in a genuine emergency.

You can also visit the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital. Less severe injuries can be treated in minor injuries services and NHS walk-in centres, which treat patients without an appointment.

Find your nearest A&E
Find your nearest NHS walk-in centre

Private health insurance

You may decide to take out private health insurance during your stay in the UK. There are many companies who provide a range of private services. LSE is unable to make recommendations about the best private health insurance provider for your needs.

If becoming unwell starts to have an impact on your studies please let us know as soon as possible so that we can discuss the options with you. Expand the sections below for more information. 

Short absences due to illness 
let you teachers and department know

If you miss any classes and/or seminars you must let the relevant teacher know so that they can mark you as absent with a reason on the register. If you do not inform them they will mark you as absent without a reason. 

Multiple absences will be investigated by your department and/or the Student Services so it is important that you are pro-active in letting us know.

If you expect to be absent for more than a week you can request an 'Approved Absence' from your Departmental Tutor or Programme Director. 'Approved Absences' are not guaranteed and evidence may be required.

Please remember that attendance is a key responsibility for Tier 4 students.

Longer absences due to illness
consider interrupting your studies

Unfortunately there may be circumstances where your illness persists or you need to seek continuing medical care. 

If you are not well enough to continue your studies you should consider interrupting your studies.  

LSE would encourage this if you have missed an extended period of teaching. 

Interruptions are not guaranteed and evidence will be required. 

For more advice contact the Advice Team.

Illness before and during exams and other assessments

An illness may affect your academic ability and this may impact on your overall exam performance . 

LSE operates a 'fit to sit/fit to submit' policy, which means that if you submit an assessment you are declaring yourself well enough to do so. Therefore, if you are unwell you should carefully consider whether you are fit to sit/fit to submit.

There is more advice if you fall ill during your exams at What if... I become unwell during my assessments? 

Becoming pregnant

Please visit What if I become pregnant for more information.



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