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Student health - what you need to know

Before you leave home

Before you leave home to come to Cardiff we advise that you:

  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. You are recommended to get the MenACWY vaccine.
  • Bring the address of your current GP and NHS Medical Card if you have one.
  • Prepare a summary of any medical history you may have.

Make sure you have a good supply of medication to last until you have registered with a GP in Cardiff.

Register with a GP

We recommend you register with a GP in Cardiff as soon as possible when you arrive.

To register with a GP, you will need to:

  1. Find a surgery near where you are living. See a list of partner doctor surgeries (PDF).
  2. Visit the surgery, taking your NHS card or NHS number (you can get this from your current GP surgery). You will also need the details of your previous doctor surgery.
  3. Ask to register and inform them that you are a student.

Prescriptions in Wales

Residents in Wales get free prescriptions – including students!

Meningitis

Meningitis is prevalent in closed communities, such as halls of residence and university student populations. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of meningitis, not all strains of meningitis can be vaccinated.

If you are under 25 years old and starting university, it is strongly recommended that you have the meningococcal group ACWY vaccine. Contact your GP for more information.

Sexual health

For all information regarding sexual health and family planning, please visit the Family Planning Association website. Visit the Department of Sexual Health for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board for information about local clinics.

Emergency contraception is available from your GP, some local pharmacies or the clinics available in the links above.

Students in Cardiff are able to use the C-Card Scheme to access free condoms and confidential relationship advice. For more information please see the YMCA Cardiff C-Card Scheme.

Free eye tests

Cardiff Metropolitan University has an agreement with Cardiff University's School of Optometry and Vision Sciences to allow all staff and students to receive free eye tests and discounts on prescriptions.

The clinic offers eye examinations both by professional optometrists and by students training for the BSc Optometry who are closely supervised by professional optometrists.  

Currently the clinic offers anyone a free eye examination within the student clinic (October to March) plus a 20% discount on spectacles.

To arrange an appointment or to find out more please call 02920 874357.

EU students

Students from the European Union are advised to follow the same steps above, making sure that you are up to date with all routine vaccines, including Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella and Meningitis ACWY.

All European Economic Area (EEA) students studying on a course lasting at least six months are eligible to register with a GP, including any dependant (spouse, civil partner and/or children) family members living with you in the UK.

If you are on a course lasting less than six months long, you will need to register for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to NHS treatment; you may need to pay at the time and claim the money back when you return home.