Student health services

Details of health service providers.

During your time in Edinburgh, there may be occasions when you need to see a health care specialist such as a doctor, dentist or optician. A range of health and supporting services are provided by the University and throughout Edinburgh.

University Health Service

The University Health Service is an independent medical practice. It offers full general practitioner (GP) services to patients who live in the practice area, including:

  • comprehensive medical care
  • contraceptive advice
  • antenatal services
  • child welfare services
  • nursing services

University Health Service website

Find a doctor

If you reside outside the University Health Service practice area you will need to register with a GP in the appropriate catchment area. To find a GP nearer your home, use the GP finder on the NHS website:

Find your local GP


You will need to register with a dentist to receive any dental work.

You can register with any dentist as it is not restricted to your home address (unlike your GP practice)

Registering with an NHS Dentist will be more cost-effective (typically you would only pay for 20% of the total cost) and there are many dentists in and around Edinburgh that you can access.

You can find an NHS Dental Practice on the NHS Inform website by entering your postcode:

Find your local NHS dentist 

Register with an NHS Lothian dentist (NHS Lothian provides healthcare services in the City of Edinburgh)


If you experience any problems with your eyes, you will need to see an optician.  

Free eye tests, funded by the NHS, are available to Scottish residents (aged 16-60) every 2 years, if required. You may be able to obtain a free NHS eye examination but you will need to ask an optician’s practice whether they offer this service. 

Please note that the cost of prescription glasses or contact lenses is rarely covered by the NHS.

You can find an optician on the NHS Inform website by entering your postcode:

Find your local NHS optician

NHS Lothian Optician information (NHS Lothian provides healthcare services in the City of Edinburgh)

Vitality Dental and Optical Care

Located inside the Potterrow student union building, Vitality Dental and Optical Care is an independent medical practice that provides services for students, such as:

  • free registration and free examinations
  • NHS services
  • cosmetic treatments

Visit the Vitality Dental website

Visit the Vitality Optical website

NHS 24: out-of hours support

If you need urgent help for a medical issue outside of normal GP hours, you can call the NHS 24 service on 111.

If you are seriously ill or injured, you should call 999.

NHS 24 website