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Bulgaria’s worldwide reputation for high quality medical education is built on a solid commitment to excellence and foundations of exceptional medical research. It should come as no surprise, thus, that hundreds of graduates of Bulgarian Medical Universities are innovators in their fields, leaders in their communities and envoys of distinction in their specialty the world over. Better yet, Bulgarian Medical Degrees are recognized globally and enjoy a high reputation in the medical community. Undoubtedly, the Bulgarian Institutions’ high prestige, combined with Bulgaria’s particularly low cost of living, render Bulgaria an ideal and, by extension, well-sought after academic polestar for prospective international students of medicine.

More specifically, Bulgarian Medical Universities offer English and Bulgarian taught programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursery and Midwifery. Additional programs offered only in Bulgarian include Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Public Health, HealthCare, Medical Rehabilitation & Ergotherapy, as well as studies that lead to the professional credentials of Dental Technician, Medical Laboratory Assistant, Assistant-pharmacist, Public Health Inspector, Technical Dental Assistant, Physiotherapy Assistant, Radiology Assistant, Social Worker, and Medical Cosmetics, among others.

Bulgarian Medical University English-taught programs are described below:

Medicine
Medicine is a 6-year taught programme, with instruction exclusively in English, starting with undergraduate degree-level courses that lead to a Master's Degree in medicine upon graduation, whereby the professional qualification of "Physician" is awarded. After this, graduates must pursue specialization via residency practice for 4 to 6 years, whether in Bulgaria or elsewhere. Possession of this Degree entitles the holder to practice medicine in any EU or non-EU country around the globe. English taught courses in Medicine comprise 10 semesters and 1 year (310 calendar days) of state clinical internships. More specifically, the program consists of 2 years of pre-clinical study, 3 years of clinical study and the last year of clinical practice (internship). Hence, the aforementioned first 2 years of medical school focus on the fundamentals as well as science courses, while clinical studies and training examine the application of biomedical science precincts mastered during the first 2 years of medical school, and the last year of medical studies focuses exclusively on practical training. The final assessment of knowledge and expertise acquired by the medical student upon completion of the programme is made by the State Examination Board via comprehensive theoretical and practical examinations. After this, the student must continue with their specialization via residency practice which, if completed in Bulgaria, may be government-funded, sponsored, or self-funded for EU students including Bulgarians, or self-funded for non-EU students, and is completed with the State Specialty Examination after the Ministry of Healthcare has announced residency positions for which students apply through their universities.

Dentistry
Dentistry is a 6-year taught programme, instructed entirely in English, starting at an undergraduate level and leading to a Master’s Degree in dental medicine. Optionally, graduates may choose to specialize for 3-4 years, whether in Bulgaria or abroad. The curriculum includes training in Dental Medicine for 5 years (ten semesters), as well as 2 required practical training sessions that span 30 calendar days (each training covers 150 hours) after the 6th and the 8th semester. Before graduating, students are required to complete 1 year of pre-graduation practice (135 working days or 1080 hours). Theoretical training is conducted via obligatory courses, electives and facultative disciplines in the form of lectures, seminars, practical exercise and self-training. Practical training takes place during the training semester before graduation, and includes internships and rotation, as well as therapeutic activity and instruction in clinics. In order to graduate, students are required to pass the State Final Certification Examination.

Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Medicine studies typically last 5 and a half years, and the language of instruction is English. Starting with courses that focus at an undergraduate level, the programme leads to a Master’s Degree in veterinary medicine. Optionally, graduates may choose to specialize in a field for 3-4 years, whether in Bulgaria or abroad. The curriculum includes 10 semesters of training and 1 semester of a pre-graduation internship culminating with the successful completion of state examinations. More specifically, the programme covers theoretical and practical knowledge of specific clinical subjects, such as animal species, internal, infectious and invasive diseases, toxic and metabolic disorders and finally, impairment by radiation and unfavorable environmental effects on organisms, to name but a few. In order to graduate, students are required to pass the State Final Certification Examination. Graduates have thorough knowledge about diseases common to both man and animals and are able to contribute to the protection of human health through their veterinary practice by helping minimize the incidence of zoonosis. Graduates usually opt for the following professional areas: Veterinary healthcare in districts that are in need for rotating veterinary care or private offices and clinics, Mass-scale industrial food production, Production and distribution of veterinary medicine, veterinary tools and equipment, feed and feed additives, or may opt to become teachers themselves.

Pharmacy
The Pharmacy programme lasts 5 years, commencing with undergraduate level courses and leading to a Master's Degree upon graduation. Subsequently, candidates may choose to pursue specialization in a particular area for 3 years, whether in Bulgaria or abroad. Courses are taught entirely in English, while training comprises 9 semesters and 6 months of pre-graduation practical training. Typically, the academic program focuses on 39 subjects. In particular, after their 5th semester, students can choose from additional specializations in Industrial Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacy. In order to graduate, students are required to pass the State Final Certification Examination on five subjects (pharmacognosy, pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutical technology and social pharmacy) or to prepare and defend a Degree thesis.

Nursing
The programme in Nursing lasts 4 years, with courses and practical training taught exclusively in English, and leads to a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. The curriculum consists of 7 semesters that focus on theoretical and practical study at the Medical University and the University hospital, and 1 semester of state clinical practice or internship. Courses focus on a wide range of theoretical and clinical knowledge in the form of lectures, seminars, educational workshops and individual work. More specifically, theoretical knowledge is acquired through compulsory and elective subjects within the approved study plan stipulated in the academic calendar, while the choice of courses pertaining to clinical knowledge is based on clinical training. Lastly, graduate practice takes place with a focus on specific nursing clinical specialties. This degree entitles the holder to pursue further studies at a Master's level in Nursing or related medical fields, either in Bulgaria or abroad.

Midwifery
The programme in Midwifery lasts 4 years, with courses and practical training taught entirely in English, and leads to a Bachelor’s Degree in Midwifery. The program consists of 7 semesters, during which students focus on both theoretical and practical study, and one semester of either state clinical practice or an internship. Academic training includes theoretical and clinical courses in the form of lectures, seminars and individual work. The curriculum is structured in such a way so that student training includes advanced clinical and specialty hands-on experience, besides its intensive theoretical focus. Training received in the Midwifery programme incorporates all modern medical advances and necessary knowledge pertaining to obstetric and gynecological practices, so as to advance students' education with an all-encompassing experience on related subjects. Typically, graduates of midwifery programmes have a solid theoretical and practical training of midwifery, and are entitled to work in obstetrics and gynecology hospitals besides departments of preventive medicine, as well as related medical and scientific research institutes. This degree entitles the holder to pursue further studies at a Master's level in Midwifery or related medical fields, either in Bulgaria or abroad.

In general, tuition fees for EU and non-EU students of English taught programs offered by Medical Universities in Bulgaria range between £2,500-6,000 annually. Specifically, studies in Medicine cost between £5,000-6,000 per year, studies in Dentistry approximately cost £6,000 per year and studies in Veterinary Medicine cost range from £2,500 to 3,300 per year. If English is not a candidate's mother tongue, they will either have to submit an internationally recognized certificate of competency in the English language, take an English test or go through a preparatory course to learn English. The preparatory course lasts 9 months and costs between £2,190-3,504, depending on the programme and University academic calendar regulations.

Postgraduate medical study (specializations and doctoral degrees) is offered for free for all EU students after they successfully pass an entrance examination, but non-EU students pay tuition fees in the vicinity of £3,650, depending on programme requirements and the University.

Bulgaria’s Medical Universities and their programs that offer English taught courses are the following:
 

Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Medicine6October6,500
Trakia University Stara Zagora
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Medicine6October6,000
Veterinary5.5October3,500
Sofia Medical University
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Medicine6October7,000
Dentistry6October7,000
Preparatory course (English)1October3,358
Plovdiv Medical University
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Medicine6October7,000
Dentistry6October7,000
Preparatory course (English)1October2,190
Varna Medical University
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Medicine6October & February7,000
Dentistry6October & February7,000
Preparatory course (English)1October2,920
Pleven Medical University
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Medicine6February6,500
Nursing4October2,409
Midwifery4October2,409
Preparatory course (English)1October2,409
Forestry Veterinary University Sofia
ProgrammeDuration (years)EnrollmentTuition Fees per Year (£)
Veterinary Medicine5.5October4,000

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