Alternative titles for this job include General practitioner, doctor

General practitioners (GPs) are doctors who provide medical services to people in their practice.

Average salary (a year)

£26,350 Starter


£85,298 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 50 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a GP

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You'll need to complete:

  • a 5 year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • a 2 year foundation course of general training
  • a 3 year specialist training course in general practice

If you don't have qualifications in science, you may be able to join a 6 year degree course in medicine. This includes a 1 year pre-medical or foundation year.

When you apply for a course in medicine, you may be asked to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you'll need on the course like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels at grade A in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject
  • 7 GCSEs, including sciences, with 5 subjects at grades 9 to 7 (A* or A) and English and maths at least grade 6 to 5 (B)

More information

Volunteering and experience

Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The British Medical Association (BMA) has information on finding a placement.

More information


Further information

Health Careers and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have more information about becoming a GP.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of English language
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • making a diagnosis
  • giving general advice
  • prescribing medicine
  • recommending treatment
  • carrying out minor surgery
  • referring patients to specialist consultants for tests and further diagnosis

Working environment

You could work at a GP practice, at a health centre or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

You could move into medical work in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, the police or the prison service.

You could also work in education, teaching students training to be GPs.

You might also get involved in local health issues, maybe as a member of a local medical committee or clinical commissioning group.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a GP right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Science Level 3

  • Provider: Kensington and Chelsea College
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: London

Pre-Access to Science & Nursing

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: King's Lynn

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