It’s available to people whose annual income (including student maintenance loans), savings and investments doesn’t exceed £16,000 and if you’re eligible, you’ll receive either full help (an HC2 certificate) or partial help (HC3 certificate) with your healthcare costs. Visit the LIS page on the NHS website to apply.


Dental care

Even on the NHS, dental treatment can be very expensive. However, if you’re under 19 and in full-time education you’re eligible for free dental care, so make sure to book a check-up before you hit that big 1-9!

If you have an HC2 or HC3 certificate, you’ll be entitled to full or partial help, depending on which certificate you hold.

You should register with an NHS dentist as soon as you move into your student accommodation in Leeds. You may have to look around or join a waiting list, so put this task at the top of your to-do list.

Remember, prevention is better (and much cheaper) than cure, so make sure to book twice-yearly check-ups to keep on top of your dental health.



Prescriptions are free for holders of an HC2 certificate and under 18s in full-time education.

If that’s not you, then you’ll have to pay for your prescriptions.

The current cost for a single item is £9.15. If you’re going to need regular prescriptions, it’s worthwhile investing in an NHS prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). It will cover all your NHS prescriptions, including dental, for a fixed fee, which you can either pay for upfront or by direct debit. There’s a 3-month and a 12-month option and both will save you money if you have regular prescriptions – up to £333.30 if you need four monthly prescriptions over a 12-month period.


Eye tests, glasses and contact lenses

Making sure your eyes are in tip-top condition is crucial when you’re studying, so don’t neglect your check-ups. If you’re still 18, make sure you book an eye test before your 19th birthday as they’re free until then for full-time students.

HC2 and HC3 certificate holders can either have free or discounted eye tests, depending on which certificate you hold, along with help towards glasses and contact lenses.

If you’re not entitled to free eye tests on the NHS, you’ll find that some high-street opticians, such as Specsavers and Boots offer free tests for first-time customers and good deals on glasses as well.



As a student living in Leeds, you have free access to the city’s sexual health services. Leeds Sexual Health runs a C-Card scheme that offers free condoms for under 25s. Other contraception, such as the pill or implants are also free; simply get in touch with Sexwise or book an appointment with your GP.

It’s important to look after your sexual health, so if you are worried about STIs, you can get a free test at your GP’s or a Leeds Sexual Health clinic.



Before you start university you should check your medical records to make sure you’ve had two doses of the MMR vaccine, as well as the MenACWY vaccine, which protects against meningitis and septicaemia. The MenACWY is offered to anyone under 25, so contact your GP for this vaccine if you haven’t had it.

If you have an existing health condition such as asthma or diabetes, you will be eligible for a free flu jab. Or you can get one for around £13 at shops including Lloyds Pharmacy and Boots.


Mental health care

Student living in Leeds can be lots of fun, but the reality of studying and being away from home for the first time can also put pressure on your mental health.

If you’re struggling, get in touch with your university; they have dedicated free support to help students in your situation. Or contact organisations like Student Minds or your GP for help.


Armed with this information, you’ll be able to stay on top of your health while you’re at university, and hopefully save a little extra for the fun stuff too.