Subject focus: Medicine in Australia and New Zealand

 Monash UniversityStudy Options’ monthly course spotlights are designed to give you more detail on the range of programmes available at Australian and New Zealand universities within a subject area.  The second feature in our series covers medicine and we've chosen to profile a few key programmes, below.

Australian and New Zealand medical qualifications have excellent reputations as some of the strongest and most rigorous training programmes in the world. Australian and New Zealand teaching in medicine is based on problem-based learning, integrating medical science and clinical disciplines to ensure an optimum learning experience. In the majority of programmes clinical experience is included from first year.

There several ways to study medicine in Australia and New Zealand. We've labelled the featured programmes below according to which study pathway they follow.

#1. Apply directly from school into an undergraduate degree programme

#2. Apply to a dedicated undergraduate pathway programme which will give you entry into a graduate entry programme

#3. Apply directly to a graduate entry programme

Graduate job prospects

Qualifying as a doctor gives you the opportunity to pursue work anywhere in the world.  If you qualify with a medical degree from an Australian or New Zealand university, in order to work professionally in the UK, you will need to register with the General Medical Council. This requirement applies to any doctor whose medical degree is from a university outside the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA).  Find out more about transferring your Australian or New Zealand medical qualification here or contact Study Options.

Contact Study Options

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Tasmania (#1)

The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Tasmania is a five year professional medical programme.

Years 1-3 of the course are based at the University’s main Hobart campus, in the Medical Science Precinct, with students undertaking short placements in rural communities around Tasmania. During Years 4 and 5, MBBS students have the choice of completing their degree at the Hobart Clinical School, the Launceston Clinical School or the Rural Clinical School in Burnie. These final two years involve a series of clinical rotations, including some electives.

Objectives

The five year MBBS will provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to undertake supervised practice as interns in Australia or New Zealand and an appropriate foundation for lifelong learning and further training in any branch of medicine. The scientific basis of medicine and its clinical application will be taught in an integrated manner which will provide not only clinical relevance, across the five years, but which will also highlight the ethical and professional aspects of medical practice.

Career Outcomes

The profession of medicine offers a diverse range of career opportunities. On completion of the MBBS, graduates work in an approved hospital undertaking general medical training as an intern. Graduates can then choose to specialise in one of a number of fields such as general practice, anaesthesia, dermatology, obstetrics and gynaecology, geriatric medicine, paediatrics, pathology, psychiatry, radiology or surgery. Graduates may also become medical administrators in hospitals or government departments, or medical academics involved with teaching and medical research.

What you’ll study

The MBBS curriculum has four domains as an organising principle under which the learning outcomes are grouped and assessed. The four domains are:

  • Science and Scholarship (the medical graduate as scientist and scholar);
  • Clinical Practice (the medical graduate as practitioner);
  • Health and Society (the medical graduate as a health advocate) and
  • Professionalism and Leadership (the medical graduate as a professional and leader).

They incorporate the University of Tasmania's generic graduate profile and the Australian Medical Council recommendations regarding knowledge, skills and attitudes of a medical graduate in Australia and New Zealand.

In the first three years, students will undertake predominantly campus-based learning programs, including lectures, tutorials and practical classes, with exposure to patient contact in a variety of environments. Year 3 will provide the transitional year to clinical settings and Years 4 and 5 will involve the students in a series of clinical rotations including some electives. In Years 4 and 5 students will undertake clinical placements at one of the three Clinical Schools. 

The curriculum uses a learner-centred approach; specifically it seeks to help students realign their thinking in response to encounters with new information or situations. Teaching and learning strategies have been designed to challenge students to explore their current concepts and develop new thinking.

Another important principle is that of 'situated' learning, which encourages engagement and enhances recall. There will be a focus on weekly Case Based Learning (CBL) activities to aid integration and highlight important concepts. Furthermore, patient contact will be introduced in the first year and be experienced in a variety of environments, exposing students to a range of health-care practices with an emphasis on community, particularly rural learning. This experience will produce graduates with the flexibility to adapt to a range of health-care environments in their future careers. Learning in conjunction with other health professionals will be encouraged, to assist graduates develop team skills and foster a multi-disciplinary approach of health-care.

Professional Experience Placements (PEP)

Students in the MBBS course are required to undertake Professional Experience Placements (PEP) and therefore MUST meet the capacity to practice safely pre-PEP conditions determined by legislative, University policy and professional body requirements. The Faculty, in accordance with the Safety to Practice Policy, assesses students' capacity to practice safely via Safety in Practice Procedures, which check students' criminal history, infectious disease and immunisation status and capacity to safely undertake the mandatory functional requirements of PEP. Students who do not meet the requirements of the Safety in Practice procedures may not be able to undertake professional experience placements and therefore would not be able to complete this course. Students who have not complied or are unsure of the policies should seek guidance from the School.

The final two years of the course are conducted within three Clinical Schools: the Hobart Clinical School, the Launceston Clinical School and the Rural Clinical School; and students will be allocated to any of these three Clinical Schools. Students should expect to spend at least one of the final two years of the course at the Rural Clincial School or the Launceston Clinical School.

How to apply

Minimum entry requirements are three A grades at A-level (AAA) or 36 points in the International Baccalaureate. Please note that you must have an A grade (or the equivalent) in Chemistry in order to be considered for this course. Mathematics is not a pre-requisite subject but is desirable.

Please note that meeting minimum academic entry requirements does not guarantee a place on the course.

Each candidate is assessed on the basis of their academic record at school (as above) and their ISAT test result. You must be able to provide your ISAT test score with the rest of your application in order to be considered for entry (please see deadlines, below). A minimum percentile of 50% is required for ISAT.

The ISAT test result will be used in combination with academic results to determine applicants’ eligibility and ranking. UTas does not require applicants to sit an interview.

No offers will be made until October for places starting the following Semester 1.

Application deadlines

International applications for the MBBS close on 31 August each year. Please note this means that your application must be received by Study Options UK no later than 5pm on Thursday 27 August 2015 (for entry to the course in Semester 1 2016) in order to allow sufficient time for processing.

MBBS tuition fees

Annual fees are approximately AU$53,500. The MBBS is a five year programme.

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Honours) at Monash University (#1)

Why study medicine at Monash? It’s a good question. The MBBS programme requires academic rigour and commitment. Students need a strong sense of purpose and fully fledged support by their families to achieve the goal of becoming a physician.

The Monash University MBBS degree ranks among the best in the world. This is not just down to the University’s ground-breaking research in academic areas that underpin the study of medicine (pioneering IVF in Australia, regenerative medicine and stem cell studies), or the top-level international partnerships the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences has (Monash is a member of the M8Alliance with universities including Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins in the US, the Sorbonne, Charité and the National University of Singapore).

The programme’s reputation is forged by the pursuit of excellence that means only the best students, who meet the rigours of entry, get to study the MBBS. And having the best means Monash’s rate of retention and graduation in this programme is almost perfect.

But this is achieved not just by having great student cohorts. The MBBS faculty ensure students are fully supported to meet the demands of the degree. Lecturers and staff are on hand to assist in the learning experience so students can meet the challenges of the programme head on.

About the Monash MBBS

The course is organised around four broad, integrated themes:

  • Personal and professional development
  • Population, society, health and illness
  • Scientific basis of clinical practice
  • Clinical skills

This course is available as a direct entry degree – students embark on five years of full time study leading to the MBBS directly from secondary school. 

The MBBS begins in semester 1 (February) each year.

Degree structure (direct entry from school)

The first two years of the course are largely campus-based with some clinical placements.

Years three to five are conducted in clinical settings, generally in hospitals and practices across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Year five offers the chance for elective and selective studies.

Graduate Entry

Please note that Monash University also offers a Graduate Entry pathway to the MBBS. This entails four years of study leading to the MBBS having achieved a Bachelor of Science or Biomedical Science (Monash offers a pathway for its Bachelor of Biomedicine degree). Contact Study Options to find out more about this programme.

How to apply: Academic requirements

A Levels – three A grades, which must include Chemistry. Other science subjects (Maths, Biology and Physics) are welcome, but not compulsory.

International Baccalaureate – a minimum score of 39 on the IB, including good scores in English and Chemistry. Chemistry must be at Higher level. Other science subjects (Maths, Biology and Physics) are welcome, but not compulsory.

You must also have achieved at least a grade B in English (Language or Literature) at GCSE.

Other requirements:

  • ISAT test score (170 plus)
  • MMI – multiple mini interview

Application process

Students need their final transcripts, an ISAT test score and a Monash application to begin the process. We encourage students to prepare and submit their applications by late August, after the release of their A Level or IB results.

All applicants are ranked according to their respective academic and ISAT test results by the MBBS Admissions team. Those that achieve a strong position will be asked to attend an interview with Monash staff where elements such as critical thinking and empathy will be considered. The interview is face-to-face and cannot be conducted remotely.

Outside of Australia, interviews take place in Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore in the second half of the calendar year. Offers are made to students 6-8 weeks following interview.

Please note there is also an interview round earlier in the year in Toronto, Canada (March). Students can use their predicted grades at A-level or IB, plus an ISAT test score to get an interview at this earlier stage. Conditional offers for the MBBS program can be made 6-8 weeks following the interview. This option is best suited for students who are also applying to medical programmes in the UK and who need to get a decision on their application in Australia BEFORE August.

Accreditation in Australia

Following the completion of the degree students may seek to undertake an internship for one year in Australia to become a Registered Medical Office (RMO). Note Monash does not arrange internships.

Bachelor of Clinical Science/Doctor of Medicine at Flinders University (#2)

The School of Medicine at Flinders University offers an undergraduate double degree pathway where two years studying the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences lay the scientific foundation prior to commencing the Doctor of Medicine.

Located in Adelaide, South Australia, the Flinders School of Medicine is a place where students thrive in a culture of clinical excellence, world-renowned educational programmes, and inspiring research that can make a difference to the way we live. With our diverse, international campus community, students can form networks and lasting friendships that span the globe.

The Bachelor of Clinical Science/Doctor of Medicine pathway is only available to school leavers who do not have a record of study at a higher education level. You must hold a valid International Student Admissions Test (ISAT) score and meet minimum academic results in secondary school as determined by Flinders University.

Why study the Bachelor of Clinical Science/Doctor of Medicine at Flinders?

A brand new opportunity

Our BCS/MD programme is newly available to international students, with the first international cohort having commenced in 2015.

Our values

We value diversity and equity, and encourage applicants from a variety of academic backgrounds, both science and non-science.

History and standing

We were the first Australian Medical School to offer a graduate entry medical course in 1996.

Status

Flinders School of Medicine is recognised nationally and internationally for its innovative curriculum, now used by other schools in Australia and overseas.

Quality learning environment

Small class sizes (approximately eight per Problem Based Learning group) and only 140 in our Adelaide cohort in total creates a quality learning environment where you quickly get to know students and teachers by first name.

Competitive course fees.

The fees for the first two years of the BCS at Flinders are charged at a lower rate than the four year MD. This means that the total fees for the six year BCS/MD work out as less than a full six or seven year MBBS degree.

Clinical exposure

You will have many unique clinical education options during years three and four of your programme, ranging from traditional rotations in big city hospitals, through single rotations or year-long involvement in health care delivery in outer urban, rural or remote communities, to electives almost anywhere in the world.

Alternative exit strategy

The six year BCS/MD double degree includes exit strategies for students not wishing to progress to the MD, and includes the option to complete a three year Bachelor of Medical Science (BMS) or Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS).

On campus accommodation guaranteed

Successful BCS/MD international applicants have the guarantee of on-campus accommodation (catered or self-catered options).

Immersion and integration into university culture

As a bachelor pathway, the first two years of the BCS gives students the chance to settle into university life prior to commencing the rigorous four-year medical programme.

The course in detail

Students accepted into the Bachelor of Clinical Science/Doctor of Medicine (BCS/MD) study the BCS component for two years, which lays the scientific foundation prior to commencing the MD in year three. The MD takes a further four years to complete, making the programme six years long in total.

Core topics in the Bachelor of Clinical Science (BCS) include biology, chemistry, physiology and communication skills, with extensive access to elective topics in a diverse range of medical disciplines, including neuroscience, immunology, microbiology and pathophysiology.

In second year, students are often taught by senior academic staff involved in the MD programme, allowing them to familiarise themselves with subject matter and lecturers who will guide their MD studies. Students have the option of studying one of two topic streams: the biomedical science or health science stream.

The six-year BCS/MD double degree includes exit strategies for students not wishing to progress to the MD program, and includes the option to complete a three year Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMS) or Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS).

No prerequisite subjects

Flinders University values diversity, and in keeping with this values statement there is no prerequisite subject/s for undergraduate applicants. Students are assessed on their academic achievements at school, and come from a variety of different subject backgrounds.

By encouraging applicants from different academic backgrounds we work towards graduating medical practitioners with a broad spectrum of experiences and backgrounds to cater for the society as a whole.  This is especially evident in Problem Based Learning (PBL) tutorials, where discussions are deep, rich and meaningful; looking not only at disease but also the impact of disease on the whole person and discussing it from various viewpoints.

Innovative curriculum in the Doctor of Medicine

Flinders is known for innovations such as being one of the first graduate medical schools in Australia, one of the first to adopt Problem Based Learning (PBL) and the first to offer a year long placement in a rural setting during year 3 of the Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Our PBL curriculum has been adopted by several national and international medical schools.

The PBL format of years 1 and 2 in the MD integrates clinical medicine with a strong underpinning of the relevant biomedical science.

In the final two years of the MD, students predominantly work alongside practicing clinicians as ‘apprentice’ doctors, with many clinical education options available. Some of these unique clinical options include:

    • The Parallel Rural Community Curriculum (PRCC), a year long rural placement;
    • Six month placements in the Northern Territory of Australia in remote communities and/or the Royal Darwin Hospital;
    • The Onkaparinga Clinical Education Program (OCEP), six months in an urban general practice and six month rotations in a community hospital; and
    • Longitudinally Integrated Flinders Training (LIFT), a year long longitudinal integrated clerkship in a teaching hospital where students care for patients under the direction of a clinician for a length of time, resulting in the student experiencing the required core competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously.

In the final year of the MD, our students are given the opportunity to undertake a six week elective anywhere in the world.

Application information

To apply for the Flinders BCS/MD, prospective students require a valid ISAT ranking score within the range determined by Flinders University (currently a ranking of 50% or more), and must meet minimum academic results in secondary school as determined by Flinders University (currently ATAR or ATAR equivalent of 95% minimum. This would equate to an A-level score of ABB, or an IB score of 34.)

Applications should be submitted online. Please contact a student advisor at Study Options for full advice of the application process.

Applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be ranked according to their ISAT ranking score and will be offered an interview based on this ranking.

The interview is an important component of the application process, as it assesses qualities that are considered important to participation in the medical course and for a career in medicine. These qualities include:

  • a pro-social attitude
  • personal management and self-evaluation skills
  • motivation
  • effective communication skills

After the interview has been undertaken a score is assigned to each applicant. Applicants will then be re-ranked to determine a final ranking score according to an equal weighting of three scores – secondary school results, ISAT score and interview score. Places will be offered based on this final ranking.

Tuition fees

Bachelor of Clinical Science (2 years): AU$26,100 per year

Doctor of Medicine (4 years): AU$56,400 per year

Please note that international tuition fees may be subject to change.

Student Testimonials

Please note:

  • This information is accurate at the time it is provided. Admission requirements for medicine are currently under review and changes may be made for the 2016 admission intake which may impact on your eligibility for admission.
  • There are limited possibilities for international students to undertake rural placements, as domestic students are preferenced due to government funding allocations.
  • Flinders University is not able to provide a guarantee of a medical internship to its Adelaide-based medical students. Internships do not fall under Flinders University’s authority and are managed by the State and Territory governments of Australia. Each state or territory government undertakes its own internship application process and they reserve the right to have their own allocation process and priority ranking lists offering internships. In South Australia the South Australian Medical Education and Training (SA MET) Unit currently manages the allocation of internship places. All medical students are advised to check their website for details of the process in South Australia.
  • International medical students should seek information about their home country’s internship and registration provisions. All possible avenues for undertaking an internship in home countries or other countries should be explored in the event that an internship is not available in Australia.

Doctor of Medicine at Flinders University (#3)

Flinders University’s School of Medicine offers the Doctor of Medicine (MD), a world-renowned four year postgraduate degree with a nationally and internationally recognised curriculum.

Located in Adelaide, South Australia, the Flinders School of Medicine is a place where students thrive in a culture of clinical excellence, world-renowned educational programs, and inspiring research that can make a difference to the way we live. With our diverse, international campus community, students can form networks and lasting friendships that span the globe.

Why study Medicine at Flinders?

Our values

We value diversity and equity, and encourage applicants from a variety of academic backgrounds, both science and non-science, into our medical programme.

History and standing

We were the first Australian Medical School to offer a graduate entry medical course in 1996.

Status

Flinders School of Medicine is recognised nationally and internationally for its innovative curriculum, now used by other schools in Australia and overseas.

Quality learning environment

Small class sizes (approximately eight per Problem Based Learning group) and only 140 in our Adelaide cohort in total creates a quality learning environment where you quickly get to know students and teachers by first name.

Clinical exposure

You will have many unique clinical education options during years three and four: from traditional rotations in big city hospitals, through single rotations or year-long involvement in health care delivery in outer urban, rural or remote communities, to electives almost anywhere in the world.

The course in detail

During the first two years of the MD you will develop a strong foundation in the basic clinical sciences, as well as in the practical communication, examination and procedural skills essential for practising as a doctor. In the final two years you will mainly work alongside practising clinicians as an ‘apprentice’ doctor.

Based within a major metropolitan hospital in Southern Adelaide, Flinders University has a world-renowned medical programme, with its Problem Based Learning (PBL) based curriculum adopted by several universities nationally and internationally. 

Since 2013 Flinders’ medical programme has been offered as a Doctor of Medicine (MD), integrating research opportunities into the curriculum.

Students are taught by senior academic and clinical staff in Flinders Medical Centre - an integrated academic teaching hospital.

Students interact with real patients from week 1 of the MD, with a number of unique clinical education options during years three and four: from traditional rotations in big city hospitals, through single rotations or involvement in health care delivery in outer urban, rural or remote communities, to electives almost anywhere in the world.

No prerequisite subjects

Flinders University values diversity. In keeping with this values statement there is no prerequisite degree for graduate entry to the medical programme. Students are assessed on their academic standards – their weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) from their undergraduate bachelor degree. Students come from a variety of backgrounds including biomedical sciences, engineering, pharmacy, arts, psychology, education and nursing.

By encouraging applicants from a variety of academic backgrounds we work towards graduating medical practitioners with a broad spectrum of experiences and backgrounds to cater for society as a whole.  This is especially evident in Problem Based Learning (PBL) tutorials, where discussions are deep, rich and meaningful; looking not only at disease but also the impact of disease on the whole person and discussing it from various viewpoints.

Innovative curriculum

Flinders is known for innovations such as being one of the first graduate medical schools in Australia, one of the first to adopt Problem Based Learning (PBL) and the first to offer a year long placement in a rural setting during year 3 of the Doctor of Medicine (MD). Our PBL curriculum has been adopted by several national and international medical schools.

The PBL format of Years 1 and 2 integrates clinical medicine with a strong underpinning of the relevant biomedical science.

In the final two years of the MD, students predominantly work alongside practicing clinicians as an ‘apprentice’ doctor, with many clinical education options available during years 3 and 4.

Unique clinical options include:

    • The Parallel Rural Community Curriculum (PRCC), a year long rural placement;
    • Six month placements in the Northern Territory of Australia in remote communities and/or the Royal Darwin Hospital;
    • The Onkaparinga Clinical Education Program (OCEP), six months in an urban general practice and six month rotations in a community hospital; and
    • Longitudinally Integrated Flinders Training (LIFT), a year long longitudinal integrated clerkship in a teaching hospital where students care for patients under the direction of a clinician for a length of time, resulting in the student experiencing the required core competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously.

In the final year of the MD, Flinders students are given the opportunity to undertake a six week elective anywhere in the world.

How to apply

To apply for the Flinders MD, prospective students require a competitive Grade Point Average (GPA) from a bachelor degree (usually a credit average is competitive), and competitive results from a medical school admissions test (MCAT or GAMSAT).

The bachelor’s degree may be in any area of study and no specific subjects are required.

Applicants’ weighted GPA is based on the last three full-time equivalent years of study in the most recently completed bachelors degree. It is determined by weighting final year studies x3, second year studies x2 and first year studies.

The minimum standard required for GAMSAT is normally 50 for sections I and III and the total score, and 46 for section II.

As of 2013 the minimum standard required for MCAT is normally minimum scores of 8/8/8 (24 total).

International applicants who meet the minimum standard required for GAMSAT/MCAT will be short listed for an interview based on a combination of their admission test score and the weighted GPA as described above.

Flinders University’s semi-structured interview is used to assess personal qualities of applicants.  It has a common set of scenarios and questions for all applicants to assess qualities considered important both for success in medical school and in subsequent medical practice. The qualities identified by consulting within Flinders Medical School and the wider community include:

  • Quality of motivation
  • Learning style and team skills
  • Communication skills
  • Pro-social attitude
  • Personal management and self-evaluation skills
  • Approach to decision-making

After the interview a score is assigned to each applicant. Applicants will then be re-ranked to determine a final ranking score according to an equal weighting of three scores – weighted GPA, GAMSAT/ MCAT, and interview score. Places will be offered based on this final ranking.

Tuition fees

Doctor of Medicine (4 years): AU$56,400 per year

Please note international tuition fees may be subject to change.

Please Note:

  • This information is accurate at the time it is provided. Admission requirements for Medicine are currently under review and changes may be made for the 2016 admission intake which may impact on your eligibility for admission.
  • There are limited possibilities for international students to undertake rural placements, as domestic students are preferenced due to government funding allocations.
  • Flinders University is not able to provide a guarantee of a medical internship to its Adelaide-based medical students. Internships do not fall under Flinders University’s authority and are managed by the State and Territory governments of Australia. Each state or territory government undertakes its own internship application process and they reserve the right to have their own allocation process and priority ranking lists offering internships. In South Australia the South Australian Medical Education and Training (SA MET) Unit currently manages the allocation of internship places. All medical students are advised to check their website for details of the process in South Australia.
  • International medical students should seek information about their home country’s internship and registration provisions. All possible avenues for undertaking an internship in home countries or other countries should be explored in the event that an internship is not available in Australia.