• Medicine subject area. Photo credit: Monash UniversityMedicine subject area. Photo credit: Monash University

Studying medicine in Australia

Australia has long been a favourite destination for medical students taking overseas electives and junior doctors wanting to do a period of training in a less pressured, better paid environment as well as for GPs and consultants looking for a great salary and a great lifestyle. 

So why not take it one step further and do your medical degree in Australia?

Australian medical schools enjoy deservedly excellent international reputations for the quality of their training and research. Five Australian universities are currently ranked in the world’s top 50 for medicine according to the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, with the University of Sydney at number 15, the University of Melbourne at 19, Monash University ranked 29, the University of Queensland 42 and UNSW Australia at 50. 

Medicine in Australia is offered as a postgraduate or an undergraduate course. The postgraduate programme is the Doctor of Medicine; the undergraduate programme the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.

Some Australian universities only teach postgraduate medicine, others offer only an undergraduate programme. There are also a few medical schools that offer courses for both graduates and school leavers.

This section is designed to provide information for both school leaving applicants and graduate entry students about how to apply to study medicine in Australia. 

How do I make an application to an Australian medical school from the UK?

This depends whether you are considered a domestic or an international student in Australia. A domestic student is someone who holds citizenship or permanent residency of Australia, or citizenship of New Zealand, as confirmed by their passport at the point of application. An international student is a citizen of any country other than Australia or New Zealand!

If you are an international student, you will submit your applications via Study Options. Study Options is the official representative of Australian universities in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It’s a free application support service for students, funded directly by Australian universities to help students through the application process on their behalf. Applications lodged via Study Options are fast-tracked through university assessments and are exempt from the usual application fees charged.

If you are a domestic applicant, you will need to apply for a graduate entry (Doctor of Medicine) place directly to an Australian Medical School. If you are applying for an undergraduate programme (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) you will need to lodge your application via the equivalent of UCAS. These university admissions bodies are state-specific in Australia. More information can be found on this page.

Where can I study medicine in Australia?

  • University of Adelaide (UG)
  • James Cook University JCU (UG)
  • University of Tasmania (UG)
  • Monash University (UG and PG)
  • Australian National University (PG)
  • University of Queensland (PG)
  • Deakin University (PG)
  • University of Western Australia (PG)
  • University of Melbourne (PG)
  • Flinders University (PG, P)
  • Griffith University (PG, P)
  • UNSW Australia (PG, P)
  • University of Sydney (PG, P)
  • Bond University (UG. Not open to international students)
  • Curtin University (UG. Not open to international students)
  • University of Newcastle (UG. Not open to international students)

UG: This school teaches Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

PG: This school teaches the Doctor of Medicine

UG and PG: This school offers both undergraduate and graduate entry courses

P: This school has a dedicated undergraduate pathway to their Doctor of Medicine. This route allows high-achieving school leaving students to enrol on a pathway degree (such as the Bachelor of Medical Science or Bachelor of Health Sciences) as part of a special student cohort aiming to complete in two years, rather than the standard three. Provided academic requirements are met during this pathway degree, the student is then guaranteed a place on the University’s Doctor of Medicine programme. They graduate with two degrees.

International students can contact Study Options to request a list of all available programmes.

Programme Options

1. Graduate Entry Medicine (Doctor of Medicine – 4 years)

Eligibility for graduate entry medicine in Australia is based on three factors:

  • Undergraduate degree GPA
  • Aptitude test score  
  • Interview (depending on the school this could be an MMI, a traditional panel interview format or an informal discussion either in person or by distance) 

In order to be eligible to apply, students must have completed an undergraduate degree with a strong GPA (exact requirements vary) and have achieved a minimum score on an aptitude test (please see information below). Provided GPA and aptitude test score requirements are met, some applicants will then be required to do an interview.  

Students can apply for admission to the programmes either during their final year of undergraduate study, or having already completed a Bachelors degree.

Some Australian medical schools have subject pre-requisites (typically in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry) for entry to Doctor of Medicine, including the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Others do not have such pre-requisites and will consider applications from students with a first degree in any academic discipline. Such schools include the University of Sydney and the ANU.

Which aptitude test should I take?

GAMSAT or MCAT. The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is administered by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and is used for applications to graduate entry programmes in Australia, the UK and Ireland. It is available to sit twice a year, in March and September. The test must be taken in person at a test centre (it is not available online). Registrations typically close at the start of the month preceding the test (for example, at the beginning of February for the test in March).

What is the structure and content of GAMSAT?

GAMSAT evaluates the nature and extent of abilities and skills gained through prior experience and learning, including mastery and use of concepts in basic science as well as the acquisition of more general skills in problem solving, critical thinking and writing. The test is divided into three sections (Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences; Written Communication and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences). You will need a minimum score of 50 in each section to be eligible to apply for an Australian Doctor of Medicine programme.

Where can I find out more about GAMSAT?

Please check the ACER website, here.

Where can I find out more about MCAT?

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the aptitude exam required by most US and Canadian medical schools. Please see this page on the Medic Portal website for more information.

You will need a minimum overall score of around 500 in MCAT to be eligible to apply for an Australian Doctor of Medicine programme.

Graduate Entry Medicine: Key facts

Intake dates: The Doctor of Medicine has one intake each year, in Semester 1 (February). Students are required to be on campus early to mid-February in order to attend international student orientation and enrolment. Teaching usually commences on the first Monday of March.

When should I apply? Applications usually open at the beginning of April the year before the intake. Students should have their GAMSAT results either ready to include OR be expecting them at this stage.

How much does it cost? International tuition fees range from A$64,000 to A$73,000 per year.

Funding options: Not available for international students. Domestic students should contact the relevant medical school directly for information.

For more information contact a Study Options advisor, or visit this page to find out about applying for a 2018 start.

2. Undergraduate medicine (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – 6 years)

Students applying for an undergraduate medical degree in Australia will have their applications assessed against three criteria:

  • Academic merit (as demonstrated by grades in A-Levels, International Baccalaureate or equivalent. BTEC Diplomas are not accepted by Australian medical schools as being suitable for entry)
  • Aptitude test score 
  • Interview (the format of this will vary depending on the school. Some interviews are formal and have to be attended in person, others are more relaxed discussions held over Skype or phone)

In order to be eligible to apply, students must have completed their school leaving qualification (or be in the final year of study for that qualification) with strong grades in the required subjects and have achieved a minimum score on an aptitude test (please see information below). Provided academic and aptitude test score requirements are met, applicants are invited to interview for a place on the course. 

What subjects should I study at school to be eligible?

There is some variation in subject pre-requisite requirements but almost all medical schools will require you to have a strong pass in Chemistry (at A2 or Higher Level in IB). Most will also require Maths. Physics or Biology is also recommended.

What grades will I need?

Grade requirements vary between universities between ABB and A*A*A, or between 35 and 43 in the IB. Please note that achieving (or being predicted) the minimum grades required makes you eligible to apply; it does not guarantee you a place.

What aptitude test do I need?

All but one of the Australian universities that require aptitude test results as part of your application require the International Student Admissions Test (ISAT). The exception to this is the University of Adelaide, which runs its own aptitude test, the PQA.

ISAT is administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). It is a 3-hour, computer-based, multiple-choice test. There are no set dates for testing and you can choose to sit the test at a date and time that suits you within an 11-month window.

ISAT is designed to test skills including the ability to reason, make logical deductions and form judgements. It does not examine any particular subject knowledge and is therefore not something that can be revised for. Having some familiarity with the type of questions asked can certainly be an advantage, however, and you can access practice tests on the ACER website.

Please note that you can only take ISAT once within a 12-month period. 

Undergraduate medicine: Key facts

Intake dates: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery programmes (and all undergraduate pathway options to the Doctor of Medicine) have one intake each year, in Semester 1 (February). Students are required to be on campus early to mid-February in order to attend international student orientation and enrolment. Teaching usually commences on the first Monday of March.

When should I apply? Applications usually open at the beginning of March the year before the intake. Application deadlines range from June to the end of September, depending on the university.

How much does it cost? International tuition fees range from A$55,000 to A$71,000 per year.

Funding options: Not available for international students. Domestic students should contact the relevant medical school directly for information.

For more information a contact Study Options student advisor.

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