Guide to becoming a doctor in Australia

September 28, 2016

This guide puts together in one place an overview of all the necessary information on the medical schools in Australia, the different programmes available and the application process for anyone who is considering a career path in medicine in Australia.

Medical schools & programmes in Australia

Australia has 19 medical schools. The majority of schools offer the MBBS (Doctor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery) degree though some may offer the BMed or Bachelor of Medicine instead.

The medical programmes in Australia are divided into two categories:

Undergraduate Entry: This programme is more suited for school-leavers as you can apply for it directly from high school. The typical duration of the Undergraduate Entry programme is 6 years.

Graduate Entry: You need a current Bachelor’s degree to register for the Graduate Entry programme. It tends to draw a wider range of entrants from diverse academic backgrounds. The typical duration of this program is 4 years. Upon completion of the graduate entry program, you will obtain a Bachelor Degree in Medicine and not a postgraduate degree.

Universities that offer undergraduate-entry medical programs only

Click on the universities to find out more.

University of Western Sydney
Bond University
University of Newcastle
University of Tasmania
James Cook University
University of Adelaide
University of New South Wales

Universities with graduate-entry medical programs only

Click on the universities to find out more.

Australian National University
Griffith University
Notre Dame University, Sydney
University of Wollongong
University of Sydney
Flinders University
University of Queensland
Notre Dame University, Fremantle
Deakin University
University of Melbourne
University of Western Australia

The Monash University Medical School is the only one that offers both undergraduate and graduate-entry programme.

Entry requirements & process

The process involved in gaining admission into any of the undergraduate or graduate medical programmes varies between the universities and states as well. However, there are some standard requirements that all applicants are required to comply with.

Application to the Undergraduate Entry Programme: Application for an Undergraduate programme must be made to the relevant state tertiary admission centre. Most medical schools require applicants to pass an aptitude test called the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test or the UMAT. This test is divided into 3 sections – empathy, visual spatial skills, and problem-solving skills.

Application to the Graduate Entry Programme: At this time, the application process is the same for all graduate entry programs. Applicants are first required to pass the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test or the GAMSAT. This test is held every year in March and the cut-off date for applying for the exam is in January. The GAMSAT scores are usually declared in June. Those who pass the test can then apply centrally through the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), stating their individual preferences for the Graduate Entry Programs. Applicants who meet the requirements of the respective medical school will be called for an interview.

Internship & residency

All Australian medical graduates must complete 1 year of internship in a public hospital before they can obtain full medical registration. During the final year of medical school, med students can choose their preferred hospital in which they would like to do their internship.