Medicine Outside the UK: Applying to Australia and New Zealand

Last updated: 15/08/2020

Despite the language barriers and cultural differences between communities around the world, the principles of modern medicine are universal. While unfamiliar social beliefs may offer inconsistent portrayals of what ‘normal’ looks like, human anatomy does not. Choosing to study medicine outside of the UK will be a huge decision with many factors for you to consider but it is entirely possible. 

While personal circumstance will ultimately play a deciding role, the next three articles will focus on the tangible facts you should think about to help you figure out if this is the best option for you. 

For the sake of brevity, we will be focusing on regions commonly considered by students from the UK. So if you were thinking of studying elsewhere, it would be best to contact specific medical schools for their policies and entry requirements. You should also do some research into the possibility of coming back to work for the NHS as some degrees are not recognised by the General Medical Council.

Australia and New Zealand

Medical school accreditation in Australia and New Zealand is monitored and awarded by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) which work closely together to ensure the quality of medical education programmes. The full list of accredited medical schools along with their programme descriptions can be found here

Pathway Options 

  • 5-6 year Undergraduate degree (MBBS, MBChB, MD) 
  • 6-7 year Double Degrees - Accelerated undergraduate degrees with pathways into medicine usually contingent on maintaining a high GPA average 
  • 4 year Graduate Entry degree (MChD, MD)

Entrance Exams

  • International Student Admissions Test (ISAT)
  • University Clinical Aptitude Test for Australia and New Zealand (UCAT ANZ)*
  • Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT) 

*If you’re applying to medical schools in both Australia and the UK, you will not be required to take the UCAT twice; more information can be found here.

Interview

Selection into an AUS/NZ medical school will also require assessment in the form of an interview and this can take place as a traditional panel or MMI; similar to that of the selection process for UK medical schools. 

Academic Requirements

Medicine in Australia/New Zealand is considered very competitive and typically requires a 38-39 at IB and a score of 15-16 at A level, which roughly converts to 3As depending on the medical school. Programmes will usually have limited spaces open to international students. 

English Language Requirements

Generally, a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is sufficient proof of proficiency required for entry to the course but this varies and we advise you check with the specific medical school you are applying to.  Other recognised qualifications include the PTE, TOEFL and English A Level but specific requirements vary according to university. 

How to Apply

Domestic students who hold residency in Australia or New Zealand will be required to apply either with their chosen university, and this case should contact them directly, or through the state equivalents of UCAS; a list of which can be found here.

International students can choose to apply through StudyOptions, the official representative of Australian and New Zealand universities in the UK and Ireland or alternatively, apply directly to their chosen universities. 

Deadlines

  • Applications for undergraduate entry open at different times of the year depending on the university and usually close in August or September.
  • Applications for graduate entry usually open in May and close in June

Make sure to check the websites of individual universities to ensure that you do not miss the deadline.

Fees

International student fees are more expensive than domestic fees and range from A$55,000 to A$71,000 per year which roughly converts to £30,100 to £38,000 (accurate as of 2020). 

Recognised by the GMC?

As of 2020, all medical school programmes offered in Australia and New Zealand are recognised by the GMC. Hence, upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the GMC, which will allow you to work in the NHS (although finding a job is not guaranteed upon registration). 

Can I stay on in Australia upon graduation?

At the moment, Australian trained international medical graduates are able to stay on and work their intern year in public hospitals and access vocational medical training. However an internship position is not guaranteed and students will also need to secure a work visa before they are able to do so. 

Options Available

A summary of the undergraduate programmes available can be seen in the list below and are accurate as of 2020 but are subject to change and we advise you contact the universities directly for any queries you may have.

UG = Undergraduate, DD = Double Degree

Flinders University

  • Program: DD 6 Year BClinSci / MD
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 13 / 34
  • Entrance Exam: ISAT

Griffith University

  • Program: DD 6 Year BMedSci with MD Provisional Entry
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 16 / 34
  • Entrance Exam: None

James Cook University

  • Program: UG 6 Year MBBS
  • International Places: 40
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 14 / 35
  • Entrance Exam: None

Macquarie University

  • Program: DD 6 Year BClinsci/MD
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: AAA / 32
  • Entrance Exam: None

Monash University

  • Program: DD 5 Year BMed/MD
  • International Places: 70
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 15 / 39
  • Entrance Exam: ISAT

University of Adelaide

  • Program: UG 6 Year MBBS
  • International Places: 34
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 12 / 31
  • Entrance Exam: UCAT ANZ

University of Auckland

  • Program: Transfer into MBChB from BHSc or BSc at University of Auckland
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: BBB / 33
  • Entrance Exam: UCAT ANZ

University of New South Wales

  • Program: DD 6 Year BMed/MD
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 17 / 38
  • Entrance Exam: ISAT

University of Otago

  • Program: Transfer into MBChB from Health Sciences First Year Course from University of OTago
  • International Places: 5
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 8 / 24
  • Entrance Exam: UCAT ANZ

University of Sydney

  • Program: DD 7 Year BSci/MD or BA/MD
  • International Places: 10
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 3A *A / 43
  • Entrance Exam: None

University of Tasmania

  • Program: UG 5 Year MBBS
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: AAA / 36
  • Entrance Exam: ISAT

University of Western Australia

  • Program: Direct pathway to medicine upon completion of UWA Bachelor's Degree
  • International Places: Limited
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: 14 / 38
  • Entrance Exam: ISAT

Western Sydney University

  • Program: DD 5 Year BClinSci/MD
  • International Places: 20
  • A Level / IB minimum requirement: AAA* / 36
  • Entrance Exam: ISAT

Where A level requirements are represented by points instead of grades:

A*= 6 points

A = 5 points

B = 4 points

C = 3 points

D = 2 points

E = 1 point

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