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.
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure to check the websites of individual universities to ensure that you do not miss the deadline.
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).
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).
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.
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
James Cook University
University of Adelaide
University of Auckland
University of New South Wales
University of Otago
University of Sydney
University of Tasmania
University of Western Australia
Western Sydney University
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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