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Study medicine at the University of Sydney

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Overview

In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

Students commencing this course in Semester 1, 2021 are required to commence their studies in-person on campus. Remote study is not available for this course.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely.

About this course

The Sydney Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a masters-level degree that provides students with world-class clinical and research training. On completion, graduates are eligible for registration with the Australian Medical Board as a doctor.

Our course is based on best practice in medical education, with opportunities to learn in Sydney’s premier teaching hospitals as well as in rural and international locations. Graduates leave as medical practitioners, responsive to the health needs of individuals, families and communities and committed to improving the health care system at all levels.

In 2020 a new MD curriculum and course structure will be introduced. The program will maintain the best aspects of the existing course, while enhancing learning opportunities through earlier clinical exposure, added personalisation options, new research opportunities, and immersive clinical placements in the last year of the program, preparing students for practice as a doctor.

Key program features: 

  • Diverse student cohort. A biomedical science degree is not a prerequisite.
  • Preparation for entry. A foundational knowledge course is available to all students on enrolment to ensure assumed knowledge in anatomy, physiology, molecular and cell biology is met.
  • Opportunities to undertake research. The University has a number of leading centres of excellence, as well as options to partake in electives overseas.
  • MD project and personalised pathways. The program offers dedicated time to complete a substantial research project in year three over a 14-week period. Students also have the opportunity to develop skills in specific areas (personalised pathways) through elective and selective studies.
  • Graduated clinical immersion. The program increases clinical exposure and immersion throughout the degree in rural and urban settings with integration into medical teams. Students are directly supervised on wards, in clinics and in community settings by experienced clinicians and educators.
  • Prepared for practice. The entire fourth-year of the program acts as a pre-internship, giving students full clinical immersion.  
  • Enquiry-based, integrated, spiral curriculum. Clinical knowledge, reasoning and other skills are built on a foundation of biomedical sciences. 

Why study with us? 

  • Innovative curriculum. We focus on small group, team-based learning and integrating theory with practice. 
  • Early patient contact. You will gain hands-on experience from as early as your second week. 
  • Clinical schools. We have an extensive network of clinical schools and teaching hospitals across New South Wales allowing our students access to a wide range of medical environments. 
  • Research excellence and training. You will have access to some of the world's leading researchers, institutes and networks. 
  • Placements. You will have access to placement opportunities in both rural and international settings. For example, medical students can apply to undertake a one-year clinical placement in their third or fourth year at our School of Rural Health in Dubbo or Orange.
  • Accreditation. The Doctor of Medicine is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council. Graduates are eligible for provisional registration as interns in any Australian state or territory, and in New Zealand. 
  • International student opportunities. If you are an international student, there are a number of opportunitites for you to undertake rotations in your home country, with the aim of allowing you to more easily return home after your studies in Sydney. Domestic students are also encouraged to utilise our overseas connections during their elective term.

Who should study this course?

Postgraduates from any discipline who are interested in becoming a doctor and have a passion for healthcare.

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) medical program, of the University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School, has been approved by the Medical Board of Australia (AMC) as providing qualification for the purposes of registration in the medical profession. This qualification is approved until 31 March 2025. The final report will be published on the AMC website.

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

There are three separate components to making an application to the Doctor of Medicine:

  1. Submit an online QAS application to the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC);
  2. Submit an online MD application directly to the University with complete supporting documents; and
  3. If applicable, complete an online confirmation page (refer to the Domestic Admissions Guide).

NOTE:

  1. Only online applications are accepted.
  2. No applications received by the University after the deadline will be considered or processed.

Applications for the MD will not be processed if an applicant fails to complete one or more of these components.

Applications open: 28 April 2020 at 10am

Applications close: 11 June 2020 at 10am

Starting date

Semester 1 (Early February 2021)

There are two ways to submit an international application:

  1. Submit an online MD application directly to the University with complete supporting documents by the deadline*; OR
  2. Submit an application, with complete supporting documents, through a University representative (agent). Agents must submit ONLINE applications with complete supporting documents to the University by the deadline*.

NOTE:

  1. Only online applications are accepted.
  2. No applications received by the University after the deadline will be considered or processed. If you intend to submit an application through an agent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your agent will complete the required application procedure by the deadline.

Applications for the MD will not be processed if an applicant fails to complete one or more of these components.

Applications open: 28 April 2020 at 10am

Applications close: 23 July 2020 at 10am

Starting date

Semester 1 (Early February 2021)

What you'll study

The MD program comprises of eight vertical themes that run through all four years of the course. These themes are: basic and clinical sciences, clinical skills, diagnostics and therapy, research, evidence and informatics, population health, indigenous health, ethics, law and professionalism and interprofessional teamwork.

In year one students work through a number of blocks that cover all body systems from both basic science and clinical perspectives, with an emphasis on understanding the scientific foundations of clinical reasoning and clinical practice.

These key areas of study include: cardiovascular sciences, respiratory sciences, musculoskeletal/immunology, endocrine nutrition, renal urology, gastroenterology, sexual health and reproduction and neurosciences.

This ensures that the knowledge and problem-solving abilities which underpin medical practice have a strong scientific foundation.

During their first year, students will spend three to four days per week on the main University campus, with one day per week in our clinical schools.

In year two, students cover major aspects of clinical medicine and spend up to fifty per cent of their time in the clinical school. One of the strengths of the Sydney Medical School and the MD program is the diversity and variety of our clinical schools which are so important in developing the skills and knowledge to effectively practice medicine. 

During year two, students will also be allocated to a research project that they will conduct in year three. The allocation will be based on personal experience and interest and supported by training in research methods in year two. The objective of the ‘MD Project’ is to add depth to aspects of the medical studies and give students the experience of developing, managing and reporting on a circumscribed project under supervision.

Students will have a number of options for their projects, ranging from an advanced clinical assignment to a small research project. The project will culminate in a written report or an article suitable for publication.

While practical clinical experience forms the basis for all learning in the latter two years of the Sydney Medical Program, it is accompanied by a structured teaching program. The balance between clerkship-based activities and scheduled sessions varies. In general, formal teaching sessions reduce in number and frequency as students move through year three and the main emphasis in year four is on preparation for practice.  This entails a full time, extended clinical placement in a hospital medical, surgical or general practice settings. Students work as part of the clinical multidisciplinary team under supervision, cementing and integrating the knowledge, skills and professional attributes they have developed over the program.

The Doctor of Medicine is made up of 192 credit points and consists of 4 years of full-time study. You will undertake four core units of study to qualify for the award of the course.

Explore the Medicine and Health Postgraduate Handbook to learn more about what you will study as part of this degree:

Additional information

For more information on course structure and for a program snapshot please:

Units of Study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 2310 hours.

This translates to 16.5 hours per week.

This mandatory work component must be completed as part of the award requirements for the course.

Places

The intake for the Doctor of Medicine is usually about 300 students each year. About three quarters are in Commonwealth Supported Places (for domestic students only). These include Bonded Medical Places, which have specific conditions. 

There are usually up to 70 full-fee-paying places available for international students.

Domestic applicants are required to number their preferences (e.g. CSP, BMP) when they complete the confirmation page. Identical admission criteria apply to CSPs and BMPs.

Admission criteria

Applying for Admission

Due to the rapidly-evolving situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the University of Sydney has reviewed its admissions process and application timeline for Doctor of Medicine 2021 entry. These changes apply only to 2021 entry. Please revisit this website on a regular basis for any updates.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 2021, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory performance* in an eligible bachelor’s degree at the time of application, as indicated by Grade Point Average (GPA); and
  2. Satisfactory performance* in an admissions test – Domestic applicants must submit valid Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) results with their application. International applicants must submit valid GAMSAT or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) results with their application. Applicants whose GAMSAT results are not available at the time of application, and who can provide proof of registration for the May/June 2020 sitting, please refer to the relevant Admissions Guide (see below) for full details.

The University reserves the right to ask some applicants to participate in further assessment using another selection tool.  The University will give these candidates due notice of any additional requirements. 

*Satisfactory performance is defined in the relevant Admissions Guide.

Please click on the links below for the Admissions Guide (Version 2: 26 May 2020):

Important dates for the 2021 intake are available below:

You will be ineligible to apply if:

  • You have not been or will not be qualified for an eligible bachelor’s degree by 1 January of the year in which you intend to enrol in the MD. (Please note the exception for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students under the Indigenous Admission Pathway – see below.)
  • You have previously applied unsuccessfully for admission to the MD at the University of Sydney and have commenced studies in postgraduate medicine at another University.

If you have previously accepted an offer of a place in the MD at the University of Sydney, and have:

(a) failed to submit any outstanding documentation to proceed with an unconditional offer or to enrol; or

(b) enrolled in and subsequently withdrawn from or discontinued the MD without prior approval from the Head of School and Dean;

You will be ineligible for admission to the MD for a period of two years from the date of application or enrolment, as relevant.  

Facilitated admission pathways

Facilitated admission pathways are available to the following applicants:

- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

  • Indigenous Facilitated Admission Pathway (for applicants with a    bachelor’s degree and GAMSAT results)
  • Indigenous Admission Pathway (for applicants with a postgraduate degree)

- Australian citizens of rural origin as defined by the Australian government.

Please refer to the MD and DMD Domestic Admissions Guide (pdf, 1.1MB) for definitions and information on facilitated admission pathways.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the essential tasks and activities necessary to be able to achieve the core learning outcomes of a course. They are specific to a particular course or discipline. To assist students to make informed choices about their study, we have identified and set out the inherent requirements of this course.

Other important information

Vision

To develop compassionate, diverse, and innovative lifelong learners, who work in partnership with individuals and communities to improve health through clinical care, education and research.

Mission

To deliver excellence in medical education and research training. We will provide opportunities for students to develop personalised pathways and expertise in their area of choice through the program. Our graduates will be prepared for collaborative practice to improve the wellbeing of all communities, recognising the specific contexts impacting First People’s health.

Values

Integrity, compassion, curiosity, and inclusion.

Disclaimer

Please note Sydney Medical School regularly reviews the admission criteria and application processes for its courses including the Doctor of Medicine. It reserves the right to change these criteria and processes without notice. Information on this website provides advice about the currently applicable criteria and processes, and may not be correct for future application periods. It is possible that GPA scores will, in the future, be incorporated into the ranking of applicants for entry into the MD. It is also possible that the GPA requirement will be increased. Applicants are advised to consult this website on a regular basis for any changes to entry criteria or program updates.

Additional costs

Additional costs are involved pre-application and during the application process. Find out more (pdf, 94KB).

Other requirements prior to commencement of the MD

Students who are offered and accept a place in the MD will be required to provide a current approved First Aid Certificate and meet Clinical Compliance requirements.

Post-degree Registration Requirements: Information about registration, internships, and practice in Australia and other countries can be found here (pdf, 79KB).

Deferral

Applicants should be prepared and ready to commence the course in the year for which they have applied. Applications for deferral of enrolment following an offer of a place in the Doctor of Medicine will only be considered under exceptional circumstances that could not have been foreseen at the time of application, and require the approval of the Head of School and Dean.

Transfer

Transfer of enrolment between medical schools is not possible, other than in exceptional circumstances. Applications for transfer for 2021 close on 30 September 2020. Please click here (pdf, 92KB) for information.

Change in immigration status

International applicants and students who change from international to domestic status can find the relevant rules here (pdf, 106KB). 

Impermissible conduct

Sydney Medical School reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject an application for admission or to vary or cancel an offer of admission if an applicant’s conduct during the admissions process or prior to enrolment causes Sydney Medical School to form the view that the applicant is unsuitable for admission to the MD.

Examples of conduct that might make an applicant unsuitable for admission to the MD include (but are not limited to):

  • failure by the applicant to treat University of Sydney employees, students, applicants or other members of the University community with respect and courtesy, including failure to use appropriate language and tone in written or verbal communications;
  • failure by the applicant to act honestly and ethically in their dealings with University of Sydney employees, students, applicants or other members of the University community;
  • conduct that results in the applicant being excluded from another higher education institution, or from a course or program offered by another higher education institution;
  • conduct that gives Sydney Medical School reasonable cause to believe that enrolling the applicant in clinical training may place them, their peers, or members of the public at risk of harm; and
  • conduct that results in the applicant being charged with a criminal offence.

Rural opportunities

Rural placements in the Sydney Medical Program allow students to see and experience a range of clinical problems that don’t present in metropolitan settings. Clinical practice often reflects local resources and custom, and exposure to new ways of doing things can be an important learning experience.

Placements can take place at our rural campuses in Dubbo, Orange, Broken Hill and Northern Rivers. Learn more about student life on our rural campuses.  We also teach in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia

A range of scholarships are available for rural medicine students via the NSW Rural Doctors Network.

Medicine student in Australia at the University of Sydney

Meet a current student

Aspascia Manos

"I’ve wanted to pursue medicine for a long time, but the well-developed program, esteemed faculty, and beauty of Sydney made the decision to pursue medicine here much easier.

When I was tossing up where I’d want to study, I told myself that I’d only move to study in a city that I could see myself embracing and feeling comfortable living in. Sydney was a very simple choice – it is quite similar to Toronto in Canada, but with more sun, sand, and sea. 

The University of Sydney has a terrific reputation, particularly in medicine, so I knew I would also be getting a great education. Having the opportunity to see this side of the world is also something I’m very much looking forward to."

Future study options

Higher Degree by Research

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a postgraduate coursework masters or a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy offered by Sydney Medical School. Further details can be found here.

Combined medicine and master by coursework

Develop specialist knowledge and broaden your medical education with a combined MD and masters by coursework program while completing the MD.  For example, you might like to combine with a Master of Public Health or Master of Bioethics.  

Contact Associate Professor Leo Davies, to discuss your aspirations prior to submitting your application. MD students must have successfully completed Stage 1 (first year) and be achieving good academic results to take on the additional academic load of a concurrent degree.

Concurrent degree local provisions

The concurrent degree local provisions can be found on the University of Sydney's Policy Register.

Short professional development courses

Sydney Medical School offers a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals through its clinical schools, disciplines and associated research institutes.

Many of the courses offered are pre-accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) points, and other courses may be awarded CME points on request to your relevant association or professional body. For further information and a list of courses available please click here.

Internships

One year of internship is required prior to registration. In Australia, State Health Departments are responsible for the funding of, and placement of students for, internships. Internships are therefore determined by the relevant State Health Departments, not universities. The NSW Health Department has made it clear that no Australian trained international medical student is guaranteed an internship upon graduation. Please visit the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) website for any updates.

Australian-trained international medical graduates may stay on and work as interns in public hospitals and access vocational medical training. This policy however is subject to change. Australian-trained international students should check the current situation at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or contact the department for details.

Career pathways

Most junior doctors make their career choice during their second postgraduate year, most commonly opting for general practice or one of the specialties. Clinical training under the supervision of one of the specialist colleges (RACGP, RACP, RACS, etc) takes between three and six years in most instances. Australia is in special need of doctors for rural and remote practice, including Indigenous health care.

Other careers for Sydney medical graduates include:

  • medical research,
  • teaching,
  • medical administration, 
  • medical communication or journalism, 
  • consulting and overseas aid work.

This is the University of Sydney

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.