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Fast track your career in surgery

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In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely. 

This course will be available for students to study remotely during 2022 if they are unable to undertake face-to-face study. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely. For the latest updates on course availability, visit the COVID-19 information page

About this course

Our flexible Graduate Certificate in Surgical Sciences course will help you to develop knowledge and skills in surgical specialty areas as well as non-technical areas such as professionalism, leadership and research. Our course can also help you prepare for the GSSE.

Why study with us? 

As a surgery student, you will learn from highly regarded clinicians and academics at the Sydney Medical School.

This course will help you acquire important and sought after knowledge and skills, including basic subspecialty knowledge, critical thinking and critical appraisal, all of which is valuable for an academic or teaching hospital career. 

How will you learn? 

The majority of our units are taught online and some have a short workshop component (1 or 2 day). The exceptions are surgical anatomy and microsurgery which are taught face-to-face.

You will also have the option to complete a dissertation in your chosen subspecialty area and will receive a certificate of completion on submission.

Who should study this course? 

Our Graduate Certificate in Surgical Sciences provides an early pathway for senior medical students (years 3 or 4) or medical graduates to undertake study that will assist them in their preparation for the Generic Surgical Science Examination (GSSE) conducted by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).

Advanced medical students enrolled in graduate medical programs who have completed their preclinical science studies, would be able to enrol in 1 unit of study (6 credit point per unit of study) per semester and complete the graduate certificate at the same time as completing their medical program. They would also have the option of applying their 24 credit points towards the Master of Surgery in place of the Graduate Certificate in Surgical Sciences. 

Further information

This course is not available to student visa holders or to international students to study offshore. International students in Australia on other visas with study rights may apply.    

Please note: this course is not a qualification to practise surgery.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations for this course.

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 admission criteria

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 criteria’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (July)

Not available to student visa holders or to offshore international students. International students in Australia on other visas with study rights may apply.

Starting date

What you'll study

The Graduate Certificate in Surgical Sciences requires the completion of 24 credit points of surgery selective units of study:

SURG5031  Surgical Skills and Practical Professionalism
PATH5000  Surgical Pathology
SURG5034  Surgical Anatomy Based on GSSE
SURG5032  Physiology and Pharmacology for Surgeons

Units of Study

Applying for admission

*Stage 3 and 4 Sydney Medical students should complete and return the registration form for the Graduate Certificate in Surgical Sciences prior to enrolment in units of study.

Admission criteria

Admission to Graduate Certificate requires:

  • a medical degree from the University of Sydney or an equivalent qualification
  • enrolment in, and successful completion of all pre-clinical studies, in a graduate-entry medical degree program offered by an Australian university.

Admission may also be subject to satisfactory interview with Program Director.

Credit for previous study

For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

Future study options

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine and Health) and Master of Philosophy (Medicine and Health) 

A research degree provides students with the opportunity to prepare a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution in a particular field of study and to gain transferable skills in general research methodology.

The school is affiliated with over 40 independent medical research institutes aimed at achieving medical firsts in specialist areas of health and medicine.

Sydney Medical School provides an outstanding environment for postgraduate research. Our research activities consistently attract high levels of funding from the federal and state governments, overseas funding agencies and other public and private sources.

Other study options  

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.  A full list of short courses and more information is available here.

Career Pathways

The course will provide a mechanism by which advanced medical students with an interest in pursuing a career in surgery, can articulate their medical studies with a concurrent, surgically focused, graduate certificate in surgical sciences.

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Domestic students

International students

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