A Guide for Prospective Medical Students

This  summary is based on an article from the Australian Medical Association. The original is located here. It contains general information and advice that may not apply to you. It is recommended that you verify this information and seek your own advice. The information is correct as of 30th Sept 2013.

There are a number of pathways into Medicine,

  1. Undergraduate
  2. Postgraduate

and a number of places that a student may apply for, and after that may fund their place.

  1. Commonwealth Supported Place
  2. Bonded and Rural Bonded
  3. Defence Force sponsored
  4. Rural medicine sponsorships
  5. Full Fee Paying

Pathway into Medicine

There are two types of medical degrees available in Australia:

  • a five or six-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), and
  • a four-year graduate entry medical degree.

The former, undergraduate pathway requires a year 12 education, along with a very competitive university entrance ranking. Most medical schools also require completion of the Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT). Lastly, most medical schools interview applicants.

The graduate pathway requires completion of an undergraduate degree in any area. One must sit the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT). An interview is usually part of the selection process.

As to which University one attends, it is best one contacts each University. The AMA has also released 2007 Australian Medical Students’ Association Medical School Guide which may be of use.

University Places

Commonwealth Supported Places

The Australian Government offers and funds an agreed number of medical student places at each university. The student pays towards their education, with the Government paying the remainder. Students are able to defer payment of their degree through the HECS-HELP scheme. StudyAssist for more information on financing.

Bonded Medical Places

Bonded places refer to a medical school place which requires you to commit to working in an area of shortage. This is usually in outer metroplitan to remote areas.

There are two types of places: Bonded Medical Places and Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship. It is recommended you visit the previously linked pages, or the original article to learn more.

The drawback of these positions is that one commits themselves to working in an area determined by the Australian Government for a period equal to that of your degree. Significant penalties exist should one break their contract.

Full Fee Places

Some Universities offer full fee paying places. This means that you bear the entire cost of your education. These are presently available to International students at most universities, but is increasingly becoming available to domestic students.


Once in medical school there are a number of scholarships available to support oneself.

These include Rural Medicine scholarships, Australian Defence Force Scholarships and Assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students.


Please read the full AMA article for more information, located here.