International applicants

General information

You can find detailed information about the BMed/MD program in the online UNSW Handbook. More information about the program can be found on the UNSW Future Students and the UNSW International websites.

UNSW Medicine continues to be an exceptionally popular program and we usually receive in excess of 700 applications for the 80 international student places available.

You are most likely to be offered a spot in the UNSW Medicine program if you achieve the highest possible result in each of the three selection criteria (academic merit, ISAT, interview).

The UNSW Medicine program is a six year integrated program which leads to the awarding of two degrees concurrently – a Bachelor of Medical Studies (BMed) and a Doctor of Medicine (MD). The awarding of the MD recognises the high level of knowledge, skills, critical thinking, independent learning and clinical experience attained by UNSW Medicine graduates. The MD is a Master degree and not a research degree. UNSW Medicine students benefit from a range of learning approaches and the integration of the scientific foundation of medicine and real world clinical experiences. Interacting with patients during hospital visits begins in the first semester in Year 1 and continues through the 6 years.

UNSW Medicine students will become proficient in scenario-based learning (on campus and medical simulations), practice-based learning (patient contact in real health care settings) and independent reflective learning (self-directed research and learning). Students will study human health across the life span encompassing the core biomedical sciences, the social and psychological aspects of health and illness, and the practice of medicine.

The Bachelor of Medical Studies (BMed) degree is conducted over Years 1-3 and the Doctor of Medicine (MD) over Years 4-6. Please note that this is an integrated program and that these qualifications are not awarded separately. Both degrees are awarded at the end of successful completion of Year 6.

Check the UNSW Handbook for further information about the Medicine program.

UNSW is introducing a new support program for international students under 18 years of age. UNSW Under 18s Care Program will enhance their student experience and provide increased personal and academic support as they transition to living in Sydney and attending UNSW. The program includes support meetings with an international student advisor to monitor each student’s academic and social adjustment, under 18s activities and workshops plus being matched with a senior cultural mentor.

From Semester 1 2017 all UNSW students aged under 18 who require a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare Arrangements (CAAW) to meet student visa requirements will need to enrol in UNSW Under 18s Care Program.

Applicants who believe that the UNSW Medicine’s admissions process has not been fairly implemented in relation to their application have the right of appeal.  Such appeal is to be in writing to: The Dean of Medicine, UNSW Sydney NSW 2052. The reason for the appeal will be investigated by a UNSW Medicine staff member and the Dean will make a determination.

As it is not considered appropriate for children under the age of 16 to participate in clinical training, applicants who will be under the age of 16 years at the commencement of Year 1 should discuss their proposed application with the Medicine Education and Student Office on +61 2 9385 8765 or send an e-mail to prior to submitting an application through the Medicine Application Portal (MAP).

Preparing to apply

Applicants may be aware that there are courses that claim to improve performance in the interview.

The Faculty would like applicants to be aware that:

  • UNSW does not recommend or endorse any commercially available courses offering preparation for our interview. The interview at UNSW is significantly different from those used at other medical schools, with our interview focusing on your life experiences. There is no evidence that students who undertake interview training courses perform better at the interview. On the contrary, feedback from interviewers has indicated that students who have obviously been coached have been at a disadvantage in our style of interview.
  • Some claims by those who provide these courses as to the high number who attended their courses and subsequently gained entry into UNSW Medicine have been found either to be untrue or profoundly exaggerated.
  • Some providers also give misleading information concerning the application process for UNSW Medicine. One false claim is that the Medicine Application Form is used as part of the selection of applicants for the interview. The Faculty makes it very clear that students are selected for the interview based on academic record or predicted HSC result. Applicants therefore do not increase at all their chances for an interview by paying someone to review their Medicine Application Form.

Although there are no prerequisites for entry into UNSW Medicine, we recommend that students study English for their final high school examinations. There is assumed knowledge of this subject and studying it is considered desirable for successful study in the Medicine Program. Students who do not have the assumed level of knowledge are eligible to apply, be offered a place and to enrol (subject to meeting UNSW's English Language Requirements) but may be placed at a considerable disadvantage.

In addition, study in Chemistry is recommended.

UNSW admits most students into its Medicine program immediately after they have completed high school studies - recognised overseas secondary qualifications.

English language proficiency

All courses at UNSW are taught in English. Applicants who are applying on the basis of qualifications not conducted in English are required to provide proof of their competence in English. Detailed information is available at English Language Requirements.

Selection criteria

Yes, if you reach the minimum academic rank, you will be offered an interview.

You do not need to send us your result prediction. We will contact your school for a prediction if applicable.

Please check our Important Dates page where you can find the final date that UNSW Medicine can accept academic results from international students (who have already completed a telephone/Skype interview and ISAT). Applicants who receive their results after this date cannot be considered for entry in the same year.

Please note, however, it is likely that our quota for international students will be full earlier. If the program is fully subscribed by this date, any offers made at this time will be considered for deferral until the following year.

Yes - Students can apply to UNSW Medicine from April onwards, prior to their final high school results or ISAT results being available. However, UNSW Medicine does not make any offers based on predicted results. Offers for places are based on final academic, ISAT and interview results.

Previous study

Students may apply for admission to UNSW Medicine after completing some tertiary study. Please note that the Faculty does not set a limit to the number of years an applicant may submit an application for admission.

University study includes bachelor degrees, masters by coursework, masters by research and PhD.

Applicants who have completed at least 0.75 full-time study equivalent of their first year of a tertiary program will be assessed based on their secondary and tertiary results which are weighted equally.

For applicants who have completed more than one program of University study, we will assess each qualification separately and use the highest score to determine the tertiary academic rank. Tertiary academic rank will then be combined with the secondary academic rank at a ratio of 50:50 to determine the final academic rank used for medicine admission.

An international student who is studying at an Australian or overseas medical school or who has previously studied at an Australian or overseas medical school is eligible to apply to study Medicine at UNSW Sydney as a commencing student. No credit for previous studies will be given (except where applicable for 12uoc General Education courses).

Under no circumstances does UNSW Medicine accept applications for transfer.

No, we do not. There are 80 places available for international applicants and we do not distinguish between school-leavers, applicants with previous tertiary results or mature-aged students.

Due to the structure of the curriculum, few if any credits can be granted to students transferring after partly completing or completing another degree. Exemption from all or part of the requirement to undertake 12 Units of Credit of General Education courses will be considered and granted when applicable.

Alternative pathways

We do not offer a graduate pathway, i.e. it is not possible to join our program only for the MD component.

Fees and scholarships

The main program of assistance for international undergraduate medicine students is the Australian Development Scholarship (ADS). ADS are funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Only students from certain developing countries may apply. The conditions and level of assistance vary according to the country. Applications close as early as January of the year before the year of study. Information about ADS and other AusAID programs may be obtained from the Australian Diplomatic Post or the Australian Education Centre in your home country.

For information on undergraduate scholarships, please visit the UNSW Scholarships website and enquiry with the scholarships team directly if you have any questions.

You can find information on tuition fees and living expenses on the UNSW International Fees website.

Change of citizenship

If a student gains Australian permanent residency status or becomes a New Zealand citizen, they are unable to continue in the UNSW Medicine Program as an international student. This is a requirement of the Australian Government and UNSW Australia has no discretion in the situation.

Overseas students and other temporary residents who are granted an Australian permanent visa after they arrive in Australia must be treated as domestic students. Where the student had previously been offered or held a full fee-paying overseas student place, there is no obligation on the institution to offer the student either a HECS-liable or domestic fee paying place. However, the student cannot continue to be treated as an overseas student. (Paragraph 3.5 of the HECS Loans and Fees Manual 2004)

Commonwealth Supported places (CSPs) are offered in all undergraduate programs and in a limited range of postgraduate coursework programs. Because CSPs are limited, eligibility is not automatic and international students who become domestic students are required to compete for a place based on merit.

Commencing Students:

  • If your residency status change is dated prior to 1 January for Semester One commencement, your offer as an international fee-paying student will be withdrawn. You will need to apply for a Commonwealth Supported place via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) and meet the selection criteria for local/rural applicants in order to be assessed for entry into the program (remember that UCAT ANZ – not ISAT – will be required when applying as a local student)
  • If your residency status change is dated on or after 1 January for Semester One commencement, you will be transferred to a domestic fee-paying place. You will have an opportunity to apply for a Commonwealth Supported  place via UAC in the next intake (Semester One each year)

Current Students:

  • If you are an Undergraduate student you must apply for admission to a CSP via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for the next available intake.


For information on housing, please visit the UNSW Housing website and contact the housing team directly if you have any questions.

Please note that residential college accommodation is limited and there are always waiting lists. Students interested in college accommodation are advised to apply early - preferably three to six months before starting at UNSW.

After enrolling

UNSW Medicine has one intake of students per year. Classes in the first three years commence in Februaryand conclude in late November or early December. For details you can access the UNSW Medicine academic calendar.

The main hospitals located in Sydney which are used for clinical teaching are:

  • Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick
  • St George Hospital, Kogarah
  • St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst
  • Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick
  • Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick
  • Sutherland Hospital, Caringbah
  • Bankstown Hospital, Bankstown
  • Fairfield Hospital, Fairfield

International students are subject to the conditions of their student visa. Subject to those conditions, UNSW Medicine will permit leave applications only in exceptional circumstances.

After graduation

After completing formal Medicine program requirements for the award of the BMed/MD degrees, you will be provisionally registered by the Medical Board of Australia as you are required to complete an internship for at least one year in selected hospitals before obtaining final registration as a medical practitioner. Obtaining provisional registration does not guarantee an internship.

Local student graduates are guaranteed an internship. International graduates are not guaranteed an internship and should check with state health departments to confirm internship availability. You can find contact details on the Australian Government Department of Health website. Final registration can only be obtained following an internship year.

Although the UNSW Medicine degree is recognised internationally, many countries require foreign graduates to sit a licensing examination to ensure the doctor understands the local health problems and health care systems prior to practicing.

After completing and graduating from the six year Medicine program, an internship is undertaken. In New South Wales this is called Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1). It is a paid position in a hospital, and is usually one year in length. It must be undertaken prior to full registration as a medical practitioner.

In Australia, the internship training period is controlled by the various state Departments of Health and no guarantee can be given that an internship training program will be available to all international students. This applies in all states of Australia.

In the State of New South Wales, NSW Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) follows a priority category system if there are more applicants than internship positions available. Please note that UNSW Medicine cannot guarantee that internship positions will be available in the future, particularly as there has been an increase in the number of local medical students. Students are encouraged to pursue alternatives such as an internship in their home country or another country, as well as applying for an internship in New South Wales and other Australian states.

After allocation, HETI and the Primary Allocation Centre will assist international graduates to obtain a visa to undergo internship in NSW.

For students intending to apply to undertake internship in Australia, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) requires proof of competency in English. At this time, students who did not complete their secondary education in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or the United States of America are required to demonstrate that they have the necessary English language skills required for registration. All applicants must be able to demonstrate English language skills at IELTS academic level 7 or the equivalent, and achieve in one sitting, the required minimum score in each component of the IELTS academic module or other tests that are specified in the registration standard. For further information see the AHPRA Registration Standards website.

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