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Australian Medical Schools

  • Overview - Australian Medical Schools in Australia
  • Griffith University Medical School in Australia
  • James Cook University Medical School in Australia
  • Macquarie University Medical School
  • Monash University Medical School in Australia
  • University of Melbourne Medical School in Australia
  • University of Queensland Medical School in Australia
  • University of Sydney Medical School in Australia
  • University of Western Australia Medical School

University of Sydney Medical School in Australia

Program Overview - Doctor of Medicine (MD)

University and Faculty: University of Sydney
Faculty of Medicine and Health
Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
University Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
City Population: 5 million
Student Population: 60,000
Campus Location: Camperdown/Darlington campus (main campus) and Clinical Schools
Program Duration: 4 years
Semester Intake: January / February each year
Next Avail. Intake: January 2021
Est. Annual Tuition: $78,000 AUD (2019)
Est. Indicative Total Tuition: $312,000 AUD (2019; fees subject to increase)

Undertaken once students have already completed an undergraduate degree, the Doctor of Medicine (MD) at the University of Sydney Medical School is a world-class, graduate-entry degree in medicine.

The University of Sydney Doctor of Medicine program is a four-year professional graduate-entry medical program with three primary aims for graduates: excellent clinical skills and preparedness for practice; experience in research; and experience and awareness of health in an international setting.

Years 1 & 2 are spent primarily on the main university campus at Camperdown, but clinical training commences in the first weeks. For years 3 & 4, students are based in their clinical school. Clinical learning occurs at multiple widely dispersed sites (hospitals and community, metropolitan, urban and rural).

The Sydney MD program comprises four broad themes that will run through the curriculum of all four years of the course:

1. Basic and Clinical Sciences
The Basic and Clinical Sciences theme includes preclinical disciplines as well as the major clinical disciplines of pathology, microbiology and pharmacology.

2. Patient and Doctor
The Patient and Doctor theme encompasses clinical knowledge and skills, clinical reasoning and clinical communication.

3. Population Medicine
The Population Medicine theme deals with population context of medical practice and prevention.

4. Personal and Professional Development
The Personal and Professional Development theme covers professionalism in accordance with the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia, the law in medicine, communication more broadly, ethics, medical humanities and related topics.


Research Methods is introduced in Stage 1 of the program. Students gain knowledge and understanding of research methods to be able to design, conduct and report on a small scale case series study independently.

Core content and a range of options enable students, depending on a background knowledge and skills, to focus on particular areas of research interest for a research or capstone project.

During Stage 2, students are required to plan a research or capstone project that they will conduct during Stage 3. The objective of the MD project is to give students the experience of developing, managing and reporting on a circumscribed project under supervision. Students will have a wide range of choices for their ‘MD Projects’, ranging from an advanced clinical assignment to a small research project. The "MD project" will culminate in a written report or an article suitable for publication.


Related Videos

Professor Inam Haq, Co-Director of Sydney Medical Program talks about the benefits of studying Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sydney.

OzTREKK student Sean Hassan and Lakshmi Sunderasan talk about what it is like to study medicine at Sydney Medical School.

Unique Features of the Program

The course is delivered in three ‘Stages’. Stages 1 and 2 comprise Years 1 and 2 respectively. Stage 3 comprises Years 3 and 4.

Stages 1 & 2
In Years 1 and 2, students work through 12 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.

The Blocks Stages 1 & 2 cover

  • Human structure and function.
  • Mechanisms of health and disease in all major body systems.
  • Rationale for prevention, diagnosis and treatment with particular reference to mechanisms of health and disease.
  • Population context of health, disease and health service delivery.
  • Development of professionalism within a culturally diverse society.
  • Development of information skills.

Learning and teaching activities include

  • Problem-based learning (PBL) tutorials designed to develop students’ ability to relate clinical problems to basic sciences, enhance their clinical reasoning abilities and enhance their skills in working in groups.
  • Self-directed learning enabling students to develop skills in locating and acquiring information relevant to their studies. By the time they reach Stage 3, students have an independent capacity to direct their learning, find essential information, and are expected to visit the wards of their teaching hospitals and gain experience in interacting with patients.
  • Other learning activities. Students attend at least six lectures each week. Lectures provide a broad context for detailed learning and background understanding to assist in the resolution of the weekly problem. Seminar sessions are offered for each theme. Some background work (e.g. essential readings) may be recommended for preparation beforehand. Basic and Clinical Sciences sessions usually offer opportunities to gain hands-on practical experience and to learn from images, models and human cadaver and microscopic specimens. Population Medicine sessions are interactive, encouraging debate, and are mostly presented in a seminar format with two or more speakers presenting different perspectives and leading the discussion. Personal and Professional Development sessions include aspects of personal development and professionalism, the law relevant to medical practice, ethics, patient safety and medical humanities. Increasing use of on-line learning materials is made across all four themes.

Stage 3 (Years 3 and 4 of the program)
Covers all major aspects of clinical medicine. Students are based entirely in their Clinical Schools with rotations elsewhere. Stage 3 comprises nine Blocks which take place in nine eight-week terms called Term A through to Term I. During Terms A to E and G to I, students undertake the following Blocks in four different sequences called Streams:

  • Medicine (Year 3)
  • Medicine (Year 4)
  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Surgery
  • Community Primary Care (general practice)
  • Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine
  • Perinatal and Women’s Health
  • Child and Adolescent Health

On passing the barrier examination at the end of Term I, students will undertake a 4 week Pre-Internship term (PrInt). During the PrInt term, students serve as supernumerary interns in preparation for their own internship.


Why Canadians Love this Program

The University of Sydney is one of the world's top universities for medicine, and is ranked as the #2 university in Australia and #18 in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018)!

Respected as not only a provider of quality teaching but also as a leader in research, the Sydney Medical School attracts more than $200 million in competitive research funding from state, national and international bodies. Sydney Medical School's research covers full spectrum of diseases, with major programs in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, infectious diseases, mental health, neuroscience, maternal and child health, chronic disease and ageing.

Finally, Canadians love the location of this medical school! Situated in the heart of the city of Sydney, the University of Sydney provides a wonderful campus experience for international students!

Read what OzTREKK students have to say about the University of Sydney's medical program!

"World-class education."

"Sometimes it is not always very organized as they are trying out a variety of new curriculum. It is generally good though. It is a great school.and program. The location is really good too."

"I dislike the major emphasis placed on anatomy and lack of emphasis on biochem, physiology and pharmacology I like that everyone is very nice and all the students are willing to help each other. That everyone is really friendly in Australia and they are willing to help you."

"The best part is the course, because I've wanted to study medicine for so long. School is also where I've met all my friends who are making this experience great. I think it is a good option, lovely place to study. I can't fully recommend it till I know where I end up career-wise."

"The location, facilities, reputation of the program and study schedule are all positives. The program is however quite disorganized which would be a negative associated with my experience at USyd Med. USyd is a widely respected, well-regarded university in Australia, and if you are looking into medical programs in Australia I couldn't imagine a better city to be in, and the only other program that I would consider would be University of Melbourne."

"I like the clinical days provided by our program. University of Sydney also has amazing green lawns! It's an amazing opportunity to meet new people and immerse in a different culture."

"The best part of the program so far has been the weekly day spent in the hospitals since the first week. Now that I have been exposed to this system I would not want to go to a school whereby you do not enter the hospital until the third year. I also like the laboratory and hands on training segments of the course at the university. The course seemed a little disorganized when it was first getting started but I think that was mainly a function of the 10 week orientation block as at it seems to have gotten more and more organised since. I would say overall the experience has been very positive. University Campus and surrounding neighborhood are great and that it is a really fun place to go to school. I would tell them (Canadians) that the program is, for the most part, really well run and demanding and that they will not have any concerns with the quality of the teaching or programming. I would also emphasis the clinical side of the course and how well run it is."

"Like: Nice campus/architecture, seems like a solid program. Dislike: Some of the program administration seems a bit disorganized (perhaps attributed to this being the first year of the new MD program). Hey, if you're not afraid to spend a quarter million $ on a great medical program, come on down! The food is great, the city is great, and the people are as friendly as in Canada."

"great school, very well organized, amazing teachers tooo expensive"

"So far I like everything other than our semi disorganized lab sessions. The people here are so nice that it makes the transition from home a lot easier. The university staff are very helpful and supportive and there is a great sense of unity among the students in our cohort."

"I like the beautiful buildings here on campus and I like that there is always something happening on campus. I like the early exposure to the hospital in the MBBS program. I also like that the sydney MBBS program is post-graduate and thus everyone is generally older. I dislike the manner in which the medical program teaches the course. They don't give students a chance to do dissections except as an elective. The program also does not prepare north american students well to take the USMLE and Canadian Exam so we have to supplement much of our own learning. Even australian students not taking these tests were suggested to study from the first aid book as the medical program does not teach these subjects very well. It is a very beautiful university and the Sydney medical program is great but you have to be prepared for a lot of hard work especially if you want to come back to Canada. The experiences at the hospital are great but the teaching in the MBBS program is lacking."

"USyd has extremely qualified and easily accessible Professors who are keen on forming relationships with students. What I enjoy about my program is that there are many international students and lecturers which help to give a very global perspective to the learning environment and provide networking opportunities. The expectations within my USyd program are very relaxed compared with my experience in Canadian universities, so there is plenty of time to travel, enjoy Australia, and even do some part time work at the same time as studying. The program has lacked the challenge which I was looking for however, and is greatly redundant with material from the undergraduate level."

"The clinical teaching at USyd is phenomenal we get patient contact as soon as the program commences and the tutors are very enthusiastic, helpful, and are always encouraging participation. All of the lectures are available online for download so if you need to work, or are sick you don't have to worry about missing out on lecture material. I would have liked it if there were more practice questions or problem sets to go along with the lectures i really had no idea what to expect going into the first exam. As for the University, it is one of the best in Australia and very highly ranked worldwide. The facilities are really good and the campus is beautiful and there are a lot of clubs and student associations to get involved with if that is your thing. The mood here is very lax, so don't take things too seriously around the locals. No one cares about how much extra curricular work you did or your GPA in undergrad, you're not that special. Now that we got that out of the way, expect to put in twice the amount of work as an international student. The locals do not have to write the USMLE or the MCCQE, so there is a lot more to prepare for. Find or make a good study group; know the end goal and prepare for it as best you can. On the plus side I hear studying for the USMLE step 1 really prepares you for clinical rounds in 3rd and 4th year. Actually do research on your potential clinical school. Look at where you want to live and check out the commute from there to your hospital before making a decision. Every clinical school has its pros and cons."

"Honestly, the program is great, not what I expected but is very similar to that of Canada. Any complaints would be administrative faults on behalf of the school, but this is expected from any university. I have, and continue to tell others from Canada to study here in Australia. While it may suck to be studying all the time, there is time for you to study and experience the world for what it has to offer- in this case; the beach, wildlife, and awesome weather."

"Very high educational standards -professors/teachers care about the students -international -good reputation -great teaching facilities -very smart classmates"



Professional Certification/Accreditation

The Sydney Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree is accredited by the Australian Medical Council and has been approved by the Medical Board.

In Canada, each province/territory is responsible for licensing physicians to practise medicine within its boundaries. Licensure to practise medicine requires the completion of an accredited postgraduate training program, as well as the completion of national qualifying exams. Each province may have different requirements; it is your responsibility to meet the necessary requirements for licensure in your province.

Each year, OzTREKK hosts its annual Canadian Medical Licensing Seminars across Canada, which are exclusive to students who submit their Australian medical school application via OzTREKK. These seminars provide the latest information regarding the accreditation and medical licensing process in Canada, as well as outline options for internships in Australia and other destinations.


Admissions Criteria/Entry Requirements for Canadians

1. Performance in an undergraduate degree (and coursework master's degree, if applicable)

Students may apply to Sydney Medicine if they have completed a bachelor's degree in any discipline and have achieved a grade point average (GPA) of 5.0 out of 7.0 (or equivalent) from a recognized university. The grade requirement is generally equivalent to a GPA of 2.7 out of 4.0.

International applicants will have their bachelor's degree assessed and GPA calculated by the university. From 2017, master's degree by coursework will no longer be included in the calculation of the GPA.

2. Performance in a medical admissions test, MCAT or GAMSAT

Students must achieve a minimum performance in a medical school admissions test:

Most North American-based applicants choose to sit the Medical Colleges Admissions Test (MCAT), although international applicants can complete either the MCAT or the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

International applicants must meet the minimum overall score of 500 to be eligible to apply. MCAT test results from January 2017 onward will be accepted for the 2020 intake.

OzTREKK Note: After meeting the GPA requirement, all applicants are then ranked against each other based on their MCAT results. Those with the highest MCAT scores are usually successful in receiving an interview.

3. Performance in an online interview

The Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) aims to sample a candidate's competencies in order to gain a more accurate picture of strengths, weaknesses and suitability for the Sydney Doctor of Medicine program.

OzTREKK Note: There are no specific prerequisite undergraduate subjects required for admission into the Sydney medical program.

Please see the Sydney International Admissions Guide 2020 for more information.


Admissions Timeline for 2020 Intake

Last day to sit MCAT: May 18, 2019
Application deadline: June 19, 2019
Interview invitations sent: July 22 - 26, 2019
Skype interviews: August 8 - 16, 2019
Offers made: Beginning August 29, 2019

Successful Sydney Medical School applicants will have approximately six weeks from the date of offer to accept and pay a deposit.


Total Number of Spaces: approximately 325

Total Number of Spaces for International Students: up to 80

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2020 intake closed June 19, 2019. For information about the 2021 intake and to apply, please contact OzTREKK.

OzTREKK Admissions Officer: Amanda Rollich

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