Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

This seven-year (full-time) program provides students with the opportunity to study medical science prior to studying medicine. Students complete the Bachelor of Medical Science program before entering the Doctor of Medicine (MD).

The combination of science and medicine subjects offers you the opportunity to develop a strong background in the sciences, with some flexibility for you to study units from other faculties. In your first three years undertaking the Bachelor of Medical Science, you will study the basic sciences as well as clinical sciences, giving you a background in the structure and function of the human body and disease.

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) program comprises four broad themes that run throughout the four- year curriculum. The themes cover:


  • Basic and Clinical Sciences

  • Patient and Doctor

  • Population Medicine

  • Personal and Professional Development



The course is delivered in three ‘stages’. Stages 1 and 2 cover years one and two respectively. Stage 3 covers years three and four.

From your first year of the Doctor of Medicine, you will have contact with patients and observe the physical aspects of disease, which continues to your final year. The medical curriculum emphasises practical delivery with much of the program using problem-based learning with contextually relevant medical issues as the foundation of the course. There is also compulsory research methods training and the completion of a research or other major project.

After graduation, you can pursue a career in medicine that either involves general practice or specialisation in your area of interest. You might also wish to pursue a career in medical research, teaching, medical administration, medical communication or journalism. Learn more about double medicine degree options.

Please note: The course fee quoted on this page relates to the Bachelor of Medical Science only. For course fees for the medical program please see Doctor of Medicine.

Course outline

View a sample study plan/course structure table.

Study plan


The Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine double degree may be undertaken in seven years full-time. You will enrol in units of study to the value of 48 credit points in the first three years in medical science and the areas of written expression, comprehension and reasoning in social science and humanities. In fourth year you will progress to the graduate medical program. The medical curriculum emphasises practical delivery with much of the program using problem-based learning with contextually relevant medical issues as the foundation of the course.

For course structure tables, refer to the Bachelor of Medical Science course table, and the Graduate Medical Program course structure information.

Majors

Further course information

Progression rules

To progress from the Bachelor of Medical Science to the Doctor of Medicine program, students must


  1. Complete the Bachelor degree in minimum time

  2. Complete units of study having a total value of at least 144 credit points

  3. Maintain a credit average or above in each of the first three years of the Bachelor program

  4. Satisfactorily complete a zero-credit point subject – SMTP3007 - during the Bachelor degree. This subject involves students undertaking a one week observational study of their choosing. Students are required to write and submit a 1000 word report of their experience. Prior to commencing their placement students are required to comply with Sydney Medical School student requirements for entering NSW Health facilities

  5. Satisfactorily complete at least three subjects in Science (Biology, Physics and Chemistry)

What is an elective?

An elective is a unit of study (subject) which you are allowed to enrol in as part of your course and which will count towards the completion of your course. It differs to a core unit in that you have a choice about which electives, amongst a given set of electives, you want to study. You will be able to take some electives as part of the Bachelor of Medical Science component of the double degree.

In the Bachelor of Medical Science, you can do up to two non-medical science electives in the third year of your degree. Elective units are available from any other faculty at the University, provided that you receive permission from the relevant department and the Faculty of Science to add that elective to your course plan.

See the Bachelor of Medical Science study plan table to get an idea of how electives fit in amongst your other units of study.

Course opportunities

Most subject areas within the double degree allow for students to take part in an international exchange program. The program enables students to enhance their skills in a language other than English and their knowledge of other societies and cultures.

Outstanding students may be invited by the Dean of Science to join the Talented Student Program providing an opportunity to undertake a tailored course of study.

Students in the Doctor of Medicine have contact with patients and observe aspects of disease throughout their four years of study, with clinical placements at world-leading institutes, and established elective placement opportunities in Europe, Africa, North America and Asia.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

A career in medicine could include general practice or specialisation. In order to register with an Australian or New Zealand medical board, you will need to complete one year of internship. Most junior doctors make their career choice during their second postgraduate year, most commonly opting for general practice or one of the specialties. You will need to gain further experience and study under the supervision of one of the specialist colleges before you can obtain your specialist qualifications or vocational registration as a general practitioner.

Other career options for graduates include medical research, teaching, medical administration, medical communication or journalism.

Course accreditation

Graduates of the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine double degree are eligible for registration by medical boards in all Australian states and territories and in New Zealand.

Further study

There are opportunities for further study either in between your Bachelor of Medical Science course and Doctor of Medicine course, or after you have completed the entire double degree.

If you are interested in medical research, you have the opportunity to study for an honours course by completing an extra year of study and research. You can do so either by suspending your candidature from the Doctor of Medicine degree for one year, or after completion of the double degree.

You might also wish to complete a postgraduate coursework program to concentrate further on an area of interest or to diversify your studies. The Faculty of Science offers a range of science-based postgraduate courses in a range of areas, at the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master levels.

About honours

Honours is a widely recognised and highly regarded additional year of undergraduate study available to you after you complete your undergraduate course. It’s a unique opportunity for you to explore your research potential and put the theory from your undergraduate studies into practice. An honours qualification is not only well regarded in academia, but also in industry where further, concentrated studies in a specialised area is highly sought after.

You can choose to do honours either after you have completed the Bachelor of Medical Science course by suspending your candidature from the Doctor of Medicine course for one year, or after you have completed the double degree.

Depending on your interests and the availability of honours projects, you might wish to undertake honours in anatomy, biochemistry, biology (genetics), cell pathology, histology and embryology, immunology, infectious diseases, microbiology, pharmacology or physiology.

Other study options

It is possible for non-degree students to enrol in a unit of study (subject) offered in the Faculty of Science without being enrolled in an award course (degree). This provides a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. Non-degree students will pay full tuition fees, take the unit of study with award course students and are assessed at the same level.

Students need to be able to meet the same prerequisites as students enrolled in an award course at the University of Sydney (or have completed equivalent units of study at another institution) to be able to enrol in any particular unit of study.

Admission

Admission requirements

Please note, these courses are available to recent school leavers only, that is, students who will have just completed their high school qualification in 2014 and have not enrolled in any tertiary Applicants are eligible to apply for the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine double degree at the first opportunity after graduating high school, regardless of when their results are available.

For more information about late results please visit our Double Degree Medicine website.

Admission to this course is for a limited number of outstanding applicants each year, on the basis of a secondary school leaving qualification such as the NSW Higher School Certificate (including national and international equivalents), and an interview conducted by Sydney Medical School.

English language requirements must be met where these are not demonstrated by sufficient qualifications taught in English. Special admission pathways are open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. Applicants are ranked by merit and offers for available places are issued according to the ranking.

There are two basic admissions criteria:

i) To be considered, you must have a very high ATAR. The required ATAR is expected to be 99.95 for domestic students and 99.50 or greater for international students. Non-NSW HSC results are converted to an ATAR equivalence. For information about the ATAR requirement please see the Double Degree Medicine web page.

International applicants can visit the academic entry requirements web page for further information.

ii) Satisfactory performance in an interview

For more detailed admissions information, please refer to the Sydney Medical School website.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications for the University's undergraduate courses are made through the Universities Admission Centre (UAC). On-time applications for the March semester close on the last working day of September.

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed.

The timeline for admissions can be seen at the double degree medicine web page.

In addition to applying through UAC, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applications must be made through the Cadigal Special Entry Program of the Koori Centre.

Assumed knowledge

See assumed knowledge for the Bachelor of Medical Science.

International students

How to apply

International fee-paying applicants with the following qualifications must apply through UAC International:

• an Australian Year 12 qualification in or outside Australia in the year prior to entering the double degree
• a New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3 in the year prior to entering the double degree

International Baccalaureate (IB) applicants may apply either directly to the University using the online application form or through UAC International.

All other international applicants must apply using the online application form.

Interviews will be held from December in the year prior to entry for international applicants and from January in the entry year for domestic applicants. Eligible applicants will be contacted by email or telephone. If you believe that you are eligible for interview and you have not been notified, please call 1800 793 864 (from inside Australia) or +61 2 8627 1444 (from outside Australia) as soon as possible and no later than 31 January to check your eligibility.

Applicants whose results will not be available in time to be considered (that is, prior to the issue of invitations to the January interviews) must visit Late results for further details.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applications must also be made through the Cadigal Special Entry Program of the Koori Centre by the last working day of September.

Further admission requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for candidates wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine. The degree is, however, taught on the assumption that candidates will have successfully completed Mathematics or HSC Mathematics Extension 1. All students in the Science-Medicine program must take some units of study in mathematics. Candidates may attend one of the bridging courses in mathematics offered by the Mathematics Learning Centre if they feel they need to. Please see the double degree medicine website for additional requirements for the Doctor of Medicine.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative Undergraduate Student Contribution Amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2014 your student contribution may differ.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

International students

Indicative international tuition fees for undergraduate students

This international tuition fee is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact tuition fees that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total tuition fees, please refer to the University's Future Students' website.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

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