Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

The Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is a four-year professional graduate-entry medical degree encompassing basic and clinical sciences, clinical knowledge and skills, research, and elective opportunities.

The MBBS is no longer offered by the Sydney Medical School. It was replaced by the Doctor of Medicine (MD) in 2014. The last cohort admitted to the MBBS at Sydney Medical School commenced in 2013.

These resolutions apply to students who commenced their MBBS in 2013 or before.

Students were allocated to one of six Clinical Schools when their candidature was initially confirmed, and they are based at their allocated Clinical Schools for the duration of the MBBS Program. They undertake clinical studies within their Clinical Schools as well as placements at affiliated sites, including community centres, private practice and other clinical schools. A list of Clinical Schools may be found here.

Each of the four academic years of the MBBS Program is longer than the University of Sydney academic year. Students must be available to commence and complete each year of the Program at the designated time.

Degree resolutions

Sydney Medical School resolutions and the printed handbook are the official statement of faculty policy. If a conflict is perceived between the content of the printed handbook and information available elsewhere, Sydney Medical School resolutions and the information available in the handbook online shall always take precedence.

See the Policy Online website: sydney.edu.au/policy, for copies of University policies.

 

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery


These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2014 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Coursework Policy 2014, the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. Up to date versions of all such documents are available from the Policy Register: http://www.sydney.edu.au/policies.

Course resolutions

1 Course codes

Code Course title
BGMEDSUR-01 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

 

2 Attendance pattern

(1)
The attendance pattern in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is full-time only.
(2)
The attendance pattern in Stage 3 of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is normally full-time. However, with the permission of the Co-Directors of the Sydney Medical Program, in exceptional circumstances it may be taken part-time.

3 Admission to candidature

(1)
Available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admission criteria.
(2)
Admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) requires:
(a)
completion of a bachelor degree comprising at least three full-time equivalent years of study from either:
(i)
an Australian university or self-accrediting higher education institution listed in the Australian Qualifications Framework; or
(ii)
an overseas university listed in the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Guide;
(c)
performance in an admissions test approved by the Dean or Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine to a standard considered satisfactory by the Faculty; and
(d)
performance in an interview to a standard considered satisfactory by the Dean or Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
(3)
If the bachelor's degree was completed more than 10 years before 1 January of the year for which the applicant is seeking enrolment, the applicant must, in addition, have completed within this 10 year period a postgraduate degree or postgraduate diploma (or equivalent), from either:
(a)
an Australian university or self-accrediting higher education institution listed in the Australian Qualifications Framework; or
(b)
an overseas university listed in the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition Guide.
(4)
An applicant will not be admitted to candidature for the MBBS unless he or she has completed a bachelor degree prior to 1 January of the year in which the applicant intends to commence the MBBS.
(5)
The official results listed on an applicant’s transcript, and his or her admission test results, will be taken as the awarding and testing authorities’ assessment of the academic standards reached by the applicant, taking due account of illness and misadventure according to the authorities’ policies.
(6)
A person who has commenced the MBBS in a fee-paying or bonded place at the University will not be eligible for admission or transfer to a Commonwealth supported or non-bonded place in the MBBS.
(7)
The Dean may, in exceptional circumstances, admit to the MBBS an applicant who has commenced studies in medicine at another University, provided that the applicant:
(a)
has not previously applied unsuccessfully for admission to the MBBS at the University of Sydney;
(b)
would have met the requirements for admission to the MBBS that were in place at the time the applicant was admitted to his or her previous course in medicine; and
(c)
will complete at least 50 per cent of the MBBS at the University of Sydney.
(8)
Prior to admitting an applicant to the MBBS in accordance with subclause 3(7), the Dean will consider:
(a)
the circumstances leading to the applicant’s request for admission;
(b)
whether the curriculum undertaken by the applicant in his or her previous course in medicine is comparable to the MBBS;
(c)
the academic performance of the applicant in his or her previous course in medicine; and
(d)
the availability of places in the MBBS in the relevant year.
(9)
The Dean may, prior to admitting an applicant to the MBBS in accordance with subclause 3(7), require the applicant to undertake a barrier examination that permits entry into the relevant year.
(10)
Subject to the approval of the Academic Board, the Faculty of Medicine may establish special admission schemes for defined classes of applicant, including:
(a)
applicants who are of rural origin;
(b)
Indigenous applicants.
(11)
The Faculty of Medicine may establish a maximum quota for the number of applicants for admission as candidates for the MBBS within a special admission scheme.
(12)
The Faculty of Medicine will publish details of any special admission schemes approved by the Academic Board.
(13)
A committee consisting of the Dean, Deputy Deans and Head of the Medical Program may confirm or withdraw any offer of admission that is not in accordance with the resolutions relating to admissions current at the time. This committee may seek advice in reaching its decision.

4 Deferment

(1)
Deferral of enrolment following the offer of a place in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery is permitted only in the following circumstances:
(a)
progression to honours, masters or a PhD; or
(b)
under exceptional circumstances which could not be foreseen at the time of application; or
(c)
for completion of "professional years" where awarding of a bachelor's degree is dependent upon such completion only.
(2)
Deferral will only be granted one year at a time and will not be expected to last longer than two years.

5 Course Structure and Units of Study

(1)
The MBBS Program is an integrated program of study framed by four Themes that run across all four years. These themes are:
(a)
Basic and Clinical Sciences(BCS)
(b)
Patient and Doctor (Pt-Dr)
(c)
Population Medicine (PopMed); and
(d)
Personal and Professional Development (PPD).
(2)
In addition to the units of study encompassed in the Themes, all students must complete:
(a)
an independent learning assignment (ILA); and either
(b)
a Research Project; or
(c)
an Elective Term.
(3)
The MBBS Program is divided into three Stages:
(a)
Stage 1 comprises Year 1
(b)
Stage 2 comprises Year 2
(c)
Stage 3 comprises Year 3 and Year 4.
Stages 1 and 2
(4)
Stages 1 and 2 both start at the beginning of February and finish late in November.
(5)
Students attend their allocated Clinical Schools for at least one day each week and classes on the University’s main Camperdown campus for the rest of the week.
(6)
In both Stage 1 and Stage 2 the course is delivered as a series of 10 sequential blocks.
(a)
The first block in Stage 1 is designed to provide orientation and a foundation for the subsequent blocks.
(b)
the last block in Stage 2 covers Cancer and Palliative care.
(7)
Content relating to each of the four Themes is delivered across and within each block. The blocks are as follows:
(a)
Stage 1
(i)
Orientation and Foundation Studies
(ii)
Musculoskeletal Sciences
(iii)
Respiratory Sciences
(iv)
Haematology
(v)
Cardiovascular Sciences
(b)
Stage 2
(i)
Neurosciences and Vision and Behaviour
(ii)
Endocrine, Nutrition, Sexual Health and HIV
(iii)
Renal and Urology
(iv)
Gastroenterology, Nutrition, and Drug and Alcohol
(v)
Oncology and Palliative Care
(c)
The Haematology Block in Stage 1 and the Oncology and Palliative Care Block in Stage 2 are delivered mainly at the Clinical Schools. During these blocks, students attend their allocated Clinical Schools for four days, visiting the Camperdown campus to attend teaching sessions for one day each week, thus equating to full-time attendance during these blocks.
(8)
Units of study
(a)
The units of study that may be taken for the course are set out in the Table of Units of Study: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
(b)
The units of study in Stages 1 and 2 correspond to the four Themes.
(c)
Stage 1, Semester 2 contains the Independent Learning Assignment (ILA), a student led project that must be completed by the end of Stage 2.
Stage 3
(1)
Stage 3 consists mainly of clinical immersion, supported by lectures and structured tutorials.
(2)
Students are based full-time in their allocated Clinical Schools.
(3)
Year 3 begins in January and ends in December.
(4)
Year 4 begins in March and ends in October-November, depending on individual students progression.
(5)
Stage 3 students must complete either a Research Project or the Elective term.
(a)
Research Project students who meet the required academic criteria for both their Research Project and the MBBS Program overall may be eligible for the award of MBBS (Honours).
(i)
The Research Project must be completed by 30 June, Year 4.
(ii)
Students work on their research concurrently with their clinical placements during Year 3 and most students dedicate some weeks between December of Year 3 and March of Year 4 (the elective term period) to full time work on their Research Project.
(iii)
Students who have made exceptionally good progress on their research project by the end of Year 3 may be permitted to also undertake an elective term placement, provided that doing so will not compromise their capacity to finish their research project or meet other academic requirements of Stage 3.
(b)
MBBS students who elect to undertake the eight-week Elective Term, complete it between December of Year 3 and March of Year 4.
(6)
The Stage 3 curriculum comprises:
(a)
eight eight-week clinical blocks.
(b)
the Research Project; or
(c)
the Elective Term; and
(d)
a four-week Pre-Internship Term (known as PRINT).
(7)
Students must complete the components successfully in order to graduate.
(8)
Students undertake the eight clinical blocks in four different sequences known as streams.
(9)
Students express preferences for one of the four streams and are allocated during Year 2, in anticipation of the commencement of Stage 3.
(10)
Content relating to each of the four Themes is delivered across and within each Core Block and Specialty Block.
(11)
The eight clinical blocks are as follows:
(a)
Core Blocks
(i)
Medicine 3 (Year 3)
(ii)
Surgery (Year 3)
(iii)
Medicine 4 (Year 4)
(iv)
Critical Care (Year 4)
(b)
Specialty Blocks:
(i)
Community Medicine (Com) (Year 3)
(ii)
Perinatal and Women’s Health (PWH) (Year 3 or Year 4)
(iii)
Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine (PAAM) (Year 3 or Year 4)
(iv)
Child and Adolescent Health. (CAH) (Year 3 or Year 4)
(12)
The Elective Term consists of either one eight-week placement, or two four-week placements, at approved sites within or outside Australia.
(13)
Most elective term placements are clinical but students may undertake a research placement if they are not simultaneously enrolled in a concurrent research higher degree.
(14)
PRINT is completed after students have completed all Core and Specialty Blocks and Elective Term requirements.
(15)
Three sequential PRINT terms are offered, each of four weeks duration; students must complete one of these to graduate.
(16)
Students in Stage 3 enrol each semester in units of study corresponding to the Core Block and Specialty Blocks that they will undertake during that semester.
(17)
Students in Year 3 enrol in:
(a)
five clinical blocks (two Core and three Speciality)
(b)
four Themes
(18)
Students in Year 4 enrol in:
(a)
three clinical blocks (two Core and one Specialty)
(b)
Elective term; or
(c)
Research Project
(d)
PRINT
(e)
four Themes

6 Assessment

(1)
The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery is an integrated program and assessment occurs throughout each year, not in the designated University of Sydney Examinations periods.
(2)
Assessment is designed to test:
(a)
content delivered across all four Themes
(b)
clinical skills
(3)
Details of assessment requirements in each Stage, including the structure, content and overall contribution to Unit of Study results for each examination, are available for enrolled students on the Sydney Medical Program MD Learning Management System (Compass).
(a)
Stage 1
(i)
Three Single Best Answer (SBA) examinations
(ii)
Two practical examinations in Anatomy and one in Pathology
(iii)
One Clinical Placement assessment
(iv)
One Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
(v)
Completion of requirements for the ILA
(b)
Stage 2
(i)
Two SBA based examinations
(ii)
Two practical examinations in Anatomy
(iii)
Two practical examinations in Pathology
(iv)
A Population Medicine short written answer examination
(v)
Clinical Placement assessments.
(vi)
One OSCE
(c)
Stage 3
(i)
One SBA examination in September of each of Year 3 and Year 4
(ii)
Practice Long Case examinations in the Core Medicine 3 and Medicine 4 Blocks
(iii)
Clinical Placement Assessments in the Core Medicine 3, Medicine 4, Surgery and Critical Care Blocks
(iv)
Specialty Block in-term workplace assessments
(v)
Specialty Block in-term examination for each Specialty Block completed
(vi)
Assessment of an Elective Term placement report or Examination of the Research Project
(vii)
PRINT placement assessment

7 Requirements for award

(1)
All units of study in the MBBS Program are prescribed and must be taken in the Stage of enrolment to which they correspond. They are set out in the Table of Undergraduate Units of Study for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
(2)
To qualify for the award of the MBBS degree, a candidate must successfully complete 192 credit points made up of:
(a)
48 credit points in Stage 1
(b)
48 credit points in Stage 2
(c)
96 credit points in Stage 3

8 Progression rules

All stages
(1)
Candidates for the MBBS degree must enrol in all the prescribed units of study in each Stage and Year of the MBBS Program.
(2)
Candidates must pass all Themes and in all prescribed units of study in order to progress to the next Stage.
(3)
Candidates who do not meet the attendance requirements of each Stage, as detailed in the Sydney Medical Program Attendance Policy, will need approval by the Co-Directors of the Sydney Medical Program and/or the relevant Examination Committee to be permitted to continue their candidature and/or take the examinations.
(4)
In accordance with the Sydney Medical program Statement of Expectations (SoE) and the Sydney Medical Program Professionalism and Satisfactory Progress Local Provisions 2013, candidates for the degree who demonstrate significant or repeated unprofessional behaviour may be required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(5)
Candidates who fail one of the Stage or Year SBA examinations may be offered an opportunity a supplementary SBA examination by the responsible Examination Committee, taking into account the candidate’s performance level compared to the set passing standard, the candidate’s attendance record, performance in other examinations, past academic history and adherence to the professionalism standards detailed in the Statement of Expectations.
(6)
Candidates who fail the supplementary SBA examination will repeat the applicable Stage or Year in its entirety, unless, in accordance with Part 15 of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014, they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(7)
Subject to Clause 11 (Time Limits) of the Course Resolutions, candidates may only repeat one of Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 (Year 3), or Stage 3 (Year 4) once.
(8)
Candidates who are required to repeat a Stage or Year must repeat the entire Stage or Year, including all Themes and all prescribed units of study. No credit is given for any unit of study or Theme in the repeat Stage or Year.
(9)
The only exceptions to Clause 8 are in relation to the units of study for the Elective Term and/or the Research Project units of study. If the candidate has met the requirements for these units of study as set out in the corresponding unit of study outline, they will be exempt from repeating them. The responsible unit of study Co-ordinator will determine whether the candidate has met the requirements.
Stages 1 and 2
(10)
Candidates must complete both Semester 1 and Semester 2 in the same calendar year in order to progress to the next Stage. This Clause may be waived in exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Co-Directors of the Sydney Medical Program.
(11)
Candidates who withdraw in Semester 2 of Stage 1 or Stage 2 will be required to repeat all of the applicable year subject to Clauses 9 and 10.
(12)
Candidates who achieve a mark of two or more standard errors of measurement below the pass mark in the SBA examinations during Stage 1 or Stage 2 will not be permitted to continue their candidature in that Stage in that academic year. They will be permitted to withdraw and to return the following academic year to repeat the Stage in its entirety.
(13)
Clause 12 does not apply to the SBA examination at the end of Foundation Block in Stage 1 unless the candidate has failed to meet the attendance requirements and/or has demonstrated unprofessional behaviour as defined in Clause 4.
Stage 3 Years 3 and 4
(14)
Candidates in Stage 3 must pass the Core Blocks in each Year of Stage 3 in order to be permitted to take the September SBA examination.
(15)
Candidates in Stage 3 may only fail one of a Core Block or Specialty Block and be permitted to continue the year.
(16)
Candidates who fail a Core Block will repeat that Core Block in its entirety in the same academic year. The Specialty Block that has been displaced by the repeat Core Block will be completed in the final academic term of Year 4.
(17)
Candidates who fail one Specialty Block in Stage 3 may repeat it in the final academic term of Year 4 if they have not failed any other block, unit of study, Theme, Long Case Examination or SBA examination.
(18)
Candidates who fail a single Specialty Block or the September SBA examination or the Long Case Examination may be granted a replacement or supplementary exam. Eligibility for a replacement or supplementary exam will be determined by the responsible Examination Committee, taking into account the candidate’s performance level compared to the set passing standard, the candidate’s attendance record, performance in other examinations, past academic history and adherence to the professionalism standards detailed in the Statement of Expectations.
(19)
Candidates who are eligible for a supplementary examination will be provided with remediation prior to the supplementary exam.
(20)
Candidates who fail the replacement or supplementary SBA examination or the replacement or supplementary Long Case Examination will repeat the applicable Year in its entirety, unless, in accordance with Part 15, of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy, 2014, they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(21)
Candidates who fail two or more of:
(a)
a Core Block
(b)
a Specialty Block, or the replacement or supplementary Specialty Block examination
(c)
the September SBA examination, or the replacement or supplementary SBA examination
(d)
a Theme
(e)
the Long Case Examination, or the replacement or supplementary Long Case examination
(f)
the Elective Term
(g)
the Research Project.
will repeat the applicable Year, unless, in accordance with Part 15 of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014 they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in the suspension of candidature.
(22)
Candidates who fail the Research Project unit of study and no other unit of study, Theme or block will be required to undertake remediation in the form of an 8-week Elective Term placement prior to the end of Year 4.
(23)
Candidates who fail the Research Project remediation will repeat the Year in its entirety, unless, in accordance with Part 15, of the University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014, they are required to show cause as to why their enrolment should be continued. Failure to show cause will result in suspension of candidature.
Stage 3 Year 3
(24)
Candidates must pass all the Year 3 Core Blocks, and the Year 3 September SBA examination or the SBA replacement or supplementary examination, in order to be eligible to take the Elective Term unit of study.
(25)
A repeat Year 3 shall include 40 weeks of clinical placement (five Core and Specialty Blocks in total, each of eight weeks duration).
Stage 3 Year 4
(26)
Only candidates who have passed all eight Core Blocks and Specialty Blocks, the Elective Term or the Research Project, all Year 3 and Year 4 SBA examinations, Themes and Units of Study will be permitted to enrol in the PRINT term.
(27)
Students who fail their PRINT term will repeat it in the next available PRINT term, which may be in the following academic year if a candidate has failed the last of the available PRINT terms in that academic year.
(28)
A repeat Year 4 shall include 36 weeks of clinical placement (four Core Blocks and Specialty Blocks in total, each of eight weeks duration, and a four week PRINT term).

7 Requirements for the honours degree

(1)
Honours is available to meritorious candidates who complete an alternative set of units of study in the final year of the program. Candidates enrolled in the degree part-time are not eligible to enrol in Honours.
(2)
To qualify for admission to the honours program a candidate should, without repeating a Stage, achieve:
(a)
a satisfactory result in the Stage 1 written exam; and
(b)
a satisfactory result in Stage 1 and 2 portfolios on Personal and Professional Development; and
(c)
a minimum result of 75% in the Stage 2 written exam; and
(d)
a satisfactory result in the Stage 2 practical exam.
(3)
To qualify for the award of the honours degree a candidate must successfully complete the requirements for the degree in the minimum standard full time duration and:
(a)
complete the 12 credit point research unit of study described in the table of units for the degree with a minimum mark of 70; and
(b)
achieve a minimum average mark of 75% in the Years 3 and 4 written exams.

8 Honours weighted average mark (HWAM)

(1)
The HWAM in the Faculty of Medicine is calculated from the results in the 80 credit points of core units of study in Stage 3, plus the honours mark which will be given double weighting.
(2)
The HWAM is calculated using the following formula:
 
HWAM =
 
sum(Wc x Mc)  
sum(Wc)
Where Wc is the Stage 3 unit of study credit points x the Stage 3 unit weighting and Mc is the mark achieved for the Stage 3 unit. The mark used for units with a grade AF is zero.
(3)
All Stage 3 units are weighted 1 except the research unit of study which is weighted 2.

9 Award of the degree

(1)
The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery is awarded as either Pass or Honours. The honours degree is awarded in classes ranging from First Class to Second Class, Division Two. The class of honours is awarded on the basis of a student's HWAM as below:

Description

HWAM Range

Honours Class I

80 >= HWAM

Honours Class II (Division 1)

75 <= HWAM < 80

Honours Class II (Division 2)

70 <= HWAM < 75

Honours not awarded

HWAM < 70

(2)
An honours candidate who obtains a mark of less than 70 in a research unit of study, or a HWAM of less than 70, will not be awarded honours and will be awarded the pass degree.
(3)
An honours candidate who fails the research unit of study will be required to undertake the elective unit of study at the end of the program as an additional unit in order to achieve the correct number of credit points required for the award of the pass degree.

10 University medal

A student with an HWAM of 90 or above may be awarded a university medal. The medal is awarded at the discretion of the faculty to the highest achieving students who in the opinion of the faculty have an outstanding academic record.

11 Time Limits

(1)
Subject to sub-clause 11(2), a candidate for the MBBS must complete the requirements for the degree within five calendar years.
(2)
The Dean may, in exceptional circumstances, extend the time limit for completing the requirements for the MBBS to a maximum of 10 years.

12 Credit for previous study

Advanced standing and credit for previous study is not available in this degree except where approved by the Dean for the purposes of subclause 3(7).