Special Entry Schemes

Female student at the UNSW campus Kensington

Our students come to us from many backgrounds and all walks of life. We offer a range of entry schemes including:

  • Gateway Entry Scheme
  • Lateral Entry Scheme
  • Rural Entry Scheme
  • Indigenous Entry Scheme
  • Students from other medical schools

If you're an Australian/New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident who has lived in a rural area within Australia for an extended period of time during your schooling years (Kindergarten to Year 12), you may be able to apply through the Rural Entry Scheme (RES). 

The RES was first introduced in 1997 and runs alongside the local entry application process. The application process is competitive and assessed on a range of rurality and other factors. Applicants who apply through the RES but do not meet the scheme requirements can have their applications transferred to the standard local entry process (provided they meet the entry requirements and criteria for local entry). 

  • The RES is an initiative to promote medicine to applicants with an extensive rural background who are able to demonstrate and meet rurality and other assessed factors. Applicants who enter the UNSW Medicine program through the RES study the same program as students who apply and enter through the standard local entry application process.

    Applicants who choose to apply through the RES cannot also apply through the standard local entry application process or Gateway entry process via the Medicine Application Portal (MAP). You must select and apply for only one entry pathway. 

    The UNSW Rural Entry Scheme is designed for rural students who wish to study in our world-class medical program and want to pursue a career as a doctor in a rural or remote area. Subject to eligibility criteria, the RES special entry stream encourages and favourably considers students who reside in and have attended and completed their Higher School Certificate at a local high school with proximity to our UNSW Rural Clinical Campuses in Albury, Coffs Harbour, Griffith, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga, and would like to study close to home and close to family. Eligible students from areas of greater geographic remoteness, as defined by the Modified Monash Model (MMM) geographic remoteness scale are also encouraged to apply.

  • To apply via the RES, applicants must be an Australian/New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident that has lived in a defined Australian rural area, MMM 2 - 7 (Modified Monash Model classification system) for at least five consecutive or ten cumulative years between the ages of five (5) and eighteen (18). This will be evident through your rural residential and schooling locations.

    1. Go to the DoctorConnect website
    2. Select the Modified Monash Model 2019 version of the MMM classification system
    3. Enter the rural residential/school address where you lived in the defined rural area as indicated above to check if it meets the MMM criteria

    Please note that living in rural locations out of Australia cannot be considered for eligibility to apply via this entry scheme.

  • The RES application process is very similar to the standard local entry process.

    • Applicants will be invited to an interview based on their UCAT ANZ results and our rural eligibility criteria. Applicants must reach the 50th percentile on the UCAT ANZ to be considered for the interview stage of the application process.
    • RES applicants are required to complete a statutory declaration evidencing their rural background as well as providing detailed information about rural residential and schooling locations. 
    • The statutory declaration document can be downloaded from the application portal in the 'rural details' tab of the medicine application. It should be completed and attached irrespective of your application status. The document must be witnessed and signed by an authorised person. 
    • Once an interview has been scheduled, rescheduling is not permitted. Once applicants enter the interview room they are deemed fit to be interviewed. If before the scheduled interview applicants believe they are not fit to be interviewed, they should immediately advise the Rural Admission Team and follow their guidance. An alternative day and time of interview may be offered based on availability but cannot be guaranteed. 

    Please note that interviews for the Rural Entry Scheme are held in person and the dates differ to local entry, see the important dates page.

  • Applicants are offered a place in the medicine program based on:

    1. Academic rank
    2. UCAT ANZ score
    3. Interview score
    4. Rural rating
    5. Geographic location

    Using the above parameters, all students are ranked. Academic rank, UCAT ANZ score and interview score are not averaged, which means that a high score in one component will not compensate for a low score in another.  

    Year 12 students

    For applicants seeking admission on the basis of the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC), a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 91.00 or equivalent without adjustment is required to be eligible for consideration through RES.

    University students and graduates

    I have not completed a full year of study

    If you have completed less than 0.75 FTE (full time equivalent) of tertiary study at the end of the year in which you apply, you will be assessed only on your secondary school results.

    I have completed at least one full year of study (but not completed a degree)

    If you have completed an equivalent of 0.75 FTE (full time equivalent) or more of tertiary study in a single degree at the end of the year in which you apply, you will be assessed for admission to the Medicine program on either your secondary OR your tertiary study results. Each applicant needs to meet the minimum requirements for both of the following criteria: 

    • Your secondary school qualification component must reach 91.00 ATAR (or equivalent) without adjustment; AND
    • Your tertiary study component must reach WAM 70 or equivalent.

    Once you have met the minimum requirement, a "best of" algorithm will apply and the qualification with a higher selection rank will be considered for admission to the Medicine program. If you haven't completed at least 0.75 of one year of full-time equivalent university study by the end of the year preceding your potential start, you'll only be assessed on your final secondary school qualification.

    I have completed a degree

    If you have completed any tertiary degree before the end of the year in which you apply (e.g. applying for T1/24 and completing a bachelor’s degree in December 2023), only the completed tertiary qualification(s) will be considered for admission.

    • Completed tertiary studies must reach a minimum WAM/GPA equivalent of a 91.00 ATAR without adjustment.

    As you have completed a tertiary degree, we will no longer consider your secondary qualification.

  • Our Kensington, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga campuses have a set number of places available. When you complete your application on the Medicine Application Portal, you must indicate your campus preferences by putting all three campuses in your preferred order.

    You can change your campus preference up until the application deadline. Once the deadline has passed no further preference changes can be accommodated, regardless of circumstance.

    A rural campus allocation committee will assess all campus allocation preferences of the applicants who are ranked high enough to be offered a place in our medicine program via the RES. Allocation to campuses will be made based on applicant preference and places availability. The rural campus allocation committee’s allocation decision is final and cannot be appealed against. A successful applicant will receive one offer for one campus.

    The Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga places will all be allocated to applicants who applied through the Rural Entry Scheme; and a small group of rural applicants will be allocated to the Kensington campus.

    Applicants who apply through the Rural Entry Scheme and accept a place in the Medicine program at the Kensington campus in Year 1 are expected to study at a rural campus for Phase 2 and 3 (Years 3-6).

    Applicants who accept a place in the Medicine program at the Port Macquarie campus for Year 1 will normally be expected to complete all 6 years of the Medicine program in the Mid North Coast (MNC) region (Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie Rural Clinical Campuses). However, relocation to another rural or metropolitan campus for a defined period may be considered in exceptional circumstances and places availability.

    Applicants who accept a place in the Medicine program at the Wagga Wagga Campus for Year 1 will normally be expected to complete all 6 years of the Medicine program in Murrumbidgee, Riverina and Border region (Wagga Wagga, Albury and Griffith Rural Clinical Campuses). However, relocation to another rural or metropolitan campus for a defined period may also be considered depending upon availability of places.

Contact us 

For all enquiries regarding the Rural Entry Scheme: 

Rural Support Team  
E: med.res@unsw.edu.au
T: (02) 6580 7555

The Gateway Entry Scheme at UNSW Medicine is an alternate entry stream into the Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine (BMed/MD) program for applicants that come from low socio-economic status backgrounds. 

To be eligible for this entry scheme, you must:

  • be an Australian resident
  • be completing an Australian Year 12 qualification in the year of application
  • attend a Gateway school and/or live in a low-socioeconomic area based on IRSAD and IEO indexes of SEIFA criteria.

You can download a list of all UNSW Gateway partner schools on the UNSW Gateway website.

Applicants applying under the Gateway Entry Scheme may also be eligible for scholarships. To find out more about potential scholarships, visit UNSW Scholarships.

Application process 

We recommend applicants apply with UAC before submitting their UNSW Medicine application or applying to sit the UCAT ANZ. Applicants are advised of whether they meet the address criteria for the Gateway Entry scheme within 24 hours of lodging their application with the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Applications submitted under this scheme that don’t meet the criteria will be informed and automatically changed to a standard local applicant. 

To apply through the Gateway Entry Scheme, follow the application process outlined on the local applicants page. When you submit your application through the Medicine Application Portal (MAP), please select “Gateway Entry Scheme applicant” as your applicant type.

Selection for interview

Gateway Entry Scheme applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for an interview: 

  • Minimum raw ATAR of 91.00
  • UCAT ANZ 50th overall percentile 

You’ll be assessed on a combination of the above metrics. You can learn more about how applicants are ranked and selected for interviews on our local applicants page.

Selection for offer

Places to study at UNSW Medicine through the Gateway Entry Scheme are offered based on academic merit, UCAT ANZ overall score and the interview score. 

We use the same selection algorithm as we use for standard local applicants to combine these measures. Applicants are ranked separately to local applicants and we make around 10 offers through this scheme. Depending on availability, these offers may be bonded or unbonded.

The Indigenous Entry Scheme offers an alternative entry pathway into the UNSW Medicine program for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants. As part of the process applicants will need to complete a three week residential program, the Pre-Medicine Program, where their suitability and aptitude will be assessed for potential entry into the UNSW Medicine program.

The scheme aims to enhance access for the Indigenous population to Indigenous medical practitioners. The scheme is designed for high school students, current undergraduate/postgraduate students and mature age students.

  • Successful applicants must complete the residential Pre-Medicine Program (PMP) to be considered for acceptance into Medicine at UNSW.

    The PMP is held at UNSW for three weeks from mid-November. Participants must perform at a level deemed satisfactory by the Faculty of Medicine & Health. Final selection for Indigenous Entry is made after the completion of the PMP.

    What will I learn?

    The Pre-Medicine Program (PMP), designed in partnership with Nura Gili, provides an introduction to the life of an undergraduate medicine student. You'll get to experience what it will be like to navigate studying and university life within a culturally safe and supportive environment. 

    The residential program will give you an insight into the style and pace of a phase one medicine course. The content will cover areas in biology, pharmacology, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, ethics and learning skills. The program will assist you in determining if you're ready to commit to a medicine degree at UNSW and provide us with some insight into your ability to successfully complete course requirements and demands.

    What are the outcomes of the program?

    At the end of the program, you'll attend an exit interview, where you can gain feedback on your progress from the course convenors. This is also when we'll ask for your feedback so we can continue to improve the program. 

    Recommendation for programs at UNSW are dependent on your progress throughout the program and results in the assessment tasks. You may be offered a place in the undergraduate medicine program. Students who are not selected for progression will be given feedback, which can include advice on other programs to consider, such as the University Preparation Program (UPP) - Science Stream.

    • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
    • evidence of academic capability - a number of measures may be used to assess this including secondary/tertiary education records, examples of educational attainment or other evidence of your ability to succeed in the UNSW Medicine program 
    • strong communication & interpersonal skills
    • commitment to & knowledge of Indigenous health issues
  • Selection for the Pre-Medicine Program is based on the following: 

    1. demonstrable motivation to practice medicine
    2. academic capability - including the capacity to achieve within the UNSW Medicine program
    3. demonstrable ability to relate to Indigenous health issues

    You may be invited to an interview or asked to provide further evidence if the selection panel requires more information about you in addition to your application.

  • The PMP is competitive and the students who best meet the selection criteria will be considered for entry into the program. 

    To apply for the PMP, please visit the Nura Gili website.

    Please note that whilst chemistry is not a prerequisite of the undergraduate program at UNSW, it's highly recommended to have some background in chemistry as it will be of great benefit during the program and the undergraduate degree.

    All applicants are encouraged to contact Nura Gili prior to submitting their application.

UNSW Medicine’s Lateral Entry Scheme is a graduate-entry stream into the Bachelor of Medical Studies (BMed)/Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program. This entry scheme is only for domestic UNSW Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSci) students. 

If you’re a Bachelor of Medical Science student, you can apply in your second year of study. If your application is successful, you’ll be required to complete the Bachelor of Medical Science then undertake a Science Honours year before entry into the Doctor of Medicine component of the degree program.  

You can learn more about eligibility criteria, application processes and further details through our Lateral Entry Scheme fact sheet

Domestic applicants from Australian medical schools

If you’re a domestic student who is studying or has studied at an Australian medical school, you’re not able to apply as a commencing student. 

We accept applications for transfers from students who have extenuating circumstances. If you’re required to move to Sydney for special circumstances that arise after you accepted the offer and began studying at another medical school, you may be eligible for a transfer to UNSW Medicine. 

When we review transfer applications, we’ll consider your circumstances as well as academic merit. Applications for transfers must be supported by a letter from the Dean of your current or previous medical school. The transfer may be possible only if we have a Commonwealth Supported place available.

Approved transfers

UNSW Medicine will determine the starting point for transfer students on an individual basis:  

  • early in the degree program: students who request a transfer within the first two years of study won’t receive credit for prior learning - you’ll be required to commence Phase 1
  • middle of the degree program: students who have completed two years of study in either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree program need to undertake and complete Phase 2 clinical courses in Year 3 to be awarded the Bachelor of Medical Studies
  • late in the degree program: students who request a transfer into Phase 3 will need to complete a bachelor's degree in a related discipline such as a Bachelor of Medical Sciences - these students are also required to complete an Independent Learning Project (ILP) or an equivalent course authorised by the Medicine Program Authority.

Application process

  • You should discuss your request for a compassionate transfer with your current or previous medical school before applying with UNSW Medicine. 
  • Submit an application on the Medicine Application Portal (MAP) before the cut-off date. Application deadlines are listed on the important dates page. Late applications will not be considered. 
  • The application form requires you to upload the following supporting documentation:
    • a statement from you outlining your extenuating circumstances and the reason for transfer
    • a letter from the Dean of your current or previous medical school
    • your academic transcript
    • any other supporting documentation      
  • Submit an application with Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) before the cut-off date.
  • You’ll be informed about your application outcome in December. 
  • Please note that you will not be required to sit the UCAT ANZ.

Domestic applicants from overseas medical schools

If you’re a domestic student who is studying or has studied at a medical school abroad, you’re eligible to apply to study at UNSW Medicine as a commencing student only. We don’t accept applications for transfer from overseas medical schools. Credit for previous studies undertaken abroad cannot be provided, except for applicable 12UOC General Education courses.

*Entry requirements and the information on this page changes from time to time based on several factors. Make sure you check this page before applying to get the most up-to-date entry information.

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