Be a doctor

To become a doctor, you need to complete a medical degree. There are three main pathways into medicine.

Undergraduate entry

An undergraduate course is an entry-level course at university. Most of these courses are a bachelor degree. You do not need to have studied at university before to enter an undergraduate degree. The majority of students enter after finishing Year 12, but you can also apply as a mature age student, or after completing an enabling course or previous study at TAFE (or similar). In medicine, undergraduate courses are five or six years long, depending on the university.

Graduate entry

Graduate entry courses are bachelor degree courses that you enter after completing an undergraduate degree. For medicine in Australia, this degree can be in any field. Graduate entry medical degrees are shorter than undergraduate medical courses, usually four years long. They are generally shorter because the university can conclude that you’ve already developed the ability to learn effectively at university level and that you have an understanding of the basic sciences.

School leaver provisional entry

School leaver provisional entry pathways are offered by universities that have graduate-entry medical courses. They guarantee school leavers a place in the graduate entry medical degree on the condition that they first complete a bachelor level degree course at the university, and meet specified conditions (such as maintaining a credit average and finishing the degree in the expected time period).

When applying for an undergraduate medical course you either apply to the university itself or to a State/Territory Tertiary Admissions Centre. The university website should contain all the relevant information, including admission requirements and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pathways.

It is very important to consider practical issues such as where you will live, and what degree of financial, social and cultural support you will have access to in each prospective program. The answers to these questions will likely have a major impact on your final decision.