School leavers can jump
straight into medicine at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in
Sydney, and will get their first taste of real life on the wards in
their first term.
As one of the few
universities in Australia to offer undergraduate medical training, UNSW
emphasises practical experience - combined with a strong focus on
That means UNSW medical
graduates are some of the best placed in the region to find positions
amid the worldwide squeeze on clinical placements.
UNSW is a founding
member of the Group of Eight (Go8) universities and was recently ranked
fourth in Australia by the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
initiative in terms of its research capacity.
The Faculty of Medicine
is recognised as one of Australia’s best, particularly in the area of
biomedical health research. Many of the staff are involved with
research, while more than 1,000 working doctors hold unpaid conjoint
appointments and contribute to research and teaching.
“The fact that we are
English speaking, we are highly internationally regarded and offer very
high quality medical programs which gives our graduates a huge
advantage,” says the Dean of Medicine, Professor Peter Smith.
Clinical practice is
built into every step of the degree program, with simulated wards at the
university, access to virtual patients online, and regular student
placements at a large network of teaching hospitals in Sydney and
“Our philosophy is
it’s better to develop a student’s academic skills in the context of how
they will be applied, so they can understand the relevance of what they
are learning to clinical practice,” says Professor Philip Jones, the
Faculty's Associate Dean (Education).
The Faculty of
Medicine’s Associate Professor Gary Velan recently won one of
Australia’s most prestigious teaching awards for a new online tool for
undergraduates in the medicine program, which resulted in improved marks
across the board and positive student feedback.
The tool gives students
interpretive feedback as they work their way through a number of “real
life” medical scenarios, such as interpreting an ECG printout and
examining the characteristics of the patient’s heart. At every step,
incorrect answers are accompanied with explanations as to how the
mistake could have been made and why an alternative answer is correct.
location in close proximity to Sydney’s medical precinct of three major
teaching hospitals, and the recent opening on campus of the world-class
Lowy Cancer Research Centre, ensure students have access to leaders in
spend a sixth year at UNSW undertaking a research project to hone their
skills in clinical or biomedical research.
“Our graduates leave
with some skills in research and are in a very strong position to go on
in research and to higher degrees and leadership positions,” says
The Faculty is half way
through a major rebuilding program which will provide cutting-edge
facilities to medical students including small group teaching areas,
clinical skills centres - simulated to look like a hospital ward – and
online learning resources.
is encouraged, with the curriculum structured so that students from
different years and abilities work together.
“In medicine all
doctors have to work in clinical teams and work across different levels
of expertise. Our philosophy is to create a strong community of
learning, encouraging constant interaction with fellow students,” says
As well as medicine,
the Faculty offers undergraduate programs in exercise physiology and in
medical sciences. There is also a large number of postgraduate
coursework programs aimed at doctors who are interested in public
health, international public health and health management.
One in five of the
students at UNSW comes from overseas, meaning the university offers
strong student support services and a vibrant, cosmopolitan culture.
UNSW’s Bachelor of
Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is recognised in Singapore and