Which Universities Don't Require UCAT for Medicine and Why?

Are you confused by which universities require UCAT for Medicine and which don't? Do you want to understand what the different entrance standards are? Well, in this post, we clear up the mystery for you and explain which universities don't require UCAT and why.

You may be wondering why some universities don’t require UCAT for medicine and others do. In this article, we explain why some universities don’t require UCAT, what their medicine pathways are, and which universities do need UCAT.

 

Isn’t UCAT compulsory for Medicine?

No. UCAT isn’t compulsory for medicine degrees. But that doesn’t mean you should not sit the UCAT if you intend to do medicine.

The universities that don’t require UCAT for undergraduate medicine make up only a small fraction of the courses on offer.

As you would already know, UCAT stands for Undergraduate Clinical Admissions Test. The key word here is undergraduate.

Many of the programs on offer from universities for medicine such as the MD or Doctor of Dental Surgery/Dentistry are graduate degrees.

To do this you need to have completed a bachelors degree, usually a related health science degree, before applying for and entering the course.

This means at least 3 years of study before entering a 4 year graduate program (minimum 7 years study) rather than 5-6 years of total study for an undergraduate entry program (depending on university).

 

If I don’t need a UCAT score for entry to these courses, do I really need to sit the UCAT?

If you are a graduate, then no. You won’t need UCAT, you’ll need GAMSAT.

But, if you are an undergraduate, you should still sit the UCAT. Let’s look at why.

While some universities don’t require UCAT for admission, the vast majority do.

Direct Undergraduate Entry Through UCATDirect Undergraduate Without UCATGraduate only Entry (GAMSAT)
  1. The University of Adelaide
  2. Charles Sturt University
  3. Curtin University
  4. Flinders University
  5. Monash University
  6. The University of Newcastle & The University of New England Joint Medical program
  7. The University of New South Wales
  8. The University of Queensland
  9. The University of Tasmania
  10. The University of Western Australia
  11. Western Sydney University
  12. The University of Auckland
  13. The University of Otago
  1. The University of Sydney
  2. Bond University
  3. James Cook University
  1. Australian National University
  2. The University of Melbourne
  3. The University of Wollongong
  4. Griffith University
  5. Notre Dame University
  6. Macquarie University
  7. Deakin University

 

Out of the 16 universities offering undergraduate medicine in Australia and New Zealand, only 3 don’t require UCAT and aren’t part of the UCAT consortium.

If you want to increase your chances of getting into a medical degree as an undergraduate, sitting the UCAT is the best way!

 

Want a UCAT cheatsheet in your pocket?

 

The other, non-UCAT, pathway to medicine is the graduate pathway.

This requires you to complete an undergraduate and then apply. This means waiting an additional 3-4 years.

While this is an important and viable option for students, given the competitive nature of university admissions and the employment sector, getting into your chosen degree sooner is in your best interests.

And even if you don’t get into medicine the first time (or even the second time), as an undergraduate, sitting the UCAT will prepare you for the GAMSAT and CASPer which are very similar psychometric testing systems.

Sitting UCAT will give you practice and skills for approaching timed online battery tests with forced multiple choice questions.

 

Some universities only offer medicine as a graduate pathway

This structure accounts for several Australian universities (although none from New Zealand). Most of the universities that offer postgraduate medicine or dental degrees require students to complete an undergraduate degree (often with pre-requisite subjects in things like anatomy and science) and then sit the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test).

Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Wollongong, Griffith University, Notre Dame University, Macquarie University have a direct pathway option from undergraduate study through to undertaking a Doctor of Medicine / Doctor of Surgery.

Some of these universities will require you to have a GAMSAT score for admission. Others have different, in-house, testing procedures. We’ve included a detailed list of these 6 graduate entry only universities later on in this article.

 

Are there universities that offer undergraduate medicine but don’t require UCAT?

Yes, there are. There are only 3 universities that offer undergraduate medicine and don’t take part in the UCAT admissions process. They are:

  1. The University of Sydney
  2. Bond University
  3. James Cook University

Let’s take a closer look at entering undergrad programs at these universities.

 

Why doesn’t The University of Sydney require UCAT for Undergraduate Medicine?

The University of Sydney (USYD) doesn’t require UCAT for undergraduate medicine because it has its own entry system.

 

The medicine double degree – undergraduate arts or science/doctor of medicine degree at USYD is very competitive.

Their first year cohort is very small and all candidates need a score of 99.95 ( Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates must have an ATAR above 90 and early offer applicants must still score a minimum of 99.5 to be considered).

To put that in perspective, only 46 students in the country achieved a 99.95 ATAR score in 2018.

USYD offers two integrated undergraduate/postgraduate degrees under their undergraduate medicine program:

Similarly, the dental medicine double degree – undergraduate arts or science/doctor of dental medicine degree at USYD is very competitive.

Their first year cohort is very small and all candidates need a score of 99.5 ( Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates must have an ATAR above 90 and early offer applicants must still score a minimum of 99 to be considered).

To put that in perspective, less than 500 students in the country achieved a 99.5 or above ATAR score in 2018.

USYD has a single integrated undergraduate/postgraduate degrees under their undergraduate medicine program:

 

Is there a replacement for UCAT at USYD?

If you are among the limited cohort that receives an offer from USYD, you’ll go through and additional selection criteria. Just like UCAT, USYD has an internal selection process to ensure potential students have the correct qualities to undertake a career as a doctor.

Instead of UCAT, candidates face a written assessment and an interview on the assessment days:

  1. The assessment day for first round offers is held shortly after the ATAR results are released (in 2019 they were 10 days after the ATAR results we released).
  2. The assessment day for second round offers is held mid to late January.

 

Why doesn’t Bond University require UCAT for entry?

Bond University is a private university (this means that it receives no government funding) on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Bond University runs its own admissions system for medicine.

Bond University offers a direct pathway double degree for Medicine that can be completed in 4 years and 8 months:

  1. Bachelor of Medical Studies (BMedSt)
  2. Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Bond University requires an ATAR of greater than 96.0 or an IB total of 39+.

 

What does Bond University require instead of UCAT?

Successful applicants will then need to sit both a pyschometric test and a medical MMI (Multiple Mini Interviews) interview (a series of panel interviews that produce a score). Around 540 candidates are invited to sit the psychometric testing.

The psychometric test is a computerised test that asks candidates a selection of questions to assess their emotional intelligence (EQ). This test is very similar to the Situational Judgement section of UCAT, only it has 311 multiple choice questions in two sections:

  • A personality test with 170 forced choice questions
  • An emotional intelligence test with 141 forced choice questions

After the online test, 240 candidates will be invited to the MMI session.

An MMI  is where different interview stations are set up around a room and candidates cycle through the room, responding to different types of questions at each station. Including, for example:

  • Ethics
  • Professionalism
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal relationships

After the MMI stage, 120 applicants will be offered positions in the degree.

 

Why doesn’t James Cook University require UCAT for entry?

James Cook University is the only other ANZ university that doesn’t require a UCAT score for entry into undergraduate medicine. It has its own admissions procedure.

James Cook offers undergraduate courses for:

JCU requires students to apply through QTAC (Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre) until 2020 when ATAR will replace the Queensland Overall Position (OP).

JCU students needed to score an OP of 1/99 – 4/93 OP or ATAR equivalent of 95.0+ to be able to apply in 2018.

 

What does James Cook University require instead of UCAT?

Unlike USYD and Bond university, the admissions process is relatively simple:

  1. Students apply through QTAC
  2. Once students have applied through QTAC they submit a written application form that asks a series of questions

Around 200 medical students are accepted into the medicine and dental programs at JCU each year.

 

What about the other ANZ universities that don’t require UCAT for admission?

Other universities in Australia  only offer graduate programs for medicine, not direct undergraduate entry into a program (only The Univervisty of Otago and The University of Auckland in New Zealand offer medicine or dentistry degrees).

 

What does that mean?

Universities that only offer graduate programs in medicine require you to undertake an undergraduate degree first before applying for a graduate degree in medicine/surgery/dental health.

 

What do they use for graduate admissions?

These universities also require students to sit GAMSAT. The GAMSAT entry scores for each university vary from year to year.

Some universities also require applicants to sit CASPer as part of the application process. This is an emotional intelligence test similar to the psychometric used by Bond University.

Most universities will also require you to put together an admissions portfolio. This will include a record of achievements and records of experience in relevant areas for the degree that you are applying for.

All universities offering Graduate medical programs will require applicants to sit an interview or MMI.

 

Which universities only have graduate entrance for medicine programs?

Below is a table of the universities in Australia that ONLY offer graduate medical programs and the details of admission:

UniversityCourses offeredEntry requirementsInterview requirementsAdditional notes
The University of MelbourneDoctor of Dental Surgery

Doctor of Medicine

  • Applicants must have completed or be studying the final year of a Bachelor Degree. The Bachelor degree must be an AQF Level 7 qualification, at a minimum. Applicants must hgave at least a 5.0 on a 7-point scale.
  • The three prerequisite subjects are anatomy, physiology and  biochemistry successfully completed at second year undergraduate level.
  • A GAMSAT score Overall Score of 50 with a minimum of 50 in each of the  three Sections is required to be considered for interview.
  • Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

 

Multi Mini Interviews (MMI):

  • The interview component will be an eight station Multiple Mini Interview. Each station takes five minutes and has a  single interviewer.
  • The MMI aims to assess non-academic qualities including cultural sensitivity, maturity, collaboration, reliability and communication skills.
  • The stations could include practical tasks, commenting on short films, or explaining your thinking

Details of The Univeristy of Melbourne MMI can be found here.

The University of Melbourne offers 287 domestic and up to 45 international positions for Medicine and 96 seats per year for the Doctor of Dental Surgery.
University of WollongongDoctor of Medicine
  • Applicants must have completed or be studying the final year of a Bachelor Degree. The Bachelor degree must be an AQF Level 7 qualification, at a minimum. Applicants must hgave at least a 5.0 on a 7-point scale.
  • A GAMSAT score Overall Score of 50 with a minimum of 50 in each of the  three Sections is required to be considered for interview.
  • A valid CASPer score
  • A completed UOW Graduate Medicine Admissions Portfolio.
  • A successful performance in the UOW MMI
  • Recognised First-Aid certificate such as Red Cross or St John’s Ambulance
UOW has an MMI process which their website describes as follows:

The interview for domestic students will take the form of a scenario based process in which each applicant proceeds through a series of ten stations and one rest station, with each active station assessed by a different interviewer. Interviews for 2020 entry are currently scheduled to occur on two weekends in late September, on each campus (Wollongong and Shoalhaven).These interviews have been developed with the assistance of McMaster University and are part of a licensing agreement of their MMI process.

The interviews are designed to assess the following personal qualities deemed desirable in medical students and medical practitioners.

  • Communication skills
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Resilience and coping skills
  • Decision making and Problem solving ability
  • Teamwork
  • Honesty
  • Reflection / self appraisal
  • Leadership
  • Ethical standards and values
  • Insight and understanding

All interviewers are formally trained in the interview process. The interviewers have no academic information regarding the candidate at time of interview.

There are 3 steps in the application process:

  1. Sit GAMSAT
  2. Sit CASPer
  3. Apply for admission through GEMSAS

UOW offers 67 domestic and 17 international positions.

Australian National UniversityMedicinae ac Chirurgiae Doctoranda (MChD)
  • Applicants must have completed or be studying the final year of a Bachelor Degree. The Bachelor degree must be an AQF Level 7 qualification, at a minimum.
  • All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students
  • Admission is based on:
    • Weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) (25%);
    • GAMSAT score (25%) and;
    • Interview (50%)
  • The minimum weighted GPA for interview consideration is 5.6.
  • The GPA calculation is based on the last three years of full-time equivalent study (3.0 EFTSL) in your most recently completed eligible degree/s. For the purpose of the GPA calculation, eligible degrees include Bachelor, Honours and Masters by Coursework programs only.
  • All sections of the GAMSAT must be passed and an Overall Score of 55 or more achieved.
  • Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee an invitation to an interview.
  • The ANU MMI is held in September and the questions cover a range of topics and scenarios (ANU doesn’t provide details of its MMI).
  • Applications need to be made through GEMSAS.
  • Details can be found here, on the course website.
  • ANU offers positions to 90 domestic students and also offers up to 20 international positions
Notre Dame (Sydney & Freemantle)Doctor of Medicine (Freemantle)

Doctor of Medicine (Sydney)

As a guide, the average GPA for Notre Dame MD students is 6.5 and an average GAMSAT score is 63

The University of Notre Dame, Freemantle website describes the MMI as follows:

The School of Medicine, Fremantle uses the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) process to assess the non-academic qualities of prospective students, such as responsibility, ethics, teamwork, communication and self-reflection.

Originally developed by McMaster University’s medical school in the early 2000s, MMIs use a unique series of short-form interview stations to assess candidates’ attributes, including ethical and moral judgement, interpersonal skills and professionalism. The MMI format has been adopted by Notre Dame since 2014, and other medical schools around the world, to help ensure they are accepting students who are a good fit for medical professions.

What’s involved?

  • Candidates will be assessed at seven 6-minute stations on a variety of identified key medical selection criteria.
  • There will be one interviewer per station, two minutes reading time between stations, and one rest station for the candidates.
  • School of Medicine staff will randomly benchmark stations.
  • Trained actors will be used where role playing is required.
The application process is in two parts:

  1. Students apply through the GEMSAS website
  2. Students submit their Notre Dame portfolio

Only around 100 places are available at the Freemantle campus.

Only around 120 places are available at the Sydney campus.

 

 

Macquarie UniversityDoctor of Medicine
  • Bachelor degree or similar with an overall GPA of 5.0 or above on a 7-point scale.
  • A score above 50 in each section of the the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT)
  • Applicants must have successfully completed approved prerequisite tertiary units or groups of
    units in:

    •  Human Anatomy
    •  Human Physiology

Prerequisites must be completed less than 10 years from intended enrolment.

  • Successful performance in the Macquarie MMI
Multiple Mini Interviews (Macquarie doesn’t provide any information about their MMI)Details about the admissions process can be found here.

Applications must be made through GEMSAS, direct applications through the medical school won’t be accepted.

Only around 60 places are on offer.

Griffith UniversityDoctor of Medicine (Gold Coast Campus)

Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (Gold Coast Campus)

Griffith University Multi Station Admissions Assessment (GUMSAA)

This is a multi station interview that assesses the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Ethical judgement
  • Professionalism
  • Decision-making
  • Motivation
  • Learning style/team-work skills
  • Personal management and self-evaluation skills
  • Prosocial attitude

The MMI lasts approximately 3 hours. Each candidate is rated to a scale at the individual stations. Successful applicants will have demonstrated the qualities requried by the medical school.

These courses are only offered at the Gold Coast Campus.

Applications must be made through GEMSAS, direct applications through the medical school won’t be accepted.

Griffith University offers 140 domestic graduate positions.

They also offer 60 positions through their Bachelor of Medical Science Pathway.

Griffith will take up to 30 international students into their MD.

 

Deakin UniversityDoctor of Medicine (Warun Ponds – Geelong Campus)An MMI interview including 10 five-minute stations including:

  • Communication Skills
  • Commitment to Rural and Regional Practice
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism
  • Motivation for a Career in Medicine
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Social Justice
  • Health Promotion
  • Effective Use of Resources
This course is only run at the Warun Ponds- Geelong Campus.

Applications must be made through GEMSAS, direct applications through the medical school won’t be accepted.

Only around 145 places are on offer for domestic students and 15 for international.

 

It is worth noting that each of these universities offer undergraduate degrees which form a pathway to the above postgraduate degrees.

 

Want to see how to prepare for the UCAT?

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