How To Successfully Apply to UK Medical Schools From Australia
Advice & Insight From Medicine Application Specialists
The UK and Australia have a strong relationship with regard to Medicine, with many UK graduates and UK doctors choosing to make the move to Australia in search of a better work-life balance. This can certainly make applying to a UK medical school a sensible option for Australian students.
The following is an overview of applying to medical school in the UK from Australia.
Grade Requirements for Students applying to Medicine from Australia
Grade requirements will differ somewhat from university to university, and you should also note that some schools will note accept the ATAR or OP, and instead require international A Levels or the IB.
Here are some examples.
King’s College London accepts the ATAR for direct entry into its undergraduate programs, including Medicine. You will need evidence of high grades and a pass in the Year 12 High School Certificate of Education. For Medicine, A*AA in the UK would be the equivalent of 97 in the ATAR (with a pass in the Year 12 HIgh School Certificate of Education).
Manchester also accepts the ATAR, and specifies that you must have received a score of at least 98, including Biology or Chemistry and a second science from Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths or Psychology in your High School Certificate at a minimum score of 90% or equivalent. They additionally accept the Queensland Overall Position Rank or OP, which must be at least band 1 and, as with the ATAR, include Biology or Chemistry and a second science from Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics or Psychology in your High School Certificate at a minimum 90% or equivalent.
You must offer both English Language and Mathematics to at least High Achievement or grade B in Year 10 certificates.
UCL does not accept any Australian qualifications, and will only consider those who offer acceptable international qualifications.
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Finances/Fees for Medicine in the UK
Fees for those studying Medicine in the UK from abroad are expensive. Australian students can expect to pay around £30,000 per annum, with this cost often being very different for clinical years and pre-clinical years.
At Bristol, fees are currently £33,500 per year for Medicine. At Manchester, fees are £27,000 per year for pre-clinical and £46,000 per year for clinical. At Edinburgh, fees are £32,100 per year on average for the duration of its course.
Job prospects in the UK and in Australia
Applying to a UK university makes a huge amount of sense for Australian students already considering their future job prospects. Doctors who have graduated in the UK can work easily in Australia, with the UK being the single largest source of overseas doctors and international medical graduates currently working in Australia. Many UK graduates make the choice to work in Australia and take up an RMO (Resident Medical Officer) position, after completing their Foundation Years in the UK, due to the great quality of life that Australia offers its doctors compared to those working in the UK.
Of course, job prospects are also great in the UK, as the UK has a high demand for new doctors. Graduates are therefore guaranteed a job in the National Health Service – although the area in which this will be is determined by university performance and a situational judgement test.
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3 Key Tips for Applying to UK Medical Schools from Australia
Unlike students applying to the UK from many other countries, Australians can be confident that their degree will provide them with a job back in their home country, if that is what they desire. You should therefore worry less about researching the logistics of a different country’s degrees, and instead focus on which universities are likely to have the recognition that will get you a job in Australia, and also which are likely to provide an education that leaves you feeling confident in your abilities as a doctor. You should therefore try to speak to students from universities that you are interested in.
Try to speak to current medical students or doctors about how the healthcare system in the UK works, and make sure to focus on the NHS and its structure and history. Try to practice interview questions on it, as well as the structure of medical education as a whole in the UK.
Research the BMAT and UCAT, and consider which one of the two is more likely to suit you. The UCAT is solely an aptitude test, whereas the BMAT involves scientific knowledge as well. Different UK universities will require different tests. You should make sure to practice with as many mock questions as possible, in order to get used to the structure and content.