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The medical school at the University of Newcastle, Australia was founded in 1965 and quickly gained an international reputation for its innovation. Several laureate professors teach in the medical school including laureate professor Rob Sanson-Fisher who is an internationally recognised cancer care and health behavioural specialist and laureate professor John Aitken, who is a global authority on reproductive Biology.

The University of Newcastle and the University of New England have joined together to offer the Joint Medical Programme (JMP). The JMP has graduated more than half of Australia’s Indigenous doctors (over 80 since 1985) which makes them experts and leaders in indigenous health education.

Students get to enjoy multiple settings across New South Wales, a beautiful and varied state in the south-east of Australia home to the cities of Sydney and Newcastle as well as the rugged Blue Mountains, rainforests and long stretches of coastline, perfect for surfing.

Newcastle/New England Summary Table

How to apply UAC
Programme Length 5 years
Number of Places 170
Academic Requirements ATAR: 94.30
Exam Requirements UCAT: minimum score of 50 in each section
Interview MSA
Application Deadline 30 September 2020

New England/Newcastle Medicine - The Programme

The Joint Medical Programme (JMP) curriculum is designed and offered jointly by the University of Newcastle at Callaghan and the University of New England at Armidale. Students benefit from early clinical exposure from the very first semester. The curriculum itself uses problem-based and self-directed learning as key pillars.

The course is in two stages; stage one is called the Bachelor of Medical Science and consists of the first two years of the program, and the second stage is called the Doctor of Medicine and consists of the last 3 years of the program.

Stage one, the Bachelor of Medical Science, is divided into two phases. Phase 1 is taught in a problem based learning setting, which includes learning through tutorials, lectures, and laboratory sessions. Phase 1 focuses on biomedical, behavioural, and social sciences. In Phases 2, students will get the opportunity to participate in clinical placements in medicine and surgery.

Stage two consists of the last two years of the program, where students will participate in clinical placements. In year 4, students will rotate through Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Psychiatry, and in year 5 students will rotate through Surgery, Critical Care and Trauma, and General Practice.

Some key benefits the JMP offers are access to metropolitan and rural locations for teaching, early clinical exposure from the first semester, advanced simulation facilities and exchange opportunities with medical students in England, Sweden and Norway.


Residence requirements

The Joint Medical Program accepts domestic applicants. International applicants are not able to apply directly to the JMP. However, limited places are available to international students studying at the Foundation Program in Medicine offered by the Newcastle International College (NIC) at the University of Newcastle.

International students are able to apply for and complete the NIC Foundation Program in Medicine with a view to progressing into the Bachelor of Medicine. There are set courses that students wishing to progress to the Bachelor of Medicine must complete. The completion of this foundation year does not guarantee entry to the Bachelor of Medicine as candidates are required to satisfy both the minimum academic requirement and the personal qualities assessment as set by the Joint Medical Program.

Alternative Pathways

Each year up to 17 places are set aside for admission for applicants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.  Candidates applying through this route are not required to submit an online Joint Medical Program direct university application and are exempt from sitting the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Test (UMAT).

The Rural and Remote Admissions Scheme (RRAS) aims to increase the number of students from rural and remote locations being admitted to the JMP. The target is 30% of total admissions being from this pool. To be eligible you need to be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident and prove that you have resided for at least 5 years consecutively or 10 years cumulatively in a rural or remote location.

Note that for applicants that are successful through this scheme, there may be a greater expectation for them to complete their clinical placements within their rural area.

Applicants admitted under this scheme must achieve an ATAR of 91.40 to satisfy the minimum academic criteria. To be eligible, you must have attended a high school located in a designated rural or remote location.

Academic Requirements


The University of New England/University of Newcastle medical school entry requirements are as follows:

ATAR - Applicants need a minimum ATAR score of 94.30.

If you are applying as an overseas student and have qualifications other than those listed above, please contact us if you would like more information on the minimum grades needed to be considered for a place in the Foundation Programme at The University of Newcastle.


Applicants must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT ANZ). Each section (VR, DM, QR and AR) have equal weight and an aggregate score will be used to rank candidates. The SJT portion of the UCAT is not used to select for an interview for admission entry in 2021.

Applicants invited for an interview (Multiple Skills Assessment) must also complete the Personal Qualities Assessment, PQA. The Personal Qualities Assessment is a key part of the application, and thus grades alone are not sufficient for admission.

Application Process

How to apply

Candidates applying for the Joint Medical Programme must apply with the University Admission Centre (UAC).

Application Deadline

The deadline for applicants is September 2020.

Selection Process


When selected for an offer, applicants are ranked based on their academic qualifications as well as the results of their UCAT, MSA, and PQA.


Interviews will take place in the Multiple Skills Assessment (MSA) format. This involves applicants rotating through 8 stations which last 8 minutes each. During the interview, various scenarios will be discussed and activities are undertaken. New England/Newcastle Medical School Interview questions will assess candidates on their:

  • capacity to thrive within the JMP learning environment
  • decision making, especially when the outcome may be unclear
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • motivation for medicine

Competition Ratios

Each year, the University of New England/University of Newcastle Medicine programme accepts approximately 170 students. Around 3000 people apply each year. This gives an overall competition ratio of approximately 1:18.


The QS World University Ranking has placed The University of Newcastle 101st to 150th in the world of medicine. The QS World University Ranking has also ranked Newcastle in the top three percent of the world’s universities. It is a supportive place to study as demonstrated by the Australian Graduate Survey 2015 returning a satisfaction rating of 85%.

Medical Student Opinion

Final Year Student

What are the good things about studying Medicine at this university?

The best thing would be the beach. The second best thing is the amount of practical experience we get. We are thrown into hospitals within the first few weeks of beginning med school and are there full time for the last 2 years of the degree. It is also probably one of the most chill universities where everyone is super laid back creating a very non-competitive and supportive atmosphere.

What is not so good about studying Medicine there?

There is no anatomy teaching at all.

What advice do you have for someone thinking of studying Medicine there?

Do it. It's great.

Do you have any tips on how to get in?

There are three barriers that you have to get over: 1. The academic marks 2. The UMAT and if you do well in those you get invited to (3) an interview (marks which is a multi mini interview consisting of 8 various stations. You are then ranked according to your interview and offered a place. To have the best possible chance of getting in work on your communication, interview skills and how to deal with various ethical situations.

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