5 min read

Which Medical School Is Best For Medicine in Australia?

Published on
May 13, 2024

Medical University Rankings In Australia

In today’s highly digitalised world, our mode of communication has transformed to posting our thoughts online. This tends to hold great value and the information often reaches a larger group of people than previously possible. As such, online posts, reviews or ratings have a crucial part in influencing our appreciation of quality in the world today. Our obsession with ratings is no different in the case of medical schools and their rankings. 

The Medical university ranking is a pivotal aspect to help you decipher how a medical school can adequately support your career and provide extra-curricular opportunities to maximise your learning experience. Besides, medical university rankings vary conspicuously across medical schools. University rankings can be formal, put out by magazines and informal as recommended by students and people that are interested. For this reason, rankings can be based on many factors, such as a medical school’s course curriculum or something as elementary as its location. 

In this particular article, we aim to provide specific indicators that can help you rank a medical university from the comfort of your home. Let’s dive right into the subject!

Medicine University Rankings Based On Course Curriculum

Applying to a medical school is, without any doubt, an exhausting drill. Still, the real challenge dawns at spotting the right medical school that can support your goals and gratify your ambition to pursue a career in medicine.

Some of us may seek solace in scrolling through rankings as a conventional method to make an accurate decision and reassure ourselves. At Fraser's, we believe that each medical school has a slightly different approach to conducting lectures and practicals, which could work to your strengths or weaknesses in a learning environment. Some medical universities adopt a problem-based learning approach, while other medical universities choose a case-based learning stream.

For the purpose of this article, we shall utilise the statistics derived from a survey conducted by The Times Higher Education Rankings in 2021. This survey highlights powerful indicators which can render a balanced overview on some of the best medical schools in the world in 2021.

Additionally, this can undoubtedly guide your outlook while drawing a comparison between a breadth of medical schools in Australia. The following indicators are commonly used to rate a medical school's reputation based on its course curriculum :

1. Medical School Teaching

The quality of teaching is undeniably important for determining the kind of medical education that you receive. The teaching metric is also an important indicator to grasp the staff : student ratio amongst Australian medical schools, which is important for the quality of tutorials that you receive.

Most medical schools have a predefined number of medical school places available to domestic and international students to support both effective learning within small classrooms and to enhance professional learning with a strong teacher-student relationship.

2. Medical School Research

Another important metric for a medical university, like any university, is its prominence for research excellence. So if you are research inclined it may be important to consider the research calibre of the medical university you are thinking of attending. Furthermore, the quality of research highlights the medical school’s drive to contribute to scientific knowledge and improve the scope of health-related concerns locally and globally. 

3. Medical School Citations

Based on the research publication, citations come into play as a method of highlighting each university's overall contribution to humanity’s scientific knowledge. It also acknowledges the various contexts under which the research stood out or was picked up and acknowledged by other scholars in the field.

According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney rank comparatively higher in terms of citations per paper, i.e., 91.6 and 92.5, respectively. 

4. Medical School International Outlook:

This indicator, though directed to international students, is also important for domestic students. It is good wherever possible to attract undergraduate and postgraduate international students to instil the university’s presence on a global platform.

Table of Australian Medical Schools Rankings for Teaching, Research, Citations, and International Outlook

Name of University Rank Teaching Research Citations International Outlook
University of Melbourne 11 79.0 87.5 64.4 89.6
Monash University 31 67.4 79.2 61.3 76.6
University of Sydney 35 60.4 75.1 65.9 81.1
University of Queensland 54 52.0 59.1 61.1 89.1
UNSW Sydney 57 50.9 56.0 63.4 89.4
Australian National University 73 29.3 45.9 74.9 90.1
University of Western Australia 126 - 150 25.1 35.0 66.6 88.7
Macquarie University 176 - 200 29.9 32.9 56.0 67.0
University of Newcastle 176 - 200 24.9 31.1 60.1 74.7
Western Sydney Uni 176 - 200 21.9 22.8 68.3 86.4
Flinders University 201 - 250 20.0 18.0 66.3 86.1
Deakin University 251 - 300 19.5 23.4 59.4 73.2
Griffith University 251 - 300 18.4 19.7 61.8 75.6
Bond University 301 - 400 13.1 16.6 53.6 74.7
University of Wollongong 301 - 400 14.1 22.9 48.1 83.8
Charles Sturt University 601+ 11.9 10.4 37.8 53.1

**Kindly note that this table features universities at the forefront of medicine, dentistry and other health-related courses worldwide as per 'The Times Higher Education Rankings' and is subject to change annually.  Moreover, the information provided is merely an estimated outcome of the university's rankings.

Considering Period Of Study And University Ranking

While the reputation of a medical school is important, we encourage you to consider other important course aspects in your decision to study at a specific medical school. The duration of your medical degree can range anywhere between 5-6 years for an undergraduate degree, and up to 4 years for postgraduate medicine. So how does the course duration influence your decision to study medicine?

Simply put, the period of study impacts how quickly you can begin your career in medicine. In some cases, students commence an undergraduate medical degree straight after completing their Year 12 studies. This means they finish their medical degree in 5 years, to start clinical ward placements and seek employment at a faster pace.

Monash University is one such medical school that allows you to either enrol in undergraduate or postgraduate medicine, which spans over five and four years respectively. On the plus side, it provides an exclusive provision for Monash graduates to enter the Doctor of Medicine program if they satisfy all university requirements. 

Alternately, it is also crucial to keep in mind that undergraduate and postgraduate medicine vary in terms of fee structure. If you step into UG medicine straight after Year 12, the chances are that you will only pay tution fees to obtain a medical degree within 5 years, as opposed to postgraduate medicine where you invested in a bachelor’s degree first, followed by a 4-year full-time equivalent graduate medical degree. Thus, your payable tuition fee has increased to nearly two-fold.

Other Entry Pathways To Medicine In Australia

While medical schools in Australia offer undergraduate and postgraduate entry pathways, it is also important to scan through provisional or guaranteed entry pathways to medicine

What is the purpose of providing guaranteed entry pathways in medicine? Primarily, the goal is to recognise those students from various educational backgrounds and institutions to have a confirmed spot to begin medicine, provided they secure exceptional results. This can mean an ATAR of 99.95 followed by a written assessment and panel interview in the case of USyd or UniMelb's Chancellor Scholarship for those students who obtained an ATAR of 99.9.

It is important to understand whether you qualify for a guaranteed entry pathway to medicine and plan your degree accordingly. Hence, the medical university rankings is not only dependent on a university’s reputation, but also comes down to the various provisions the university offers to its prospective students. And of course, how it enhances their future probabilities to obtain clinical placements.

Medical University Ranking: Geographic Location

While choosing a medical school, aside from the reputation and course fee, its location is partly responsible for the personal experiences and professional outcomes you may receive. While some of the best medical schools in the world, explicitly keeping the Australian universities in mind, are spread across the suburbs (Deakin Uni), the heart of the city (UniMelb) and within the rural districts (CSU and WSU), the setting does make a considerable difference in your life. 

Whether you prefer the next five years in undergrad or four years pursuing a postgraduate medical degree within the suburbs or rural regions, it is best to jot down the pros and cons to make an informed decision. 

You can also draw a conclusion depending upon three primary factors that we believe can impact your decision :

  1. Region: Although temporary, the region or the area of your medical school is an influential factor that can affect your sentiments and goals. The climate in this particular demographic, the culture it is exposed to, and the localised cuisine vary greatly, hence explore the characteristics of the place to see whether your expectations suit best. However, if you are open to experimentation, invest sufficient time understanding the regional diversity and how the medical school can work to your advantage.
  2. Setting: The medical school experience should overall not be a bland one. Instead the surroundings must have scope for partaking in recreational activities. This is majorly because, between medical schools in metropolitan and rural districts, the workload is more or less the same throughout medical schools.

It is strongly advised that med students have access to engaging activities to blow off steam. Remember that your medical degree demands unnatural hours of studying and facing challenging scenarios within clinical wards. It is ideal to choose a medical school that encourages their students to engage in other areas that suit you best, besides education.

  1. Proximity to Family: The next few years of your life will consist of a new support system made up of your peers and school staff. If you find it difficult to cope without your family and friends, then opt for a medical school that is in close vicinity to home. However, if you choose to live that independent life, take a chance and build new experiences with different people from various walks of life.

Where To From Here?

Although this article is not targeted to answer the rhetorical question, ‘Which university is best for medicine in Australia?’ It provides a clearer picture on the ways to critically analyse the different medical schools in Australia, and to ultimately make an informed decision to kickstart your medical dream.

We hope our article had distinct indicators that could refine your search for a suitable medical school that aligns with your personality. Alternatively, here's a list of Free Resources and Tools available to everyone.

We are also thrilled to announce our latest podcast series, titled: The Pre-Admissions Game, hosted by our team of medical experts, getting down to the business of GAMSAT prep, admission process and the overall dynamics of the culture at different medical schools