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James Cook University Undergraduate Medicine

Published on
June 6, 2024

James Cook Uni Medicine Course Structure

James Cook University (JCU), based in Townsville, Queensland offers a 6-year undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree, which is focused on tropical medical education and clinical experience in rural and remote communities across the Northern Territory. 

Apart from Townsville, JCU’s clinical schools are located in Cairns, Mackay, Atherton and Darwin, where around half of all students will spend their final two years of the medical degree. 

James Cook Uni Medicine Entry Requirements

For 2023 entry, there are approximately 150 places in the JCU med course open for domestic students. Around 45 of these places will be reserved for international students.

The James Cook University Medical School does NOT use UCAT as part of their selection process. Instead applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • ATAR or equivalent year 12 Academic performance or in subsequent tertiary studies as provided through QTAC.
  • The written component of the JCU application form.
  • Demonstration at the medical interview of personality traits best suited to a career in medicine.

Requirements for Year 12 Applicants:

  • Successfully completed High-school subject prerequisites: Year 12 English (Units 3/4, C), Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4, C) and Chemistry (Units 3/4, C) or interstate or overseas equivalent. 
  • A predicted ATAR form completed by a teacher at the applicant's school.
  • Highschool study of Physics and Biology is highly desirable.

NOTE: Only a limited number of medical places are offered to non-year 12 applicants.

Undergraduate Medicine Application Requirements for Non-year 12 Applicants:

  • A written application responding to a number of short answer questions.
  • Academic results (predicted or actual): The most recent GPA score (Grade Point Average) from a current or completed key tertiary education will be used to rank applicants. A GPA of 5.75 is required to be considered for an interview.* 
  • Applicants with an undergraduate degree in health science may be considered for entry into the MBBS degree beyond Year 1 level. This is subject to the year the degree was undertaken and the student’s academic performance in that qualification.

 *Note: This required GPA score is subject to change and studies/qualifications that do not generate a GPA score will NOT be considered when selecting applicants for an interview.

James Cook University Medicine Application 

JCU application process for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery can be seen as follows:

  1. Apply online directly to James Cook University (fill in the provided application form) AND apply online through the QTAC website
  2. Submit a written application form directly to JCU.
  3. Submit a Prediction of Academic Achievement sheet which is to be completed by your School Principal/Vice-Principal/ Guidance Officer or Director of Studies (or equivalent) and returned to the JCU Division of Tropical Health and Medicine.*

After these documents are submitted, selected applicants will receive an email of their medical interview offer.

*Note: The Prediction of Academic Achievement is used to offer early interviews in Nov/Dec to potential candidates prior to their actual results being released. A second round of interviews is held in early Jan in case applicants’ host schools do not provide a PAA form or if the students' predicted results largely differ from their actual results.

Written Applications

As JCU does not use UCAT scores to determine interview offers, the written component of the JCU application form is significant in setting an applicant apart from the other students who have achieved high ATAR or study scores.

The basic format of the written application involves numerous sections under which students are required to hand-write answers to various questions on medical work experience, voluntary experience, personal motivations for undertaking medicine, indigenous issues and other relevant details.There is no strict word count, but answers should be approximately 215-275 words. 

For a detailed guide on how to tackle the written medicine application form, check out our article ‘Undergraduate Medicine Written Application Guide.’


The JCU Medical Interview assesses students' communication and teamwork skills, critical thinking, ethical and empathetic reasoning, and their knowledge and understanding of tropical and rural health issues. 

A limited number of applicants will be selected to partake in the interview based on an evaluation of the written application and all information regarding the student’s academic performance. 

To be considered for a place in medicine, candidates must attend the interview at the allocated location and date which will be outlined in emails sent out approximately two weeks before interviews. Currently, most medical interviews are online and conducted via Zoom.

James Cook Uni Fees

The estimated annual tuition of JCU is $59,160 AUD (2022 fees; subject to increase). JCU offers publicly funded medical school places under the Bonded Medical Program (BMP). 

BMP places are only open to domestic students who are new medical students entering the first year of the medical degree whether they are a graduate or undergraduate.

For more information on the types of places offered through GEMSAS, CSPs and BMPs check out our in-depth article Medical School Tuition Fees Explained.

On the flip side, the annual fees for international students is approximately $347,280 AUD (subject to changes in the future).

James Cook Uni Medicine Key Dates

NOTE: The following dates are subject to change for 2022 medical intake at James Cook Medical School.

Description of Event Admission Dates
Applications Open for JCU Application Form 3rd August 2022
Applications Open for QTAC Application Form 3rd August 2022
Applications Close for QTAC Application Form 30th September 2022
Applications Close for JCU Application Form 30th September 2022
Predicted ATAR to be received by 4pm AEST 8th October 2022
Applicants receive Email invitation to attend interview 12th November 2022
Interviews held at JCU Townsville Campus 30 Nov - 9 Dec 2022
Applicants receive Email invitation to attend January interview 24th December 2022
Interviews held at JCU Townsville Campus 4-5th January 2023
QTAC offers released to applicants 13th January 2023
Last date to respond to QTAC January offer 17th January 2023
JCU Academic Year begins 21st February 2023

We hope this guide on James Cook Medical School was helpful. We wish you luck with your medical application process!

James Cook University Mock Interview Banner

Here’s a list of FREE RESOURCES available on Fraser's website to get you started on preferencing medical schools for undergraduate courses. 

If you are looking to sit the UCAT for your med school applications, be sure to utilise our range of UCAT study  resources or simply enroll in our UCAT Strategy Weekend program that will allow you to undertake a practice test and obtain a personalised report from a senior UCAT mentor on your performance in the UCAT.