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Postgraduate University Bonuses

Published on
May 13, 2024

Arguably getting into medicine can be described as one of the most challenging experiences. For the most part, the admission process is highly strenuous in itself. In addition to having excellent grades in either an ATAR (undergraduate medicine) or GPA (postgraduate medicine); the process requires you to achieve a competitive score in the UCAT or the GAMSAT, and then prove your proficiency in a medical interview. This whole process demands perseverance and resilience to cope with setbacks before you set foot on your medical journey

Although Australian medical schools largely only consider the GAMSAT/UCAT and GPA/ATAR along with the interview to determine offers for medicine, there are certain universities that look for other metrics to add weight to certain applicant’s standing for getting into their given medical school. Why is this the case? Universities may choose to do this for a variety of reasons, from attracting a more diverse cohort, to fulfilling quotas set out by the state and federal governments. 

The method by which the universities give additional weight to a certain applicant’s standing is by providing specific ‘boosters’ in the form of 'Adjustment factors' or 'Bonus points', which is then added to your GPA and GAMSAT scores. This article will simplify the types of bonuses available at each university and explain how it potentially elevates your selection rank to be considered for a medical interview and subsequent medical place! 

Australian National University: Postgraduate University Bonus

Australian National University, also called the ANU, offers three types of adjustment bonuses to their prospective students, and they can be described as follows:

  1. Standalone Honours - A 2% adjustment factor is granted to students who have either completed their Honours degree qualification or are on the verge of completion. This specific bonus applies to standalone Honours only and cannot be provided to those with a Professional Honours program; however, the latter is added during GPA calculation only.
  2. Masters by Research or a PhD - Students receive an award of 2% for Masters by Research and a 4% bonus for PhD completion. This percentage bonus is applied to the combined GPA and GAMSAT score. For applicants who have completed more than one qualification and are eligible for a bonus, ANU will only apply the highest percentage bonus.

Deakin Medicine: Postgraduate University Bonus

Be sure to check out the 'Ultimate Guide to Medical School Applications', which also briefly touches on Deakin University's adjustment factors. Among other GEMSAS medical schools, Deakin Uni overtly favours eligible applicants from a particular ethnic background or work experience. It then continues to add the asserted bonus points to their aggregate score for medical interview consideration. 

The following information has been derived from the GEMSAS Guide 2023 edition and provides a structured outline of the adjustment factors. First, there is a need to understand that Deakin University postgraduate university bonuses are classified into five components:

  1. Financial disadvantage
  2. Clinical experience
  3. Work experience
  4. Deakin Graduates 
  5. Rural or regional residency

Financial Disadvantage

The Deakin School of Medicine may offer a 2% adjustment bonus to those applicants who can demonstrate financial disadvantage throughout their undergraduate degree. It is reasonable that such circumstances may affect an applicant’s GPA and GAMSAT. As such, Deakin University provides a 2% adjustment factor, which affects both the GPA and GAMSAT score

These are the following benefits recognised by Deakin Uni to consider eligible applicants dealing with a financial disadvantage:

  1. Centrelink university bonus: ABSTUDY, AUSTUDY, Parent Payment, Youth Allowance, Disability Pension, Carer's Allowance, Veterans Means Assessed Pension.
  2. Department of Vertans' Affairs Income Payments.
  3. Other Australian Federal or State Government income payments.
  4. StudyLink benefits solely for New Zealand applicants, excluding the StudyLink loan. 

*To be accepted for an adjustment bonus, you are meant to provide supporting documents that explicitly state that you have been approved for one of the assistance mentioned earlier and that it covers your degree for a minimum of 12 months. In addition, the following documents need to be attached along with your application: A letter from Centrelink or StudyLink, A PAYG Centrelink Payment Summary displaying a minimum payment period of 52 weeks, Tax returns and Bank statements.

Prior Clinical Experience In Australian Healthcare

Applicants who have prior experience working as a registered Australian healthcare professional or in speech pathology or dietetics for a year or longer may obtain a 4% adjustment bonus with their GPA and GAMSAT score. The clinical experience must account for a minimum of 36 hours per week. Applicants who have practised at an international clinic in a profession that matches the list on the AHPRA website may also qualify to benefit from this bonus.

The following documentation is crucial to receive the adjustment factor: 12 months of full-time equivalent clinical experience from an employer or a certificate and credible evidence that displays your proof of registration as a healthcare professional. In addition, you are obligated to provide a letter declaring your term of employment, payslips, group certificate summary that is inclusive of your name, the employer's name, and a registration document reference.

It is important to note that provisional registration and internships are not taken into consideration while applying for the adjustment bonuses. Additionally, employment offers and contracts are ineligible proofs as they do not prove actual evidence of clinical experience or the duration of employment.

Work Experience

Applicants with 2 years of full-time work experience or 2 years of cumulative work across a 4 year period (which accounts for 36 hours per week) are eligible to receive a 2% adjustment bonus combined with the GPA and GAMSAT score

Supporting documentation includes as follows:

  1. Official documents stating the length of employment and records of weekly hours.
  2. Group certificate with the name of the applicant along with the employer's name and designation.
  3. Payslips to ensure the two years of full-time equivalent work experience over a maximum of 4 years.
  4. Tax return application.

The 'Prior Clinical Experience' bonus may seem close in resemblance to (4%) the 'Work Experience' adjustment bonus. It should be noted that you can only access one of these bonuses, and NOT both for an adjustment of 8%.

Deakin Study Adjustment Bonus

The Deakin Study Adjustment Factor renders a 4% adjustment bonus added to the GPA and GAMSAT scores to eligible students if they have completed an undergraduate degree from Deakin Uni. The undergraduate degree must also constitute a minimum of two full-time equivalent years of study. Most students who are currently completing their undergraduate degree at Deakin Uni with a minimum of 2-years full-time equivalent years of study are also eligible for this adjustment factor.

Fortunately, you are not required to submit any external documents to obtain this adjustment factor. Instead, your study results will electronically be retrieved through ARTS.

Rural Or Regional Residency

Applicants who have lived for at least ten years cumulatively or five years consecutively at a rural-regional area recognised by the ASGS-RA system as RA 2-5 or the City of Greater Geelong qualify for an additional bonus to the combined GPA and GAMSAT cutoff. To be eligible for an adjustment bonus, you must provide sufficient residency documentation.

  1. ASGS-RA 2 or the City of Greater Geelong residents will receive an adjustment factor of 4% of the combined GPA and GAMSAT score
  2. ASGS-RA 3-5 will obtain an 8% bonus to their GPA and GAMSAT score.

Griffith University Medical Bonus

Besides a key bachelor's degree, Griffith University recognises applicants with other qualifications to compete for the Doctor of Medicine program. The GPA calculation is based on the GEMSAS grading schema for a completed Bachelor's degree and is determined over the final three years of full-time equivalent study. For applicants who have completed other specified qualifications, which are listed below, they are awarded an adjustment factor that is only combined with their GPA score:

  1. Masters by Research qualification is non-graded, and applicants receive a GPA of 7.0 for the span of full-time equivalent study up to a maximum of two years. The remainder of the GPA calculation is derived by adding the undergraduate degree program's final one or two years.
  2. Applicants who have completed their PhDs will receive an overall GPA score of 7.0

Macquarie University Medicine GPA Adjustment Factors

Macquarie University applies a 3% bonus to the weighted GPA for the following cohorts:

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants
  2. Rural applicants
  3. Macquarie University Bachelor of Clinical Science applicants

Kindly note that if you fit into more than two of the above mentioned cohorts, you may receive a maximum of 5% bonus applied to your weighted GPA score. This adjustment factor pertains only to domestic medical applicants.

 UniMelb Medicine Ranking Adjustment Factor

The University of Melbourne may award a certain percentage bonus to the overall rank for the following cohorts of applicants:

  1. Past or current refugee applicants
  2. Applicants who possess a Humanitarian Visa
  3. Applicants coming from low socio-economic sectors
  4. Applicants identified with a disability or a chronic medical condition; AND
  5. Personal difficulties encountered by applicants.

The aforementioned cohorts must lodge their applications through GAM or Graduate Access Melbourne directly through the university website.

University of Notre Dame Australia: Bonus Points

Unlike other universities that apply adjustment factors to GPA or the GAMSAT scores, the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle and Sydney, apply a bonus to applicants with a Masters by research or Doctoral degree on the Notre Dame portfolio. The UNDA does not recognise any combined undergraduate or postgraduate degrees to award the scoring on the portfolio.

University of Western Australia Medical Adjustment Factors

The UWA offers an additional percentage bonus for specific applicants who a completed a degree to enter medicine in 2023 with the following requirements:

  1. Applicants who have completed a PhD will be awarded a GPA of 7.0
  2. And applicants with a completed Masters by Research may obtain a small bonus of 0.2 added to the overall GPA if applicants have completed this qualification at the time of application.

University of Queensland: Percentage Bonus

At the University of Queensland, applicants who have completed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) are eligible to gain a 7.0 bonus on their GPA score. In addition, applicants with an Honours degree with Class I, IIA, IIB or III will be awarded an adjustment factor of GPA (7.0), (6.5-7), (5.5-6) and (4-5), respectively. 

Where To From Here?

We hope that this postgraduate university bonuses page provided useful information on the various medical schools' format of assessing students on their particular degree qualification.

Furthermore, these university admission criteria are highly personalised depending upon the university’s curriculum and competition to enter the university.

And before you make a hasty decision, refer to our Ultimate Guide To University Medical School Applications, which has all of the relevant details about university-specific GAMSAT and GPA scores required for admission, and elaborate information about the medical interview process.

Alternatively, check out our abundant range of Free Resources and Tools designed to help you in your medical school application process

  1. University of Adelaide Medical School
  2. UNSW Undergraduate Medicine
  3. Undergraduate Medicine Australia: CSU and WSU Medical School
  4. Bond University Undergraduate Medicine
  5. Monash Undergrad Medical School