Have you considered studying medicine in Australia as a New Zealander?

30 MAR 2022

Are you currently in high school in New Zealand and aiming for medicine? You should consider Australia and increase your chances by up to 500x!

In New Zealand, there are two universities that offer medicine - Auckland and Otago and only Otago offer dentistry here in New Zealand.

Looking to Australia is a viable option with a large list of benefits. Australia gives you the opportunity to apply to more medical schools and significantly increases your chances.

Keep reading to find out why more MedView students are considering Australia over New Zealand and why you should too…

Benefits of Applying to Medicine in Australia

We encourage all our New Zealand students to consider applying to medical school in Australia, so our team have put together a list of the benefits based on what we tell our own students. 

  • Your degree is shorter! In Australia, universities accept students directly from high school into medical school, whereas at Auckland or Otago you must complete one year of pre-med before entering medical school. Applying directly from high school makes your degree one year shorter, saving you money, stress and competition as well as the uncertainty of if you will be offered a place given how small the medical school cohort is in New Zealand.
  • Entry requirements are less stressful! To get into Australian medical schools you need your high school grades to convert to an ATAR. For medicine, you need a 99 ATAR to be very competitive. If you’re studying the NCEA curriculum Australian medical schools only take your best 90 credits. To achieve a 99 ATAR you need 90 excellence credits. (For reference 80 excellence credits, is an excellence endorsement). In New Zealand on the other hand, you need to be scoring an A+ or 99% on all your assignments, tests and exams in first-year pre-med to be considered for medical school.  
  • Higher chances! In Australia, there are 15 medical schools you can apply to, whereas in New Zealand there are just 2, therefore your chance of success is so much higher. 
  • You’re a domestic student! New Zealander citizens are considered domestic students in Australia rather than international students so you only have to pay domestic fees, which will be a smaller debt and given it is one year shorter it actually works out cheaper than studying medicine in New Zealand.
  • Placement and Work opportunities! As a New Zealander in Australia, you have offered the same opportunities Australian citizens are once the degree is completed and you’re offered placements or permanent positions across Australia. The best part about a medical degree from Australia is that it is valid in both Australia and New Zealand, so you can come back to New Zealand for work if you wish.

Applying to Australian Medical Schools as a New Zealander

When you apply to medicine in Australia as a New Zealander the entry requirements are the same as Australian citizens which means you are favoured over international students. We’ve outlined the steps you need to take to ensure your application to medical schools in Australia is competitive and successful. 

  • Subject Selection - leading up to your final year of high school it is important you are taking subjects that are pre-requisites for entry. These subjects include English, Chemistry & Mathematics (either Calculus or Statistics). Not all medical schools require these subjects, however, it is important to take all three so your chances of being accepted are higher.
  • ATAR - Australia Tertiary Admissions Rank - every student in Australia is assigned an ATAR upon finishing high school which is basically a grade of how well you performed against everyone else in your cohort in the country. It sounds scary but you can calculate your ATAR yourself or request it from NZQA as a reference. When you apply to Australian medical schools you must submit your National Student Number and the admissions centre will give you your final ATAR result. Here is our general rule of thumb when it comes to converting your grades to an ATAR:
ATAR Conversion
CurriculumScoreATAR
NCEA90 E99
IB4399
A-LevelsA A A 99
  • Actually applying - to apply to medical schools in Australia you apply through the Tertiary Admissions Centres for each state and they send your application to all medical schools in that state rather than you applying individually to each university. Two universities you must apply directly to - Bond which is private & Tasmania because it is the only university in Tasmania. Each state has its own body that you must apply to:
Tertiary Admissions Centres
StateTertiary Admissions Centre
New South WalesUAC
VictoriaVTAC
QueenslandQTAC
South AustraliaSATAC
Western AustraliaTISC
DirectBond University & University of Tasmania
  • Interview - you will be offered one interview per state you apply to, so technically you could be offered 6 interviews. The interview is your chance to show the university who you are as a person, as up until this point you’ve just been a number on a page to them. Interview offers are released in December and interviews are done in January and Feburary. Check out this blog for more insights into the Interview

Here at MedView, we encourage all our New Zealand students to apply to Australia and use New Zealand as their backup option. If you’d like to speak to MedView more about how Australia could be the right option for you, book a consultation with an Academic Advisor below.