Prospective Student FAQs
We have done our best to answer some FAQs we get from prospective students. Please note that these are only our impressions as students from when we went through our applications, and the process can change from year to year. For up to date information or more detailed questions, you should read the current MD admissions booklet on the Flinders University website, or contact the medical admissions team directly.
What are the entry pathways to medicine at Flinders?
- Undergraduate entry into the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences/Doctor of Medicine
- Postgraduate entry into the Doctor of Medicine, including
- Parallel Rural Community Curriculum (PRCC)
- Northern Territory Medical Program
- Indigenous Entry Stream
How do I apply for each pathway?
The undergraduate program is only available to school leavers, applying through SATAC. Applicants are ranked on their ATAR (90%) and UMAT score (10%) - there is no interview. You need a minimum ATAR of 95, but it is a very competitive degree so realistically you will likely need to score over 98. A credit average is required in the first two years (the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences) in order to progress into the Doctor of Medicine. This program is also available in the NT, with the first two years taught by Charles Darwin University.
Applications for the postgraduate program are made directly to Flinders University. You will need an undergraduate degree (or be about to finish one the year you apply) with a GPA over about 5.5, you must sit the GAMSAT, and attend an interview (offered on the basis of GPA and GAMSAT).
If you have lived in a rural area for at least 5 years, you may be eligible for the PRCC pathway. PRCC has its own admissions process, including interviews and other activities in one of the four rural South Australian regions of the program. You can apply for the rural subquota without applying for PRCC but most places in the subquota will likely go to PRCC applicants. In either case, you will need to complete a statutory declaration and write a statement about why you want to work in rural medicine.
The Northern Territory Medical Program is available to Australian citizens and permanent residents, with preference going to NT residents and Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander applicants. The NT government pays your course fees, in exchange for you working in the NT for 4 years after you graduate. You will do the same study program as the SA course, with all lectures and some practicals streamed live from Adelaide, and other content delivered by local specialists. Applications are made directly to Flinders University and will require a statutory declaration.
The Indigenous Entry Stream is for people of ATSI descent who do not have a GAMSAT score, or the score does not meet the minimum cut-off. It is a short program that will prepare you for the Flinders MD. Apply to Flinders with your transcript, statutory declaration, and referee reports.
What are the subquotas Flinders uses?
There are several overlapping subquotas used, so it can be difficult to gauge your chances of success in such a complicated system. If you do not fall into the subquotas for rural, ATSI or humanitarian entry, you may like to consider doing a Flinders degree to fall into the Flinders Graduate subquota.
- Flinders Graduates - up to 75% of places for graduates of any degree at Flinders University (including postgraduate). Up to 25 of these places will be reserved for graduates of the Bachelors of Health Science, Medical Science, Paramedic Science, and Science (Biotechnology) at Flinders.
- Non-Flinders Graduates - at least 25% of places for graduates from other universities. These places will mostly be filled by applicants who are also eligible for other subquotas below.
- Rural - at least 28% of places for people who lived in a rural area for 5 years consecutively or 10 years total. You do not have to apply for PRCC (up to 24 places) but most places in this subquota are likely to go to PRCC applicants.
- ATSI - up to 5 places for people of ATSI descent who have met the GAMSAT requirements or completed the Indigenous Entry Stream.
- Humanitarian - for applicants who meet the minimum entry requirements, are Australian citizens or permanent residents, and hold a humanitarian/refugee visa.
What are the bonded (BMP) places?
These are some of the Commonwealth-Supported Places for domestic students studying in Adelaide (i.e. not the NT program). Non-bonded offers will be made to the highest-ranked applicants, and then bonded offers to the rest. You do not have to include this in your application as a preference. If you get a bonded offer, you will need to work for 12 months in a rural location or area of workforce shortage within 5 years of gaining Fellowship. (Note that this is the current arrangement, but it is under review. Please see the Australian Department of Health website for updates.)
How do international students apply?
How can I prepare for the GAMSAT?
We do not endorse any of the expensive preparatory courses, but if you want to use those services then by all means do so. ACER offer some example questions and guides which can help you get a feel for the kinds of questions you will be asked. Generally the science questions are pitched at around a year 12 to first year university level, so text books at this standard could help you study.
What scores do I need to get an interview?
You need to score at least 50 in each section of the GAMSAT. Total scores required will vary from year to year.
As a guide, the 2019 cut-offs for interviews were published on the Flinders website:
Flinders Graduates: 62
PRCC: 58 (+autobiographical statement)
Humanitarian Visa Holders: 61
Non-Flinders Graduates/Non-Rural/Non-Humanitarian Visa: 76
Does Flinders weight the GAMSAT sections?
Yes, the Science section is given twice the weight of the Humanities and Essay sections.
Is it a panel or MMI?
What will they ask me?
In recent years, applicants have been required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before our interviews, so what we can say is limited. Basically, think about what you would want to ask if you were interviewing medical candidates...
What can I do to prepare for the interview?
There should be a short section in the MD admissions guide that gives an overview of what to expect. The 2019 guide says they will assess you on the following qualities, so it's worthwhile thinking about how you meet these criteria and what evidence you have:
- Quality of motivation
- Learning style and team skills
- Communication skills
- Pro-social attitude
- Personal management and self-evaluation skills
- Approach to decision-making
There are also likely to be scenario-style questions. While you can't really prepare for these, the best advice is to think out loud so the panel can hear your decision making process. Hearing this is probably more useful to them than your final answer, and it prevents long awkward silences.
What should I wear to the interview?
The general rule for any interview is to dress as well as or more formally than you would expect to in the job. Remember, professionalism is an important part of becoming a doctor, so make a good first impression!
Can I do the interview via video conference?
No, you will have to attend in person but it's a good chance to check out your potential new home and meet some of the friendly local students! Your interview will be in Adelaide, Darwin, and/or one of the PRCC sites in rural South Australia depending on what you applied for.
What is special about the Flinders medical program?
- PRCC/rural focus
- PAL, PT, TBL
- co-located with FMC/Flinders Private
- first postgrad program in Aus
- dissection program
- MD not BMBS
What will I study?
In the undergrad program, your first two years are the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences. This will teach you basic biology, chemistry, physiology, communication and law/ethics to prepare you for entry into the MD in your third year.
The MD is a 4 year program, roughly divided into 2 pre-clinical and 2 clinical years. The pre-clinical years will give you a good understanding of the body's systems, teach you basic clinical skills, investigate ethical, legal, public health and Indigenous health issues, and you will begin a research project that will run through most of your degree. Your third year will be entirely spent either at FMC or at a rural location in SA or NT, gaining hands-on clinical experience in a range of medical specialties. Your fourth year consists of 6-week rotations through any core areas you did not cover in third year, and gives you the chance to choose areas of interest for your electives, including as overseas placements.
Does my undergrad degree need to be medical/science related?
Not at all! We have students from diverse backgrounds like law, engineering and journalism. It can be a challenge initially for students from a non-science background to keep up, but we usually find they are on par with (or ahead of!) the other students by the end of first year.
If you are wondering what degrees you should consider as your backup plan for medicine, the best options for Flinders are the 4 degrees listed above that have places in the Flinders Graduate subquota. Not only are your chances of getting into medicine better because of the allocated places, you will be learning content that will come in handy in the medical degree. Which one you choose depends on your particular interests in study and alternative career paths.