RCS Port Macquarie Campus

Study your full Medicine degree at Port Macquarie

Medicine students have had the opportunity to complete their full six-year degree at UNSW’s new state-of-the-art Port Macquarie campus since 2017. For further information view the Port Macquarie Campus brochure.

Port Macquarie Campus

The Campus

The Rural Clinical School campus at Port Macquarie opened within the Port Macquarie Base Hospital in February 2002.  The campus consisted of three rooms on the lower floor of the hospital – one administrative office and two classrooms. The campus moved to a new purpose-built facility in October 2007.  The new building contained state-of-the-art videoconferencing facilities, spacious student commons area, classrooms of various sizes and a student computer lab. The campus was extensively renovated in 2012 featuring the addition of a 110-seat tiered lecture theatre and additional teaching and common areas.  The campus also houses a simulation and clinical skills facility with fully functional scenario and clinical skills training for all levels of medical education.

In November 2013, construction commenced on the Shared Health Research and Education Centre, adjacent to the present Rural Clinical School building. This provides additional facilities, including biomedical science labs and anatomy/pathology labs, that support the delivery of the full six-year undergraduate UNSW Medicine curriculum in Port Macquarie.

Students in upper years find accommodation in the Port Macquarie rental market and should preferably have personal transport. On-site accommodation is available for Year 1 students, see the brochure for more information.

The Location

The Rural Clinical School campus is located at 26 Highfields Circuit, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444.

Port Macquarie is on the Mid North Coast 420km north of Sydney (4 to 5 hours by car). Qantaslink and Virgin Blue have regular flights to Port Macquarie. Country Link rail stops at nearby Wauchope with a connecting bus to Port Macquarie. It is bypassed by the Pacific Highway and sits approximately half way between Brisbane and Sydney.

The Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area has a number of small villages and the three main townships of Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Laurieton. The total population exceeds 70,000 with more than half living in the Port Macquarie precinct. The largest population group fall into the 25-44 age group, followed by the 45-64 and then the 10-24 group.

Holidays are only one reason people come to Port Macquarie-Hastings from all over the eastern states of Australia, with large numbers also recognising the excellent lifestyle and business opportunities.

See map here.

The City

Port Macquarie offers students a chance to discover a beautiful area of New South Wales. In recent years Port Macquarie has become one of the centres of highest population growth on the coast with the demographic shift out of the cities. Port Macquarie has a legendary climate and beautiful beaches.

The Attractions and Recreational Activities

Outdoor activities include bushwalking, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, tennis, golf, triathlons including the Australian Ironman, and of course, surfing. The town also has many restaurants and the region is surrounded by some of Australia’s finest vineyards. There are cinemas showing the latest movies, as well as live shows and art galleries with plenty to see and enjoy. A visit to the tourist information centre is a must for all new arrivals.

Port Macquarie is home to the Glasshouse Theatre and Art Gallery. The theatre hosts live touring performances which includes the Opera Oz Company.

The Education

Commencing in 2017, UNSW students now have the opportunity to complete the full medical program in Port Macquarie. There is an extensive and varied medical workforce in Port Macquarie with over 100 general practitioners supported by over 70 specialists covering all major disciplines. An enthusiastic team of specialists and general practitioners has been recruited to run the training program. Port Macquarie has many Community Health Clinics and two modern hospitals, which are extensively equipped with first-rate facilities and staff, giving students a chance to work in both private and public hospitals. Port Macquarie Base Hospital has 161 beds and is accredited for the training of Registrars and Residents in all major specialities; the private hospital has 84 beds.

Phase 1

In February 2017, 13 first year students arrived in Port Macquarie to commence their Undergraduate Medicine degree. This expanded to 25 medical student places in 2018.

Port Macquarie Phase 1 students receive an award winning medical education and are exposed to the same curriculum and  course content as Sydney-based students. Port Macquarie students enjoy the benefits of smaller class sizes and receive extensive support from Academic and Professional staff.

The Rural Clinical School is housed in the Shared Health Research and Education Centre which includes laboratories, tutorial rooms, lecture theatres, simulation labs, clinical skills ward and a cafe. Year 1 students also have the option of staying in affordable on-site accommodation, see the brochure for more information.

Students are able to complete the entire UNSW medical program in Port Macquarie. Those that undertake Phase 1 in Port Macquarie will be given priority to continue studying in Port Macquarie for the remainder of the Program. Students that undertake Phase 1 at Port Macquarie also have the opportunity to undertake Phase 2 and/or 3 in Kensington or at another rural campus should they wish to do so. Please note it is expected that students who gain entry via the Rural Student Entry Scheme will be allocated to a rural hospital in Phase 2 and/or Phase 3.

Phase 2

The program begins in TP1 and runs for six terms. Currently the Port Macquarie program runs with Society and Health followed by Geriatrics, Beginnings Growth and Development, Adult Medicine 1, Adult Medicine 2 and Oncology.

Phase 3

Phase 3 is a two-year program comprising 10 eight week modules delivered in Year 5 and Year 6. The UNSW Faculty requirements mandate that:

  • Medicine and Surgery are to be delivered in Year 5
  • Biomedical Science is delivered in Year 5
  • The elective term is taken in STP in Year 6
  • The Pre-Intern term will follow the exams in Year 6

All four disciplines of Psychiatry, Children's Health, Women's Health and Primary Care are delivered in TP1, TP2, TP3 and TP4. Medicine, Surgery and Emergency terms are delivered in TP1, TP2 and TP3. The maximum number of students on any one team is 6.

The combination of small student numbers, enthusiastic teachers, and a good spectrum of clinical cases make the campus an ideal place for Phase 3, preparation for internship and life beyond. For more information about Phase 2 and Phase 3 at Port Macquarie please contact the Port Macquarie Director of Medical Education Dr Ray Hodgson

Independent Learning Projects (ILP)

Every year, Port Macquarie Rural Clinical School Campus offers ILP projects to 4th year students. Students interested in undertaking their ILP at Port Macquarie are encouraged to contact the campus.