RCS Wagga Wagga Campus

The Campus

UNSW Rural Clinical Campus, Wagga Wagga is situated on Wiradjuri Land. 

In 2021 the UNSW Rural Clinical Campuses are celebrating our 21st year of medical education, providing a world-class medical education to rural students. 

Our Wagga Wagga Campus offers the full Medical program from years 1-6 creating even greater opportunities for rural students in the local community. The student experience is embedded in professional relationships and teaching within an expert and diverse local medical community. 

Students in Wagga Wagga have fantastic opportunities to learn in and contribute to medical care in a regional setting as well as visiting surrounding smaller centres to develop skills and understanding of the local health needs of more rural and remote communities. 

The Location

The Rural Clinical Campus is located at Harvey House, Docker Street, Wagga Wagga.

Wagga Wagga is a main regional city in the Riverina region of New South Wales. It is located 470km south of Sydney and 435km north of Melbourne. Wagga Wagga is just two hours’ drive from Canberra, and a one hour flight from Sydney or Melbourne.

The City

Wagga Wagga is the largest inland city in NSW with a growing multicultural population of 63,000. It has all the benefits of a modern regional centre without the stress of traffic and urban living. Wagga Wagga is built on the beautiful Murrumbidgee River, half way between Melbourne and Sydney and 3 hours drive from Canberra. There are other great transport options, including flights and trains (See map here).

Accommodation is affordable and local rentals plentiful. 

The Attractions and Recreational Activities

image - RCS Wagga Wagga CampusWagga Wagga offers an active lifestyle in a relaxed atmosphere. Residents enjoy quality dining, with regional gourmet foods and wine, as well as a broad range of cultural events, entertainment and shopping. Our theatres are very active with local productions, and art galleries including the National Glass Art Gallery. 

Known as the ‘City of Good Sports’, Wagga Wagga offers year round sporting activities for locals and visitors. Students can join local teams in golf, tennis, cricket, netball, soccer, aussie rules, rugby, athletics and hockey. Summer activities include fishing, jet skiing, sailing, canoeing, rowing and kayaking in the surrounding rivers, lakes and dams.

In winter, Mount Selwyn and the Kosciuosko National Park attract skiers and snowboarders and all year round activities such as bushwalking, camping, indoor rock climbing and bike riding are always popular. (see more here).


The Education

Wagga Wagga Base Hospital includes a 325 bed regional hospital and support over 40,000 emergency presentations, 1,100 births and approximately 11,000 operations each year. Wagga Wagga Health Service which is currently being redeveloped and has specialists in all disciplines. The Emergency Department is a well-designed and equipped unit with staff specialists. Wagga Wagga is also home to the privately managed Calvary Hospital and Calvary Day Procedure Centre, as well as the Riverina Cancer Care Centre, and a new day surgery, which opened in early 2015.

Dedicated academics are on hand to offer support and information, with small group teaching provided by the numerous clinicians associated with the School.

Many GP Surgeries in Wagga, and surrounding areas, host our medical students and introduce them to patient care.

There are more than seventy specialists involved in the teaching program including consultants in general surgery; vascular surgery; orthopaedics; obstetrics and gynaecology; medical imaging; pathology; oncology; ophthalmology; paediatrics; ear, nose and throat; anaesthetics; psychiatry; urology; cardiology; neurology; and geriatrics.

UNSW Wagga Wagga Campus is located at Harvey House, conveniently on the grounds of Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. Building planning is currently underway for a UNSW purpose built medical school as part of plans for Wagga Wagga's Health and Knowledge precinct.

Phase 1

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

Students are able to complete the entire UNSW medical program in Wagga Wagga. Those that undertake Phase 1 in Wagga Wagga will be given priority to continue studying in Wagga Wagga for the remainder of the Program. Students that undertake Phase 1 at Wagga Wagga 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. 
Twelve students per year are allocated to the Campus to do their Clinical Coursework in Phase 2. This is the same program that is run in the metropolitan area. The teaching program is run over two semesters and consists of courses in Beginnings Growth and Development, Geriatrics/Oncology, Society and Health, Adult Medicine 1, Adult Medicine 2, and Oncology/Geriatrics.

All of the required lectures and tutorials are taught at the Campus. Visiting academics include lecturers in Microbiology, Infectious Disease (Professor Hazel Mitchell and A/Prof Debbie Marriott) and Pathology, who visit Wagga to teach students from Wagga, Griffith and Albury-Wodonga Campuses. Other teaching days are held in Wagga, for example, Palliative Care where Albury and Griffith students travel to Wagga. Wagga and Albury campuses join forces every year for a Farm Safety day held at a local property.

The combined study days are very effective and allow for further camaraderie between students of the different campuses.

With input from visiting and local specialists, Wagga’s Phase 2 clinical program provides students with a world-class medical training experience.

Independent Learning Project (ILP)

The campus offers a comprehensive program for ILP students, and has the capacity and facilities to develop and supervise up to 12 projects each year. Recent students at the Wagga Wagga Campus have completed projects in the fields of paediatrics, cardiology and emergency medicine.

The campus will generally offer defined ILP projects, but is also prepared to develop negotiated projects. Mr John Connors has been appointed as a research assistant at the campus.  His role is to provide advice to ILP students on the conduct of their research projects, and to assist the Head of Campus to develop a research program for the campus.

The ILP program will provide advice to students on the design of studies, ethics applications, data analysis, statistical techniques and the preparation of reports.In addition, students have an opportunity to become involved in other research projects that are being conducted by academic members of the Campus and local clinicians.

Three post graduate students have recently successfully completed their PhD theses at Wagga Rural Clinical Campus.

Students who are interested in undertaking their ILP at Wagga Wagga should contact Wagga Wagga Campus on (02) 6933 5111. 

Watch Wagga student, Julia Fattore, talk about her award-winning ILP project here.

Phase 3 

The Phase 3 program consists of 10 modules – Medicine, Surgery, Ed/Critical Care, Children’s Health, Women’s Health, Mental Health, Primary care, Selective,  Elective and PRINT (pre intern). All of these modules are provided at the Wagga Wagga Campus. The program is undertaken over a two year cycle. Medicine, Surgery and Ed/Critical Care are completed in Year 5 in combination with Bio Medical Sciences teaching.

Year 5 students undertake a combined Medicine/Surgery/ED term in the Summer Teaching Period (STP) and Teaching Period 1 (TP1), and continue this in TP2 as part of their Selective Term.

Students are divided into two groups with one undertaking Children’s Health in TP3 followed by Women’s Health in TP4. A second group undertakes a Primary Care term followed by Psychiatry.  Students undertaking Primary care have the opportunity to study in Wagga Wagga or undertake General Practice in Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut and Temora for eight weeks. The University owns accommodation at Cootamundra, Gundagai and Tumut for students while on placement.

Students progress to Year 6, undertaking modules they have not completed in Year 5, which will then take them up to their final exams. A Pre-Internship module after final exams will then complete the Medicine program.

The Wagga Wagga Campus has a large team of enthusiastic tutors and excellent teaching facilities. The aim in Phase 3 is to give students as much exposure to clinical experience as possible whilst delivering a comprehensive lecture and tutorial program.

For further information on Phase 2 or Phase 3, contact the Director of Medical Education, A/Prof Rashid Hashmi, or campus staff on (02) 6933 5111.

Library and Computer Facilities

The Wagga Wagga Clinical Campus maintains an excellent library service with librarian. All relevant textbooks from the UNSW biomedical library are housed in the library or in the Clinical School building for student use. Quiet study areas and UNSW computer lab facilities are also provided.The librarian can assist with requests for specific material.