Rural Student Entry Scheme

The Rural Student Entry Scheme (RSES) to Medicine at UNSW was first introduced in 1997. Applicants with a significant rural background who apply through the RSES compete for a separate entry quota of at least 27% of UNSW’s yearly domestic Medicine intake. Applicants who have completed high school or who are currently undertaking or have previously undertaken a university degree can apply to Medicine at UNSW via the RSES.


To apply via the RSES applicants must have lived in a defined Australian rural area, RRMA 3-7 (Rural, Remote, Metropolitan classification system) for at least five consecutive or ten cumulative years since the age of 5. Please note UNSW Medicine uses this classification system rather than the ASGC-RA classification system. To see whether your address is classified as a rural area you can use the 'search the map' feature on the website DoctorConnect. To be eligible, RSES applicants must be either an Australian/New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident.

Rural vs Local Entry

Please note, the RSES is an entry scheme to Medicine. Students who enter Medicine through the RSES study the same Medicine program as students who have come through Local Entry. Applicants must choose to apply through the Rural Student Entry Scheme OR through Local Entry, you cannot apply for both.

Application Process

Please carefully read all information available on our website so that you are aware of the dates and deadlines, the selection process and other important details.

1. Register for and sit the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test)

2. Start your application on the Medicine Application Portal (MAP) selecting the rural option. Once you have started your application, you will receive an e-mail containing your password (receipt). The email may take up to 30 minutes to receive. Please do not start another application as this will lock you out. The password will allow you to log back in and work on your application. You must ensure that you have completed and submitted your application by the deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. Remember that applicants are not selected based on the details provided on the application form. However, some of the information you provide may be passed on to interviewers prior to your interview.

3. Complete the University Admission Centre (UAC) application by the closing date.

4. Attend the Medicine interview (by invitation only). Applicants will be notified by email, please ensure you check your emails during this period.

5. Await the outcome of your application. Offers are made through UAC and selected applicants will be notified through their UAC account where you can accept or decline your offer as instructed.

6. Selected applicants are sent the UNSW Medicine Welcome e-mail with full instructions for enrolment, NSW Health requirements, timetabling etc.

7. Enrol in courses and pay your tuition fees.

Important Dates for 2018 Medicine Entry

There are a number of steps that need to be completed by the dates specified below to fulfil the requirements of the UNSW Medicine admission process.

5 May 2017 The Medicine Application Portal (MAP) opens for local and rural applications to UNSW Medicine
2 June 2017 On-time registration deadline for Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT)
26 July 2017 UMAT test date
2 August 2017 University Admission Centre (UAC) applications open
29 September 2017 Last day to lodge on-time application with UAC
30 September 2017 Last day to submit UNSW application through the Medicine Application Portal (MAP)
7 November 2017 UNSW Medicine selects applicants for interview based on predicted ATAR scores and interview invitations are e-mailed to NSW/ACT applicants
27 November -              1 December 2017 Interviews (NSW/ACT applicants) based on predicted results. Interviews for rural applicants will be held at the Kensington (Sydney) and Port Macquarie campuses
15 December 2017 ATAR results released on UAC website
by 23 December 2017 UNSW Medicine makes interview selection based on actual ATAR scores and interview invitations are e-mailed to NSW/ACT applicants
3-4 January 2018 Interviews (NSW/ACT applicants) based on actual results - Kensington
12 January 2018 January Round 1 offers released via UAC
23 January 2018 Interviews (interstate/overseas applicants) based on actual results - Kensington
31 January 2018 January Round 2 offers released via UAC
26 February 2018 Commencement of Year 1
















Selection for Interview

Applicants are selected for interview on the basis of academic merit, UMAT score and the rural rating (RRMA) of the home and school addresses from the age of 5. All three components are weighted equally.

Academic merit

Year 12 students

For applicants seeking admission on the basis of the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC), a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 91.00 or equivalent is required to be eligible for consideration.

University students and graduates

Applicants who will have completed one year or more of tertiary studies at undergraduate level by the end of the year preceding their start in the Medicine program will be assessed on the basis of both high school results (ATAR or ATAR equivalent) and tertiary study results, in a ratio of 50:50. Applicants will be required to attain an academic rank of at least 91.00.

Applicants who will have completed less than 0.75 full-time equivalent of their first year of a tertiary program by the end of the year preceding their start in the Medicine program will be assessed only on the basis of their high school qualification (see “Year 12 students” above).

Please also refer to the section "Can I gain admission after partly completing or completing another undergraduate degree?" in the section Frequently Asked Questions.

Please note: If an applicant has an ATAR or equivalent of less than 82.00, their tertiary results can never be sufficient to raise their academic results to the equivalent of the minimum ATAR of 91.00 required for consideration for entry. An applicant who scores an ATAR of around 95.00 would need to achieve distinctions in almost all courses in order to maintain the equivalent ATAR.


The minimum overall UMAT raw score required for selection is 150 (when the 3 raw scores are combined). Applicants must sit the UMAT exam the year in which they submit an application to Medicine.

Please note that we use the actual raw scores for the three test components, not the percentile rank. There is no minimum score for individual test components.


Interviews are semi-structured and cover a wide range of relevant issues. There will be two interviewers drawn from academic staff, medical practitioners and community representatives. First round interviews (November/December) for rural applicants will be held in Sydney and Port Macquarie and all interviews for the second and third rounds (January) will be held in Sydney. Shortlisted applicants must be available to attend an interview in the set interview period (21st Nov-1st Dec and 3rd-4th January for NSW/ACT applicants and 23rd January for interstate applicants). It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they are available to attend an interview on these dates. Applicants who are unable to attend their interview on the relevant date will not be considered further.

For students sitting their final high school exams, schools will be asked to submit predicted ATAR results (or equivalent) to assist in the selection of students for the November/December round of interviews. Interview offers for January are based on actual ATAR and UMAT results.

Information for non-NSW/ACT applicants

Since implementing an interview as part of the selection process, UNSW Medicine's experience is that the preference for almost all interstate applicants is to enter a medical school in their home state.

To save interstate applicants from the very significant time and expense of travelling to Sydney for an interview, applicants who live outside of New South Wales or Australian Capital Territory are usually not interviewed until late January.

The process we have developed allows an interstate applicant to have the opportunity to have UNSW Medicine as a preference, and yet not be required to attend an interview at UNSW unless they do not obtain a place in their home state medical school.

The process works as follows:

NSW/ACT applicants are selected for November/December or early January interview rounds in early November or late-December. Interstate/overseas applicants are selected at the same time but not scheduled for either of these rounds of interviews.

The outcome of the first round of offers for places in interstate medical schools will be known around mid-January. Applicants who were selected for an interview at UNSW in either November or late-December will have a chance to come to UNSW for an interview in late-January if their final academic result/UMAT combination/rural rating is above the UNSW main round cut-off.

Applicants interviewed in late-January will be subject to exactly the same interview and process as those interviewed earlier. If the results of their interview, together with their academic and UMAT results and rural rating, exceed the cut-off that was required for entry into UNSW Medicine in the main round of offers, they will be offered a place in UNSW’s Medicine program in the late round of offers (UNSW Medicine puts places aside for these late round offers).

It must be stressed that applicants interviewed in late-January will not be disadvantaged in any way in this process.

Location of Study

UNSW Medicine now offers students the opportunity to complete Year 1 and Year 2 (Phase 1) of the undergraduate Medicine program at the Port Macquarie campus. There are 25 places available in Port Macquarie for students commencing study in 2018. During the application process applicants will indicate their preferred enrolment location for Phase 1–either Kensington, Port Macquarie, or both. For more information on the Port Macquarie campus see their website.

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 if places are available . 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.

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. With campuses across NSW including Albury-Wodonga, Coffs Harbour, Griffith, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga, the Rural Clinical School has had great success training Medical students since 2000.

Late Exam Results

Applications cannot be considered for entry if results are not made available to UAC by 7 January in the year where students commence their studies with us.

The reason for the need for this deadline is to allow main round offers to be finalised and also to determine interstate interviewees for the late January round of interviews. It is usually the case that the only students adversely affected by this deadline for results are students who sit one of the "A" Level examinations and university students with unresolved exam results. We will do our best to consider these applicants, but cannot guarantee it.

Selection for Offer

Applicants are offered a place in the Medicine program based on:

  • academic rank
  • UMAT score
  • interview mark
  • rural rating

Using the above parameters, applicants are ranked. Applicants are selected based on the highest rank determined by all four measures. Scores will not be averaged, which means that a high score in one component will not compensate for a low score in another.

Types of places are then allocated to selected applicants as follows:

Unbonded and bonded places allocation

There are a set number of unbonded and bonded places available, as determined by the Commonwealth Government. All applicants are automatically considered for an unbonded place. When completing the application form on the Medicine Application Portal (MAP), applicants indicate whether they would like to be considered for a bonded place as well.

Once the deadline for the submission of the application form on the Medicine Application Portal (MAP) has passed, applicants are unable to change their selection under any circumstances.

Unbonded places are offered to the top students in the final ranking. Once all unbonded places have been exhausted, bonded places are then offered to students who have indicated that they would like to be considered for a bonded place, again until all spots are exhausted.

You can find more details about unbonded and bonded places here.

  • Applicants maximise their chance of being offered a place in the UNSW Medicine program by being prepared to accept a bonded place. However, it is important that applicants do not indicate that they would like to be considered for a bonded place if they have no intention of accepting a bonded offer.

Campus allocation

There are a set number of places available in our Kensington and Port Macquarie campuses. When completing the application form on the Medicine Application Portal (MAP), applicants indicate whether they are applying for a place at

  1. UNSW Kensington campus
  2. UNSW Port Macquarie campus
  3. either campus

Applicants who indicate that they would accept an offer at either campus will also be able to nominate their preferred campus. It must be stressed however that this is only a preference and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to take it into consideration.

Once the deadline for the submission of the application form on the Medicine Application Portal (MAP) has passed, applicants are unable to change their selection under any circumstances.

UNSW Medicine will allocate students to campuses as follows:

  1. By descending order, applicants who have selected only one campus are allocated until places at this campus are exhausted.
  2. Applicants who have indicated either campus will be proportionally allocated to the campus available at that stage. Where possible, we will take the campus preference into consideration, but again, we cannot guarantee it.
  • Applicants maximise their chance of being offered a place in the UNSW Medicine program bybeing prepared to accept a place at either campus. However, it is important that applicants do not select a campus in which they have no intention of accepting a place.
  • Applicants that select only one campus decrease their chance of being offered a place in the UNSW Medicine program in general as they compete for fewer places.
  • Applicants will be made only one offer. Once an applicant has received an offer, the campus allocation will not be changed under any circumstances.
  • During Phase 1 of the program (years 1-2), it is not possible for applicants to transfer from one campus to the other under any circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the FAQ’s on UNSW’s Medicine website.

Government Policies

Please read the information on government policies on the Medicine website


There are many scholarships offered to UNSW rural medical students.

Scholarships for UNSW students website.

Scholarships for rural students studying health degrees –

Please see our brochure for more information.