Here is the ATAR score that you will need to study medicine for each university in Queensland. It is well established that the overall acceptance rate for undergraduate medicine courses in Australia is around 5%. This means that for every 100 students who apply to an undergraduate medicine degree, 95 will fail to gain entry and just 5 will be successful.
Medicine is without a doubt the most difficult degree to enter into from high school, due mainly to extremely high demand and fierce competition between the brightest and most diligent students in the country. It also seems that it is only becoming more challenging to become a doctor from high school as entry scores continue to climb year after year.
- View our complete list of all undergraduate medicine degrees in Australia.
- View our discussion on Australian medical school rankings and QS & Times ranks.
For many universities, there are requirements other than ATAR that students must fulfil to gain entry into medicine which we will explain below. Hence, it is impossible to give a definitive ATAR score, though you should aim for an ATAR between 95 and 99.85.
Below, we’ve broken down the ATAR score, UCAT and interview requirements you’ll need to satisfy to study medicine in Queensland for each university.
Undergraduate Medicine: Introduction
Four universities offer pathways to becoming a doctor in Queensland straight from high school: the University of Queensland, Griffith University, James Cook University, and Bond University. For all of these with the exception of JCU, students must undertake an undergraduate degree before studying the 4-year postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (MD) which is the true medical degree. As a result, UQ, Griffith and Bond offer provisional entry into medicine for school leavers. This means that students are guaranteed a spot in the university’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree after the completion of an undergraduate degree.
For JCU, things are slightly different. Students study a 6-year degree and obtain a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) after completion. This is just a single degree, so an undergraduate degree is not required. Both the MD and the MBBS are recognised by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and qualify graduates as doctors.
Undergraduate Medicine: Requirements
The requirements for entry into undergraduate medicine differ between universities in Queensland and we will look at each of the four universities in detail below. There are no guaranteed entry scores for medicine. Instead, entry scores are based entirely on the performance of the overall cohort for a particular year. For now, here is a brief overview of the requirements for each:
University of Queensland
- Competitive University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) score.
- Adjusted ATAR of 95 or above.
- Competitive interview performance.
- Competitive ATAR score.
James Cook University
- Competitive written application (removed, 2024).
- Competitive ATAR score.
- Competitive interview performance.
- Competitive ATAR score.
- Competitive psychometric test score.
- Competitive interview score.
University of Queensland Medicine
The University of Queensland offers students provisional entry into their postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. Students can select any undergraduate degree to study (provided prerequisites are met) and are guaranteed entry into UQ’s MD upon completion as long as they maintain a GPA of 5 or above on a 7-point scale. They then move seamlessly on to the MD which is completed in 4 years. The overall length of the undergraduate degree and the Doctor of Medicine is 7 years.
UQ UCAT For Medicine
The first step in selecting successful applicants UQ considers is the University Clinical Aptitude (UCAT) test. This is a five-part computer-based test that applicants must undertake in July or August of Year 12. There is no passing grade. Instead, UQ selects the top scores of all applicants until their places are filled. Hence, the cutoffs change each year, as do the percentiles that those scores represent. Here are the UCAT scores that were required for entry into UQ’s provisional medicine degree for 2020 and 2021:
|UCAT Score||Percentile (%)|
As you can see, a UCAT score that falls in around the 90th to 95th percentile (top 10% to top 5% of test-takers) is required to even be considered for UQ medicine. We recommend aiming for the 95th percentile or above if your goal is provisional medicine at UQ. If an applicant achieves the required score, they can then progress to the other selection criteria of the ATAR and interview.
UQ ATAR For Medicine (95.00+)
The University of Queensland is unique in that it is the only university in Australia that requires only a threshold ATAR score for entry into undergraduate medicine. That is, applicants must simply meet the threshold of an adjusted ATAR of 95 or above to be eligible for selection. After this, applicants are ranked for selection solely based on their UCAT scores and their interview performance and not on their ATARs. Having said that, here is the ATAR breakdown for successful UQ applicants:
Provisional ATAR For Medicine (School Leavers)
|Without Adjustments||With Adjustments|
As you can see, the median unadjusted ATAR a student had that was accepted into provisional medicine at the University of Queensland in 2022 was 99.65. The lowest unadjusted score was 95.45 which resulted in an adjusted score of 96.20 for this student. As long as students score above 95, their ATAR is not considered in the final rankings. The only factors considered for final place offers are the student’s UCAT score and interview performance. Clearly, it is crucial to be aware of UQ’s adjustment scheme as a raw ATAR of below 95 may still be eligible if bonus points increase it above the 95 threshold. Read more about their adjustment scheme here.
The final selection criteria for undergraduate provisional entry into medicine at the University of Queensland is the interview. The interview is in the format of a Multiple Mini Interview or MMI in which students rotate through various stations and respond to several different scenarios. Students are only selected for an interview if they meet the UCAT and ATAR requirements. That is, they must have a competitive UCAT score in relation to that year’s cohort and they must meet the 95 ATAR threshold.
During the interview, students are scored based on their performance at each station and their final score is then used to select students who are successful. Though we can’t know for sure, it is commonly assumed that students have an approximate 50% chance of acceptance if they make it to the interview stage.
Griffith University Medicine
Griffith University offers a 6-year combined Bachelor of Medical Science / Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree to school leavers. The Bachelor of Medical Science degree is an accelerated, intense 2-year degree that is only available to students with provisional entry into medicine. After completion of this degree, students then progress to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) which is 4 years in duration. Overall, this pathway is 1 year shorter than UQ’s.
Griffith ATAR For Medicine
Griffith only considers ATAR for entry into its provisional entry undergraduate medicine degree. Unlike UQ, it does not consider UCAT and it does not use an interview to select for successful applicants. Because Griffith only uses ATAR for selection, the ATAR score required for entry is incredibly high. In fact, it is the highest ATAR score required for entry into any degree in Queensland. Here are the minimum ATAR scores required for medicine at Griffith for 2021 and 2022:
ATAR For Medicine (Bachelor of Medical Science)
|Minimum ATAR (Nathan)||Minimum ATAR (Gold Coast)|
As seen, the ATAR for medicine at Griffith in 2021 was 99.85. This equates to the top 0.15% of the state. In fact, only around 90 students in the entire state of Queensland achieve an ATAR of 99.85 or above each year and only around 600 students achieve this score or higher in the entire country. While Griffith does have a bonus points scheme, it is not used for entry into this degree.
James Cook University in Townsville offers a 6-year undergraduate medicine degree for school leavers. At the completion of this degree, students are awarded a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree which qualifies them to be a doctor. JCU has a particular focus on rural and tropical medicine. Like Griffith, JCU does not consider the UCAT as a selection criteria. For final selection, JCU considers each applicant’s ATAR and interview.
JCU Personal Statement
Update 2024: James Cook University no longer requires a personal statement for entry into their undergraduate medicine degree. Prior to this change, students needed to complete a 4-question personal reflection on their motivations to study medicine, particularly in a rural context. This is no longer a requirement, but students do still need to submit an online application directly to the university. For more information, take a look at their site.
JCU ATAR For Medicine
The ATAR required for medicine at James Cook University is slightly lower than that required for UQ and Griffith. Nonetheless, the score required is still very high and students should aim to achieve the best score they can as there is no guaranteed entry score. Instead, cutoffs are based on the performance of the cohort of applicants each year. Here are the ATAR scores of successful applicants in 2022:
ATAR For Medicine (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery)
|ATAR Score (Successful Applicants)|
As seen, the median ATAR achieved by successful applicants was 98.40 while the lowest was 89.75. This is considerably lower than the ATARs required for medicine at UQ and Griffith. While JCU does have an adjustment or bonus point scheme, it is not used for entry into this degree.
Finally, JCU also conducts an interview as a selection criteria for entry into its MBBS program. Unlike UQ’s interview, this is a panel interview which consists of multiple panellists who ask questions and pose scenarios to applicants. After the interview, applicants are ranked and selected into medicine based on a combination of their ATAR and interview performance.
Bond University Medicine
Bond University offers a Bachelor of Medical Studies / Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree to school leavers. Like Griffith and UQ, this is a provisional entry pathway into medicine in which students are guaranteed entry into postgraduate medicine after completion of an undergraduate degree. At Bond, students must first complete the Bachelor of Medical Studies degree before progressing into the Doctor of Medicine. The combined duration is 4 years and 8 months which makes it the fastest pathway to becoming a doctor in Australia for high school leavers.
Bond ATAR For Medicine
The ATAR required for selection into Bond’s medical program is 96 or above. This is the minimum score to be selected for a psychometric test (the next step in the selection process). As with other undergraduate medical degrees, it is of paramount importance to strive to achieve the best ATAR you possibly can as there are no guaranteed entry scores. Instead, the ATAR required depends on the overall strength of the cohort applying and entry remains extremely competitive.
Bond Psychometric Test
If applicants achieve a competitive ATAR score, they will be invited to conduct a psychometric test as a further selection criteria. Details of the psychometric test is again not disclosed publicly. Based on previous data, you should expect to be tested on your ability to perceive and identify emotions, your ability to respond to complex scenarios both related to medicine and related to everyday life, your ability to use logic to quickly arrive at conclusions from convoluted data, and your ability to quickly identify and apply abstract patterns (from shapes and sequences).
If applicants achieve a successful score in the psychometric test, they will then progress on to an on-campus interview. This interview is a multiple mini interview (MMI) like at UQ and is designed to assess applicants’ “general suitability to medicine and preparedness to undertake a highly demanding course.” As per the Bond website, applicants will be assessed on:
- Knowledge and critical thinking.
- Initiative and teamwork.
- Responsibility skills.
- Ethical decision-making skills.
- Non-verbal reasoning.
After the interview, applicants will be ranked and selected based on their academic performance (ATAR score), psychometric test result, and interview performance.
Medicine is without a doubt the most difficult course to enter into from high school. Not only are very high ATAR scores required, there are also several other components to the application process that applicants must perform well in to be considered at many universities. While it is certainly difficult to get into a medical degree from high school, it is still definitely achievable and well worth the effort to enter such a rewarding and fulfilling profession.
If you’re considering studying medicine, our advice is to not get too caught up on the ATAR cutoffs and requirements. At the end of the day, your goal in Year 12 should be to get the best possible ATAR that you can achieve. This will give you the best chance of getting into a medical degree (or any degree) of your choice. To estimate your ATAR, check out our ATAR Calculator.
Even if you don’t achieve the required ATAR, or you fall short in the interview or UCAT, you can still definitely study medicine and achieve your goal of becoming a doctor. Many students opt to undertake an undergraduate ‘bridging’ course before aiming to enter into a medical degree via postgraduate entry pathways. Check out our article on the Best Medicine Backup Courses. We also recommend looking at interstate universities that offer undergraduate medicine courses.
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Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your studies!