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Summary of Selection Criteria
The Joint Medical Program (JMP), offered jointly by the University of Newcastle (UON) and the University of New England (UNE), provides students with a clinically based, five year undergraduate Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine double degree. It has a competitive selection process comprised of two main stages; interview offer & course offer.
Unlike some other universities, the first stage, i.e. interview offer, is solely based on UCAT ANZ test results. However, prior to the second stage, i.e. course offer, applicants’ academic eligibility is assessed, typically through either previous high school qualifications (ATAR – Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) or previous university experience. Only those meeting minimum eligibility requirements will be offered a position in the course.
Therefore, it is crucial for prospective students to understand both the academic eligibility requirements and UCAT score they should be aiming for in order to meet the entry requirements. We’ve analysed student data of applicants who received interview invites in the 2021/2022 cohort to give you a better understanding of what it takes.
The selection process is largely the same for all Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. The following article is written specifically for non-rural local applicants who are not eligible for special access schemes. If you fall under the special-entry categories, you may still find this useful. Read on to find out more.
What ATAR do I need?
The Joint Medical Program Admissions Team reports the minimum academic requirement for local, non-rural applicants applying on the basis of secondary results to be an ATAR of 94.30, and the minimum academic requirement for applicants who completed their studies at a designated rural/remote high school as an ATAR of 91.40.
For those looking to apply based on previous university study, applicants must have completed a minimum of one year full-time study (or part-time equivalent) at a recognised higher education institution in Australia or overseas. The minimum academic requirement will differ depending on the level of study undertaken and the completion status, and is shown in the below table.
The Joint Medical Program is especially unique as their academic eligibility requirements are a threshold, rather than a factor used in tandem to determine your chance of receiving an offer. Consequently, for students aiming to study at the Joint Medical Program, a high UCAT score would be more advantageous than a high ATAR – provided you meet the academic eligibility threshold.
Dr. Jason Yu
What UCAT do I need?
The Joint Medical Program UCAT cut-off is dependent on the performance of the applicant cohort, and is not determined until after UAC applications (and other direct university applications) are closed. The Joint Medical Program does not publish official UCAT cut-offs, as the scores tend to change year-to-year. Fortunately, the test is comparative in nature, and the percentile cut-off score is usually quite stable.
There are typically between 750 and 800 applicants (from NSW, QLD, ACT) selected for an interview within the designated November – December interview period each year, as well as additional interstate applicants (TAS, VIC, SA, WA) who attend limited interviews in January.
In the 2022/2023 cycle, the lowest recorded UCAT that received a Joint Medical Program interview offer was 95%tile for a non-rural applicant. There is no record of a non special-entry candidate attaining an interview offer with a UCAT below that threshold, and so it is reasonable to assume that 95%tile was the approximate cut-off. The Joint Medical Program also reports no threshold requirement for any of the UCAT subtests.
Notably, for rural applicants, the cut-off was significantly lower, at 66%tile.
Percentile is a measurement of an individual compared to a cohort. For instance, 99%tile means that you performed better than 99% of the students who took the test. Given it is inherently a ranking system, it is much more stable as a cut-off for university entry compared to a raw score which can fluctuate year to year depending on the difficulty of the test and the calibre of the students. If you are curious about your percentile ranking, you can use the official UCAT ANZ percentile calculator to determine your percentile.
Dr. Jason Yu
Finally, an important point to note is that the process described above is for the interview selection process and NOT for an offer to study the course. These are two distinct stages of the application process; however, it is usually the interview offer hurdle that cuts the most people out.
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Does JMP Medicine have subject prerequisites?
The Joint Medical Program does not require you to have completed specific subjects in secondary or tertiary school. Nonetheless, they do require applicants to have English proficiency. Provided you complete an Australian Year 12 Qualification (e.g. NSW HSC), you should not need to provide any extra documentation, as the high school certification will be sufficient.
Will my UCAT affect which enrolment location I am offered?
As part of your UAC application, you will be given the opportunity to indicate your preferred enrolment location (University of Newcastle or University of New England). The Joint Medical Program will then allocate places at each university based on applicants’ preferences, available places, and the applicant’s position on their ranked list. This ranking occurs after interviews (comprised of a Multiple Skills Assessment and Personal Qualities Assessment) are conducted, and is 100% determined by interview performance. Provided that your UCAT score was sufficient enough for an interview offer, it will not impact your enrolment location.
Where did we get our UCAT data?
We used data that was posted by the wonderful members in the MedStudentsOnline community. If you are a student looking to study medicine and don’t know about this wonderful community yet, make sure to join. For transparency’s sake, we’ve made all the recorded data available here. If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
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