Getting a medical degree – there’s more than one path

CSU getting medical degree

Sometimes things don’t quite go according to plan. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams. There are always options for uni admission pathways – even when it comes to something like medicine. If you’re keen on studying medicine, but didn’t quite meet the admission requirements for your ideal course – don’t despair. You can still start on the path to getting a medical degree with the Bachelor of Clinical Science at Charles Sturt University (CSU).

How do I start my journey to studying medicine?

Not everyone can get the top ATAR scores. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to follow your passion. The Bachelor of Clinical Science is an enabling degree. It provides foundational knowledge about medicine. Plus, it has lower entry requirements, so you can get up to speed with uni study. Bec Nees did just that.

“I wanted to go into medicine, but when I finished the HSC, I didn’t get the marks that I needed. I applied to the Bachelor of Clinical Science at CSU as I felt it offered the best chance of getting me towards my goals. I’m currently starting my Doctor of Medicine, so it really helped me be successful.”

The degree can also give you the chance to explore different areas of medicine and health, and to help you decide which direction you want to take your future studies and career, as Bec explained.

“When you undertake the clinical science degree, you’re not just locked into science and physiology and anatomy. You also look at Indigenous health, sociology and psychology – and most importantly you look at problem-based learning. It can broaden your possibilities, as you can explore dentistry, optometry and physiotherapy as well.”

What are the next steps to a medical degree?

Once you’ve started the Bachelor of Clinical Science, there are lots of directions you can take your studies. After a year – and with good marks – you could transfer into a more focused undergraduate degree, such as the Bachelor of Medical Science or Bachelor of Dental Science. Alternatively, you could complete the whole degree and then move into postgraduate studies. A third option – and one that Madeline Kelly took – is to complete the four-year Honours program in the Bachelor of Clinical Science to set you up for a Higher Degree by Research.

“I wanted to do medicine but I didn’t get the ATAR to do it, so the Bachelor of Clinical Science looked like a good way to get into further medicine study, if I still wanted to do that after starting the degree.

“I was still thinking about transitioning to undergraduate medicine when I started the course. But during the first year I decided I would complete the whole degree and then apply for a graduate medicine course. That’s why I completed the Honours stream of the bachelor’s degree; that Honours year really gave me a lot of confidence.”

How do I prepare for future study?

Whatever you decide to do, CSU has got your back. We’ll set you up for success so you make your next move count, as Bec found out.

“Heading on to my postgraduate studies, you need to complete an admissions test and attend interviews. Each step of the way, I received support through CSU. Staff at CSU helped by doing mock interviews with me and practice tests. Also, in the degree, there was course content that was focused towards those tests.”

Build your confidence

For Emily Clapham, who undertook the Bachelor of Clinical Science before transitioning to graduate medical school, the course wasn’t just about developing skills and knowledge. It also helped her develop as a person and a student.

“A lot of people take a general science degree with a view to going on to a graduate-entry medical program. But I always felt in clinical science that I wasn’t just marking time until I could study medicine, I was learning how to be a better health practitioner.

“The problem-based learning structure meant that when I was accepted into medicine the following year, I was much more confident. I had taken, and even led, those types of tutorials. So I knew how to optimise my learning using this method.”

Start your medical career

If getting a medical degree to help your community is your ambition, you – and CSU – can make it happen. Just like the many students who have gone on to medical or graduate school after studying the Bachelor of Clinical Science. Just like Bec.

“School suits some people, but not everyone, and not getting the marks doesn’t mean giving up on your career goals. Medicine and dentistry are still viable options, and the Bachelor of Clinical Science can help you through to those opportunities, give you support, improve your marks, so you can reach that dream.”

So, if things don’t go to plan, it’s not the end of the world. It could be the start of an amazing career journey. Contact us to find out more about how to get into medicine.