Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2013 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleMBBS
Total credit points required240
Standard duration of study (years)5 years FT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Sunway)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

telephone +(603) 5636 0600 ext 3704/3705; email or visit


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Full-time study only.
  • This course requires students to undertake a residential program and off-campus clinical placements. Students must also be able to travel to and reside in Australia for a period of time in fifth year to undertake placements.


The five-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) curriculum is designed as an integrated structure incorporating four themes, within which units are taught by staff from across the faculty and from a wide range of clinical environments, in an interdisciplinary fashion. This course may be awarded at either pass or honours standard. The basic knowledge, skills and attitudes that form the curriculum are related to clinical and other problems or issues. Learning in appropriate medical and other health professional contexts is an overarching principle of the curriculum.

During the early years of the course, the basic medical and behavioural sciences (anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, psychology and sociology) are introduced within interdisciplinary units. These units will all have a major focus on clinical issues through clinical case studies.

The course is delivered in about 20 formal contact hours per week. This provides opportunity for self-directed study, and for students to be given the time and opportunity to be in control of their own learning and to develop skills in problem-solving and the critical appraisal of information.

For first year, semesters are of 12 weeks duration. In second year, semesters are of 12 weeks duration. In third and fourth years, the course has been structured as two semesters of 18 weeks each. In fifth year, the semesters are a notional 18 weeks, although there may be some requirement for more flexible arrangements.

The degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery may be awarded at either pass or honours standard. The conferring of this award with honours is based on academic achievement.

Patient-centred learning activities

A patient-based learning model will be used, where the knowledge, skills and attitudes that form the content of the curriculum are brought to life via formal patient-centred teaching exercises. Most of the learning activities are designed to support students as they work with patient-centred scenarios.

The themes

The faculty has adopted a four-theme structure. These themes are:

  • Theme 1 - Personal and professional development
  • Theme 2 - Population, society, health and illness
  • Theme 3 - Scientific basis of clinical practice
  • Theme 4 - Clinical skills.

The four themes will run through all years of the course, but will not be of equal weight; nor will they be of constant weight throughout the course.

Theme 1

'Personal and professional development' will focus on the doctor as an individual. This theme concentrates on the personal attributes and qualities needed by medical students and, ultimately, medical practitioners. It covers elements of communication skills, information technology, medical informatics and computing skills, ethics and legal issues, and clinical effectiveness.

Theme 2

'Population, society, health and illness' provides the structure to develop students' abilities to deal with broader society and population issues. Students will consider the social, environmental and behavioural contexts of illness and the practice of medicine, including an emphasis on rural and remote Australia. Other elements of this theme will be built around health promotion, epidemiology, public health, community diversity, population and global health, and a range of other societal issues. The history and philosophy of the scientific approach to medicine will also be included, extending this to approaches to knowledge and information, and an understanding of evidence-based medicine.

Theme 3

'Scientific basis of clinical practice' includes much of the human systems-based teaching in the course. The knowledge and concepts that underpin medicine, both in the basic medical sciences and in the clinical sciences, will be delivered within this theme. In the early semesters, the basic sciences of anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and psychology of each system will be taught in an integrated manner and from a relevant clinical perspective.

Theme 4

The 'Clinical skills' theme encompasses the whole range of clinical skills, from the earliest to the later parts of the course. Practice in clinical skills (including procedural skills) is stressed early and often. The approach in clinical skills development will be to develop defined clinical competencies. This will begin with clinical aspects of communication skills and move through history taking and physical examinations to the more advanced clinical and procedural skills.

In the early years of the course, this theme will include general practice and rural visits, and an introduction to community clinics and hospitals. Multi-professional education will be promoted through educational interactions with nurses, paramedics, radiographers and other health care professionals. The rural health activities in the early years of the course will provide opportunities for our students to interact with a range of health care professionals. The later years will include advanced elective experience in diverse medical work places, both within and outside the hospital environment.

Community Based Partnerships

The Community Based Partnerships (CBP) program is an integral and innovative component of the new MBBS course for second-year medical students. CBP provides a meaningful context for future medical practitioners to gain an understanding of issues that relate to social justice, equity and diversity in the wider community.

Students must complete a community-based placement, attend orientation and integration lectures, and complete a report so that they understand the context and links between health and illness, medicine and social justice.

Rural practice

The five-year curriculum will include an experience in rural areas for all students. This includes one day in a rural community in first year and a two-week rural program undertaken in Year 2 of the course.


The Monash University Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery program will strive to graduate doctors who:

  • are knowledgeable, skilful, reflective and compassionate
  • are innovative in their approach to and solution of problems
  • are skilled at accessing, appraising, and applying the best available evidence to their everyday practice
  • demonstrate awareness of the social, ethical, economic and environmental context of health and illness and psychological wellbeing and delivery of care
  • are committed to the health of populations as well as individuals
  • are concerned with issues of equity, quality and humanity in health care and act as advocates for the disadvantaged and dispossessed
  • maintain high standards throughout their professional life by a commitment to life-long learning and teaching
  • have the skill to address the key questions relevant to the community and to medicine
  • are capable of leadership and yet are comfortable working as a team member
  • uphold the communities trust and expectations of the role of a doctor
  • are advocates for health by practising preventative medicine and health promotion
  • recognise the essential role of research in underpinning medical practice.

Special requirements

Students must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the correct documentation.

Police checks

Students must have a current Police check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Information available at

Working with Children checks

Students must have a current Working with Children check regarding their suitability to undertake placements. Information available at

Health requirements

For the protection of other students, patients and themselves, students in the MBBS course should comply with certain precautionary procedures.

This policy is in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council advice that educational institutions training students in health sciences should ensure that such students are protected as far as possible by vaccination against risks of infection.

The faculty's own policy requires that all students accept responsibility for having a satisfactory immunisation status at the commencement of the MBBS course. Immunisations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B.

First Aid Certificates

It is highly recommended that students hold or attain by the end of first semester a current registered Level 2 or Senior First Aid Certificate.


Clinical practice units

This course requires students to undertake off-campus clinical placements. In the clinical setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision. Attendance is mandatory for the clinical component of each unit.

Where a student's skill or knowledge is found to be inadequate, access to the clinical component of the unit will be denied. A student may be withdrawn from a clinical practicum if required skills and knowledge are deemed inadequate, or on other grounds deemed appropriate by the Deputy Dean (MBBS Curriculum).

Clinical expenses

Students are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses during clinical placements.


Years one and two

In the first week of the first year of the course, students will attend a residential transition program, designed to focus on transition to university life, personal ethics, healthy lifestyle, group support and introduction to communication skills.

Throughout the first two years, blocks of systems-based sub-units will be presented with a mix of basic medical science content, patient-based presentations and discussions in small groups. These sub-units combine basic content with generic skills and are set in appropriate clinical contexts, largely through the use of patient-oriented learning. Topics include:

  • cardiovascular
  • endocrinology
  • gastrointestinal
  • genomics
  • human behaviour
  • human development and growth
  • immunology
  • infection
  • metabolism
  • molecules, cells and tissues
  • musculo-skeletal
  • neurosciences
  • nutrition
  • renal
  • reproduction
  • respiratory.

Years three and four

Years three to five will be based at the Clinical School in Johor, with clinical studies centred in the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, a tertiary and referral hospital in Johor Bahru. In the third and fourth years, the clinical content is delivered in blocks of clinical rotations, with a mix of advanced and applied medical science, patient-oriented presentations, and discussions in small tutorial groups. A diversity of clinical settings is used, including a range of hospitals, ambulatory clinics and the rural environment. The emphasis will be on students gaining real clinical experience, participating in patient care and understanding how health care teams work.

In the third year, students will study 'Integrated medicine and surgery' which will be taught together with a series of problem-based and core-based learning sessions. The fourth year will be largely taken up with the core clinical rotations of 'Women's and children's health' and 'General practice and psychological medicine'.

Year five

The fifth year of the course is focused on facilitating the transition of students into the medical workplace as trainee interns and will be structured as a series of clinical rotations. In order to comply with the Australian Medical Council (AMC) accreditation requirements students will be required to undertake a clinical rotation in Australia.*

Students will participate in a range of learning experiences designed to substantially enhance their clinical reasoning, diagnostic and case management skills. Students will consolidate and enhance their knowledge, clinical skills and professional behaviours in five clinically orientated rotations: aged care, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and specialty. In addition, students will undertake a student elective rotation in a clinical area of personal interest, subject to faculty approval.

* Students choose from a range of placements offered by the faculty.


First year

Second year

Third year

Fourth year

  • MED4000 Year 3 and 4 final grade
  • MED4171 Specialty clinical practices 1
  • MED4182 Specialty clinical practices 2
  • MED4200 Integrated clinical studies

Fifth year

  • MED5091 Advanced clinical practice 1
  • MED5092 Advanced clinical practice 2
  • MED5100 Final MBBS grade
  • MED5102 Contemporary developments in clinical practice: Patient safety

Alternative exit(s)

Students may exit this course with a Bachelor of Human Sciences after successfully completing at least 144 points of study.


Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (with Honours)

Where more than one award is listed the actual award conferred may depend on units/majors/streams/specialisations studied, the level of academic merit achieved, or other factors relevant to the individual student's program of study.