With the VCE results coming in a week ill have to start looking seriously into which Uni courses to apply for and also which University. My top 3 preferences are Medicine, Physiotherapy and Osteopathy at this stage but im also looking towards going into some kind of medical science research path. however i may not be able to get into some of these caurses as med and physio require very high enter scores.

Anyway is there anyone out there who has done any similar university courses? please let me know your thoughts on how good the course was, which universities suck etc.


Oh by the way i live in Melbourne (Eltham to be precise)

Yarr! I told Uni to f*ck off and now I'm just another underpaid worker! Best of luck!

VTAC cut off date was a couple of months ago, I assume you've
already applied? What were your preferences? What is your ENTER?

If you're looking to do Medicine, then you've only got Monash and
Melb Uni as an option. Since you're straight out of school, you
probably have better chance of getting into Monash since they
have a school leaver program only. MelbUni has a school leaver
and graduate program. They will eventually cut down on the
school leaver program. Both programs have their advantages and
disadvantages but really, when it comes down to it, you take what
you get and there really isn't much difference between graduating
from Monash or MelbUni. You will have equal opportunity as a
doctor wherever you choose to go (notwithstanding collaborative
hospitals where you can choose to do your residency).

Physiotherapy is only available at Melb Uni.

Medical science research - science degree, or a biomedical
science research degree is what you're looking for. Don't forget
you've also got options in
dentistry and veterinary science (both only available at Melb Uni
as well).

By the way, there really isn't any difference between the regular
science degree and the biomedical science degree. You will
generally have the same options in subjects. You may have some
extra work to do in the biomedical science stream though.
The degree itself has a higher ENTER to get into but I'm telling
you now, nobody really gives a crap once you've graduated and
are looking for work. What really matters is 1. your grades and a
little of 2. which uni you graduated from.

Another point, even if you miss a place in medicine or
physiotherapy this year it's not the end of the world, you can
always get into science now and transfer into med/physio the year
after. You would have to have stellar grades though because there
are only limited places for transfer students. There are a number
of students in science who are med/physio/dentistry/vet rejects,
who intend to transfer later.

Thanks for the help, yeah i have applied through VTAC already but for the week that we get our results we can change our preferences around to allow for good/bad enter scores.

It is extremely unlikely that i will get into medicine, Physiotherapy is also at La Trobe Uni wich is closer than Melbourne Uni to where i live. Still need a 96-97 to get into that though which is also rather doubtful.

Which Uni courses/course have you done Gakami and did you enjoy it? It sounds like you have an interest in the same field as me.

whoops i forgot about latrobe physio.

I have a science degree. Am currently working in med research at
MelbUni, Pathology Dept.

Just off the top of my head while eating my dinner:

It can be a very rewarding job when you make big steps in
research discovery.

You may get to travel a fair bit to conferences around the world
which is very exciting. The staff noticeboard at work is chock full
of postcards from various researchers who have gone on
conference leave through the years.

The science profession itself is also easily transferable. You may
complete 3 years of research in Melbourne and then decide you
want to move to the UK for the next 5 years. It's relatively easy to
move there if you are able to secure research grants.

In research, you work out your own schedule depending on the
work you're doing.

You will not progress far in med research unless you complete a
PhD, and then your post-doctoral work after that. Med/science
research can be a stressful profession though, your future goes
only as far as your next project grant. I've seen researchers under
pressure to produce results so that their next research grant
application has a higher chance of being approved.

Another thing about the med research thing is that a medicine
degree is almost always higher up in the hierachy than "mere
science degree".

Most career counsellors will advise you to apply for courses which
you are interested to study. The reality is if you are not sure which
area you want to go into, get into the highest course your ENTER
will allow you to get into (for eg medicine). It'll give you the
opportunity to see what it's like and if you don't like it, you can
always transfer down. It is MUCH harder to transfer up so you may
regret it later. Even so, if you graduate in medicine and decide it's
not really for you, it's much easier to find alternative work.
Medicine is a very powerful degree, every year there are med
grads who decide they don't want to be doctors, they very easily
get into areas like business, consulting, research, simply for
having a med degree.


I did Biol Science at Latrobe. It is an interesting course, and if you do well it is easy to swap from it to the numerous medical courses (Physio, Osteo etc) with some exemptions. I know a number of people who did this.


Is it easy to swap into these courses at LaTrobe? At Melbourne Uni
there are very few places for internal transfers and it is highly
competitive with more students applying than there are places.


I finished there over 10 years ago now, but at the time there were a number of people who swapped, particularly to courses like physio and osteopathy, at varying stages along the course. Some after first year, others after graduating. All of them had reasonable marks, but other than that I don't think it was particularly hard, I can't comment on the current situation though.


Thanks again for the advice, do you find that it is easy to find a job in the medical research areas? One of the main deterrents for choosing a science/medical research type of course is from what i have heard it is hard to find a job and alot of the jobs do not pay well.

I was very interested in the genetics side of biology. Working in some kind of medical research with genetics sounds appealing to me, however i wouldnt want to do a 4 or 5 year course and be left stranded without a job.

Drizzt - I'm currently at Melb Uni, don't know about LaTrobe. I do know that in med, for internal transfers there are only very few places, under 5 spots for a couple of hundred applications. Veterinary science on the other hand factors these internal transfers as a major way of recruiting their students and they have about 50-75 places for about 300 applications. So it's still very competitive.

lach - it depends on what kind of job you want, and how ambitious you are. At the minimum if you are doing a science degree and want to work as a scientist, you must have also completed an honours year. This means your grades have to be ~75% or above in your undergrad bachelor degree to be offered an honours spot. From there you can work as a research assistant (RA). RA's make anywhere between $33k pa as a fresh graduate to $45k-$50k pa with experience. With a few years of this under your belt you could move into something else if you wanted to (pharmaceutical sector maybe?). But if you really want the optimal job with optimal pay in science/med research, you'd have to complete a PhD. The academic/research field has a very clear correlation between your degree level and job hierachy.

Biology these days is mostly genetics focused anyway. I don't know much about the biology side of things but my impression is that there is ample opportunity in that area particularly in recent years when genetics has begun to shift the emphasis of biological research to medical research (ie. what can we gain from studying biological systems to add to human medical research).

Drizz - I didn't know you did medical stuff at Uni... I assumed you just stuffed around much like I did - Good Old Canberra Uni


Latrobe has a good genetics department. I did 2 years of it, its interesting stuff. However, a BSc on its own is not going to help you much in terms of getting a job. Research jobs are hard to come by unless you're prepared to do a higher degree, but it can be a useful stepping stone to other careers and can also pair well with other qualifications, one example I know of is a person who did honours in science and then a law degree and became an expert in patent law with regard to scientific research. I also have a friend who did a BSC at Melbourne then honours in Psycology, became an educational psychologist, used this to get into Human Resources, did an MBA and now has a very high paying job with a multinational management consulting firm.

If you know what you want to do, then look at the different ways of getting there. If its in the medical field then a BSc is one possible way in. If you have no idea at the moment, a Science degree is a good general degree. While it might not be that useful by itself, it can pair well with many other qualifications and would give you time to make up your mind.

Jason, not really medical. I specialised in cutting up dead animals.

"a Science degree is a good general degree... I specialised in cutting up dead animals"

That says it all really.

Speaking of animals, one of my brothers is a vet. One day Mum asks him to look at the cat because she thinks it might be pregant. After a few moments consultation, establishing when the cat was last free etc the "Vet" announces, "Yep, she's pregant all right, due in five weeks".

Two days later the cat dropped triplets in the middle of my other brother's bed (while he was asleep in it no less, which is particularly disgusting). Mum is confused, because the difference between 2 and 35 days is, well, considerable. So she asks the Vet why the cat might have given birth so early.

"How the #$%^ should I know," says the Doctor, "who the @#$% knows how long a cat is pregant for anyway?"

And yes, my brother the Vet is gainfully employed earning a pretty penny too.

I say go Vet Science.

lol @ dutch law's story

Drizzt - interestingly enough, I'm doing a law degree part time at the moment.


Don't have a good story like Dutch Law's, sorry:-) But... I'm doing a PhD in medical research, enrolled in the school of medicine and engineering at Melbourne(I did my BS in Chem Eng). I'd have to say that MD's, on a whole, listen to other MD's more in the research field, and give eachother a little more respect than scientists with a PhD. Not everyone is like that btw.

So my advice, if you don't get med, try vet, optometry etc. You can still do research if you want, but I'd say you'll have more options. Job wise, you can practice if you want, or do research. Ask most medical researchers here in Australia how they like waiting around for grants to see if they have a job for the next two or three years, and most will tell you it sucks. You don't have that problem if you are practicing medicine, optometry, or dentistry.

That said... you do get to travel a fair bit. I've been up to Japan a couple of times for research, and a few friends have been to the States and Europe for conferences. And there are jobs, and the work can be fun as well.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, but I think Gakami has covered it pretty well.


Thanks again guys, Ill probably take that advice of doing the course which requires the highest enter score.

How many years would you have to spend at uni to compete a PhD in medical research?

Lach ,

What school did you go to ? I grew up in Eltham although I finished school a long long time ago.