[Undergrad] UNSW vs Monash

Discussion in 'Studying Medicine' started by kwgreen, Oct 11, 2017.


UNSW vs Monash

  1. UNSW

  2. Monash

  1. kwgreen

    kwgreen New Member

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    I'm having trouble deciding which Uni to go to and would really appreciate any input to help with my decision.
    I was accepted into UNSW and Monash last year, and deferred, and its coming up to that time when I have to make the all important decision and enroll.

    I am a rural student that lives halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, so I will be moving away for university.

    I understand that UNSW is a 6 year degree, and Monash is a 5 Year degree, and that pushes me toward Monash. Can someone comment on the ILP year and whether it is worth it/difficult aswell as whih uni offers a better course?

    I'd also like to hear about the Universities in general and the things they offer - location, accommodation, library, catering etc.

    Money is a big consideration for me, and with UNSW I can do Phase 2&3 at the Rural Clinical School closer to home, which actually makes UNSW cheaper, even though its a longer degree in a more expensive city.

    Sell it to me!!!
  2. pi

    pi Junior doctor Moderator

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    Welcome to MSO! I can't speak for UNSW having never been there, but I can speak for Monash. I'm in my final year of the degree (only 3 weeks to go - but who's counting!?!), have been at most of the clinical schools, and did the optional BMedSc(Hons) research year as well, so here's my take on your question.

    Monash is located in Clayton, this is a suburb in the South-East on Melbourne and about 20 mins out from the CBD by car or train. The university does not have its own train station (...perhaps one day!), but has a dedicated bus service to and from the nearest train station, Huntingdale Station, which runs every 5 mins during weekdays and has a journey time of around 5 mins as well. There are also shuttle buses that run between the Clayton campus, and other Monash campuses such as Caulfield and Peninsula. Your study as a medical student, for the preclinical years, will be solely at Monash Clayton.

    The university is very much a community in and of itself (it even has its own postcode), with a very chill vibe and plenty of people around at virtually any point of the day/night. There are a myriad of clubs to become involved in, many of which are free to join or very cheap to join (max $10 for most), if that's your thing. The medical society is particularly active, especially during pre-clin years, and runs both academic (mostly on-campus) and social events (mostly off-campus) throughout the year. Some of the highlight events for me over the years would include the annual Med Ball, the Caudaceus cup (an inter-year sporting tournament), and the numerous pub/club events.

    Since I joined in 2012, the university has undergone some impressive changes, with a whole host of new and fancy buildings having been built, and this will continue into 2018 with more new state-of-the-art centres. In terms of libraries, there are four libraries in the Clayton campus, and one each on the other campuses. The four campus libraries are roughly split into different areas of study: one for science/med/eng, one for law, one for arts/comm, and one more general. All students are welcome at all libraries (I personally loved the Lawbry), and these are open 24 hours during exam seasons. When not in exam seasons, the med building can be accessed for private/group study 24 hours a day.

    I've written extensively about my time during the med degree (please see pi's review of Monash Med units), but one of the highlights for me has been the collaborative approach taken by students. Monash's tradition of having inter-year study groups (organised by the med soc, but also privately) is one that I've been extensively involved in, to the point where the Year 4/5 study group I helped run last year had over 50 weekly attendees and was live streamed to multiple rural sites! I think this sort of willingness to collaborate across year levels is a real plus of the Monash course.

    Other aspects of the course are as outlined in my above link, but I'll give you a brief overview of how the clinical years work. So there are three clinical years in the new BMedSc/MD program, as there were in the old MBBS program. At Monash you aren't designated to one specific clinical school or hospital for those three years - you're instead rotated around them. In third year you'll be at one hospital network which may be metropolitan (eg. Alfred Health, Monash Health, Eastern Health, etc.) or rural (eg. Bendigo Health, Mildura, etc.). You get to preference whether you want to be metro or rural for this year (unless you're an Extended Rural Cohort student in which case you go rural), and ~99% get their preference. In fourth year, if you're metro, you rotate around different hospital networks and clinics for the different rotations (paeds, obs/gyn, psych, GP), with one confirmed placement at the brand new Monash Childrens Hospital (I've just had a rotation there and it's a fantastic centre!). For final year, you again rotate through a maximum of six different hospital networks, which you get to preference for each rotation. I personally prefer this rotating system to one where you have a "home" clinical school because you get a broader exposure to multiple health networks and hospitals, which I feel has given me more insight into the system and where I applied for internship (more on this later!).

    In terms of accommodation, there are a few options and perhaps someone like shadowduke can elaborate further. Whichever option you choose, just remember, you're still in the most liveable city in the world (Melbourne 'world's most liveable city' for seventh year running). So, the two options are:
    1. Residential Halls - these vary in price/fanciness and are generally NOT catered. Some are located virtually a minute from the main food area of campus, while others are a 10 min walk away. Mannix is the only one that is catered. See Residential Services for more info. From what I gather, there is a pretty vibrant social scene at all the Halls, probably more-so at the cheaper ones.
    2. Off-campus accommodation - plenty of students rent in Clayton (or close to hospitals they're based at later). This is obviously further away and not catered, but is often cheaper and tends to become a preferred options once people are done with first year.
    The last thing I'll touch on is internship. So internship is the first year out of medical school, and is done at a hospital and is needed to become a fully registered doctor. It's a nation-wide thing. In Victoria, internships are currently allocated with a merit-based system, whereby you apply to a bunch of hospital networks with CV + med school marks + 2 referees +/- an interview (depending on the hospital network) and then you get an offer. So obviously having better marks and so forth puts you in better stead for the more competitive inner-city health networks (eg. Melbourne Health, Alfred Health, etc.). In contrast, in NSW, internships are allocated with a ballot system whereby you preference the hospital networks in a list and you're somewhat randomly allocated one based on that list through some matching algorithm. Marks/CV/etc do not matter in the NSW system, the worst student theoretically has the same chance at being allocated to the competitive inner-city health networks as the brightest ones in this system. Personally, I prefer the merit one, but that's life.

    Hope that provides some insight, feel free to post any more questions about Monash or anything from my review of the units. :)
    jelli likes this.
  3. A1

    A1 Certified Admissions Guru Moderator

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    UWA MD minus-I
    I'm waiting for Oer 's cheeky putdown of Monash & strong counter-argument for UNSW haha.
  4. biom

    biom Regular Member

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    To be honest you could cut/paste the above and it would be pretty much the same for UNSW.

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