Melbourne Doctor of Medicine Scholarly Selective

29 January 2015

In Scholarly Selective (SS), completed during the third and fourth year of the Melbourne Doctor of Medicine (MD) course, students have the opportunity to complete a research project in a field related to medicine. During this time students

  • explore an area of relevance to medicine in greater depth than is possible in the body of the curriculum;
  • broaden their experience of health care and research, often in off-campus settings;
  • learn the theory behind evidence and research, and experience it first hand and appreciate the challenges and limitations;
  • have the opportunity to interact with researchers and better appreciate the background work and processes involved in the advancement of medicine; and
  • develop skills in the acquisition, evaluation and application of information (evidence) by undertaking in-depth studies in an area of their choice related to medicine.
Scholarly Selective Timeline/Overview
Melbourne MD Scholarly Selective Timeline

What do students do during scholarly selective?

The primary purpose of SS is for students to obtain experience in conducting biomedical research. As part of this goal, the principal method of assessment is a journal style monograph. This subject is designed to

  • provide an introduction to the processes of research work in a field related to medicine, including critical appraisal of the literature;
  • enable development of skills in the ways in which knowledge (evidence) should be assembled and evaluated to provide a scientific rationale for updating medical practice and treatment;
  • develop skills in the use of simple statistical techniques when appraising health data;
  • foster an understanding of the benefits of research and the value of each health professional contributing to the advancement of knowledge;
  • encourage an understanding of the diversity and breadth of medicine;
  • encourage the development of autonomy and independence in defining areas for study, locating relevant resources and evaluating information;
  • enhance oral and written communication skills; and
  • encourage further learning in areas of relevance to medicine.

When do students undertake scholarly selective?

Students complete SS during the third and fourth year of the Melbourne MD. SS is actually divided into two parts:

  1. SS-1: this is undertaken during the third year of the MD course. Students spend the 1st semester of 3rd year selecting a research project of interest; during the 2nd semester, students complete a literature review, obtain ethics approval (where required) and become familiar with the requirements of their project.
  2. SS-2: this is undertaken during the 1st semester of fourth year of the MD course, and this when students undertake and write-up the results of their research project.

When and how do students select their project?

Students nominate a preferred research project during the first semester of third year. A web-based database of available projects will be made available to students from early in 1st semester of third year which will be continually updated during the semester.

What sort of research projects can students undertake?

Theoretically, Melbourne MD students can complete any type of research project related to the discipline of medicine. However, it is important to remember that students must undertake a project that can be completed and written up within a six-month period.
Therefore, ‘green-field’ or undefined pilot projects are generally considered unsuitable as are those where ethics approval has not yet been obtained or is likely to prove difficult. The ideal Scholarly Selective project is one, or more, of the following:

  • an ‘add-on’ to an existing project
  • utilises existing data or stored tissue samples
  • modest in size and scope
  • has clearly defined aims/objectives
  • has deliverable outcomes or end-point measurements
  • has established methods/protocols

Melbourne Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Next semester intake: February 2016
Duration: 4 years
Entry Requirements
To apply to the Melbourne MD, eligible Canadian applicants must have

  • successfully completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline at a recognized university;
  • completed prerequisite second-year university subjects (one each) in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Subjects from overseas universities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • completed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT); and
  • received an invitation by the University of Melbourne to sit a multi-mini interview (MMI).

Apply to Melbourne Medical School!


Would you like to study medicine in Australia? If you are interested in the Melbourne MD, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Sarah Bridson at  1-866-698-7355 or