The University of Notre Dame Australia’s two medical programs

31 May 2024

The University of Notre Dame Australia offers a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree at two campuses: in Fremantle, Western Australia, and in Sydney, New South Wales.

The best part? Applicants can choose which campus they’d prefer. So, if you’ve never been to Australia, how do you choose? Because the programs follow a similar set-up, ask yourself the questions below to learn more about how each campus complements your personal preferences.

In this article we’re going to talk about some of the differences between each campus to help you make an informed decision.

Let’s go!

University of Notre Dame Australia medical students walking in front of the hospital
Learn more about studying medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia

What kind of environment will you thrive in?

Sydney MD – It’s an icon! With over 5 million people, Sydney is a city for city-lovers. If weather is a factor for you, know that you’ll experience more varied weather across the seasons here. It’s not hot all the time.

Fremantle MD – If you can see yourself in a small bohemian city known for its social atmosphere, that’s Fremantle (“Freo” as the Aussie’s call it). It’s nestled alongside Perth, Western Australia’s capital city.

Keep in mind that Western Australia is hot—perhaps a little less so in Freo, as you’re on the coast. You’re looking at days that can hit mid-30s°C.


Does cost of living matter to you?

Sydney MD – In Sydney, the cost of living is on the higher end. You’re looking at between CAD$475 and $1,015 per week.

Fremantle MD – The cost of living in Fremantle is lower, ranging between CAD$370 and $680 per week.


How do you picture your day-to-day campus life?

Sydney MD – The School of Medicine is located on the University Notre Dame Australia’s Darlinghurst Campus, minutes from downtown Sydney. The Doctor of Medicine shares facilities with the University of Technology Sydney, a 7-minute drive from the Darlinghurst Campus.

Next door to campus is St. Vincent’s Hospital, which is Sydney’s leading medical, surgical, and research facility. This is also one of the program’s clinical schools!

Fremantle MD – The School of Medicine is located on Henry Street, in the heart of Freo’s social precinct. You’ve got restaurants and cafés, the Fremantle Market, and the harbour within a 5-minute walk.

To what degree would you like research experience to be part of your MD?

Both programs offer research exposure throughout, so you’re covered either way, but there are slight differences between the two.

Sydney MD – In Year 2 you’ll form a research proposal and build this up over the course of your degree. You’ll present this as a “poster presentation” in Year 4, similar to what you might see at a conference.

Fremantle MD – You’ll build on your research skills starting in Year 1 through to Year 3. In Year 4, you’ll have the option to perform, present, and defend a personal research project or complete a clinical audit.


Are you okay with moving around during your degree?

Sydney MD – The Sydney program runs on a clinical school system. You’ll spend the full year at a clinical school and rotate specialties within it.

There are 8 clinical schools situated in Sydney, Melbourne, and rural locations across New South Wales and Victoria. This means that years 1 and 2 will be in Sydney, but years 3 and 4 may require a move, dependent on the location of your clinical school.

You’ll be switching specialties within your clinical school about every 4 weeks.

Fremantle MD – Your clinical years consist of discipline-based placements within hospitals and community facilities throughout the metropolitan area. As such, many students will stay in Fremantle over the course of their degree.

Clinical placements run in 8- to 9-weeks blocks. Students appreciate these longer placement periods as they allow you to connect with the heath care team, to understand daily rhythms and to master your skills.


Are you excited to get some rural and remote cultural experience?

Both programs offer rural and remote immersion experiences, and opportunities for long-term rural and remote placements.

Sydney MD – Indigenous health rotations are available within each of your clinical schools. A quarter of the cohort has the option to complete a year-long rural placement, with another handful of students (approximately 8) spending their full 2 clinical years at the Wagga Wagga Clinical School.

Immersion experiences include a rural trauma week in Lithgow, a town in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales.

Fremantle MD – Your clinical years include a rural and remote general practice placement. Additionally, a quarter of the cohort has the option to complete a year-long placement within the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia (RCSWA).

Rural immersion experiences include a Wheatbelt Community Engagement Week, located in a neighboring agricultural community east of Perth. In Year 3, a third of the cohort will complete a 6-week placement in Broome, (within the Kimberley region of Western Australia). This placement includes a focus on cultural learning with the Yara people.


There you have it. As you can see, both campuses have a lot to offer. Know that wherever you study you’ll be getting an exceptional education and an authentic Australian experience. And if you have further questions during the application process, the OzTREKK Med Team is here to help.

The University of Notre Dame Australia Doctor of Medicine

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a 4-year postgraduate program open to students from a wide range of undergraduate degrees.

The aim of the program is to produce doctors who are excellent clinicians who are able to practice in a variety of clinical settings. Graduates will be committed to lifelong learning through reflective practice, engagement in research, and demonstration in highly developed clinical skills and judgment in the context of evidence-based practice.

The first 2 years of your degree are underpinned by problem-based learning (PBL) and include the study of basic clinical sciences, population and preventive health, bioethics, therapeutics, and more.

Program: Doctor of Medicine
Location: Fremantle (Western Australia) or Sydney (New South Wales)
Intake: January
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Rolling admissions. Applications are assessed as received—the earlier you apply the better.

Start your application to The Notre Dame School of Medicine!

Would you like to learn more about Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Notre Dame Australia Medical School? Please contact OzTREKK’s Medicine Team at for more information.