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MBBS Student Guide

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Assessment & EvaluationStudent ExperienceFrequently Asked Questions

Acknowledgement of Country

As a reflection of this institution's recognition of the deep history and culture of this island, the University of Tasmania wishes to acknowledge the - Mouheneenner (pronounced Moo-he-ne-nah) People, the traditional owners and custodians of the land upon which this campus was built.

We acknowledge the contemporary Tasmanian Aboriginal community, the palawa and pakana who have survived invasion and dispossession, and continue to maintain their identity, culture and Indigenous rights.

We also recognise the value of continuing Aboriginal knowledge and cultural practice, which informs our understandings of history, culture, science and environment; the University's role in research and education, and in supporting the development of the Tasmanian community.


Welcome to the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course at the School of Medicine. The School and its staff are committed to providing support for your learning and development throughout the five-year medical course. The course has been measured against the high standards required of all Australian medical schools and has been accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) until 2023.

There is an emphasis throughout this course on active, collaborative, self-directed and reflective learning, laying the foundations for life-long learning and developing key attributes of skilled, knowledgeable medical professionals in all facets of medical practice. The School of Medicine is proud of the course, its graduates and the contributions each student can make to the academic life of the School and the wider community.

This guide will help orient you to the MBBS course and includes information on the structure of the course and the key people who teach and administer the parts of the MBBS program. It also contains information about how to make the most of your experience studying with us, and ways to access services that will assist you with your studies. We look forward to engaging with you as your commence your journey towards becoming a medical practitioner.

Professor James Vickers
Dean of Medicine

General Information

MBBS Program Head Assoc Prof Jennifer Presser
Year 1 Academic Unit Coordinators Dr Derek Choi-Lundberg
Mr William Cuellar
Associate Unit Coordinator Dr Sam Wyton
Year 2 Academic Unit Coordinators Dr James Crane
Dr Mark Ambrose
Associate Unit Coordinator Dr Brigid McKenna
Year 3 Academic Unit Coordinators Dr Sarah Gelbart
Dr Hannah Jackson
Associate Unit Coordinator Dr Christine Clifford
Years 1, 2, 3 Program Administration Program Development and Administration Team;;;
Year 4 Unit Coordinator Hobart Clinical School Dr Nick Cooling
Year 4 Unit Coordinators Launceston Clinical School Dr Kath Ogden
Assoc Prof Jan Radford
Year 4 Unit Coordinator Rural Clinical School Assoc Prof Lizzi Shires
Year 5 Unit Coordinator Hobart Clinical School Prof Richard Turner
Year 5 Unit Coordinators Launceston Clinical School Ass Prof Tim Strong
Dr Kath Ogden
Year 5 Unit Coordinator Rural Clinical School Assoc Prof Lizzi Shires
Years 4, 5 Unit Coordinator Rural Clinical School Program Development and Administration Team;;
Years 1, 2, 3 Kids and Families Program coordinator Dr Brigid McKenna
Year 3 Clinical Specialties Rotation coordinator Dr Christine Clifford
Year 3 Medicine Rotation coordinator Dr Louise Prentice
Year 3 Surgery Rotation coordinator Dr Mary Self
Year 3 Primary Care Rotation coordinator Dr Hannah Jackson
Year 3 Research opportunity coordinator Dr Anthea Dallas
Year 3 Diagnostic Reasoning Program Dr Nick Cooling
Years 1-5 Director Student Support Dr Fiona Cocker
Year 1, 2, 3 Academic Support Student Adviser Service
Years 4, 5 Medical Education Advisors (Hobart, Launceston, RCS Burnie) Ms Julie Sansom (Acting)
Ms Robin Ikin
Ms Luanne Steven
Years 1-5 Student representation; general and international Tasmanian University Medical Students’ Society (TUMSS);
Years 1-5 Professional Experience Placement enquiries External Liaison Team
Years 1-5 School of Medicine website  
Years 1-5 Full staff contact list 
Years 1-5 UTAS Current Students’ website

School of Medicine

The MBBS course is delivered by the Division of Medicine, which is one of four Divisions of the School of Medicine, College of Health and Medicine at the University of Tasmania.

The diagram below shows the governance and learning and teaching committee structures at the School of Medicine:

School of Medicine Committee Structure

University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania is an accredited tertiary education provider, endorsed by the national Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). It carefully monitors each course offered by the University for consistency, quality and compliance with University Rules, Ordinances and By-Laws which are overseen by the Academic Senate and the Council of the University. These, along with the policies of the University, set out the way learning, teaching and research should be conducted. Staff and students have responsibilities set out in the Rules, Ordinances and Codes of Conduct of the University and these are applied at the School level to ensure each student receives the same care, equity of access, quality of teaching and experience of study as their peers.

National Registration of students with AHPRA

Students pursuing studies in regulated health professions are registered as students with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).This registration has been mandated since 2010 under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law which is a national Act of parliament. It is the responsibility of the educating body to register students with AHPRA. For further information consult the “Student Registration Fact Sheet for Students” on the AHPRA website.


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Students are registered with AHPRA when they study a regulated health professional course at an Australian University.


Case Based Learning. CBL is a major teaching and learning toll in the MBBS and occurs across all years. Students move from highly structured CBL to case activated learning events in the clinical years of the course.


Grade Point Average. In many University courses this relates to the average of the scores you have received for your grades. In the MBBS your GPA is calculated from internal assessments.


Interprofessional learning. Also known as multidisciplinary learning or team based learning. For medical student IPL can take the form of doing a CBL with students from paramedicine, nursing, psychology, pharmacy or one of the many related health disciplines.


Sometimes offered as part of Orientation Week (O-Week) at the University but also offered separately to MBBS students when they go to placements at health services, clinical settings or hospitals. Whenever an orientation is required, students must attend.


Peer Assisted Study Sessions. These can be organised through Student Services. Check with unit coordinators or a Student Advisor regarding availability of PASS. Many students in the MBBS find them valuable.


A Professional Experience Placement. This term is often used when students go on Rotations, Attachments or other placements.


i. The MBBS is also known as the Medicine Program.

ii. Program can also refer to a special subset of learning in the MBBS. The Kids and Families Program in Year 1 to 3 is an example.


The time period that the University assigns for teaching and learning. Semesters are structured the way they are in the MBBS to help students achieve learning and undertake placements in an efficient way. Semesters vary in length depending on the course studied. In the MBBS semesters are either 13 or 18 weeks long, depending on which year of the course you are currently studying. There are two semester per year in the MBBS.


Safety in Practice. Related to PEP as students must fill out SiP paperwork to qualify for PEP.

UP or Ungraded Pass

When you receive an Ungraded Pass for a unit in the MBBS it means you have passed your studies in that unit. The MBBS uses Ungraded Passes for results because students are expected to master learning to a particular level


i. A term used by the University to indicate an academic component of a course. A unit has a Credit Point weight (cpu). All units in the MBBS are weighted at 50 cpu and each year you should be studying 100 cpu, or 2 units per year.

ii. The term unit can also refer to a placement setting in a particular place, for instance a treatment unit in a hospital.

The MBBS has a stream of teaching related to research that provides students with the appropriate basic tools to undertake various research tasks. This includes information literacy, research methodology, statistics, epidemiology and evidence based medicine.

In first year students are introduced to research undertaken within the School and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. They are exposed to research methodology as well as receiving a solid grounding in information literacy, data handling and basic statistics. In second year the emphasis is on statistical analysis and epidemiology. In the third year of the course students have an opportunity to undertake a research or health promotion project as part of the third year Primary Care rotation.

At the end of third year there is a further opportunity to explore research in an Extended Research Opportunity selective. Within the first three years the teaching of various aspects of research within the medical course is by research active staff who use their own research to illustrate important concepts. In the final two years of the MBBS students apply their knowledge of research methodologies and evidence bases to explore topics in cases and attachments in-depth.

Opportunities to participate in research

The University of Tasmania offers a limited number of scholarships (UROPs), which are available to medical students, to undertake a research project within one of the research groups located within the School of Medicine, the Royal Hobart Hospital or the Menzies Research Institute. This involves approximately six weeks during the summer vacation. Other summer studentships are available and students are encouraged to liaise and interact with research groups.

Intercalated research degrees: Honours and PhD

Students who wish to be actively involved in research may choose to do so in an Honours program. Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours (M4N). This Honours option is available as an intercalated (inserted) year, after year three, four or five of the MBBS course. This is a one-year full-time Honours program and is the only pathway to obtaining Honours within the MBBS (M3N) course.

Students interested in a more extensive involvement in research and the option for a combined MBBS/PhD degree should contact the school of Medicine’s Associate Head Research, Dr. Lisa Foa for further, current information.