Newstep and Open Foundation Students

Excellence through Equity Pathway to Medicine

Equity of access to and participation in higher education is a core value of the University of Newcastle, with a mission to provide education for students from a variety of backgrounds.

We are dedicated to graduating high-quality medical practitioners who are reflective of society. This new pathway opens opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds who have experienced disadvantage along their educational journey.

From 20211, we are enhancing the admission pathway into the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program) for students from our Open Foundation or Newstep programs.​


All applicants for the Excellence Through Equity Pathway to Medicine must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate socioeconomic disadvantage and satisfy at least three of the following equity indicators:
    • Financial hardship
    • Regional, rural, remote or isolated area
    • Carer responsibilities
    • A non-English speaking background or English language difficulty
    • Refugee status
    • Sole parent
    • Personal illness or disability
    • Experience of domestic and family violence and/or significant form of trauma
    • Out-of-home care experience
    • School type/environment
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    • A childhood history of disadvantaged (parental/carer/family) circumstances
    • Suffered discrimination in educational history
  2. Provide a Personal Statement, which is a short reflective piece to highlight each applicant’s interest in, enthusiasm for and understanding of Medicine. It will also be an opportunity for applicants to set out challenges they have faced that have affected their education and perhaps enhanced or enriched their understanding of and/or passion for Medicine.

Current Enabling Students

Up to 6 places will be set aside for admission into the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (Joint Medical Program) for current students in the Open Foundation and Newstep programs.

In addition to the eligibility criteria above, current enabling students must also:

  • Meet the ATAR equivalent based on the average mark received in their enabling courses

Past Enabling Students

Past Enabling students will not have places set aside for them, but can benefit from a lower UCAT threshold if they are able to satisfy the eligibility criteria above in addition to:

  • Have completed their Enabling Program in the last five years
  • Have completed a minimum of one year full-time equivalent (80 units) tertiary study
  • Meet the standard minimum academic criteria
How to Apply

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New pathway will boost access and equity for aspiring Medicine students

A ground-breaking opportunity was announced by the University of Newcastle for students who have overcome major life challenges to study Medicine.

Read the full news item

Meeting the eligibility criteria outlined above does not guarantee you an offer into the Joint Medical Program (JMP). Eligible applicants will be assessed via a competitive process which includes an assessment of personal qualities (Multiple Skills Assessment) and offers to the available places will be made based on these assessments.

1This Pathway is a pilot for 2021, 2022, and 2023 entry years and will be reviewed after this date.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.