Phase 2

Phase 2 is broken into 2 distinct parts: the coursework component and the Independent Learning Project (ILP). The coursework component is completed in Year 3, and the research component is completed in Year 4.


The coursework component of Phase 2 extends each of the four course themes of Phase 1.

Compared to Phase 1, there is a much greater emphasis on self-directed clinical teaching resulting in different structure and content.

Typical Week

  • 3 days at clinical attachments
  • 2 days on campus for lectures and tutorials

Self-Directed Learning

Timetabled activities will provide a good introduction into each area but you will need to use the course syllabus and some of your own time to get the most out of each course.

Like Phase 1, clinical allocations and the community health clinic (Society and Health 3) are chosen via a preference system. The majority of students are allocated to either the Royal Women’s or Sydney Children’s Campus for at least a part of Beginnings, Growth and Development however other sites are also possible.

If you choose, you may complete Phase 2 coursework at one of the faculty’s rural clinical schools: Wagga Wagga, Albury, Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour, however this is for students completing coursework in Year 4.

There are 6 courses in coursework and you will be allocated into one of four sequences in which they are run:

  • Adult Health 1 (6 weeks)
  • Adult Health 2 (6 weeks)
  • Aged Care and Rehabilitation (4 weeks)
  • Beginnings, Growth and Development (6 weeks)
  • Oncology and Palliative Care (4 weeks)
  • Society and Health (6 weeks)


During The Year

  • Group Project for Society and Health
  • Individual Case Report Assignments for all other courses. 
    Beginnings, Growth and Development requires one on both:
    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    • Paediatrics


The Integrated Clinical Examination or ICE appears at the end of coursework rotations in Phase 2. It is another End of Phase barrier exam and consists of two components:

  • Written MCQ examination
  • Six 10 – minute clinical stations each focusing on history or physical examinations. Students are expected to provide differential diagnoses and answer questions based on the condition

Research – Independent Learning Project (ILP) / Honours

The ILP is a compulsory research project aimed at giving students some experience in the research process, including developing self-directed learning skills in choosing and completing a project. It is similar in many ways to a Science Honours project, the main difference being that it is slightly shorter and part-time rather than full-time for half of its length.

  • TP1: literature review of the topic area (3000 words) and learning skills necessary to complete the project e.g. lab techniques
  • TP2: collection of data
  • TP3: writing of final report as a journal article (5000 words)

It is advised that you negotiate the topic of your ILP, as this allows you to choose an area you are interested (and hopefully a supervisor who you can work well with). To negotiate a project, contact an academic associated with the Faculty in the area you are interested in, and ask if they have any projects that you could complete or if they would be interested in supervising a topic you are interested in. If you do not negotiate your own, the Faculty does prepare a list of projects for you to choose from. However, as some projects tend to be more popular than others, you may find you are allocated a project that was fairly low on your preference list.

Instead of completing an ILP, students may apply to undertake the Science Honours program. This can add an extra 6 months to the length of the degree as extra-faculty units (general education courses) are not completed during the Honours year, although it is possible to complete within the normal 6 year length if you load your courses appropriately in 2nd and 3rd year. If this is done and you are not accepted into Honours, then you run the risk of having less than a full time load (18 or more UoC) in your ILP year and being ineligible for travel concessions and various Centrelink payments, which may or may not be a problem for you.

Acceptance into the Honours program is based on academic merit, with entry criteria being a WAM of over 65 (taken from Phase 1 End Of Course results).

Completion of the program leads to the award of the Bachelor of Science (Medicine) Honours degree.

See the Faculty website for more information.

General Education Courses

In order to promote broader education for its students, UNSW requires students to undertake studies in areas other than their field of specialisation. For medicine students, this means that students must complete 12 Units of Credit (UoC) in courses outside of the BMed/MD program. This is generally accomplished by studying two General Education courses (normally 6 UoC). 

The courses available are very diverse – virtually every faculty has courses you may enrol in – from Arts to Law, Engineering to Built Environment, Science to Business and even the College of Fine Arts. The only restrictions are courses which are too similar to what is studied in the MBBS program; the Faculty maintains a list of courses which it will not credit on its website. For more complete information, see the Faculty website.

These GenEd requirements are normally completed in Years 3 – 4, hence students commencing in Year 1 will receive plenty of information regarding them as they progress through the course.

Phase 2 Portfolio

A second focused reflective Portfolio is due at the end of Phase 2. This means it requires a minimum of only 2 capabilities, however more can be covered as required or desired. In particular, students must address any capability where they received poor marks in the Phase 1 porfolio or in Phase 2 assessments.