Extended Rural Cohort

Guaranteed training placements in rural & regional Victoria

The Extended Rural Cohort is a cohort of direct entry Monash University medical students within the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (MD). This program gives you the opportunity to spend most of your clinical training years in rural and regional Victoria.

As an Extended Rural Cohort student, you'll spend your first two years in Clayton with other medical students. For the next two years of clinical training you are then guaranteed a place in hospitals and community-based practices in rural and regional Victoria in the north-west of the state or in Gippsland. Your final clinical training year consists of a series of six-week placements which you can choose to do in a mix of regional or metropolitan hospitals, which must include at least 12 weeks in rural and regional Victoria.

(Extended Rural Cohort students who commenced before 2020, will complete all their rural/regional placements in north-west Victoria)

Throughout the course, you study the same curriculum as metropolitan-based students and have great hands-on training opportunities with dedicated tutors, clinicians and experienced educators.

Applying for the Extended Rural Cohort

Domestic students are eligible to apply. You are a domestic student if you are:

  • an Australian citizen (including dual citizens), or
  • a New Zealand citizen (including dual citizens), or
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

The Extended Rural Cohort within the Monash MD course has its own VTAC code and you must nominate this code to be considered for a place in this cohort. See the medicine course website for details on eligibility and how to apply.

Eligible applicants: Domestic students (see definition above)
Places available: 30 (Commonwealth Supported Places)
Duration of course: five years full-time

For further information about the Extended Rural Cohort stream please contact the Monash Rural Health education team at rural.health@monash.edu

Harrison Monk

Harrison Monk

"The reason I wanted to apply for medicine through the Extended Rural Cohort option was to continue to live and engage in regional and rural communities. As I was born and raised in Warrnambool and went to boarding school in Ballarat, I have always enjoyed being part of a community and I was keen to explore other regional and rural sites across Victoria."

Read Harrison's profile

Boost your chances of entry into medicine

If you have a rural background or identify as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island person, you can boost your chances of a place in medicine by submitting additional information when you apply.

The University has established two special entry schemes  - the Dean's Rural List and Dean's Indigenous List - as part of its commitment to providing access to students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and students from rural backgrounds. Find out more about how you apply.

Sign up to the Boost your Chances newsletter to give you information on how you can boost your chances of getting into medicine at Monash.

Frequently asked questions

Q.  Do ERC students have to do all their clinical placements in rural or regional teaching hospitals?
A.  ERC students undertake the majority of their three clinical training years at hospitals and health services in regional and rural Victoria, with some final year rotations in metropolitan Melbourne.

Q. Can ERC students choose where they go for clinical placements and when do they submit preferences?
A. During second semester of Years 2, 3 and 4 all ERC students are provided with information regarding ERC locations. Students nominate preferences for Year 3 and 4 clinical placements and we take their preferences into consideration in allocating student placements. We try and give students opportunities to spend time at a regional hospital, as well as one of the rural community practices during Year 4. Student preferences are taken into account when allocating students to placement sites, however, students are not guaranteed to be placed at one of their preferred locations. Students are advised of their provisional placement details by mid-October and confirmed once end-of-year assessment results are finalised in December.

Q.  Do ERC students have to come from a rural background?
A.  The ERC is open to students from rural or urban backgrounds. If you do come from a regional or rural background, be sure to find out about the Dean’s Rural List – a special entry scheme that can help you gain entry into the Monash medicine course.

Q. Are there any return of service obligations as an ERC student once I graduate?
A.  No. ERC students apply for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and undertake most of their undergraduate clinical training in rural and regional Victoria. If you accept an ERC place, you will be asked to sign a Statement of Understanding with the University stating that you will spend the equivalent of five clinical semesters (Year 3, Year 4 and 12 weeks in Year 5) in rural and regional Victoria.

Q. Are there any differences with examinations?
A. ERC students sit the same exams as metropolitan based students.

Q. Do ERC students need a car or is there transport available?
A. We recommend that all ERC students have their own reliable transport. Regional and rural sites vary with travel requirements and distances related to learning activities.

Q. Where do students live while on placement?
A. When you undertake a two-week placement in Year 2 we organise and pay for your accommodation. When on regional or rural placement during the clinical training years (Years 3-5), students live in Monash subsidised, self-catered accommodation. The accommodation is either college-style or share houses/units close to the placement site. The weekly rental fee covers the cost of fully furnished accommodation, Wi-Fi, utilities, property and garden maintenance.

Q. How can I find out more about life as an ERC student?
A. We hold information events at Open Day and we can also help connect you to current ERC students. Contact Monash Rural Health’s Rural Education Program Manager at rural.health@monash.edu

Q. Would spending time rurally be a disadvantage in gaining internship selection at my preferred location?
A. The majority of ERC students receive their first preference for internship location.