MBBS/MD - PhD Pathway

Information for Monash Medical Students considering a PhD

An approved pathway exists for Monash medical students who are undertaking a BMedSc(Hons), to continue their research studies in a PhD; this is called the MBBS/MD - PhD pathway. To undertake this pathway students intermit their medical degree for 3-4 years.

  • Only a limited number of BMedSc(Hons) students will be allowed to intermit their Monash MBBS/MD degree for the purposes of undertaking a PhD, via the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway.
  • If you are already considering this option prior to commencing your BMedSc(Hons) degree, please seek advice from the Director of Medical Student Research before selecting your BMedSc(Hons) Supervisor and Project.
  • Students seeking to apply must complete a 'Permission to apply for the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway' application. See application process below.
  • Note that acceptance into the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway will be conditional upon the student; a) being awarded an H1 (80+) for their BMedSc(Hons) degree, b) applying for a Scholarship and c) being accepted into the PhD degree. Note that results will not be available to students prior to the deadline for PhD applications. Please also note that PhD scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis across the entire University and are not guaranteed.
  • The PhD must be commenced the semester following the BMedSc(Hons) completion.
  • Students may build upon work undertaken in their BMedSc(Hons) thesis for the PhD, providing that the resulting thesis or dissertation meets AQF level 10 criteria.
  • The aim is for students to be enrolled in the PhD for 2 or 3 years full-time, after completing BMedSc(Hons), returning to the MBBS or MD degree following submission of the PhD thesis. NB. The Monash Graduate Research Office only allows students to be concurrently enrolled in the PhD and another degree (ie MBBS/MD) in the most exceptional circumstances, so it is critical that projects are designed to enable PhD submission prior to re-enrolment in MBBS/MD.
  • Students in the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway still have to meet all program requirements of their specified PhD Doctoral program. MBBS/MD-PhD students enrolled in the Professional Development Doctoral Program only need to complete 80 hours (not 120 hours) of professional development activities.
  • Overall candidature is not officially shortened, however, milestones are 'accelerated' as per the Graduate Research Progress Management Procedure.
MilestoneMBBS/MD-PhD Pathway
ConfirmationNo later than 6 months
Progress Review12-18 Months (but no less than 9 months after Confirmation)
Final ReviewNo later than 6 months prior to the enrolment end date

Application Process

Stage 1: Submit a 'Permission to apply for the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway' application

  • Due date: 10th October (for domestic applicants)

The stage 1 selection process will require the student and supervisor to submit an application that outlines the PhD proposal and realistic proposed time-frame that convinces the panel that the project is likely to be achievable within the accelerated time-frame of the MBBS/PhD pathway. A MNHS Panel will consider all Stage 1 'Permission to appy' applications. Student's whose Stage 1 application are supported by the Panel, will be permitted to intermit MBBS/MD to undertake a PhD.

Stage 2: Students whose "Permission to apply"submissions are supported by the MNHS panel, then submit a PhD and Scholarship application via the normal University online application form.

International Applicants

International applicants should contact the Director of Medical Student Research. International applicant deadlines occur earlier than domestic application deadlines.

Additional Information

  • It is important to note that the current MBBS(Hons) degree is being replaced with the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine (BMedSc/MD). Any student who has intermitted from MBBS(Hons), but will be returning to the medical degree in 2020 or 2021, will have the option of completing their medical degree as either an MBBS(Hons) student, or completing the requirements for the BMedSc/MD degree. From 2022, all final year Monash medical students will need to complete the requirements for the BMedSc/MD degree.
  • The MBBS or BMedSc/MD degrees must be completed within 10 years from commencement including all periods of intermission (ie. including the time taken to complete the BMedSc(Hons) and the MBBS/MD-PhD degrees). However, exceptions can be applied for if there are very compelling or compassionate reasons.
  • Course codes and fees are the same for regular MBBS, BMedSc/MD, BMedSc(Hons) and PhD.
  • Please note that PhD students are not likely to be eligible for Centrelink support when they return to MBBS/MD-PhD. Students are advised to contact Director of Medical Student Research for further advice.
  • Students who do not follow the MBBS/MD-PhD pathway can still choose to complete a PhD at a later stage in their medical career, as long as they meet the PhD entry requirements (the abbreviated time-lines will not apply)

Further details regarding the PhD can be found in the Monash Graduate Research Handbook for Doctoral Degrees.