Rural Training Stream

Each year, around 30 domestic places in the Doctor of Medicine are held for applicants applying through our Rural Training Stream. We want to help remove some of the barriers to entry that you may experience if you live rurally and want to study medicine.

Addressing rural health workforce needs

Addressing workforce needs and advancing the health and wellbeing of regional, rural and remote areas is a priority for Deakin’s School of Medicine. We’re committed to rural Western Victoria and its associated training partners, and in recognition of this relationship we prioritise entry to our Doctor of Medicine for applicants from this region.

Deakin’s Rural Training Stream recognises the complex knowledge systems and continued custodianship of this unceded Country of the Maar, Kulin and Wotjobaluk Nations. We acknowledge and pay respect to traditional owners and recognise the privilege we have to learn from them on these ancient lands.

Hear from one of our rural medicine students

Hear from one of our rural medicine students

Meet Erin Keegan, a third-year Doctor of Medicine student. The Rural Training Stream allows students like Erin to train and remain in their hometowns, within Deakin’s rural footprint of Western Victoria.

How to apply 

Doctor of Medicine Rural Training Stream applicants apply through Graduate Entry Medical School Admissions System (GEMSAS). The entry process includes a written application and a tiered priority entry system aligned with specific rural geographical locations.

Apply now on GEMSAS

Check the academic requirements

Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on selection criteria and availability of places in the course.

For more information, read the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) policy.

Tier assignment

You’ll be assigned one of the following rurality tiers, based on the documentation provided to GEMSAS as part of the rurality assessment:

  • Tier 1: Deakin’s rural footprint, as defined by evidence of rural background in the geographic area.
  • Tier 2: evidence of rural background in MM2-7 in in rural Victoria.
  • Tier 3: evidence of rural background in MM2-7 in other areas of rural Australia.

Written application submission

When you apply via the Rural Training Stream, you’re required to submit a written application (1000-character limit for each section) demonstrating:

  • a rural community connection (provide examples of service and involvement in your community and what motivates your contribution to your rural community); and
  • an interest in rural medicine (describe the reasons why you are applying to the Rural Training Stream and your interest in rural medicine, providing examples that demonstrate why you would be an appropriate candidate for this pathway)
  • evidence of capability to undertake postgraduate study (prior experiences and independent learning skills).

Apply now on GEMSAS 

When you ascertain which tier you are and complete your written submission, head to GEMSAS to upload your application.

Making your rural training commitment

When you accept a place in the Rural Training Stream, we’ll require a written commitment from you to complete all four years of the Doctor of Medicine course at a rural learning campus allocated by the School of Medicine. Here’s what to expect during your studies.

Year 1 and 2

Year 1 and 2 are delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face learning. There is a minimum requirement of one to two days of mandatory face-to-face attendance each week of the semester, based primarily at either Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus or East Grampians Health Service, Ararat.

Following acceptance of the course offer, you’ll be asked to provide a preference for one of these two training sites (we can’t guarantee you’ll receive that allocation). If you’re based at either Warrnambool and Ararat, you’ll be required to attend Waurn Ponds Campus occasionally.

Year 3 and 4

At this stage of the course, you’ll be allocated to one or more of Deakin’s rural clinical schools: Ballarat, Warrnambool or the Rural Community Clinical School (RCCS). Clinical school training is a full-time commitment that requires residential location at the clinical school site. Current locations for the Rural Community Clinical School are listed on the RCCS website but are subject to change.

Clinical school allocations will take place in the course's second year, based on your preferences and place availability. Clinical school allocation is independent of the Year 1 and 2 training location.

Please note: Geelong and Eastern Health Clinical Schools are not available training locations for RTS students.

Find out if you are eligible for the Rural Training Stream

Entry to the Rural Training Stream is based on a tiered priority system, aligned with your rural residency profile. Places will first be allocated to eligible Tier 1 applicants, and if places remain, to Tier 2 applicants and finally Tier 3 applicants. To meet the eligibility criteria for each tier, you must provide evidence of having resided for at least 10 years cumulatively or any five years consecutively after birth entirely within the nominated tier.

Tier 1: Deakin’s rural footprint as defined by location in the geographic area (see definition below).

Tier 2: MM 2-7 in Rural Victoria.

Tier 3: MM 2-7 in other areas of Rural Australia.

Deakin rural footprint (Tier 1) – are you on the map?

The Deakin University footprint is all locations in the Western Victorian Primary Health Network area that are classified as MM3-MM6 (large rural towns, medium rural towns, small rural towns, remote communities). It also includes MM2 (regional centres) locations surrounding and including Ballarat, given Ballarat is the location of one of Deakin’s rural clinical schools.

All other MM1 and MM2 locations within the Western Victorian Primary Health Network area and the MM3 and MM4 locations on the Bellarine Peninsula are excluded from the Deakin University rural footprint (Tier 1). If you answer YES to the following questions, you are eligible for Tier 1 of the RTS.

  • Is your rural location for this application within the Western Victoria Primary Health Network?
  • Is your rural location for this application classified as MM3-MM6, or is it MM2 in or surrounding Ballarat?
  • Can you provide evidence of residing in this location after birth for five years continuously or 10 years cumulatively?

How do we assess applicants?

Here is how we assess applicants for the Rural Training Stream.

Eligible Tier 1 applicants

  • Academic performance in an approved bachelor, honours, graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters by coursework with a final GPA (weighted) of 5.0 or greater.*
  • Written application demonstrating rural community connection, involvement, commitment to rural training and evidence of readiness for postgraduate study.
  • Interview performance.

Eligible Tier 2 and Tier 3 applicants

  • Academic performance in an approved bachelor, honours, graduate certificate, graduate diploma or masters by coursework completed no more than 10 years before the course commencement date.* If your degree was completed outside this 10-year period you may be considered if you have completed relevant further higher education study.^
  • A final GPA (weighted) of 5.0 or greater.
  • A minimum score of 50 in each of the three sections of the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test (GAMSAT), and an overall score of 50 or greater. The score on the GAMSAT must have been obtained no more than four years before the course commencement date.
  • Written application demonstrating rural community connection, involvement, commitment to rural training and evidence of readiness for postgraduate study.
  • Interview performance.

Adjustments (bonuses)

You may be eligible for adjustments (bonuses) which will count toward your aggregate score for interview consideration. For detailed information, please refer to the GEMSAS Admissions Guide.

English language requirements

You must meet the minimum English language requirements.

To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:


*As a minimum requirement, applicants must hold a completed bachelor’s degree (with a minimum weighted GPA of 5.0) or be in the final year of a bachelor degree (scheduled for completion by 31 December in the year of application) to be considered for selection.

^The institution must be recognised by the Australian Qualifications Framework (or equivalent overseas institution determined by Deakin).

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any further questions regarding the School of Medicine.

+61 3 9251 7777

Email the School of Medicine