University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Doctor of Medical Science


The Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc) is a higher doctorate governed by the University of Sydney (Higher Degree by Research) Rule 2011.

The DMedSc is awarded for published work that, in the opinion of the examiners, constitutes a distinguished contribution to knowledge or creative achievement and is recognized by scholars in the relevant field as constituting a distinguished contribution to knowledge or creative achievement in that field.

The DMedSc, unlike the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), is not a research training degree. It may be described as an award that one would receive when one’s career is well established, rather than at the beginning, for an outstanding contribution to knowledge through a substantial body of research.

Applicants for admission to the DMedSc must hold a medical degree from the University of Sydney or another university that was conferred five or more years prior to the application date. Applicants who do not hold a University of Sydney medical degree must have been a full-time member of the academic staff of the University for at least three years (or pro rata part-time) or be recognized by the Academic Board on the recommendation of the Dean to have been involved in the teaching and research of the University to an equivalent level.

How many publications are needed for a Doctor of Medical Science?

As the contribution of a body of research may not become fully apparent until many years after publication, the DMed is usually awarded to researchers with an established career. In general, the body of work submitted for consideration should have been undertaken after the award of a research training degree.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their intention to apply with either the head of the relevant discipline or the Associate Dean (Research Education) of the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Prospective applicants should contact the Office of the Head of School and Dean of Sydney Medical School for information on how to apply for admission to candidature.


The DMed s a full-fee paying course and candidates are required to enrol for one Research Period part-time.


At graduation ceremonies, higher doctorates are generally awarded before other degrees. In awarding the higher doctorate, it is customary for the speaker of the ceremony, usually the Dean, to deliver a citation extolling the achievements of the graduand.

Further reading

Please read this document in conjunction with the University of Sydney (Higher Degree By Research) Rule 2011