Ireland has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its medical training and education, which attracts students from around the globe. High school leavers can apply directly to undergraduate Medicine, making it an attractive location for students to come and study.
At Medical School in Ireland, you’ll typically study an Integrated Medicine course. This means that scientific knowledge is taught alongside clinical training. With this type of programme, you’ll have the chance to get some early clinical exposure, but you’ll still have the support structure of scientific teaching.
There is an emphasis on small group learning at Irish Med Schools, which students really benefit from. Other teaching methods you’ll experience might include problem-based learning, clinical skills and research skills teaching, ethical debates, bedside and clinical tutorials, self-assessment, lectures and consultant clinics.
Universities partner with the leading specialist hospitals in Ireland for clinical placements, and you will spend most of the final 2.5 years of your course on rotations in Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry, etc. Ireland has a global reputation for the quality of its bedside teaching, led by highly experienced clinicians.
Each year, many students in Ireland apply for highly-prized international summer elective opportunities at locations all over the world. These allow you to experience a different healthcare system and work in some of the world’s top medical centres in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and more.
Students also have the chance to explore non-Medicine related elective subjects, and may take a year out to complete an intercalated degree in Biomedical Science.
Irish universities are leaders in research, and this culture of research and critical thinking is fostered in students. As a medical student in Ireland, you’ll engage in research from the beginning of your course and receive structured teaching in research methodologies. All students complete a research project and some will also receive undergraduate research scholarships.
Studying in an English-speaking country is naturally attractive for international students, with Ireland now being the only English-speaking country in the European Union. The warm welcome given to international students is also very important, and the student feedback is positive from Year 1 right through to graduation.
Irish Medical Schools also have a reputation for providing excellent student welfare support systems and personal mentoring – helping students to succeed and become exceptional Doctors.
There are six Irish Medical Schools altogether – three in the capital city of Dublin, as well as in the cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick. They welcome a wide range of students each year from all over the world, who graduate with globally recognised medical degrees.
You can study an undergraduate Medicine degree at all of the Irish Medical Schools except the University of Limerick, which offers Graduate Entry Medicine only.
In general, you’ll be eligible for the 5-year undergraduate Medicine course if you’ve studied two science subjects for your Irish Leaving Certificate/A-Levels/equivalent.
It’s also possible to study Medicine with a Foundation Year. These 6-year courses are for people who have studied only one science subject, or who meet other contextual requirements. Foundation courses are available at RCSI, University College Dublin and NUI Galway.
Graduate Entry Medicine courses are available at all of the Irish Med Schools except Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway.
Here’s a roundup of the entry requirements for studying Medicine in Ireland – whether you’re an undergraduate, GEM, or non-EU status applicant.
For undergraduate Medicine, you’ll need to achieve a certain number of CAO points from the Irish Leaving Certificate – or the equivalent qualifications in your country. A minimum of 480 points are required to apply. You can see RCSI’s entry requirements here.
You will also need to meet any subject requirements that are specified by the Med Schools you’re applying to. For example, you typically need to be taking two science subjects including Chemistry.
To apply for Medicine at undergraduate level, it’s also essential to sit the HPAT-Ireland admissions test if you’re applying through the CAO.
For Graduate Entry Medicine, you’ll need a degree (or a predicted degree) that’s at least a 2:1 – and you will need to sit the GAMSAT admissions test. International applicants may also be able to apply with MCAT.
If you’re an international applicant from outside the EU, you should consult university websites for specific entry requirements, or check with the universities directly.
For international candidates who want to apply to Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork and NUI Galway, you can see entry requirements on the IUMC website. Entry requirements for RCSI can be found on their website.
The application process for Medical Schools in Ireland is different depending on where you’re based.
If you’re applying from Ireland, the UK or the EU, you need to apply for Med Schools in Ireland via the Central Admissions Office (CAO).
Applications usually open in November and close in February each year.
If you want to apply to RCSI as an international student and you’re based outside the EU, you should apply to them directly.
International students can also apply to multiple Irish Medical Schools with just one application via IUMC. It’s important to get in touch with the IUMC team to get advice on the universities you can apply for given your location. You can also request an application form via [email protected]
Irish Medical Schools rank Irish/UK/EU applicants for undergraduate Medicine by combining each person’s CAO points with their HPAT score. For example, in 2021 the minimum combined points (CAO + HPAT) required for admission to RCSI was 740.
Unlike the UK system, Med Schools in Ireland do not usually interview applicants (from Ireland/the UK/the EU) as part of the selection process. This means that your grades and your HPAT score are the most important factors in your application to study Medicine in Ireland.
Non-EU status applicants are not required to sit the HPAT test for undergraduate Medicine – however, shortlisted applicants will have to go through an interview process.
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