This guide to Studying Medicine in Ireland is supported by RCSI and IUMC.

What options will be available to you with a medical degree from Ireland? Here’s a roundup of what you can do if you’re thinking about staying in Ireland after graduating, going to the UK, or returning to your home country to practise Medicine.

How To Stay In Ireland To Practise Medicine

Intern Year is the first year of medical training after university and it’s a vital step for Doctors in Ireland. Interns must be registered with the Medical Council of Ireland and, after successful completion of the Intern Year, they will be awarded a ‘Certificate of Experience’. After this, you can apply for the next stage of your training, known as Basic Specialist Training.

Currently, Irish Medical School graduates who applied to university via the CAO are prioritised for intern posts.

The number of posts awarded to Irish Med School graduates from outside the EU can vary from year to year – although extra posts have been created over the past few years. The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has stated that he is committed to expanding the medical workforce by creating more intern posts. It is still not guaranteed, however.

If you’re an international (non-EU) graduate who would like to stay in Ireland and work, you could be eligible for a visa. You can find details about this on the Irish Immigration Service’s website.


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How To Practise Medicine In The UK

Doctors start their career in the UK with the Foundation Programme. This is a two-year, work-based training programme to bridge the gap between Medical School and specialty/general practice training. Applications for the Foundation programme usually open in September each year.

If you have a degree from an Irish (i.e. non-UK) Medical School and want to practise Medicine in the UK, you’ll need to firstly complete an eligibility application (typically during July-August) before applying for the Foundation Programme.


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How To Return To Your Home Country

Medical degrees from Ireland are globally recognised and respected – so if you’re an international student, you should be able to return to your home country and practise Medicine after graduating.

Students should check with their home country’s Medical Council/Commission to confirm that their institution’s degree is recognised, and also to familiarise themselves with any additional steps (e.g. conversion/licensing exams) that may be involved.

Some of the most popular destinations for Irish Medical graduates outside of Ireland are the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Malaysia. Students can also start licensing exams such as the USMLE in Irish Medical Schools if they have ambition to practise in North America.


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