History of the College
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland was founded in 1784 by Royal Charter from King George III of Great Britain and Ireland. The College was established to educate surgeons as surgeons were trained separately from physicians. In 1886, the training of physicians and surgeons merged, and the College established a Medical School. Today, RCSI has an international network of alumni working in 70 countries worldwide.
About the Medical School
Students of the College enjoy state-of-the-art facilities in the very heart of Ireland’s vibrant capital city. Mixed with its elegant historical buildings are modern lecture theatres, seminar rooms, laboratories and the administrative services of the Medical School.
The College has a medical school and a postgraduate school for advanced medical training. The school’s libraries (link here) are comprehensive, with 70,000 titles in the collections, online catalogs and computing facilities available to the students. RCSI has 33 Student Societies, offering you great opportunities to meet people with similar interests, try new things and have fun.
RCSI has a strong IT platform, including a virtual learning environment called Moodle. Moodle facilitates online curriculum mapping and assessment and assists self-directed learning in the four-year program.
Throughout the program, each student has a designated academic mentor to assist with his or her understanding of the curriculum.
Medical Curriculum Overview
RCSI offers four, five and six year medical programs.
The preclinical years cover the first two and a half years. The first year curriculum is divided into initial stand-alone modules followed by a series of integrated modules in physical, biological and chemical processes. The second and third years comprise of an integrated course in the clinical application of basic science. This course encompasses the subjects of Anatomy (including Histology and Embryology), Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Behavioral Science, and focuses primarily, though not entirely, on the systems of the body (cardiovascular, respiratory, etc.) with introductory courses in some disciplines.
The clinical course commences in the fourth year with the students spending the majority of their time in one of the College’s teaching hospitals. Students complete a 33-month training period in the hospitals, during which the students study twenty medical and surgical specialty courses such as Pediatrics, Psychiatry and General Surgery. For more information on the curriculum, click here.
The first and second years comprise of an integrated course in the clinical application of basic science. This course encompasses the subjects of Anatomy (including Histology
and Embryology), Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Behavioral Science, and focuses primarily, though not entirely, on the systems of the body (cardiovascular, respiratory, etc.) with introductory courses in some disciplines.
The clinical course commences in the fourth year with the students spending the majority of their time in one of the College’s teaching hospitals. Students complete a 33-month training period in the hospitals, during which the students study twenty medical and surgical specialty courses, such as Pediatrics, Psychiatry and General Surgery. For more information on the curriculum, click here.
4-Year Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) Program
The four-year Graduate Entry Medicine commenced in 2006. The curriculum is delivered over four cycles: Junior, Intermediate, Senior 1 and Senior 2.
The core biomedical sciences, medical sciences, behavioral sciences and clinical competencies form the basis of system-based teaching and learning in the Junior and Intermediate Cycles. The two Senior Cycle years concentrate on the delivery of clinical medicine and its sub-specialties.
GEM Program Structure
- Two semesters each for the Junior and the Intermediate Cycles. The academic year extends from the middle of September to the end of June or early July.
- Each semester is 18 weeks in duration. A semester is composed of 15 weeks of teaching, 1 week of revision and 2 weeks of assessment.
- An average of 25 hours per week teaching and learning with approximately 40% as lectures and 60% as protected time for online learning and assessment, practical classes and facilitated tutorials. This subdivision of time is not fixed as it may change according to the aptitudes and responses of the class. This represents 375 hours per semester and 750 hours per Cycle.
- Communication and clinical skills are introduced from the start of the Junior Cycle. Initially students work with simulated patients and by the second year are ready for direct patient contact. Teaching and learning in Medicine and Surgery in the Intermediate Cycle includes ward-based tutorials and clinical attachments.
- A research project module in the Junior Cycle allows research interest to flourish for some and will encourage a new expansion of knowledge in others. While dedicated time is available for instruction on searching the literature, critical analysis, writing skills and presentation skills, the research for the project module in the Junior Cycle may be undertaken as a longitudinal theme to facilitate students who wish to work in RCSI laboratories during their free time.
- There will be similar project modules in the Intermediate cycle, and the teaching of basic statistics and research methodology will enhance the student’s knowledge.
Your eligibility for the Five-year or Six-year program will depend on your academic background including the courses you have taken and your level of achievement. Also the standardized examinations you have taken can be highly relevant e.g. IB.
Candidates who have completed one or more years of college/university are usually considered for the 5 Year Program.
To be eligible for the Four-Year Graduate Entry Program students are required to have completed their degree program prior to September of the year of entry and must also have taken the MCAT.
Atlantic Bridge will provide specific guidance on your eligibility based on the information you submit on your Application Request Form.
The Teaching Hospitals
Beaumont Hospital is the College’s principle training and research centre, with 730 beds and approximately 60 patients admitted each day. The James Connolly Memorial Hospital has 350 beds and extensive grounds with buildings spread out over 138 acres of land. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital was founded in 1939 by the Medical Missionaries of Mary and now provides general and maternity services to the northeast of Ireland, treating 200,000 patients annually.
For the clinical teaching of obstetrics and gynecology, the College’s staff and students work in Dublin’s oldest maternity hospital, the Rotunda Hospital. Students also attend the National Maternity Hospital and the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital. For pediatrics and neonatal medicine, students attend Our Lady’s Childrens Hospital, Crumlin and the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital in Dublin.