Curriculum Integration

The programs are organized into two broad phases: preclinical and clinical years. There is some variation in courses among the schools, but all the essential preclinical and clinical subjects are covered. Instruction in preclinical years is through individual combinations of lectures, problem-based learning, evidence-based medicine and small-group seminars, tutorials, practicals, laboratories and computer-aided learning. Early patient contact is integrated into the curriculum with more emphasis on problem-based learning which is very popular with students.

In the clinical years, students move to the university’s teaching hospitals to learn on a case-by-case basis at the patient’s bedside. Ireland has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its “bedside” teaching, an art that has been developed literally over centuries.

Irish Medical Curricula

The medical programs in Ireland range from four to six years in length.

An undergraduate degree and MCAT are required. The MCAT must be written before May 1st of the year of entry and an undergraduate degree must be awarded before September entry.

  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin**
  • University of Limerick***
  • RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences***

**University College Dublin: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.08 and minimum MCAT requirement of 503. The MCAT must be written within 2 years of the date of entry. e.g. test dates no earlier than August 2019 for 2021 entry.

***University of Limerick and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland: The MCAT must have been written within three years. e.g. test dates no earlier than 2019 for 2022 entry. RCSI’s minimum MCAT requirement is 500.

Additionally, applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree before September Entry are eligible to apply to the 5-Year programs. (MCAT not required)

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • RCSI- Bahrain

Atlantic Bridge will provide specific guidance on your eligibility based on the information you submit on your Application Request Form.

Directly from High School with specific subjects and scores in the IB Examinations (including chemistry at Higher Level) or with AP examinations in biology, chemistry and either physics or calculus. Candidates who have completed one or more years of college/university are usually considered for the 5 Year Program.*

  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin  
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Bahrain

Note: IB Examinations must be undertaken in one examination session except for RCSI & RCSI Bahrain

*This option does not apply to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Bahrain

1. Designed for applicants entering directly from High School and who have taken biology, chemistry, and either physics or mathematics.

2. Applicants currently attending College/University but will not have an undergraduate degree by the September entry. If in this category, you may also be eligible for a 5-Year Program. The Admissions Committees will determine the program to which you are most suited based on your academic background.

  • University College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • RCSI – Bahrain.

Please see the Entry Requirements page.

For the preclinical years, the school year in Ireland is from September to May. It is divided into two semesters: the first from fall to winter break, the second from January to spring. For the clinical years, the school year extends several weeks longer. There are breaks in winter, in the spring and the summer, as well as on the individual Irish national holidays.

Student progress is continuously assessed throughout the year, culminating in final exams at the end of each school year. Continuous assessment may involve any combination of seminars, multiple-choice questionnaires (MCQs), essays, clinical skills, oral exams and projects. The final exams are any combination of essay papers, oral exams, multiple-choice questionnaires and practical exams. Marks for the in-course assessment and end-of-year assessment are then combined to represent a final grade for the course. All examinations utilize the pass/fail format. Distinctions of Honors and First-Class Honors are awarded to students whose performance is considered notable.

During the summer months, students may carry out research in several academic departments. Grants are available from the schools, the Irish research council, non-profit organizations and private corporations. Students of high standing may also apply for entry into an Intercalated Honours Degree course in selected preclinical subjects.


In Ireland, successful candidates are awarded a suite of degrees upon their graduation from medical school. Some programs award a total of three degrees: Medicine (MB), Surgery (BCh), and Obstetrics (BAO), while others award a total of two degrees: Medicine (BM), and Surgery (BS). The Irish suite of degrees is the equivalent of the M.D. which is awarded in the USA and Canada.


Applications are now closed for Fall 2024 Entry.

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