An overview of RCSI

Founded in 1784 as the national provider of surgical training in Ireland, RCSI has evolved in the years since to become one of the world’s leading health sciences-focused Universities.

RCSI is Ireland’s only specialist health sciences University and the only Surgical Royal College in the world to offer undergraduate degrees and graduate entry programs in Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy.

RCSI is an independent, not-for-profit University with a global reach and operations in Ireland, the Middle East, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

For the last five years, RCSI has maintained its position among the Top 250 Universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

In terms of societal and global impact in health, RCSI is ranked #1 in the world by THE on the basis of its contribution to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 ‘Good Health and Well-being’.

RCSI has a student body representing over 60 different countries and more than 21,000 alumni working across 94 countries around the world.

26 York Street

In late 2017, RCSI opened its extended campus at No. 26 York Street. The new facility forms part of an extended city centre campus and is home to Europe’s largest clinical skills simulation facility. The 120,000 square foot complex with state-of-the-art teaching spaces and first class student facilities is poised to transform healthcare education. For more information, please click below.

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.

Exposure to the hospital setting occurs progressively from the end of the second year. The hospital attachments program begins with an introductory clinical course in the final term of the second year, comprising lectures, clinical demonstrations and bedside tutorials. From the beginning of the third year, students attend hospitals, taking rotations in Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Community Health, General Practice and Ophthalmology/Otolaryngology.

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Why Study Medicine at RCSI?

RCSI is one of the most internationally-focused medical schools in the world. More than 20% of students undertaking the RCSI medicine degree come from Canada or the United States.

As a student on the RCSI medicine program, you will have the opportunity to learn in Europe’s largest Clinical Simulation Centre. Training suites are designed to mirror the hospital environment and include clinical skills labs, a mock operating theatre and clinical training wards. Avail of state-of-the-art sports facilities and modern on-campus accommodation, as well as having the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of RCSI clubs and societies. Study in the heart of Dublin, one of Europe’s most historic and vibrant capital cities.

Students undertake summer research and/or clinical electives at prestigious universities in Canada and the US including the Johns Hopkins Hospital Group, Columbia University Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic. Students receive unrivaled personal, academic and career supports. RCSI students undertake Residency Pathway Programs for Canada and the US. They also receive intensive support in preparing for both MCCQE and USMLE licensing exams.

RCSI graduates regularly match to competitive specialties in prestigious institutions across Canada and the US, including Cleveland Clinic, Harvard University, McGill University, McMaster University and University of Toronto. The US first round residency match rate for the RCSI Class of 2020 was 92%.

Which RCSI Medicine Program is for you?

RCSI offers a contemporary medicine curriculum with a strong focus on early patient contact, the acquisition of excellent clinical, technical and communications skills, and on your development as a medical professional.

RCSI offers a five- and six-year Undergraduate Medicine program, as well as a four-year Graduate Entry Medicine program, at our Dublin City Centre campus. So, whatever your academic background or experience to date, RCSI has a medicine program that meets your needs.

Medical Curriculum Overview

During your early years studying Medicine at RCSI, you will obtain a solid grounding in the biomedical sciences and you will learn about the body structure and functions in its normal state. You will study anatomy with expert surgeons and other healthcare professionals through regional cadaveric dissection.

The intermediate years of your medicine program will focus on learning about abnormal bodily functions and you will participate in a wide array of clinical skills workshops, small group tutorials and case-based teaching sessions. A lot of your time will be spent in a hospital setting attached to clinical teams. The final years of the medical program are spent fully immersed in various clinical specialties on a rotational basis.

RCSI is committed to producing clinically skilled doctors with the most relevant and robust experience required to work in today’s health systems. Throughout your time at RCSI, you will have the opportunity to develop your clinical, communication and professional skills in a safe, simulated environment in Europe’s largest and most modern clinical simulation facility and by training in Ireland’s leading hospitals. We also provide you with many opportunities to build your career outside of the classroom through research and clinical electives as well as sub-internships.

Please note: undergraduate medicine programs in Ireland are traditionally six years in duration. You may be exempt from Year 1 and complete the program in five years, depending on your high school or college qualifications (e.g. if you have completed enough science credits in the early years of an undergraduate degree program).

For more detailed program information, please visit the RCSI website.

RCSI was the first medical school in the Republic of Ireland to introduce a Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) program in 2006, enabling students from a range of undergraduate backgrounds to study medicine. 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.

In your first year as a GEM student, you will be taught in a dedicated teaching facility on the main St Stephen’s Green campus, while in the second year you will spend most of your time in RCSI’s dedicated teaching space at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown in Dublin. In your final two years, you will be on clinical rotations in a variety of hospitals and GP practices in Dublin and throughout the country.

As an RCSI GEM graduate, you will be ‘career ready’. In fact, your clinical skills training starts from day one of the program, with simulated patient sessions being a weekly feature of the curriculum.

For more detailed program information, please visit the RCSI website.

Entry Requirements

Your eligibility for the Five-Year or Six-Year Undergraduate Medicine 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. As explained earlier, candidates who have completed one or more years of college/ university are usually considered for the Five-Year Undergraduate Medicine program.

For more detailed information on prerequisites to join RCSI as an undergraduate medical student, please visit the RCSI website.

To be eligible for the Four-Year Graduate Entry Medicine 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.

Applicants who pass RCSI’s initial evaluation will be invited to an online interview. 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.

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