History of the University

UCD CrestUniversity College Dublin dates its origin from the foundation of the Catholic University of Ireland in 1851. The teaching of medicine commenced in 1855. University College Dublin was granted its Royal Charter in 1908.

In 1934, University College Dublin bought Belfield House in South Dublin and added a group of adjoining properties during the years 1949 to 1958. Today, the university campus is spread over an expansive 326 acres that balances architecture with protected green spaces.

University College Dublin is the largest and one of the most international of Ireland’s universities, with a student population of over 24,000. International students from over 130 countries make up about 25% of the student body.

About the School of Medicine

Since the establishment of the University, the Faculty of Medicine has been an integral part and mainstay of University College Dublin. Today it has the largest number of places in Medicine
in Ireland.

The Faculty has approximately 165 full-time academic staff as well as over 400 part-time lecturers and clinical teachers associated with the affiliate teaching hospitals, teaching general practices and faculty departments. The UCD Medical Library is the most extensive in Ireland and features modern information retrieval systems in addition to a comprehensive open-shelf collection of up-to-date journals and textbooks.

The Centre for Medical Education is specifically designed to deal with all aspects of undergraduate education, while the Centre for Healthcare Informatics, equipped with the Computer Aided Learning (CAL) Laboratory, provides over one-hundred high-end computers for use by students in the Medical faculty.

The School of Medicine is an internationally recognized and accredited provider of healthcare education, with long-established partnerships and affiliations with academic and clinical institutions in countries across the globe, including in the USA and Canada.

Curriculum Overview

The UCD School of Medicine offers a 4-year Graduate Entry Program and a 6-year program. The 4-year Graduate Entry Program is designed for candidates who will have an undergraduate degree by September of the year of entry; the 6-year program is designed for candidates applying from high school, as well as candidates who have not yet earned their undergraduate degree.

Learning methods include lectures, small group sessions, practicals and inquiry-based learning in the classroom and at the bedside.

4 Year Graduate Entry Medicine - Course Highlights

Year 1

  • Patient educator sessions
  • Patient-centered practice
  • Anatomy, physiology, pathology and therapeutics
  • General practice visits
  • Clinical skills laboratory sessions
  • Problem-based learning

Year 2

  • Continued clinical skills and general practice based sessions
  • Anatomy, physiology, pathology and therapeutics of gastrointestinal, endocrine, genitourinary and nervous systems
  • Understanding disability module
  • Psychological medicine, child and maternal health
  • Advanced clinical skills

Year 3*

  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Forensic & legal medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Medicine in the community

Year 4*

  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics & gynecology
  • Intern shadowing
  • Professional completion
  • Public health medicine
  • Clinical elective

*Sample rotation

6 Year Program - Course Highlights

Year 1

  • Medical physics
  • General , inorganic and organic chemistry for medicine
  • Medical zoology
  • Cell biology and genetics
  • Science, medicine and society
  • Healthcare imaging

Year 2

  • Dissection room learning
  • Small group teaching
  • Patient educator program
  • Patient care in the community
  • Personal and population health
  • Medical science taught by both scientists and clinicians

Year 3

  • Understanding disability
  • Application of genetics
  • Principles of Infection
  • Oncology
  • Student research program

Year 4

  • Completion of medical sciences
  • Professional clinical practice
  • Psychological, child and maternal health
  • Consolidation of key clinical and communication skills
  • Therapeutic basis of medicine

Year 5*

  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Forensic & legal medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Medicine in the community

Year 6*

  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics & gynecology
  • Intern shadowing
  • Professional completion
  • Public health medicine
  • Clinical elective

*Sample rotation


UCD School of Medicine Prospectus (click to view/download)
UCD School of Medicine Prospectus (click to view/download)

The Teaching Hospitals

UCD’s Medical School has a distinct advantage of having two general teaching hospitals. Combined, The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St.Vincent’s University Hospital have 980 beds. Their specialist units include the National Centres for Breast Cancer Screening, Cardiac Surgery, Liver Transplantation and Spinal Injuries.

Other affiliated general hospitals include Tullamore General Hospital, Waterford General Hospital, St. Colmcille’s Hospital Loughlinstown and St. Michael’s Hospital Dun Laoghaire.

The Specialist Teaching Hospitals

  1. The National Maternity Hospital
  2. The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital
  3. Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin
  4. Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street

All of the above named hospitals contain units of international repute. The National Virus Reference Laboratory is housed in the UCD Department of Medical Microbiology.

International Electives

Each year, many UCD students compete for highly-prized international summer elective opportunities at locations all over the world.  A long-established feature of UCD’s undergraduate programs, clinical and research electives allow students to develop their knowledge and understanding of issues and themes relevant to the study of medicine.  Students experience a different healthcare system and get to work in many of the world’s top medical centers.  A list can be found by visiting the UCD School of Medicine website.

Medical Student Overseas Relief

Medical Students Overseas Relief (MSOR) is a voluntary society run by UCD medical students to raise funds for hospitals and clinics in the developing world. Every summer since 1974, UCD medical students have travelled to third world countries to assist, voluntarily, in humanitarian medical work. Over the past 37 years, UCD students have gone to over 30 different developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America.This charitable organisation aims to bring aid to underfunded healthcare institutions in developing countries. This aid is in the form of vital drugs, essential surgical and life-saving equipment, monetary donation and the voluntary work of the medical students. One of the core principles of MSOR is its policy on fund raising – all students must pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Hence every penny raised by MSOR goes directly to the hospital and those who need it most. To find out more about MSOR, see here.

Entry Requirements

SIX-YEAR PROGRAM: These courses are designed for students entering directly from high school and for high school graduates who have also taken college/university level courses but who will not have earned a bachelor’s degree by the September entry. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.20.

FOUR-YEAR PROGRAM: A bachelor’s degree and the MCAT are required. The MCAT can be written as late as April of the year of entry and a bachelor’s degree must be awarded before the September entry. MCAT minimum – 503 (must be written within the past 3 years). GAMSAT minimum – 57. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.20. The four-year course is also referred to as the Graduate Entry Medicine Program (GEM).

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


Visit these links for more information:
University College Dublin
UCD School of Medicine
UCD School of Medicine on YouTube