Frequent Questions

What types of students prove to be successful applicants?

All types. The Atlantic Bridge Program is a cultural diversity scheme that is designed to add well-qualified students from a mosaic of backgrounds to the university’s student bodies. Students of all ages, college majors, ethnicities, financial resources, etc., are encouraged to apply. Students are expected to present high marks in science subjects as the application process is competitive.

Must I be a US or Canadian citizen to apply to the Irish pharmacy program through Atlantic Bridge?

No, students from all NON-EU nations may apply through Atlantic Bridge, particularly if have received a portion of your second and/or third-level education in the USA or Canada, or at a US or Canadian school overseas.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

Students must normally have attained the age of seventeen years by 15th January following the year of entry to a University.

Is the Pharmacy Degree awarded in Ireland recognized in the United States and Canada?

Absolutely. However you should read the Practicing in Canada and the USA page of our website for further details on licensing.

What degrees are awarded by the Irish pharmacy schools?

Students who complete a 5 year undergraduate Pharmacy program at RCSI, TCD or UCC will graduate with a Master of Pharmacy and are thereby eligible to apply to be registered as a pharmacist in Ireland and throughout the European Union (EU) (BSc graduates do not have this entitlement) or can return home to North America and fulfill licensure requirements as per State Board regulations.

What are the tuition fees?

Tuition fees for the 2020/2021 academic year are as follows:

  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) – 25,000 Euros*
  • Trinity College Dublin – Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) – 18,805 Euros
  • University College Cork – Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) – 20,000 Euros**

*Privately funded students to RCSI receive a €7,000 scholarship, which brings the annual tuition to €18,000.

**Privately funded international students will receive a €5,000 annual scholarship at UCC.

The above fees should be treated as a guideline only and are not official. Tuition fees are subject to annual review.


How long is the Pharmacy degree course in Ireland?

The 5-Year Master of Pharmacy degree (MPharm) is offered at The Royal College of Surgeons, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork.

What is a competitive GPA?

Because GPA can be very subjective, the Irish pharmacy schools do not typically use guidelines around GPA for admissions purposes. For instance, Student A may have a slightly lower GPA than Student B, but Student A may have a much higher degree of difficulty in his / her degree or high school program. Also, many schools (especially in Canada) do not even have a GPA system. So there are many variables involved, therefore, GPA is not always a useful system for assessing students for pharmacy school and it can be misleading.

Consequently the Admissions Committees tend to consider every application individually and on its own merits, taking into account (among other things) the degree of difficulty involved in the undergraduate degree or high school curriculum, the competitiveness of the school, the course load carried by the student and many other factors.

I have a European Union (EU) passport but I do not ordinarily reside in the EU. Do I qualify for EU tuition fees?

Holders of EU passports who are not ordinarily residents of the EU are subject to overseas (i.e. non-EU) tuition fees. A student who meets any of the following conditions may request to be assessed for EU Tuition Fees.

*Ordinarily resident means being resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for a minimum of 183 days in any one calendar year for a minimum of 3 of the last 5 years.

(a) For all applicants aged under 23 on September 1st of the year of entry to a program:

  • Parent(s) must have been resident as tax-payer(s) (i.e. principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in the EU for three of the five years prior to commencing the program AND
  • Applicant/student must have been ordinarily resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for three of the five years prior to commencing a program

(b) For all applicants aged 23 or over on September 1st of the year of entry to a program:

  • Applicants over 23 are considered independent, mature applicants. The applicant/student must have been resident as a tax-payer (that is – principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for three of the five years prior to commencing the program

(c) Students educated for 5 years in primary or secondary school in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation can be assessed for EU fees

A student who is eligible for EU fees must apply via the Central Applications Office.

Note: Any period of residence as a student or a holder of a student visa will not be included in the assessment of years of residence.

If I am eligible for EU Fees, how should I apply to the Irish Pharmacy School?

In order to receive an offer of an EU place, you must apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO).

What is a conditional offer?

Students who are currently enrolled in courses and who will not have final marks or earned their degree by the application deadline may be given a conditional offer by the schools. This is a common practice and allows students to (i) apply while they are still undertaking their current coursework and (ii) receive an offer of a place based on past coursework already completed and predicted marks.

A conditional offer is an offer that is contingent on meeting certain condition(s), for instance, a) earning a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree by September of the year of entry, b) earning a certain grade point average, c) completion of the prerequisite science and math courses and/or d) obtaining a certain score on a standardized test (e.g. IB/MCAT etc.).

How many entering classes are there each year and when do classes commence?

There is one entering class each year. Classes commence annually in September.

Are student accommodations available?

Yes, the universities have excellent, modern, on-campus housing. International students who have received letters of admission are guaranteed university housing (provided that their housing applications are received on time). Housing in the private sector, including housing for married couples, may also be located with assistance from the college’s student accommodation office. For more details, please visit our Accommodations page

How much would I have to budget for living expenses?

It has been our experience that, on average, students will spend approximately €18,000 (Euros) per year on living expenses (housing, food, supplies, transportation, books etc.). Most of these expenses can be funded through US student loans or Canadian lines of credit.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Financial aid in the form of US student loans and Canadian lines of credit are available to cover education expenses such as tuition fees, books and supplies, travel, etc. Currently the schools themselves cannot make scholarships available to international students.

Will I have to undergo a health screening?

Yes. In the interests of the safety of both patients and students, Irish health care regulations require that a student entering a health care-related program undergo a health screening at the university health center after registration with the school. This is required to ensure that students are free of any infectious disease that may cause harm to patients, other students or faculty.

Documents for such screenings are provided by the universities. Please note that there is an associated cost of approximately €225 – €300 (depending on the school) for health screening. The fees are paid directly to the university.

What about health insurance?

The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service require that all non-EU students have private health insurance while studying in Ireland. Students should be prepared to present proof of insurance when arriving in Ireland.

Non-EU students must provide evidence of comprehensive medical insurance when registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. The following health insurance providers in Ireland can ensure that you have the policy you need upon your arrival:  VHI, ODON and AVIVA.

May I obtain employment while I am studying in Ireland and do I need a visa before traveling?

For the answer to these questions, please visit our Moving to Ireland page.

Are there any special airfares available to students studying in Ireland?

Yes, the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) offers special student airfares to students who are studying overseas. CIEE has offices throughout the USA and Canada through which travel arrangements can be made to and from Europe, North America and the rest of the world. For details on their office nearest you call 1-800-781-4040 or visit

Who can my family and friends contact if they want to receive information on traveling to Ireland to visit me?

The Irish Tourist Board at 1-800-223-6470, or visit Most of the major air carriers have daily scheduled flights to and from Ireland. You could also check with your preferred airline.