Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Medicine Mature Entry (EU)

Key Facts

Course Title: Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor in Surgery and Bachelor in Obstetrics
Award: MB (Bachelor of Medicine), BCh (Bachelor of Surgery), BAO (Bachelor in the Art of Obstetrics) and historical LRCPI & SI (Licentiates of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)
CAO Code: RC001
NFQ Level: Level 8
No of places: 15 EU places
Start date: Each September
Course Length: 5 or 6 years
Mode of Attendance: Full-Time
Academic School: School of Medicine
Accredited by: RCSI is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland (NUI), awarding the MB, BCh, BAO medical degrees to its graduates.

How to Apply


  • Mature applicants often present a third level qualification but this is not an essential requirement for consideration.
  • Applicants must, however, meet the matriculation requirements and present the HPAT-Ireland test.
  • Before registering for the HPAT exam, candidates must complete their CAO application, as the CAO application number is required to register for HPAT-Ireland. CAO applications are made online through the CAO website from 06th November 2017 until 1st February 2018, using the course code RC001. There is no extension to the above CAO application dates for RC001 as Medicine is a restricted entry course (with a requirement to sit an aptitude test in February 2018 (the HPAT)).
  • Applicants must then register for the HPAT-Ireland admission test by 20th January of the year of admission to the programme. To be eligible to sit HPAT-Ireland, candidates must be in their final year of school or have completed their Leaving Certificate (or another EU secondary school exit examination) prior to the year of entry. The 2018 HPAT exam takes place on 24th February 2018. See the HPAT-Ireland website for more details.
  • Once the HPAT results are made available to RCSI, RCSI’s EU Admissions Officer will review and invite mature applicants to submit the following additional documents directly to RCSI’s Admissions Office: a recent CV, a personal statement and references supporting their application.
    These documents must be submitted directly to RCSI and not to the CAO.
  • Competitive candidates are called for an admissions interview which takes place in May each year. The interview comprises two panels, one Academic and the other Clinical.
  • Please see “Related Links” for guidance on “Preparing your Personal Statement” and “Preparing for an admissions interview”.



Course Overview


RCSI is Ireland's largest medical school and one of the most international medical schools in the World. The International mix of students includes 84 Irish/EU students who join the programme each year through the CAO.
In the early years the medical course is taught as a mixture of full class didactic lectures and small group teaching involving tutorials, anatomy practicals and clinical skills training. In the intermediate years' students participate in small group simulation scenarios with the most modern simulators, progressing to the senior clinical years, where the majority of instruction is hospital based teaching with students attached to consultant led teams.

A modern curriculum for the 2020 graduate
RCSI prides itself on providing the most modern and up-to-date curriculum. It has a strong focus on early clinical contact with clinical teaching beginning in the first week of the first semester. We have defined the 50 core competencies that are required for a graduating doctor and these will be taught in a seamless continuous fashion throughout the years of medical school.

Focus on professionalism
We pride ourselves in having all our graduates fully trained and aware of the importance of professionalism for the graduating doctor. This theme has been integrated throughout all years of teaching from day one to graduation.

Consultant delivered clinical teaching
With over 200 clinical consultants on our teaching staff, in Ireland's best hospitals, all RCSI medical students receive consultant delivered clinical teaching in small groups based on individual clinical cases.

International Electives Programme
RCSI have the most comprehensive range of international medical electives for our students in many continents. This is based upon our extensive alumni database of over 16,000 graduates who welcome RSCI students to their clinical practices during their elective periods.

Competency based medical curriculum
Our focus is on delivering graduates who are ready to practice on day one to be safe and effective practitioners.

Successful future career opportunities
Each student has a dedicated careers officer who guides them in their career aspirations in a focused programme of education about the most suitable career opportunities for them ranging from careers within Ireland to across the globe. We also provide comprehensive preparation programmes for the USMLE, MCCEE and NAC exams.

IT empowered learning
RCSI has been at the forefront of educating our graduates with the very latest in educational technology. We were the first institution to provide laptops to all our students. Recent innovations include substantial proportions of the Curriculum being available in interactive modules online, all our clinical sites have enhanced WIFI capability and student learning is supported by the very latest in IT technology.

Excellent teachers
All of our tutors have been trained in the skills of health professions education. We have a dedicated centre for health professions education that ensures our teaching staff understand not only the principles of teaching but the most effective forms of communication.

Throughout the programme, students are encouraged to become lifelong learners with excellent team working and leadership skills. RCSI is committed to developing healthcare leaders who will make a difference worldwide, by providing experiential opportunities beyond the core curriculum, including Research Electives through the RCSI Summer Research School and Overseas Clinical Electives through the Alumni Network programmes.

Continuous investment in developing the College's teaching infrastructure ensures that RCSI remains at the forefront of medical education. RCSI has just opened its new teaching facility at the St. Stephen's Green site. The development is the largest redevelopment project in Dublin City Centre in recent years. The 120,000 sq. ft. houses a state of the art surgical and clinical training suite containing a flexible wet lab, mock operating theatres, clinical training wards, standardised patients' rooms and task training rooms. It also includes a 540 seat auditorium, a library spanning three floors with 500 study spaces, a sports hall, gym and fitness suites.

The Medical Programme
The medical programme itself focuses on the principle that the patient is paramount. Clinical skills are an integral component of the programme from the very outset.

Clinical exposure in the earlier years takes the form of:

  • Early patient contact
  • Clinical case-based tutorials
  • Case discussion facilitated by clinicians
  • Clinical data interpretation
  • Clinical skills modules
  • Hospital grand rounds


In the final 2 years, students are based exclusively on clinical sites for rotations in:

  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Primary Care
  • Psychiatry
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Anaesthesiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)


Students also have the opportunity to function as a member of a clinical team before graduation, with a one-month sub-internship, which prepares students for the transition from medical student to life in clinical practice as a junior hospital doctor.




What You Will Study

The academic year is delivered over two x 15 week semesters.

The structure of the programme is one Foundation Year (Pre-Medical) followed by five medical years.
Some students complete the Foundation year in addition to the five medical years (the 6 year programme).
In other cases, students are exempted from the Foundation Year and complete the five medical years only (the 5 year programme).

The five medical years are divided into three cycles
Junior Cycle (JC1, JC2, JC3) 1.5 years [three semesters
Intermediate Cycle (IC1, IC2, IC3) 1.5 years [three semesters]
Senior Cycle (SC1 & SC2) 2 years [four semesters]


Within each cycle, the content is delivered as modules which are largely based on the systems of the human body (systems-based).
Each module integrates the biomedical and clinical sciences (integrated) and is defined by a series of learning outcomes (outcomes-focused).


Foundation Year (FY1 & FY2)
The Foundation Year extends over the first two semesters of the six year programme (starting in September and extending until May) and provides students with a solid grounding in the biomedical sciences as well as providing them with the necessary IT skills to operate effectively within the College's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
The course is delivered as a series of stand-alone and integrated modules with modularised assessment.
The Foundation Year programme is structured as follows:

Foundation Year Semester 1
 Introduction to Medical Physics
 Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry
 Introduction to Human Biology
 Human Systems I
 Professionalism in the Health Sciences
 Biomedical Laboratory Sciences
Foundation Year Semester 2
Human Systems II
Professionalism in the Health Sciences
Introduction to Disease, Diagnostics & Therapeutics
Biomedical Laboratory Sciences
Medicinal & Pharmaceutical Chemistry II


Junior Cycle (JC1, JC2 & JC3)

The Junior Cycle extends over three semesters from September of the first medical year to December of the second medical year.
The course is delivered as systems based modules with modularised assessment. The Junior Cycle comprises 12 modules over three semesters and is structured as follows:


Junior Cycle Semester 1
Fundamentals of Biomedicine (1)
Cardiorespiratory & Upper Limb (CVR)
Clinical Competencies & Early Patient Contact (CC/EPC)
Junior Cycle Semester 2
Fundamentals of Biomedicine (2)
Gastrointestinal & Hepatology (GI/HEP)
Renal, Endocrine, Genitourinary & Breast (REGUB)
Health Behaviour & Patient Safety (HBPS)
Clinical Competencies & Early Patient Contact (CC/EPC)
Junior Cycle Semester 3
Molecular Medicine (MM)
Neuroscience (NS)
Evidence Based Health/Population and International Health (EBH/PIH)
Clinical Competencies (CC)


Intermediate Cycle (IC1, IC2 & IC3)
The Intermediate Cycle extends over three semesters from January of the second medical year to May of the third medical year.
The course is delivered as systems based modules with modularised assessment and is structured as follows:

Intermediate Cycle Semester 1
Foundations in Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology
Haematolymphoic Oncology
Intermediate Cycle Semester 2
Gastrointestinal & Hepatology
Renal, Endocrine, Genitourinary and Breast
Central Nervous System, Locomotor, and Forensic
Tropical Medicine
Intermediate Cycle Semester 3
Clinical Team Attachments
Advanced Clinical Skills programme
Musculoskeletal programme
Student Selected Programme


Senior Cycle (SC1 & SC2)
The Senior Cycle is delivered over the final 2 years.
During the first year, students are attached on a rotational basis for 7 weeks to Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine and Surgery, Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Neonatal Paediatrics. During the final year, students are attached to Medicine and Surgery disciplines at local, national and international hospitals. Of particular interest is the sub internship programme. This gives final year students the opportunity to function as a member of a clinical team in preparation for internship following graduation.

Senior Cycle Rotations
Medicine and Surgery
Medicine and Surgery of Childhood
Neonatal medicine
Family Practice
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)



Why Study Medicine at RCSI


  1. Single focus on medicine and health sciences
    RCSI is focused exclusively on educating healthcare professionals and every student benefits from being immersed in the RCSI multidisciplinary healthcare environment. The RCSI School of Medicine is Ireland's largest medical school and the College also provides undergraduate courses in Pharmacy and Physiotherapy. The College's teaching staff are experts in healthcare education and the RCSI Health Professions Education Centre ensures that students experience the highest international standards of teaching, learning and assessment using innovative methods and the latest technologies.
  2. Medical teaching infrastructure
    RCSI has a strong focus on developing the clinical skills of its students. Developing these skills has become increasingly difficult set against the background of more and more patients being treated in the hospital setting on a day case basis. To ensure that RCSI students will continue to graduate with exceptional clinical skills, the College invested €80m in the development of its new Academic and Education building located at St. Stephen's Green. The facility provides unparalleled medical teaching facilities including the largest dedicated clinical simulation facilities in these islands.
  3. Early clinical exposure
    Early clinical exposure and heavy involvement in teaching from clinicians is core to the programme. In line with RCSI's commitment to delivering a curriculum that has the patient at the centre of its focus from the first academic year, students learn from specialist consultants in a hospital setting and have contact with real hospital cases.
  4. Setting standards in postgraduate medical training
    RCSI has been responsible for surgical training in Ireland and setting the national standards for surgery since its foundation in 1784. This surgical training ethos feeds down into the medical courses and positively impacts on the delivery of the undergraduate teaching, particularly in areas such as Anatomy. RCSI also offers postgraduate training leading to fellowships in the Faculties of Dentistry, Radiology, Nursing and Midwifery; and Sports and Exercise Medicine. The unique environment within RCSI creates an environment which facilitates and recognises hard work and achievement through academic awards and opportunities.
  5. International recognition
    RCSI graduates are recognised throughout the world and are eligible to practice in almost every country.
  6. USMLE and Canadian Board Examination support
    RCSI understands that our students want the option of completing their residency training at home or abroad. For those students who wish to complete residency placements in the USA or Canada, the College provides Board Examination preparation supports including peer led teaching delivered by senior students on the programme who have successfully completed the exams and Q Bank and Kaplan Test Examinations to provide students with the best opportunity to perform to their maximum potential.
  7. Careers office supports
    Individual student support extends to career support with a bi-annual careers symposium, an online mentor network and the RCSI Global Alumni network all of which forms part of an invaluable toolbox for seeking advice, guidance and practical support on choosing a specialty in Ireland or overseas.
  8. Setting the standards
    RCSI was the 1st medical school in Ireland to independently adopt the standards of the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) - standards since adopted by the Irish Medical Council as the accreditation standard for all Irish medical schools.
  9. Research opportunities
    Students are also provided with opportunities to participate in research through the RCSI Research Summer School 
  10. Global Alumni Network
    Access to a network of over 16,000 Alumni practicing throughout the World, leading to fantastic international elective opportunities.
  11. Location
    RCSI is located at the heart of Dublin city centre, within a short walking distance from cafés, restaurants, shops and with easy access to a vast public transport network.



Student Testimonials


I am from Ireland though I worked for many years in London, first training as a Chartered Accountant before working in strategy. Many factors have made RCSI the right choice for me: its multinational profile which had become a normal culture for me in London, the commitment of the university to mature and graduate entry which is reflected in a substantial cohort (both Irish and international students), the early exposure and emphasis on research and its international research reputation, the standard of its lecturers, its focus on medicine and healthcare.

The RCSI Clubs and Societies programmes are generously funded and are an excellent way to meet students from different years which can be lifesaving when exams approach and access to experience is so important as well as the fun of participating in your favourite interests with others (e.g the Gourmet Society and the Society of Neuroscience). I would recommend RCSI to anyone looking for a well-structured medical degree in a supportive university."

Joanna Peart RCSI Medicine Mature Entry testimonial

Joanna Peart
(Class of 2015)



Entry requirements


In order to satisfy basic eligibility requirements, Mature Applicants must:

  • Be 23 years of age or older on or before the 1st of January of year of admission to the programme. 
  • Complete the required admissions test (HPAT-Ireland) in the year of entry to the programme. Please note that HPAT scores are valid for one year only e.g. a 2018 HPAT score is valid for 2018 admission only. For more information on the HPAT-Ireland, please review the Undergraduate Entry to Medicine Brochure.
  • Meet the minimum entry requirements as outlined below in the Irish Leaving Certificate Exam or equivalent, including RCSI pre-approved Access to Science Programmes. 


Irish Leaving Certificate

5-year degree programme

Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x H4 and 4 x O6/H7] in the Irish Leaving Certificate to include a minimum of an O6/H7 in Irish (unless exempt), English, Mathematics and a third language plus a minimum of a H4 in Chemistry and H4 in either Physics or Biology.

6-year degree programme

Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x H5 and 4 x O6/H7] in the Irish Leaving Certificate to include a minimum of an O6/H7 in Irish (unless exempt), English, Mathematics, a third language and one laboratory science subject from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics/Chemistry or Agricultural Science.


GCE A/AS Levels

Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x A2 level subjects (Grade C or above) and 4 passes (Grade C or above at GCSE level or Grade E or above at A2 level)] to include a minimum of a Grade C in GCSE English, Mathematics, a second language and one laboratory science subject from Chemistry, Physics or Biology, to be considered for the 6 year programme. A minimum grade C in A2 level Chemistry and either Physics or Biology is required to be considered for entry to the 5 year programme.


Other European Examinations

For specific information on minimum entry requirements of European Examinations other than those listed above, please check out the Guideline Entry Requirements for EU/EFTA applicants other than the Leaving Certificate.


English Language Requirements

Teaching in RCSI is through the medium of English; therefore, all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language.

Applicants (whose first language is not English) must either meet the minimum English language matriculation requirement in their secondary school qualifications as outlined above or separately in the IELTS examination (academic stream) with an overall average score of 6.5 and no individual section lower than 6.0.

Note: All IELTS test results must be less than two years old at the time of admission.



Course fees

Free Fees Scheme

  • RCSI is part of the "Free Fees Initiative" funded by the HEA. The tuition Fees for EU school leavers who have not previously attended University are therefore normally covered under the Free Fees Scheme.
  • Students are required to pay a student contribution fee for non-tuition costs. For the academic year 2017/18, the EU Student Contribution fee for Undergraduate Medicine is €3,860 per annum (comprising a student contribution charge of €3000, an IT fee of €475 and two one-off fees, a health screening charge of €250 and a National University of Ireland fee of €135)

EU Fees

  • Free Fees can only be drawn down once and candidates who have previously attended third level education under the “Free Fees Scheme” are liable for EU fees.
  • Students who are not covered under the Free Fees Scheme are required to pay a Student Contribution fee in addition to the EU Tuition Fees.
  • EU Fees are set by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
  • In 2017/18, the overall EU fee for Undergraduate Medicine (including the EU Tuition Fee, student contribution charge etc.) is €16,140 per annum.


Bank of Ireland Mature Entry Medicine Tuition Fees Loan (2+) on the five-year programme

General terms and conditions as a guideline are:

  • You can borrow a maximum of €15,000 (plus interest) per year for a maximum of four years (maximum final loan of €60,000 + interest).
  • Each annual drawdown is a separate loan application and is subject to loan approval.
  • A moratorium of 12 months is available at each drawdown.
  • You must have an active BOI account and a parental guarantee is required. Guarantor must be Irish resident.
  • Discounted rate of 6.3% (6.5% APR) for term of the loan.

Please contact Bank of Ireland's Student Lending Advisors Edel Maher (direct phone: 01 623 1368) or Alan McPhilips




To review any of the following policy documents and statements, please visit the Policies page:

  • Am I an EU or Non EU Student (for application and fees assessment)
  • Applicants with Disabilities Policy
  • Complaints and Appeals Procedure
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Fees Policy
  • Fitness to Practice Information
  • Policy and Procedure for Admitting Students under 18 years of age
  • Statement on Confidentiality and Declaration of Interest pertaining to admission
  • Statement on Feedback pertaining to admission
  • Statement on Fraud pertaining to admission
  • Statement on Garda (Police) Vetting
  • Statement on Infectious Diseases and General Health
  • Undergraduate Admissions Policy
  • Undergraduate Schools Transfer Policy



Visit RCSI - Open Days and Education Fairs


Open Days
  • RCSI hosts a number of dedicated Medicine Open Days and Open Evenings throughout the year. 
  • The Mature Entry Medicine Open Evening provides potential applicants with an opportunity to learn more about the Mature Entry Medicine route in RCSI and to meet with current students and staff.  
  • For more details on the event, please visit the Open Days Page.
Education Fairs
Book a Campus Visit or School Tour
  • To book a guided tour of the RCSI campus, please email the Admissions Office at least one week in advance. 
  • Guided tours normally take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-12pm (outside of bank holidays etc.).




  1. Does RCSI offer training for the HPAT-Ireland examination?

    No, RCSI does not offer training for the HPAT-Ireland examination. Sample test papers will be available from the HPAT website and it is recommended that you purchase some sample papers and practice sitting the examination in a mock simulation, as time management in the exam can be beneficial to your overall performance.

  2. Is the RCSI degree recognised in all Countries?

    RCSI Graduates are awarded degrees of the National University of Ireland. The degrees are internationally recognised but as with many degrees there may be a need for Graduates wishing to practice in some countries to sit local licensing examinations. For example, Graduates wishing to practice in the USA or Canada are required to sit the USMLE and Canadian Board examination respectively. Similarly, Graduates returning to Hong Kong sit the Hong Kong Board examinations. It is advisable to check with the Medical Council of the country you intend to practice in and familiarise yourself with the local license requirements.


Contact Us

Admissions Office Contact details:

The Admissions Office is responsible for the admission of students to all of the College's undergraduate programmes.

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Admissions Office
123 St Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
Tel: 00 353 1 402 2228
Google Maps attachment



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