Ireland Medical School Admission Requirements for International Students

Being a doctor is one of the most sought-after professions in the world, more so in Ireland. Since the admission process starts early on, aspiring physicians must be truly determined to pursue a career in Medicine. After all, it is not without bumps and difficulties. So, want to know more about, Ireland Medical School Admission Requirements for International Students, ireland medical school application deadline, ireland university requirements for international students & ireland medical school tuition international students

Are you interested in obtaining relevant information on Ireland medical school requirements, Irish medical school acceptance rate, University College Dublin medicine entry requirements, Ireland medical school tuition for international students? All you have  to do is read the article below to get unrestricted access to the latest information on undergraduate requirements for medical school, amongst others.

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Medical Schools in Ireland for International Students

While Ireland has limited slots for those who want to be doctors, it continues to be open to foreign students. It is one of the few European countries to offer 2 types of programs – an undergraduate-entry program and a graduate-entry course.

Depending on your qualifications, you may pursue either track. No matter what you take, you must know these things to study medicine in Ireland.

Medicine in Ireland can be taken at an undergraduate or graduate level.

For international students who apply right out of high school, schools require a leaving certificate.

At the University College Dublin (UCD), foreigners must submit the result of their ACT or SAT exam. Applicants also need to submit a short personal statement and two reference letters.

Best Ireland Medical Schools for Canada Students

Undergraduate medical applicants can apply to 5- and 6-year programmes, with the longer courses catering to students whose scientific knowledge is less than what is required for the shorter programmes. Graduate-specific courses that last four years are offered by Limerick, UCD, RCSI, and UCC.

All Irish medical schools offer a Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor in Surgery and Bachelor in the Art of Obstetrics (MB BCh BAO Hons) diploma. All are accepted in all EU countries, as well as in many other regions around the world, and permit graduates to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in the USA and the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination. 

Medical Courses For International Students

UNDERGRADUATE 

All Irish medical schools offer undergraduate entry except Limerick, which caters specifically for graduate applicants. Applicants can choose from either five year programmes or six year programmes, as per the table below.

Trinity College Dublin5 years
University College Cork5 years
National University of Ireland, Galway5 / 6 years (lower entry requirements for six years)
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland5 / 6 years (lower entry requirements for six years)
University College Dublin6 years. 
University of Limerick4 years (graduate entry only, minimum 2.1)

The courses all take a fairly modern approach to medicine, with a solid grounding in biomedical and anatomical sciences being delivered through Problem-Based Learning (PBL), prior to pathological and clinical teaching commencing in the later years. Teaching is delivered through lectures, tutorials, PBL sessions and student-selected components (SSCs). These allow a bit of flexibility and the chance to develop one’s interests.

All the universities offer fully immersed clinical placements in the later years, and students can benefit from well-funded, state-of-the-art facilities. Once the medical student graduates from the course, they must train in an Irish hospital for a year. Following this, they are free to practice as doctors and choose their area to specialise in. A degree from an Irish university is recognised globally much like one from the UK.

Student Guide to Ireland - Admissions, Requirements, Cost, Timeline

GRADUATE 

All the Irish medical schools accept applications from graduates, with all schools except Trinity and Galway offering shortened, 4-year programmes for applicants with previous degrees. 

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Education System
Education in Ireland is free at all levels for Irish nationals and resident of the European Union. This includes university education as well. However, this benefit is not applicable to international students.

Entry into undergraduate courses (ordinary and honours degree courses) is generally done through the Central Applications Office (CAO). This way, prospective students apply through the CAO rather than applying individually to each university. The autumn intake in Ireland starts in September and the spring intake begins in February. Some universities may have enrollments throughout the year as well.

The top Medical Universities in Ireland

The list below show the top universities in Ireland with proven reputable academic excellence:

  1. Trinity College
  2. National College of Ireland
  3. University College Dublin
  4. Griffith College
  5. National University of Ireland Galway
  6. Waterford Institute of Technology
  7. IBAT College Dublin
  8. Maynooth University
  9. Cork Institute of Technology
  10. Dublin City University

In no particular order, most of the best colleges in the country are situated in cities like Dublin, Limerick, and Galway. Language and Literature, Business Studies, Medical Courses, Nursing, and Social Sciences are the popular courses Indian students pursue in Ireland.

Safety in Ireland: Travelling through Ireland is not dangerous at all. The biggest danger you might face could be pickpockets who would simply snatch your bag, which is a risk anywhere in the world. Other than that the country is safe for people of Indian origin, as “racist-hate” crimes are uncommon.

Ireland Medical School Academic Requirements & Admissions Exams

All six Irish medical schools require applicants to sit an admissions exam. The main undergraduate admissions test is the HPAT Ireland (Health Professions Admissions Test) Graduate applicants have to sit either the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) or the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). The HPAT is an aptitude test assessing similar qualities to the UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test). The HPAT-Ireland test is a 2½ hour multiple choice paper-based test, consisting of three modules or sections:

  1. Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving
  2. Interpersonal Understanding (much like the situational judgement test, this assesses your responses to a number of scenarios)
  3. Non-Verbal Reasoning (alike to abstract reasoning of the UKCAT, you will have to find patterns in shapes)

Compared to UKCAT and BMAT, the HPAT exam is much later, with the closing date this year being 20th January. If you find you’ve not performed as well on these admissions exam, it is definitely worth considering applying to study medicine in Ireland. When selecting undergraduate students, the HPAT Ireland Score is combined with the academic score achieved at high school/college, to create a number of ‘Entry Points’, which are then used to rank applicants. Generally speaking, undergraduate applicants from the EU are not required to sit an interview, though in some cases mature students and students from North America are.

Graduate applicants have to sit either the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) or the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Graduates are ranked on their GAMSAT or MCAT scores only, and are required to have achieved a 2:1 or higher if applying for a 4-year programme. Graduates must also complete a CAO application. Applicants from the States and Canada must present a competitive grade point average, with course length and difficulty being taken into account when deciding whether a grade is high enough.

To assess the academic requirements of undergraduates, the medical schools use the Irish Leaving Certificate equivalent points when ranking EU applicants, and all require a minimum of 480 points (except University College Cork, which requires 555). The conversions are set individually by each University. A detailed conversion chart can be found on each university page, but 480 points are roughly equivalent to A2 level grades of AABB, or 36 points on the IB. Most of the universities require students to sit these examinations in science subjects: biology, physics, chemistry or agricultural science. University College Cork specifies that students must sit chemistry and then either one of physics or biology.

Non-EU applicants are considered individually and the universities do not have specific minimum grade requirements for these applicants, though the competitive nature of the courses means a good score will be required from all applicants. 

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trinity college dublin medicine entry requirements

The application process is centralised through the central applications office (CAO), much like UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) here in the UK. On your CAO application, you submit your personal details, school and exams being taken then select the courses for which you wish to apply. There is no personal statement required and thus you can apply for a broad range of courses. The University will contact you individually if they wish for any more information. You’ll also need to post your academic certificates to the CAO.

For EU students, the fees are the same as if you were an Irish National – free! All you have to pay is a small administration fee of roughly £1,500 to the University. This is significantly cheaper than UK universities. Fees for graduates are a lot more expensive – typically around £15,000 a year. Additionally, it can be quite hard to find accommodation on campus in Irish Universities, unlike the hall-based system we have in the UK. This means that most students will rent privately, but often this is cheaper than halls of residence.

Ireland Medical School Accommodation

First, you need to decide whether you want to live in university-managed accommodation, or with a private landlord. Choosing university-managed accommodation can also give you a catered or self-catered option. Catered accommodation offers the benefits of your meals being cooked for you and a degree of certainty with meal cost.

If you have an idea about what you prefer, the accommodation office at your university will be able to tell you what accommodation they have available, so that’s the place to start. If you are thinking of renting from a private landlord or if your chosen university can’t offer you anything on its own residential premises, the accommodation office should be able to provide you with a list of private properties and landlords in the area.

Wherever you choose to live, you should make sure that you know your contractual rights and responsibilities. In most cases, you will be asked to enter into a tenancy agreement, which you should read thoroughly before you sign.

Ireland Medical School Requirements & Information - theMSAG

Weather: Ireland’s climate is heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, so the warm ocean currents keep temperatures mild. In the spring and summer (May to July) the average temperature is between 64°F and 68°F (17°C and 20°C). During the autumn season (August to October), the temperature varies from 57°F and 64°F (13°C and 17°C), with September being a mild month with sunny and warm atmosphere. In winters (November to March beginning), the temperature reaches 46°F (7.78°C) with January and February as the coldest months. Apart from a few cold weeks, snow is scarce in Ireland.

Orientation
Orientation week is mandatory for international students so ensure that you arrive before it starts. This is the time where you will be introduced to the university and its services, as well as enroll in your classes. It is essential that you read your guidebook, which is provided by the college. The guide explains each part of the admission process.

Activities
Along with sports, colleges offer extracurricular activities offering students a wide range of experiences. Music, drama, science, and literary societies are offered in all colleges, and there will be opportunities for outdoor education and other leisure activities. Visits to theatres and concerts, to places relevant to the courses of study such as art galleries and museums, religious centers, or historical sites, scientific companies and projects are all part of college life.

Admission Process

ireland university requirements for international students

Requirements

For each course, a minimum academic score of 60% and above in Standard XII is required. Foundations and Diploma programmes are available for students who have secured around 50%. The student should have completed 18 years of age before joining a degree program. It is important to remember that even though entry requirement is lower at Irish universities, the education standard is not. Hence, you should carefully enhance your ability to cope with the high standard of education through the course of next few years beforehand.

Ireland medical school admission requirements for international students - College  Learners

The documents to be submitted are:

  • Academic Transcripts: Mark Sheets of Standard X, XII, and the bachelor’s degree (if applicable)
  • Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • If you have work experience then two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional abilities
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Academic Resume
  • Portfolio (in case of students applying for art and design courses or architecture programs)
  • Others (Certificates/achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities)
  • Proof of funds
  • Health insurance
  • A copy of your passport

Photocopies of these documents should be translated in English and certified by the educational institution or by notary.

Admission Process: For undergraduate courses, the Irish universities accept applications through Central Applications Office (CAO) an online enrolment system.

You will have to create an account on the CAO website to provide your basic information, submit the scanned version of your documents, a score of TOEFL/IELTS and pay application fees. You will be informed about the application process and its stages through this account.

Application Fee: All colleges require you to pay the application fee while applying, the amount of which may differ depending upon the college and course being applied to, so check with individual colleges about their application fee.

Steps: The common steps to applying for admission are as follows:

  • Search for colleges and courses
  • Contact schools and visit websites for information
  • Narrow down your list of schools
  • Take the language exams like TOEFL or IELTS
  • Write Statement of Purpose, and ask for Letters of Recommendation
  • Register at Central Applications Office
  • Apply to the colleges which fit your interests
  • Appear for video interviews of the colleges that shortlisted you (if applicable)
  • If accepted, apply for Study Visa
  • Statement of Purpose: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your introduction to the college and admission officers. It is always written in the first person and describes the reason for applying to a particular college. It needs to highlight why you are a perfect fit for the college and why the college should accept you. The style of writing could differ from formal to casual, but it is important to remember that it should reflect your personality as well.

Essay: College essays are also required to be submitted by a prospective student. Essays are an important part of the university admissions process. Students may be required to write one or two essays, along with a few optional essays too. Common topics include career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, skills, experiences, and reasons for considering a particular school.

LOR: A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a reference letter written by a third party describing the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the prospective student to recommend him to the college in terms of that individual’s ability to perform a particular task or function. The third-party could be a professor, direct manager etc.

Intake Seasons
Irish universities have one major enrolment season, which is the autumn intake in September. Some universities admit students for January sessions as well.

Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students
Undergraduate courses: 9,850 – 55,000 EUR/year
Postgraduate Master’s and PhD courses: 9,950 – 35,000 EUR/year
All international students (both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA citizens) have to pay a student contribution fee of maximum 3,000 EUR/year for student services, like examination entries and support for clubs and societies. The fee varies from one university to another, and it can change every year.

medical schools in ireland for international students Postgraduate Application

Applying to study in Ireland could not be easier for postgraduate students – wherever you are from.  Whether you are an EU or a non-EU postgraduate student, all you have to do is apply directly to the international office in your preferred higher education institute.

However, some higher education institutes will ask you to apply through the Postgraduate Applications Centre. Don’t panic.  This sounds more difficult than it actually is and their website has clear guidance on just what to do.

medical school requirements ireland

English Language Requirements

If you have difficulty reading this, then maybe you should rethink your choice of course.

All postgraduate courses are given in English and students applying for degree courses must be able to speak, read and write the language fluently in order to take part in tutorials, seminar discussions and examinations.

If your native language is not English or your undergraduate education was not in English, then you will have to pass an approved test before registering for any course.

ExaminationLevel Required
Irish Leaving Certificate in EnglishOrdinary level grade D
GCSE English LanguageGrade C
GCE O-Level English LanguageGrade C
University of CambridgePass in Use of English Examination
TOEFL220 (computer-based test) 550 (paper-based test)
IELTSComposite score of 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in any one component
Cambridge ProficiencyGrade C
Cambridge AdvancedGrade C
ARELS oral examinationsPass
ETAPPGrade C1
PTE AcademicMinimum score of 63

Please note that test scores are only valid for 2 years.

Medicine: GAMSAT

If you are interested in applying for graduate entry medicine, you will need to do the GAMSAT examination. GAMSAT is a specific test developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for medical schools offering graduate-entry programmes. GAMSAT is required by all EU graduates applying for the 4 Year Graduate Entry Medicine Programme (GEP).

Medical Students’ opinions

Irish medical students point to the strong community feel and friendliness among staff and students as the best features of studying in Ireland. All students have good relationships with their peers, the opportunity and time to socialise within their year group, and the knowledge that all their tutors are ready and willing to help them whenever they need it. This means that Irish medical schools provide a great working environment, and student wellbeing is reportedly very high. Others say that the abundant Irish natural beauty and cultural heritage is the best part of their student experience. 

Of course, there are always some downsides to every medical school. Some students feel that the PBL-based approach to medicine fails to provide adequate levels of biomedical knowledge, others say that there are only limited facilities available for student use on campus, or that the relatively small city size is a drawback in terms of extra-curricular activities. Overall though, students report a high level of satisfaction with their medical schools, and all the medical students interviewed by our team recommend their medical school for prospective applicants.

Ireland Medical School Tuition International Students

The good news is that your tuition fees will be paid to your university by Ireland’s Higher Education Authority. This Free Fees Initiative includes all students who have been living in the EU for three years, are studying at undergraduate level for the first time and are studying a full-time course for a minimum of two years.

However, most universities will ask you to pay a yearly Student Contribution Fee  – this will vary from course to course, so make sure you check this on the school’s website, but the fee will be a maximum of €3,000.

In Ireland, the Student Grant is the main source of financial aid – you can check your eligibility for this here. If you’re applying for this grant, you must also indicate this on your CAO form – and CAO will then send your identification details to the grant authority, Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). While these details will be sent by CAO, don’t forget that you’ll still need to register with SUSI and fill in an online application form to apply for this grant to help with your studies.

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