9 Best Medical Schools in Ireland-Tuition & Programs

The Medical Schools in Ireland are known for their world-class medical training. Those who graduate from Irish medical schools consistently secure residencies in top-tier residency programs throughout North America.

The beautiful thing about the medical schools in Ireland is that students can apply to all six Irish medical schools with one common application and even one set of supporting documents. That includes transcripts and letters of reference.

The medical schools in Ireland range from four to six years in length. Students can apply from High School, with one or more years of university or as a College Graduate (or soon-to-be graduate).

This simply means that students at all stages of their academic careers can apply to a program that is suitable for their academic background.

When you submit an Application Request you will receive specific application instructions outlining the programs to which you are eligible to apply as well as specific admissions requirements, deadlines, and other guidelines.

You can also review the Entry Requirements section below for further guidance on the programs where you are eligible to apply. Click to check eligibility.

The Range of Medical Programs in Ireland

  • Six-Year Medical Course
  • Five-Year Medical Course
  • Four-Year Medical Course

Six-Year Medical Course

The six-year medical course is designed for applicants who are entering directly from High School and who have taken biology, chemistry, and either physics or mathematics.

However, there are applicants who are currently attending College/University but will not have an undergraduate degree by the September entry.

If you are in this category, you may also be eligible for a 5-Year Program.

The Admissions Committees will determine the program to which you are most suited based on your academic background. It is important to note that this does not apply to RCSI-Bahrain.

For your six-year program, the following universities have programs for you:

  • RCSI – Bahrain
  • University College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences


Five-Year Medical Course

Students presenting AP Examinations may apply to the following 5 Year Programs. The specific requirements vary by school although Chemistry is a requirement in all the schools. If you have results from AP Examinations, consider the following universities:

  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Bahrain

Students who are presenting the IB Examinations: may apply to the following 5 Year Programs. There are specific requirements for each school, although Chemistry at Higher Level is required.

  • University College Cork*
  • University College Dublin*
  • National University of Ireland, Galway*
  • Trinity College Dublin*
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Bahrain

For the schools with *, applicants are required to undertake all six IB examinations in one examination session.

Students who are presenting One or More Years College/University may also apply to the following 5-year programs:

  • University College Cork
  • University College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

In addition, applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree before September Entry are eligible to apply to the 5-Year programs. (MCAT not required). Consider the following universities:

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • RCSI- Bahrain


Four-Year Medical Course

An undergraduate degree and MCAT are required. The MCAT must be written before May 1st of the year of entry and an undergraduate degree must be awarded before September entry. The following universities are the best options for you in that regard:

  • University College Cork*
  • University College Dublin**
  • The University of Limerick***
  • RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences***

*University College Cork:

The MCAT must be written within 3 years of the date of entry. For instance, test dates no earlier than August 2020 for 2023 entry.

**University College Dublin:

Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and minimum MCAT requirement of 503.

The MCAT must be written within 2 years of the date of entry. For instance, test dates no earlier than August 2021 for 2023 entry.

*** University of Limerick and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland:

The MCAT must have been written within three years.

For instance test dates no earlier than 2020 for 2023 entry. RCSI’s minimum MCAT requirement is 500.

Additionally, applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree before September Entry are eligible to apply to the 5-Year programs. (MCAT not required)

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • RCSI- Bahrain

Having talked about the medical programs in Ireland, it is important to note that there are about four medical schools that require an interview. They are:

  • University College Dublin 
  • University of Limerick
  • RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • RCSI – Bahrain

Usually, Interviews will be conducted online with the exception of the University of Limerick which conduct in-person interviews.

The List of Medical Schools in Ireland

  • RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • University of Limerick
  • RCSI – Bahrain

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences

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 support. 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 the University of Toronto.

The US first-round residency match rate for the RCSI Class of 2020 was 92%.

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.

For the academic year 2022/2023, annual tuition fees for all stages of RCSI Bahrain’s undergraduate medicine program are US$39,500 per annum (approx. BD 14,900) for Bahraini Nationals and $41,475 (approx. BD 15,595) for Non-Bahraini Nationals.

The fees include the provision of a personal computing device for each student. Visit their website.

Trinity College Dublin

The medical degree program at Trinity is five years in length. Over the first and second years, students study the structure and function of the human body in health and disease, analyze some of the ethical issues of medical practice and begin to acquire experience in clinical skills.

A research module, beginning in the second year, provides a sound understanding of the principles of research.

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. Know more about this college.

University College Dublin

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.

The UCD School of Medicine offers a 4-year Graduate Entry Program, a 5 Year 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 5 & 6-year programs are designed for candidates applying from high school, as well as candidates attending college/university who have not yet earned their undergraduate degree. Check out this page for details.

Graduate entry tuition: Tuition & fees :€ 55,140 Per Year. Visit to find out more.

University College Cork

The Medicine curriculum in UCC is rooted in the basic Medical Sciences of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, but also places emphasis on clinical instruction.

A distinctive feature is small-group, patient-centred teaching, in which students learn the skills of listening and communicating, history-taking and clinical examination.

The Medicine curriculum at UCC reflects current best practice in medical education and is under constant review and evaluation.

The curriculum is further enhanced by a wide range of student-selected modules, from research projects to humanities’ workshops (e.g. Art and Medicine, Creative Writing).

Research is a key element of Medicine at UCC, and all students complete a research project in their final year.

For their undergraduate medical course, their school of Medicine curriculum reflects current best practice in medical education and is under constant review and evaluation.

The curriculum is further enhanced by a wide range of student-selected modules, from research projects to humanities’ workshops (e.g. Art and Medicine, Creative Writing).

This is one of the medical schools in Ireland where research is a key element of Medicine, and all our students complete a research project in their final year.

Fees: EU State Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details. The duration for the undergraduate medical course is 5 years. Finf out more about their curriculum.

For their Graduate entery medicine, it is a four-year course in which the Biomedical Sciences are compressed into Year 1 and the first semester of Year 2, after which it overlaps significantly with Medicine MB, BCh, BAO (Hons).

Fees for graduate entry medicine: €14,580 + €130 capitation fee See Fees and Costs for full details.

National University of Ireland, Galway

There is a five and a six year medical degree program. Clinical contact with patients is introduced at an early stage, but in the initial years the emphasis is on the basic sciences (Human Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology) and cognitive sciences (Psychology, Behavioral Sciences, Medical Informatics, Ethics, Health Promotion) which together provide a basis for understanding modern healthcare delivery.

In the latter years of the program, the emphasis is on the acquisition of knowledge and skills of immediate relevance to professional practice.

Teaching in this phase includes Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Public Health, and the Principles and Practice of the major Clinical Disciplines.

Through bedside teaching, one-on-one mentor-ship, the clinical skills laboratory, and small group tutorials, students are guided to learn the following skills: taking a patient history, conducting an examination, selecting appropriate investigations, interpreting findings and formulating plans of patient care.

As they gain experience, they assume greater responsibility through rotations in affiliated hospitals and in community practices.

The School of Medicine at NUI Galway is one of three Schools at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

They have a tradition of excellence in teaching for over 175 years, and our undergraduate medicine programme is renowned across the world.

They have a wide and varied range of postgraduate programmes aimed, with clinical and non-clinical options. 

Their community is research focused and their impact and partnerships are truly global.

They connect and partner with community organisations, both locally, nationally and internationally.

This School has been awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award. 

Medicine (Surgery & Obstetrics) (EU) Tuition Fee: €7,408 (Foundation); €9,213 (First Med) 2022/23

Medicine(Surgery & Obstetrics) International(non-EU) Fee: €50,135 p.a. 2022/23. Discounts are available to students entering through recognised student recruitment agents.  Current student recruitment pathways include IUMC and Atlantic Bridge. Find out more.

University of Limerick

The University of Limerick, School of Medicine was built in conjunction with the Irish government to serve the medical needs of the growing population of Ireland.

The school’s inaugural medical class began in September 2007.

University of Limerick’s medical degree is four years in length.

The program is arranged entirely as a graduate-entry program, meaning that all admitted students already have an undergraduate degree prior to starting medical school.

The curriculum was designed using the best evidence-based practices for modern medical education and is built around Problem-Based Learning (PBL).

The first two years build the foundation of medical knowledge in areas such as physiology and anatomy through small group PBL clinical cases. Coursework is supplemented by interactive lectures and clinical skill development.

The third and fourth years continue training in the clinical setting.

Through supervised and mentored training in hospital and outpatient settings, students learn the hands-on medical understanding and decision making capacity needed for independent practice.

The clinical training is accompanied by concurrent modules in social, behavioral, ethical and legal aspects of medicine.

Upon graduation, the BM BS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degrees are awarded. Get more details about this School of medicine.

The Fees:

EU fees for 2021/22 are €15,458.

The first installment is paid prior to registration and details on payment methods will be sent out at Orientation time. 
The second installment is due the following January.

Non EU fees for 2021/22 are €51,846.

In addition to the course fee, all students are required to pay a Healthcare Screening cost of €290 in Year 1. 

This covers all immunizations and health screening across the four years of the program. Check this page for the up-to-date fees.

RCSI – Bahrain

Students at RCSI Bahrain enjoy a large state of the art complex which was completed in October 2008.

It incorporates a six-story building with modern tutorial rooms, lecture theaters, teaching and research laboratories, clinical simulation laboratories (CSL) and a cafeteria.

In 2012, a large library and learning resource center was opened. There is also a stand-alone sports hall.

While most of the undergraduates are from Bahrain and the Gulf region, currently there are students representing over 20 countries and in excess of over 30 nationalities engaged in healthcare related training at RCSI – Bahrain.

The majority of the academic staff is from Ireland. RCSI Bahrain offers both six-year and five-year medical degree programs.

The curriculum is the same as that delivered in RCSI Dublin and students sit the same examinations at the same time as their counterparts in Dublin.

They offer Six-Year medical degrees where the preclinical years cover the first two and a half years. The first year curriculum is divided into initial stand-alone modules followed by a series of integrated modules in physical, biological and chemical processes.

They also offer five-year medical degree where the first and second years comprise of an integrated course in the clinical application of basic science.

Upon successful completion of the medical degree course and examinations, graduates are awarded the degree MB BCh BAO from both the National University of Ireland (NUI) and RCSI Bahrain and in addition are made Licentiates of The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

For academic year 2022/2023, annual tuition fees for all stages of RCSI Bahrain’s undergraduate medicine programme are US$39,500 per annum (approx. BD 14,900) for Bahraini Nationals and $41,475 (approx. BD 15,595) for Non-Bahraini Nationals. The fees include the provision of a personal computer device for each student.

For information on scholarships provided for RCSI Bahrain applicants, please visit their scholarships page.

Northern Ireland

The following medical schools can be found in Nothern Ireland.

  • Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
  • Ulster University School of Medicine, Magee College, Derry

Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences’ medical degrees enables students to apply for provisional registration with the General Medical Council and on successful completion of Foundation Training to practice medicine in its various specialties.

Queen’s medical students are welcomed in all of the hospitals within the region and in over 150 general practices. Students comment on the ease of access to high quality clinical teaching.

Tuition Fees:

  • Northern Ireland (NI): £4,630
  • Republic of Ireland (ROI): £4,630
  • England, Scotland or Wales (GB): £9,250
  • EU Other: £32,800**
  • International: £32,800**

** The Northern Ireland Department of Health introduced a mandatory clinical placement levy for all new international medical students commencing study at the University from 2019/20 onwards.Find out more about fees.

Ulster University School of Medicine, Magee College, Derry

In response to the medical workforce shortage in Northern Ireland, Ulster University has established a new School of Medicine that will focus on providing much-needed additional doctors in Northern Ireland through its MBBS programme.

As Northern Ireland’s Civic University, they have served the health needs of our communities for 47 years.  

The School of Medicine at Magee will build on Ulster University’s excellent reputation in Health Sciences.

The School will develop a new generation of doctors for the 21st century who understand the needs of our communities and can deliver the care required. Find out more about this medical school.

You can explore their undergraduate medical courses, as well as their postgraduate medical courses. Also check out the fees and funding page.

Irish Medical Curricula

The programs in these medical schools are organized into two broad phases: preclinical and clinical years.

There is some variation in courses among the schools, but all the essential preclinical and clinical subjects are covered.

Instruction in preclinical years is through individual combinations of lectures, problem-based learning, evidence-based medicine and small-group seminars, tutorials, practicals, laboratories and computer-aided learning.

Early patient contact is integrated into the curriculum with more emphasis on problem-based learning which is very popular with students.

Residency Placements

Check out the residency placements.

Working in Ireland

NON-EU students registered in a full-time degree course for at least one academic year are permitted to work part-time, up to 20 hours per week during term time, and up to 40 hours per week during holidays.

Upon registration with the Garda National Immigration Bureau(GNIB) students receive their permission to stay in the country, which will contain a stamp reflecting this allowance.

Once in Ireland students should register with the student travel organization USIT, which provides employment related advice and informative public information sessions in their offices.

Cost of Living in Ireland

On average, students will spend approximately €18,000 (Euros) per year on living expenses (housing, food, supplies, transportation, books, etc.).  

Intending medical school students in Ireland should also consider that there may be additional costs associated with board exams and travel for interviews for residency positions.

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