Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

The ethos of the Medical School is founded on the principle that the patient's interest is paramount in clinical teaching, medical practice and research.The curriculum is designed to give the student a sound knowledge of the principles of both the science and the art of medicine.

Graduate Entry Medicine

Course outline

The RCSI Graduate Entry Medicine Programme (GEM) started in 2006 and was the first of its kind in Ireland. The course duration is four years, with the first two years spent in an accelerated programme in dedicated facilities. After Year 2 GEM students merge with their colleagues in the 5 year Medical School programme for their final two years. There is an emphasis on small group teaching and early clinical exposure. Class size is approximately 60 with equal numbers of EU/Irish and non-EU (mainly North American) students.

Programme of study

The RCSI Graduate Entry Programme uses an integrated, modular, outcomes based curriculum. The programme consists of 3 Cycles; Junior Cycle (Year 1), Intermediate Cycle (Year 2) and Senior Cycle (Years 3 & 4). The modules that make up each of these Cycles can be viewed on the RCSI GEM website.

How you will be taught

Years 1 & 2

The first year of the programme is based in the GEM dedicated teaching facility; RCSI Sandyford, which is a state of the art building equipped with a lecture theatre, small group teaching rooms, full AV facilities (including video conferencing and wireless internet access) and kitchen facilities. Anatomy dissection and some other GEM activities take place in RCSI Saint Stephens Green, which is a 15 minute door-to-door LUAS (tram) journey. GEM students are provided with a laptop computer which allows the seamless delivery and access to the Medical School course content, some examination assessment is delivered through the College’s Virtual Learning Management System, ‘Moodle’. The core curriculum is presented in modules based around the systems of the body with weekly case studies illustrating the application of clinical medicine. Additional modules in each semester are part of longitudinal themes such as Population and International Health. Teaching & learning methodologies include lectures, small group tutorials, anatomy dissection practicals, clinical competencies and self-directed learning. Personal and professional development is an integral part of the curriculum and is supplemented by well defined learning outcomes. There is an emphasis on early clinical exposure with weekly hospital attachments in semester 2 and an intensive 4-week hospital attachment between years 1 & 2. Students also participate in surgical and medical Grand Rounds by video link with Beaumont Hospital.

Year 2 of the programme is based in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown in West Dublin. Connolly Hospital is one of three hospitals providing acute medical and surgical services to North Dublin. It has a catchment population of 290,000 and receives in excess of 7,000 acute admissions annually. The hospital has a busy Emergency Room, intensive care and coronary care units in addition to acute medicine and surgery units and as the hospital has recently undergone a substantial development, the facilities in all of these units are state of the art. GEM students have access to new purpose built facilities very similar to those in year 1. Core material is delivered using co-ordinated, systems-based modules with emphasis on case-based teaching. Teaching of Clinical Competencies is linked to the systems-based format of the core material and include clinical skills tutorials, clinical observation sessions, ward tutorials and practical skills sessions. Each Semester is followed by a 4-week intensive clinical attachment during which the students function as active members of hospital teams.

Years 3 & 4

RCSI GEM students undertake years 3 & 4 (Senior Cycle) with their colleagues from the undergraduate entry programmes. Most of the activities in the Senior Cycle involve rotations and attachments in RCSI Teaching Hospitals and other institutions. Disciplines covered currently include: Medicine and Surgery, Medicine and Surgery of Childhood, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neonatal medicine, Psychiatry, Family Practice, Ophthalmology, Oto-rhino-laryngology.

Methods of assessment

Continuous Assessment includes monthly online MCQs, clinical case group submissions, anatomy dissection room card signings and individual and group project work. Summative assessment occurs at the end of each semester. Assessments are modular and integrated comprising of MCQ and short note papers. Clinical Competencies are assessed by OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Exams) and TOSCEs (Team OSCEs).

Entry requirements

* EU Entry Requirements:
Graduate applicants must hold or expect to hold on year of admission, a minimum second class honours grade one (2H1) result in their first honours bachelor degree (NFQ level 8), a competitive   GAMSAT score and apply online to CAO ( before February 1st 2016.

* Non-EU Entry Requirements:
See RCSI website


EU: See RCSI website

Non-EU: See RCSI website

Application process

* EU Application Process: See RCSI website

* Non-EU Application Process: See RCSI website


Tuition fees for EU students are subsidised by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). As a guide RCSI GEM fees for 2017 entry were €16,940 per annum. Tuition fees for non-EU students were €54,635 per annum.

Bank of Ireland, St Stephens Green Branch, Dublin 2 is the official banking provider for RCSI GEM  offering student loans to EU GEM entrants residing in Ireland. Loans are a matter between the student and the lending institution only. RCSI has no role in loan agreements between the bank and GEM students.

Contact details:

For further details please consult the RCSI Graduate Entry Programme website or call the RCSI GEM office on 01 4028671. Tours of the teaching facilities and RCSI are welcome by appointment.