The easiest, cheapest and most direct route into medicine in Ireland is the undergraduate route. This route requires you to sit HPAT. However, there are other options for studying medicine, which are outlined in this blog.
To study undergraduate medicine in Ireland, you need to both achieve high enough points in your Leaving Cert and perform well in HPAT. There are five colleges which offer undergraduate medicine – three in Dublin (Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), one in Cork (University College Cork) and one in Galway (National University of Ireland, Galway). Each university has particular subject requirements. Students must apply to the CAO for entry into undergraduate medicine.
To study graduate medicine, students need to achieve an award of 2.1 or higher in their first undergraduate degree (in any discipline) and also perform well in the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test). GAMSAT is a six hour test which takes place in March. It includes an essay writing component and predominantly science-based questions. One of the parts is similar to section 1 of HPAT. Graduate medicine is available at University College Dublin, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Cork and the University of Limerick. Students should apply via the CAO.
Fees to study graduate medicine are far higher than undergraduate medicine – with fees close to €17,000.
Studying in the UK/Northern Ireland
Most medical courses in the UK require students to sit an aptitude test, for example UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) or BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test). Applications for medicine in the UK and Northern Ireland must be submitted to UCAS.
Studying in Europe
It is also possible to study medicine in Europe in English. Courses often have lower entry requirements compared to Ireland, and similar or lower fees. Courses are usually recognised by the Irish Medical Council. Examples include studying medicine at Universita degli Studi di Milan (Italy), The University of Gronigen (The Netherlands), University of Oradea (Romania) and the University of Sofia (Bulgaria). More information can be found at www.eunicas.ie