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

Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM)

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: RC101
NFQ Level: Level 8
No of places: 30 EU places
Start date: Each September
Course Length: 4 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


  • Candidates are deemed eligible on the basis of their degree (as outlined above in the entry requirements section) and places are issued through the CAO on the basis of the GAMSAT score
  • Applicants apply online through the CAO website from 1st November until 1st February of each year, using the course code RC101. There can be no extension to the CAO application dates for RC101, as Graduate Entry Medicine is a restricted entry course. 
  • Applicants must sit the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test). See the GAMSAT website for more details. The next GAMSAT-Ireland test takes place on Saturday, 25 March 2017. Please note that GAMSAT scores can be used for two consecutive years. For example, results from GAMSAT Ireland 2017 will be valid for application to Irish programmes commencing in 2017 and/or 2018, but not in 2019. Current scores from GAMSAT UK and GAMSAT Australia may also be used to apply to the Irish graduate-entry programmes. For details of which scores can be used for admission to a graduate-entry programme, please refer to the currency of results table.
  • There are no interviews for EU Graduate Entry Medicine. 



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. The medical course has a strong emphasis on small group teaching within the Curriculum. Small group teaching involves seminars with tutors in groups of ten and bedside teaching with students in groups of six. Simulation scenarios with the most modern simulators occur in groups of one tutor per three students in the senior clinical years. The programme provides continuous appraisal, mentoring and case presentations on an individual basis along with frequent reviews of your clinical progress with senior clinicians in the clinical years.

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 15,500 graduates who welcome RCSI 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 understands 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. As part of this, the College is currently developing an €80m teaching facility at its St. Stephen's Green site. The development is due for completion in 2017 and is the largest redevelopment project in Dublin City Centre in recent years. The 120,000 sq. ft. building will comprise 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 will also include a 540 seat auditorium, a library spanning three floors with 500 study spaces, a sports hall and fitness suites.

The Medical Programme
RCSI Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) is an accelerated four year medical degree programme for graduates of any discipline. From day one, the programme is career-focused with modules based on the systems of the human body, rather than traditional science subjects, and contact with patients in a hospital setting is introduced during the first year of the programme.
A strong clinical focus is facilitated through:

Year 1

  • Weekly small group tutorials on history taking and clinical investigations related to the case of the week 
  • Weekly hospital attachments in semester 2
  • Weekly clinical cases introduced and case discussion facilitated by clinicians
  • Participation in surgical and medical Grand Rounds by video conference link with Beaumont Hospital
  • One month intensive hospital attachment at the end of Year 1


Year 2

  • Two month-long clinical attachments on the wards at Connolly Hospital and the National Orthopaedic Hospital
  • Attendance at weekly hospital grand rounds
  • Community medicine teaching (bi-weekly)
  • Weekly clinical cases introduced and case discussion facilitated by clinicians, incorporating inter-professional teaching
  • Ward tutorials (history taking and examination of body system related to clinical case)
  • Regular attendance at post mortem examinations
  • Pre-hospital clinical experience in the acute (ambulance) setting


Years 3 & 4
In the final two years, students are based exclusively on clinical sites for rotations in medicine and surgery; primary care, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, anaesthesiology, ophthalmology and 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 (residency), which prepares students for the transition from medical student to life in clinical practice as a junior hospital doctor.

Location & Facilities
The programme uses a tailored curriculum delivered by dedicated GEM staff in dedicated teaching facilities.
Year 1 of the programme is primarily delivered in teaching facilities located near the main College campus in RCSI Sandyford. Clinical attachments during the year are delivered in dedicated RCSI teaching hospitals in Dublin.
Year 2 is entirely hospital based in the Connolly Hospital campus in Blanchardstown, Dublin West.


What You Will Study

The GEM programme is delivered over four years. The first two years are spent with a total class size of 72 (30 EU and 42 Non EU), in an accelerated programme. In the final two years, GEM students merge with the undergraduate medical class which provides access to a larger and more diverse peer group network.

Year 1 (GEM Junior Cycle)
The core curriculum is presented in modules based around the systems of the body with weekly case studies illustrating the application of clinical medicine. Teaching & learning methodologies include lectures, small group tutorials, anatomy dissection practicals, clinical competency training 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 and 2. Students also participate in surgical and medical Grand Rounds by video conference link with Beaumont Hospital. Continuous Assessment includes fortnightly MCQs, clinical case group submissions, anatomy dissection room card signings and individual and group project work. Summative assessment is modular and integrated comprising of MCQ and short written question papers. Clinical Competencies are assessed by OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Exams).

The first year comprises two x 18 week semesters in which the following modules are taught:

Junior Cycle Semester 1
Haemopoietic and Immune Systems
Molecular Medicine
Health, Behaviour and Society
Nutrition and Energy
Genitourinary System
Clinical Competencies
Junior Cycle Semester 2
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems
Population and International Health (PIH) & Evidence Based Health (EBH)
Clinical Competencies


Year 2 (GEM Intermediate Cycle)

Core material is delivered using co-ordinated, systems-based modules with an emphasis on case-based teaching. The emphasis is on pathology/microbiology and clinical medicine within each module. Teaching of Clinical Competencies is linked to the systems-based format of the core material and includes clinical skills tutorials, 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. Continuous assessment includes online MCQ exams for each module and weekly case uploads in small groups. Summative assessments include written and MCQ papers. Clinical activities are assessed by OSCEs.

The second year comprises two x 18 week semesters in which the following modules are taught:

Intermediate Cycle Semester 1
Clinical Competencies


Intermediate Cycle Semester 2
Central Nervous System/ Locomotor/Movement
Haematolymphoid/Tropical Medicine
Clinical Competencies


Year 3 (Senior Cycle 1)

Year 3 begins with an induction after which students will begin clinical rotations that are delivered throughout the full academic year. Each student will rotate through 7 rotations, each consisting of a 7 week placement which is a mixture of both clinical experience and didactic teaching. Students are allocated to hospitals such as Kilkenny, Mullingar, the Rotunda, Temple Street, Crumlin, Loughlinstown, Drogheda, Cavan, Navan, Enniskillen and University Hospital Waterford.

At the end of each rotation students will complete an end of rotation exam. Depending on the specialty, it can be a clinical or written exam or both. Students then complete an end of year exam in each specialty. The third year is structured into the following 7 week rotations:

Senior Cycle 1 Rotations
Clinical Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
General Practice
Paediatrics and Neonatology
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)


Year 4 (Senior Cycle 2)
In Year 4, students complete Medicine and Surgery rotations. Students also complete a 4 week Student Selected Clinical Attachment and a 4 week Sub Internship programme (these attachments can take place outside the RCSI-affiliated hospitals). Students also gain experience in Anaesthesia. Teaching is primarily conducted in RCSI Teaching Hospitals such as Beaumont, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, University Hospital Waterford and Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.
The fourth year is structured into the following rotations:

Senior Cycle 2 Rotations
Medicine and Surgery
Student Selected Clinical Attachment (4 weeks)
Sub Internship (4 weeks)



Why Study Medicine at RCSI

  1. First Graduate Entry Medical programme in Ireland, commenced in 2006. 
  2. First Graduate Entry Medical programme to achieve full accreditation by the Irish Medical Council, 2010.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 is currently investing €80m in a new Academic and Education building which will be located at St. Stephen's Green. Due to be completed in 2017, the facility will provide unparalleled medical teaching facilities including the largest dedicated clinical simulation facilities in these islands. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. International recognition
    RCSI graduates are recognised throughout the world and are eligible to practice in almost every country.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 speciality in Ireland or overseas.
  10. 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.
  11. Research opportunities
    Students are also provided with opportunities to participate in research through the RCSI Research Summer School
  12. Global Alumni Network
    Access to a network of over 15,500 Alumni practising throughout the World, leading to fantastic international elective opportunities.
  13. Location
    Dublin ranked as 3rd Friendliest City in the World (Condé Nast Traveller's Guide 2016) and RCSI's city centre location provides superb access to the heart of the City.



Student Testimonials


Since becoming a student at RCSI the most enjoyable aspect of the GEM course has been the diversity of nationalities and educational backgrounds of students I have met since starting. It has been a fantastic education in itself and it is definitely something that makes RCSI such a great place to study.

Regarding the course itself, the level of clinical experience we receive from an early stage has been invaluable and it is definitely something that is unique to the RCSI graduate programme, being assigned clinical attachments since our second semester of first year has been great in terms of developing as a prospective doctor. The course structure and quality of teaching provided in RCSI is super and I consider myself to be quite lucky to be studying in such a great environment. - Shane Carr

Shane Carr RCSI GEM testimonial

Shane Carr
Ireland, GEM
(Class of 2015)

When I was coming to the conclusion of my first degree, I was torn between two paths: Should I continue down the medicine route I always envisaged myself on or pursue the scientific route I found so enjoyable in the course of my studies. After much soul-searching I decided I would continue down the medical path but try to maintain my interest in research for as long as possible in my medical career. Choosing RCSI for GEM has really facilitated this. Along with a summer research project between the schools of anatomy and pharmacy I have been able to become involved with RCSIsmj as a staff writer allowing me to produce original research as well as continue to hone my scientific writing skills. Importantly I am also really enjoying the world class education I am receiving in clinical medicine from enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturers and tutors.

Beyond the scope of my studies I have also been fortunate enough to be able to pursue my other great passion: rugby. Despite coming from Co. Monaghan (not exactly a rugby heartland), I have been involved in intervarsity competitions between other third level institutions, hospital’s cup rugby against other Dublin medical schools and club rugby with RCSI RFC, the oldest sports club in the college. I almost haven’t had time to open a book in the two years since I have started! Despite the workload of medical school, the comradery and enjoyment of playing with current and future colleagues makes the late night’s studying to catch up worthwhile. The support I have received in both my studies and extracurricular activities in RCSI has been second to none and the decision to choose this College for my medical studies is one I think that was for the best.

Daniel O’Reilly RCSI GEM testimonial

Daniel O’Reilly
Ireland, Final Year GEM
(Class of 2017)



Entry requirements

The GEM programme is designed for students who hold (or expect to hold by July prior to entry) a competitive GPA or a minimum of an upper second class honours from an accredited undergraduate bachelor degree (equivalent to NFQ Level 8). A science background is not a prerequisite and academic excellence in the humanities or social sciences is recognized.

Candidates must also present a competitive Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) score.
Further information on this test is available on the GAMSAT website.
As a guide, the minimum GAMSAT score on which students were admitted to RCSI in 2016 was 58.


  • Candidates are deemed eligible on the basis of their degree as outlined above and places are issued through the CAO on the basis of the GAMSAT score
  • There are no interviews for EU Graduate Entry Medicine.  
  • GAMSAT results are valid for 2 years prior to the start of the programme you are applying for. 


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 English language.


Applicants (whose first language is not English) must meet the minimum English language matriculation requirement in the IELTS examination (academic stream) with an overall average score of 6.5 with no individual section lower than 6.0.

Note: All IELTS test results must be less than 2 years old at the time of admission.




Course fees

EU Fees

  • In 2016/17, the overall EU fee for Graduate Entry Medicine (including the EU Tuition Fee, student contribution charge etc.) is €16,940 per annum.
  • EU fees for the academic year 2017/18 are set by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and are not available at this time.


Bank of Ireland Graduate Entry Medicine Tuition Fees Loan

Please contact Bank of Ireland's Student Lending Advisors (details below) to arrange an appointment to discuss Graduate Medicine loan package details:

  • Loan amount up to €60,000. (subject to approval)
  • Maximum term 14 years (Four year moratorium and up to 10 years annuity thereafter). 
  • Variable rate loan with interest roll up for first four years (interest rate presently 6.5% apr. 
  • Drawdown four equal tranches of up to €15,000 paid direct to RCSI for tuition fees only. 
  • Guarantor required. 
  • Terms and conditions will apply. 
  • On a case by case basis at underwriter discretion. 

Please contact Bank of Ireland's Student Lending Advisors - Paul Lynch - direct number: (076) 623 1379 or Michelle Mannion - direct number: (076) 623 1357.

Allied Irish Bank (AIB) Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Loan and Specialist Faculty Loan

  • Please contact the AIB Lower Baggot Street branch (details below) to arrange an appointment to discuss their Personal Loans (up to €50,000 over five years) and Specialist Faculty Loans (€10,000 interest free for five years).
  • Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply.
  • Credit facilities are subject to repayment capacity and financial status, and are not available to persons under 18 years of age. Security may be required.
  • Please contact: Shufen Cai at (01) 661 0188 and see the AIB website for more information.




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
  • The RCSI Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) Open Days provide prospective graduate entrants with the opportunity to meet RCSI GEM staff and students and to get a taste for some of the innovative teaching and learning methods at RCSI. 
  • The format of the day is based around small group interactive sessions led by staff and students which mirror "a day in the life of a GEM student". 
  • The RCSI GEM Open Day took place on Saturday, 11 February 2017.  
  • 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. I am applying for the EU Graduate Entry Medicine Programme and do not have a 2.1 honours degree in my first degree. Can I add subsequent qualifications?

    Unfortunately it is not possible to add subsequent academic awards at this time. This policy undergoes review on an annual basis and may change at some future date. As of now however, candidates must have achieved a minimum 2.1 honours in a Level 8 Degree.

  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
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