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

Academic Information

Overview of Academic Programmes at RCSI


RCSI runs four, five and six-year medical programmes. The five & six-year programmes are primarily for school-leavers and the four year Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) is for those who already hold a degree in another subject.

  • Six year programme - Foundation Year (FY)

  • Five year programme - Junior Cycle (JC)

  • Four year programme (Medicine) - GEP

    Medicine Programme Overview

    Curriculum Structure

    The curriculum is divided into cycles:

    • Foundation Year (FY)
    • Junior Cycle (JC)
    • Intermediate Cycle (IC)
    • Senior Cycle (SC)

    The Graduate Entry Programme condenses the three years and six semesters of the five / six year Junior & Intermediate Cycles into two years and four semesters (GEPJC1/2 & GEPIC1/2). Each cycle is taught over one, two or three semesters with the Senior Cycle being delivered over two years, Senior Cycle 1 (SC1) and Senior Cycle 2 (SC2).




    The programme comprises a total of eight semesters over the four-year programme, delivered as two semesters annually.

  • Junior Cycle

    This comprises the first year and takes the form of two semesters. A foundation semester introduces the student to pharmacy, to the College and to the course and includes basic studies in pharmaceutical sciences and practice.

    This is followed by a further semester studying basic pharmaceutical studies and pharmacy practice.   

  • Intermediate Cycle

    This extends over two years (four semesters). In the first year, core pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice are studied.

    In the second year core sciences are also studied, but there is an increasing emphasis on studies related to the practice of pharmacy and to clinical studies.

  • Senior Cycle

    This comprises the final year of the programme. The emphasis is on personal development, development of critical and investigative skills and preparation for practice.




    The Physiotherapy programme is delivered over two semesters in each academic year.

  • Foundation Year

    Students entering the four-year course will complete Foundation Year. This year provides a solid foundation in the basic sciences (Human Biology; General & Medicinal Chemistry; and Medical Physics) and introduces the student to the use of information technology in the health sciences through a Medical Informatics module.

  • First Year

    During this year the basic and social sciences fundamental to the study of physiotherapy are developed. In addition, the theory and practice of basic core physiotherapy skills are introduced, utilising a problem-solving approach.

    Physiotherapy skills are studied in parallel to the core sciences facilitating integrated learning.

    A three-week clinical placement is undertaken at the end of this year.

  • Second Year

    In this year the knowledge and skills of physiotherapeutic practice are further consolidated. The focus is on the application and analysis of problems and their effects in key pathological areas.

  • Final Year

    This year focuses on the integration of knowledge and understanding into reflective clinical practice. Modules cover more specialised areas of physiotherapy practice.