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

Frequently asked questions

1.What do students say about the programme?

The teaching/learning approach includes:

  • "I really enjoyed the course especially the sessions where we could discuss the subjects in detail and ask our questions."
  • "Everybody I worked with in RCSI was very nice and informative."
  • "This was a great week and provided me with lots of priceless information."
  • "I would definitely recommend this placement to others because it's interesting and you see expensive machines that do some amazing things!"
  • "Thanks a million, I had a great week."

2. What do the supervisors say about the programme?

Sample comments from supervisors:

  • "I was really impressed by the questions the students asked."
  • "It was clear that they were very interested in what we were doing."
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed teaching these students."
  • "I would take any of these students on as PhD students in a few years' time!"

3. What is this programme about?

This programme is specifically designed to encourage post-primary students to consider careers in medicine. Because there is a lot of organisation involved in setting up the programme and there are so many supervisors involved, it is not possible to arrange this work experience programme outside the dates set for it.

4. Can I choose which week to go on the programme?

No. The programme is run once per year at a time that suits the RCSI and Beaumont Hospital teaching scheduled. Due to the large number of teaching staff involved in the programme and the administrative tasks involved, it is not possible to offer alternative dates for the programme.

5. Will I get paid?

No. The programme is work experience and not a job.


6. I'm not sure yet if I want to do medicine for my Leaving Cert or at university; is there any point in my doing this programme?

Yes, as long as you like science/medicine! It's usually a good idea to try something first before deciding if it's really what you want to do. You might discover that you do want to do medicine after this work experience and it would have been a shame to miss the chance to try it out. You might find that it's not what you want to do after all but at least you would know this based on experience rather than an idea of what you think it would be like.

7. Will I be working on my own?

No. All students follow a similar programme through the week so for the most part, you will be a group of 180 students. For some of the practical classes you will be in smaller groups ranging from 15 to 25 or 30.

8. What if I don't understand what people are telling me about their work?

Ask them to explain what they mean in a different way. Very often, teachers forget what it's like to know a lot less about their subject than they do now! Supervisors encourage students to ask questions to make sure they understand. Remember, they are often teachers or teachers-in-training so it is good experience for them to make sure other people understand their work!

9. Will my teacher visit me on work experience?

Teachers are welcome to visit students from their school while they are on work experience. They should contact to arrange a visit.

10. Can I attend the work experience even if my school has different dates for work experience?

Ask your school. Some schools are flexible about dates and when they hear that one of their students has been offered a place on the programme, they give them permission to attend even when the dates they set for work experience are different.

11. Can my friend who goes to the same school come on work experience with me?

Places on the programme are very limited and we leave it to the schools to make the selection of which students will attend the programme.

12. Has anyone ever been removed from the programme?

No, but we do reserve the right to remove students from the programme and this is not a decision that we would take lightly. Examples of reasons to remove students from the programme might be if a student breached health and safety rules and put themselves and/or others in danger or if a student was persistently disruptive. If a student is removed from the programme, we would not accept any more applications from students at that school in the future.

13. Are there any other reasons why students from a particular school would not be allowed to apply to the programme?

Yes. We may make a decision based on other information such as how the student handled their interactions with staff at RCSI and their behaviour while they were at RCSI and Beaumont Hospital.