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

NON-EU Medicine Graduate (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)
No of places: 52 Non 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.

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How to Apply

Please note: Non-EU applications for medicine starting in 2018 are now open.

1.Non EU Applicants residing in Canada and the United States of America

Application Process


Selection Process
Applicants will be selected for admission on the basis of open competition using the following criteria:

  • Academic eligibility, and
  • Confidential references, a personal statement and life experience (work life balance, extracurricular activities, relevant work/ voluntary experience).
Competitive candidates from within the North American pool are provided with the opportunity to attend for face to face interviews which are normally held in New York (last weekend February), Vancouver (last weekend February) and Toronto (beginning of March). Please see Related Links for guidance on "Preparing your Personal Statement" and "Preparing for an Admissions Interview".


2. All other Non EU Applicants

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Application Process

  • Applications must be made online directly to RCSI through the College website from 1st November to 1st February of each year.
  • There is a 75 euro application fee payable by credit card.
  • The following documents are required for selection and should be uploaded as part of the online application process:
    1. Certified copies of academic transcripts including English language transcripts (IELTS) if applicable
    2. Non-academic references
    3. Competitive MCAT or GAMSAT results
    4. Copy of passport showing name, nationality and date of birth
    5. A passport style photograph
  • Applicants are required to nominate an Academic Referee as part of the application process. The Admission Office will then contact the referee and request that they provide a ‘Confidential Academic Reference’. The full name, title, position and contact details of the referee is required as part of the online application. It is advisable therefore to inform the referee and seek his/her permission to nominate them as a referee. Please note that the contact details of the referee are required as part of the application and it is advisable to have these details available prior to commencing the application process


Selection process
Applications are reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee and applicants will be selected for admission on the basis of open competition using the following criteria:

  • Academic Eligibility, and
  • English language eligibility, and
  • Confidential references, a personal statement and life experience (work life balance, extracurricular activities, relevant work/ voluntary experience).
Competitive applicants are then selected from within the overall application pool and the most competitive cohort is offered the opportunity to undertake an interview. The interview normally takes place in late February/ early March. Please see "Related Links" for guidance on "Preparing your Personal Statement" and "Preparing for an Admissions Interview".




Course Overview

RCSI is Ireland’s largest medical school and one of the most international medical schools in the World. RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2017-2018). More than 65% of our student body is international, representing over 60 nationalities. Such cultural diversity makes it a dynamic learning environment leading to a world class medical education preparing graduates to be become leaders in healthcare, capable of practicing anywhere in the World.

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.

Physician delivered clinical teaching
With over 200 clinicians 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 16,000 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. RCSI has just opened its new teaching facility at the St. Stephen's Green site. The development is the largest redevelopment project in Dublin City Centre in recent years. The 120,000 sq. ft. houses 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 also includes a 540 seat auditorium, a library spanning three floors with 500 study spaces, a sports hall, gym and fitness suites.


The Medical Programme
The medical programme itself focuses on the principle that the patient is paramount. Clinical skills are an integral component of the programme from the very outset.

Clinical exposure in the earlier years takes the form of:


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 adjacent to the main College campus in St Stephen's Green. 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 70, 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 coordinated, 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


Years 3 & 4 (Senior Cycle 1 & 2)

The Senior Cycle is delivered over the final 2 years.
During the first year, students are attached on a rotational basis for 7 weeks to Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine and Surgery, Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Neonatal Paediatrics. During the final year, students are attached to Medicine and Surgery disciplines at local, national and international hospitals. 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.

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). These gives final year students the opportunity to function as a member of a clinical team in preparation for internship following graduation.


Senior Cycle Rotations
Medicine and Surgery
Medicine and Surgery of Childhood
Neonatal Medicine
Family Practice
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)




Why Study GEM 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. 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 physicians in a hospital setting and have contact with real hospital cases.
  4. Small class size
    A helping hand to support you on the journey to becoming a doctor
    Becoming an RCSI GEM student often represents a big change from previous studies and career paths that students may have undertaken before joining the programme.
    RCSI prides itself on providing exceptional support to students by providing small group tutorials and one to one assistance. Small GEM class sizes ensure that students have individual attention from tutors. The class of approximately 82 students, 30 Irish and 52 international works in groups of 12 students.
  5. Single focus on medicine and health sciences
    Ireland's largest medical school
    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 small class size in the Graduate Entry Medicine Programme lends itself well to inter-professional education with students in Pharmacy and Physiotherapy which have similar class sizes. 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.
  6. Setting standards in postgraduate medical training
    RCSI is responsible for overseeing surgical training and surgical practice in Ireland. RCSI also offers postgraduate training leading to fellowships in the Faculties of Dentistry, Radiology, Nursing and Midwifery; and Sports and Exercise Medicine.
  7. USMLE and Canadian Board Examination support
    RCSI understands the needs of our international students to return to their home countries to complete Residency placements. To ensure success, 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.
  8. International reputation
    Become part of a global community
    RCSI campuses reflect the truly international character of the College, both in terms of the diversity of its student body and in its geographical reach. RCSI has a long tradition of educating international students, alongside Irish and EU students with more than 60 nationalities represented in the College. In addition to the main campus in Dublin, RCSI has campuses in Bahrain, Dubai and two locations in Malaysia. As a result of this international student body, RCSI has a network of over 16,000 alumni around the world, giving RCSI graduates access to an international network of contacts. Graduates of medicine across all of RCSI's campuses complete rigorously evaluated programmes that allow for a common degree award of the National University of Ireland
  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 specialty in Ireland or overseas.
  10. RCSI was the first 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, 2005.




Student Testimonials


Having a brother already studying at RCSI, I thought I had a good idea on what lay in store for me at the college. However, I was genuinely surprised to discover that our class had diverse backgrounds ranging from physiology and physiotherapy to engineering, music and even film.

As we started to discover our own strengths and weaknesses, I realized that these varied backgrounds were an asset that allowed us to supplement and enrich each other’s learning. More importantly, the camaraderie that quickly developed between our classmates (both Irish and North American) helped me get accustomed to life at RCSI and medicine.

Aside from our classes, the college offered a great selection of clubs and societies. In my downtime I looked forward to either learning something new in journal club, or to simply relaxing and playing tag rugby or pick up soccer after a long day of studying. Aside from the great school environment, between semesters our classmates and I had the opportunity to travel both within Ireland and throughout Europe, experiencing different cultures and making memories with my peers that will last a lifetime.

Stephen Tsoukas' Student Testimonial

Stephen Tsoukas
Canada, GEM
(Class of 2016)

RCSI offered such a unique medical experience in more ways than I could have imagined. Early clinical exposure in combination with a thorough didactic GEM curriculum provided me with a well-rounded medical education and a solid foundation in clinical skills that will undoubtedly serve me well as a future practitioner.

As a medical student at RCSI, you have the opportunity to study and work alongside a culturally diverse group of physicians all across the country. From my classmates to the patient population and physicians at all training levels, RCSI is truly a cultural melting pot. In addition to the fantastic opportunity to explore every corner of the country, this has allowed me to develop a unique set of interpersonal skills essential for patient-centred healthcare internationally.

RCSI provides excellent support for their international students. During my final medical year, I was able to complete two of my four week rotations at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. This helped bridge my transition in training and provided a significant advantage in terms of developing connections with North American colleagues that is unparalleled.

While I have learned a lot about medicine and feel confident and well prepared for the journey ahead as a physician, I have come to love this country and all of the fantastic people I have had the pleasure of getting to know along the way. I am proud to call myself a future graduate from RCSI and I look forward to returning to Dublin, my home away from home.

Lindsay Cheskes's Student Testimonial

Lindsay Cheskes
Canada, 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.

GPAs have different scoring systems and can vary from one country to the next. As a consequence, RCSI does not specify a minimum cut off GPA score and all transcripts are individually reviewed to determine if the GPA is competitive for entry. Please note that if you have completed an undergraduate degree, you are only eligible to apply for the 4-year GEM programme (i.e. Degree holders cannot apply for a place on the 5 or 6-year undergraduate Medicine programme).

Candidates must also present EITHER a competitive Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) OR a Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) score.
Further information on each of these tests is available on the MCAT and GAMSAT websites. Please note that MCAT and GAMSAT results for students applying to Non EU GEM are valid for 5 years prior to the start of the programme.
As a guide, the minimum scores on which students were admitted in 2017 were MCAT: 501 (26) and GAMSAT: 58


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 the English language.

Applicants (whose first language is not English) must either meet the minimum English language matriculation requirement as outlined above or separately 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.




Course Fees


Non EU fees for the academic year 2018/19 are €55,500.
An additional one off payment on first year fee of €135 applies for registration with the National University of Ireland (NUI).






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".
  • 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. As a Non-EU student, will I get an internship in Ireland after graduation?

    Under EU law, Internship posts must be offered to suitably qualified EU Graduates ahead of Non EU Graduates. As part of Irish Government Policy, the Irish Medical Schools have been increasing the intake of Irish/EU students into the six Irish Medical Schools. As the number of EU graduates increase therefore, it will become increasingly difficult for Non EU Graduates to obtain Internships in Ireland. RCSI recommends that Non EU students come to Ireland in the expectation that they will return to their home country after graduation.
  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.
  3. What do I do if I am experiencing difficulties with my RCSI online application?

    Please ensure that you are not applying before or after the application period (1st November - 1st February or 1st July – 15th November if an Atlantic Bridge applicant). If you are experiencing difficulties please email the Admissions Office and indicate what the difficulty is.
  4. Can I have the application form sent to me by post?

    No, all applicants applying directly to RCSI (Non EU applicants and EU Graduate applicants for Physiotherapy and Pharmacy) must complete the RCSI online application.




Contact Us


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 2248


The Atlantic Bridge Program is responsible for compiling applications of students residing in Canada and the USA to all of the College's undergraduate programmes.
3419 Via Lido, Suite 629
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Tel: (949) 723 6318




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