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Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


For over 200 years, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) has played a major role in medical education and training in Ireland. Founded in 1784 to train surgeons, today the College provides extensive education and training in the healthcare professions at undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Image of the Royal College of Surgeons in  Ireland

More than 60 countries are represented on RCSI’s international student body. The College has a strong international presence with Schools in Malaysia, Dubai and a University in Bahrain. The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is independent, international and progressive.

Royal College of Surgeons - Today

Undergraduate Education

The medical school in RCSI is one of the world’s leading international medical schools and is the largest medical school in Ireland.  The College also provides undergraduate courses in pharmacy, physiotherapy and nursing.

RCSI delivers postgraduate training and education through its Faculties of Radiology, Dentistry, Sports & Exercise Medicine, the School of Postgraduate Studies, the Institute of Leadership and the National Surgical Training Centre.

The RCSI Research Institute is one of Ireland’s foremost research centres.  RCSI is committed to performing high levels of research activity, to commercialising intellectual property arising from its research, and to develop collaborative links with industry, educational and research institutions both nationally and internationally.

Academic programmes


RCSI offer a 4, 5 and 6-year medical programme. Graduates are awarded M.B., B.Ch., BAO degree in addition to the degrees of the National University of Ireland and the Licentiates of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Image of RCSI students in Ireland

The ethos of the Medical School is founded on the principle that the patient's interest is paramount in clinical teaching, medical practice and research. The curriculum is designed to give the student a sound knowledge of the principles of both the science and the art of medicine.

The BSc. Physiotherapy degree is a 4-year programme for people who want to practice physiotherapy.  The aim of the School of Physiotherapy is to educate professionally safe, competent, reflective and analytical physiotherapists who possess a sound scientific knowledge base, an understanding of the value of research and analysis, are responsive to the needs of clients and carers and are aware of the dynamic diversity of healthcare environments in which they practice.

The BSc Pharmacy is a 4 year programme with the option to complete an additional 5th year leading to an MPharm award. This qualification is international, portable and will allow graduates to apply to register as a pharmacist both in European Union Countries and internationally.  The programme is exciting, dynamic and innovative. Novel teaching methodologies are employed to drive learning. Class sizes are small with up to 30% of the class comprising of graduates and international students, which offers a unique flavour and global perspective.


Opportunities exist to carry out the following higher degrees by research:

  • Structured PhD* in Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Human Disease
  • Structured PhD* in Health Services Research
  • Standard PhD
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Master of Surgery (MCh)
  • Master of Science (MSc)

(*A structured PhD involves relevant taught modules and laboratory rotations or placements in year 1, followed by 3 years full time research accompanied by an overseas academic or industrial placement and professional development workshops).

Opportunities also exist to carry out Taught Masters Programmes in: Surgery; Healthcare Ethics & law; Bereavement Studies; Human Factors & Patient Safety; Industrial Pharmaceutical Science; Neurology & Gerontology; Leadership; Nursing.


RCSI is a health sciences education and research institution. With strong links to acute hospitals and campuses in 3 locations (Ireland, Bahrain and Malaysia), RCSI is uniquely placed to develop and enhance research for the benefit of patients and to improve the health of global communities.

RCSI is focused on improving human health through translational research. The core research areas include; Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Respiratory Diseases, Infection and Immunity Related Diseases, Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases, Gynecology, Obstetrics and Perinatal Health, Medicinal Chemistry, Bioengineering, Surgical Devices, Health Services Research and Nursing.   


Foundation Courses

Medical, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy Commencement Programmes are offered with our partner academic institution, the Institute of Technology Tralee. These programmes are designed for students whose first language is not English and who have demonstrated a strong academic performance in their home country.


Student Support Services

The Student Services Office plays an important part in the educational experience of RCSI students. RCSI are committed to enhancing the student experience by offering a range of services in addition to supporting social and sporting activities. The Student Services Office manages all non-academic support services, including Access & Disability, Accommodation, Orientation, Counseling, Chaplaincy, and much more besides.