Entry into university courses including medicine in Ireland is officiated by the CAO (Central Applications Office). Undergraduate level medicine in one of the medical schools in Ireland requires students to sit the HPAT exam
, the scores of which will be combined with their leaving certificate scores to make up the entry points for medicine in each prospective university.
Repeating the HPAT
Students can repeat the HPAT. If students feel that their leaving certificate scores are high enough they can attempt the HPAT again the following year. Remember however the HPAT results of any year are only applicable to that year and cannot be carried forward. Many students maximise their scores through preparation
Alternative Entry Routes to Medicine
1. Graduate Medicine
Applicants who have completed a Level 8 degree in another discipline by summer of the year of application can apply through the CAO for entry to graduate medicine. (Students are required to have a 2.1 result in a Level 8 bachelor's degree along with a competitive GAMSAT score).
How are applications assessed?
Places for this are issued through the CAO based on the GAMSAT Test Score.
The GAMSAT Test is slightly different to the HPAT and is offered once a year. It features 3 sections including: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, Written Communication and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences.
You will need to apply to sit the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test) test. The GAMSAT-Ireland test is held in March each year. GAMSAT results have a currency of two years.
Registration is by online enrolment and opens in early November preceding the test. Please consult the GAMSAT website
for further information.
2. Studying Medicine in UK & Northern Ireland
Applications for medicine in Britain and Northern Ireland must be submitted to UCAS (the UK's centralised colleges' admission service) Students will need to take a test for entry into most health degrees in the UK.
UKCAT - Twenty-five medical schools use the UKCAT (must be sat before UCAS application)
BMAT - Seven medical schools use the BMAT.
GAMSAT - This test is used for several Graduate Entry Medicine courses. Seven medical schools use the GAMSAT. (must be sat before UCAS application)
Source: Entry requirements for UK medical schools 2019 entry
3. Studying Medicine in Europe
Many medical Universities in Europe offer the opportunity to study medicine through English-taught programmes. These medicine degrees often have lower fees and entry requirements and are recognised by the Irish Medical Council. Medical and paramedical programmes are available to Irish students in countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. There are also several Italian universities that offer medical degree programmes through English. Many of Italy’s top universities including Milan, Pavia, and Sapienza in Rome offer degrees in medicine through English which are open to all EU students.
Searching European Courses
Start by finding out about different courses and colleges in Europe. You can get information about particular colleges in Europe by writing directly to the college to request a copy of their prospectus. If you do not have a specific course or institution in mind, there are a number of other sources of information available to help you: The European Commission Study in Europe
website has information about higher education institutions in 32 European countries. It has guides to: Choosing a course, making an application and living in Europe, as well as scholarship opportunities.
offers a support structure to Irish students applying to third-level colleges throughout Europe (excluding Hungary). It is the European Universities Central Application Support Service. and enables UK and Irish students to apply to up to eight degree programmes , taught through English, in universities across Europe. In addition to accessing comprehensive and independent information on programmes in Europe, you can register (for a very low fee of €28) and access: