Skip to main content

Routes to medicine Ireland


Medicine at undergraduate level is offered, via the CAO, in five colleges: Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), University College Cork (UCC) and NUI Galway. In order to progress into an undergraduate degree programme, students must meet the college entry requirements and sit the HPAT test. Students must register for the HPAT. Applicants need a CAO number to register for the HPAT. Mature students may also apply in this way.

Graduate medicine

Students who have already achieved a minimum 2.1 award in their first undergraduate degree in any discipline may apply for entry to graduate medicine. Graduate medicine is available at the RCSI, University of Limerick, UCC and UCD. Application is through the CAO. Offers are based on results achieved in the GAMSAT test. The GAMSAT is a little different from the HPAT in that it is not an aptitude test. It contains a section on scientific knowledge and students would benefit from preparation.

Recent research by the RCSI suggests that students whose primary degree is in a non-science-related field (such as arts) are performing no worse than their classmates from a science or engineering background.

UCAS (the UK’s centralised ­colleges’ admission service) Applications for medicine in Britain and Northern Ireland must be submitted to UCAS. Students will need to take a test for entry into most health degrees in the UK. This is likely to the UKCAT BMAT or HPAT UK.


There are many opportunities to study medicine through English in Europe. These courses often have lower entry requirements, lower fees, and are recognised by the Irish Medical Council. Courses include the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery course at Universita degli Studi di Milano and seven others in Italian universities.

The University of Groningen, and University of Maastricht in the Netherlands offer undergraduate degrees for €1,984 per year. While they do not qualify graduates to practice medicine, both institutions offer a follow-on master’s degree that qualifies graduates to practise anywhere in Europe. For more information on opportunities in Europe, see


Repeating the HPAT

Students have the opportunity to 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.

Prepare for Success

Developed by experts our HPAT preparation courses cover everything you need to become fully familiar with the HPAT exam. 

Skip to content