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What are the entry requirements for medicine?

For school leavers to be eligible to compete for entry into undergraduate medicine they need to meet the minimum subject entry requirements. Students must achieve the 480 points criterion in the same sitting of the Leaving Certificate exam.

Allocation of places for Medicine will be determined based on a combination of that Leaving Certificate Examination (LCE) score and the HPAT-Ireland score.

This is to strike an appropriate balance between the perceived pressures on students to achieve maximum grades in the Leaving Certificate Examination while at the same time recognising excellence when it has been achieved.

Before the scores are combined, Leaving Certificate Examination scores above 550 points will be adjusted to a maximum score of 565 points (see table below)


Maximum points available for entry into Medicine is

565    +   300     =    865

(LCE)  +   (HPAT)


Minimum entry points

Points for Medicine 2019-2023:

University 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
NUI Galway 726 728 737 736 729
Royal College of Surgeons 729 733 741 738 734
Trinity College Dublin 730 735 743 745 741
University College Cork 729 731 738 738 732
University College Dublin 736 737 743 743 736

The above table outlines the CAO points requirements for medicine courses in Ireland over the number of years.

Let us take a look at the CAO points that were required to gain entry into Medicine in 2023.



University       Entry points (2023)
NUI Galway  729
Royal College of Surgeons  734
Trinity College Dublin  741
University College Cork  732
University College Dublin  736


Whilst 480 is the minimum entry criterion outlined, students will realistically need to achieve much higher in their Leaving Cert to have a chance at securing a medicine course offer.

And this is why:

If you were to achieve a Leaving Certificate score of 480 + 25 Maths bonus points, it would give you a total of 505 points for your Leaving Certificate.  This would mean having to score 224 (729 minus 505) in the HPAT-Ireland to gain entry in to medicine in NUIG (lowest entry points) in 2023. While a HPAT-Ireland score of 224 is possible, it is unlikely.

The HPAT-Ireland is a very low scoring exam, where a score of 170+ would be regarded as a very strong HPAT-Ireland result. Just 20% of students that sat the HPAT-Ireland in 2023 scored 170 or higher. So, your aim should be to get into this top 20%.

Find out more about the HPAT exam and how to prepare here:

Find out more