Medicine - Doctor of Medicine - Research

Course details
Each unique Medical Doctorate (MD) project is carried out over a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years (full-time).

Within this time you will be guided through your research project with the support of your supervisors and the RCSI School of Postgraduate Studies.

Develop your skills as a researcher at RCSI
You will have a range of resources, research development opportunities and training at your disposal during your MD, including:
• Core and optional modules as part of our Professional Certificate in Research Practices. All MD scholars are expected to complete Research Ethics and Integrity (PC04) core module as part of their degree.

• Access to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework, which allows you to map your competencies, identify areas for improvement and develop transferable skills

• International placements – we have a competitive award for those without funding who can apply for three-month international secondment award (RCSI-funded).

• Dissemination of your research. The perfect starting point for this is our annual Research Day; apply for a poster or oral presentation and practice key presenting and communication skills.

• Dedicated write-up space in our Postgraduate Suite in our new Library.

Key milestones
Below is a timeline of a typical four-year MD programme.

1. Project proposal
With the help of your supervisors, you will submit a comprehensive project proposal when applying to RCSI. This will help you to form a solid plan and kick-start your research.

2. Research development
Participate in the four core modules (PC01 - PC04) on offer as part of the Professional Certificate in Research Practice during your studies.

3. Annual progress review
You submit an annual progress review at the end of your first year. Following each annual review, an oral presentation is conducted to assess your progression, by two independent staff members, who decide on your continued registration.

4. Submit your thesis
You will submit a thesis completion plan six months before your planned submission. Once your thesis is submitted – at any time in your third year of study – one external examiner and one internal examiner will assess your thesis. Submit corrections.

5. Graduation
If the thesis is deemed of sufficient quality, you will be conferring with an MD in your chosen field.

Entry requirements

To be considered eligible for the programme, you must:
• Hold the degree of MB/BAO/BCh or equivalent medical degree, plus a minimum of a one-year internship.

• Be eligible for full registration with the Irish Medical Council.

• Have an RCSI supervisor with whom you have agreed the topic of your thesis and the logistical details for your candidature (e.g. start date, location for initial research training etc.).

You will also need to supply a copy of an academic IELTS examination, or equivalent (for candidates whose first language is not English).

See link to Englis Language Requirements:

Application dates

How to apply
Only candidates who have already been recruited/accepted by a supervisor can begin the registration process here.

Available projects contact a researcher directly via their research area.

Pre-registration checklist
Before you can begin your registration, you must answer 'yes' to the following questions:

• Do you meet the entry requirements?

• Have you obtained confirmation of your funding source (or been offered a scholarship through a programme or from a supervisor)?

• Have you engaged with a supervisor who has agreed to supervise your project?

• Have you discussed and agreed your proposed research project with your supervisor (this is a key step in the registration process; poorly constructed proposals will delay your registration).

• All research PhD, MD, MSc, MCh programmes have an open rolling registration throughout the year. However, scholars are grouped into April [Nov-Apr] or October [May-Oct] registration groups for administrative purposes – which one are you registering for?

• If you are applying to a larger programme like SPHeRE or StAR, have you received your official acceptance letter and/or scholarship offer?

Documents required
Please ensure you have all required documentation (as listed below) completed and ready to upload.
• Completed project proposal form, available to download below.
Postgraduate Research - Project Proposal FormDOCX | 117.3 KB

• Passport-sized photograph (PNG/JPEG/TIFF)

• Evidence of qualifications (transcripts)

• Curriculum Vitae (recent)

• Evidence of competency in English

Please note:
o Please save all documents – except the photograph – as PDFs and only upload PDFs.

o All non-EU applicants will need a valid study visa before arriving in Ireland. It is your responsibility to organise your own visa from the INIS.

What happens next?
Once you have completed the registration process, your documents and transcripts are reviewed, along with your project proposal, by the RCSI Academic Review Committee.

Applications are sent for review by the committee on the first Wednesday of each month, and we aim to reply to all applicants within four weeks.

If you have a stipend set-up, we will provide you with a temporary (three-month) student card to get you started while you wait for the formal registration process to be completed.


Each unique Medical Doctorate (MD) project is carried out over a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years (full-time).

Delivery: Full and part-time.


EU applicants: €4,700 (per annum)

Non-EU applicants: €12,800 (per annum)

If you chose to complete the programme on a part-time basis – over a minimum of four years – the fees are as follows:

•EU applicants: €2,350 (per annum)
•Non-EU applicants: €6,400 (per annum)

Please note

•An additional NUI fee of €45 (per annum) applies for Years 1 to 3.

•Fees are subject to annual review and can increase by up to 4% per annum.

•It is your own responsibility to register each year. Failure to do so will lead to automatic disqualification from the degree programme.

Post Course Info

Your future
Your postgraduate degree at RCSI builds skills, expertise and specialist knowledge in your chosen field, in preparation for career pathways across many employment sectors including higher education, health, and industry and entrepreneurial roles.

Your degree will equip you with a transferable skill-set that is highly valued by employers particularly for problem-solving, critical reasoning, thinking in-depth along with the ability to project manage and evidence of a range of 'soft' skills, like communication and collaboration.

As a graduate of RCSI, you join a community of over 26,000 alumni worldwide.

With campuses located in Dublin, Dubai, Bahrain and Malaysia, some of the world's most exciting career opportunities are available to you and your network as a graduate of RCSI.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider