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Structured - MD

•Candidates must have an RCSI supervisor with whom they have agreed the topic for their thesis and the logistical details for their candidature, for example start date, location for initial research training and so on.

•Candidates pay fees each year until they submit their thesis and are allowed a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years from initial registration to complete their degree. Students who take more than four years full-time must re-apply for registration.

•All students submit annual written reports and present their work in an oral presentation and interview. Progress is reviewed by two staff members and an independent chairperson who decide on the continued registration of each student each year. Students can only progress to MD after a satisfactory progress assessment at the end of the probationary first year.

•Students have access to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework system to define their competencies, identify weaknesses and develop transferable skills.

•All MD candidates complete a written thesis on their project which is submitted to one external examiner and one internal examiner* for examination. Following the recommendation of the examiners, including successful completion of an oral (viva voce) examination at RCSI with an independent chair present, an MD may be awarded.
[*Members of academic staff require examination by two external examiners.]

Entry requirements

•In order to register for an MD at RCSI, candidates must have obtained the degrees of MB BCh BAO (eligible for full registration as a medical doctor with the Irish Medical Council), and must carry out research over a period of not less than two years full-time. For award of the degree, a period of at least three years must have elapsed from the time the candidate obtained the above degrees.

•English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language: a high standard of written and spoken English is required. IELTS or equivalent English language test scores (for both written and spoken English) are accepted e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge, etc. An IELTS score of 7.0 is desirable, but scores > 6.5 are acceptable


An MD requires candidates, who have already obtained MB BCh BAO degrees, to attend and carry out research under appropriate RCSI supervision for a minimum of two years full-time.

Enrolment and start dates

Applications to register are made through the School of Postgraduate Studies.

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