Collaborative education

RCSI has been a leader in surgical, medical and health professions education since the 18th century. Since our foundation in 1784, our history is steeped in examples of international collaboration. It has played a significant role in our evolution. Today, we have over 28,000 alumnifrom 98 countries. It is often through our alumni that we leverage and build our international relationships and educational partnerships and exchanges.

We believe that international collaboration is fundamental to our mission: to educate, nurture and discover for the benefit of human health. We achieve this through building communities of interest, shaping innovation and teaching excellence within a global footprint. RCSI provides a truly international experience for staff and students, enriched through diversity, with connections across the globe.

RCSI is constantly seeking to build our international reputation in health professions educational excellence through nurturing and expanding our international education connections.

RCSI has a global footprint which reaches far beyond the doors of 123 St Stephens Green, Dublin. We deliver the same world class medicine curriculum across four campuses in three time zones between our campuses in Dublin, Bahrain and Malaysia.

Our Graduate School of Healthcare Management provides graduate education to health professionals in management and leadership in RCSI Dublin, Bahrain and Dubai.

RCSI Bahrain
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain, or RCSI Bahrain, is a constituent university of RCSI. RCSI Bahrain is also licenced by the Higher Education Council in the Kingdom of Bahrain as an independent private university, and like its counterpart in Dublin, is a not-for-profit health sciences institution focused on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide.

With a long-standing history of educating Bahraini students, RCSI was invited to set up its own campus on the island and the University officially opened its doors to a cohort of 28 medical students in 2004. Today, the purpose-built campus – which features a host of teaching spaces, laboratories, offices, a library, a restaurant, a dedicated student support centre and extensive sports and recreational facilities – is home to a student body of more than 1,300 across Schools of Medicine; Nursing and Midwifery and Postgraduate Studies and Research.

RCSI Malaysia
RCSI and UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) started its journey as Malaysia’s first accredited private medical institution in 1996. Then known as Penang Medical College (PMC), RUMC was initially formed to fulfil the need of having a medical institution in the northern region. It was established by two leading universities in Ireland – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD).

In 2018, we received the University status from the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) and we are now known as a Foreign University Branch Campus – one of the highest levels for a foreign-owned institution in Malaysia. RUMC remains as the only Irish Foreign Branch Campus in the region.

Extending RCSI's long-standing educational involvement with Malaysia, we established a medical programme in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Perdana University (PU) in 2011. 

Through this partnership we license and deliver a five-year Undergraduate Medicine programmme, which awards the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine (MB), Bachelor of Surgery (BCh) and Bachelor of the Art of Obstetrics (BAO) from the National University of Ireland, as well as the licentiate diploma of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and RCSI. These qualifications are recognised by the Malaysian and Irish regulatory bodies, and are held in high esteem in Europe and around the world.

The curriculum is delivered by a team of RCSI specialist academic leads, who liaise with RCSI colleagues in Dublin on a range of academic topics.

RCSI’s annual International Education Forum (IEF), inaugurated in 2012, brings our international educator community together, to discuss education-focused ideas, curriculum and assessment innovations and to share our successes and resolve challenges.

It is also an opportunity to facilitate faculty networking. Our colleagues from RCSI Bahrain, PU-RCSI and RUMC value this event as they continue to learn from each other’s perspectives and expertise, as one RCSI.

RCSI students have access to attend a wide variety of public, private and specialist teaching hospitals and clinical sites, to refine clinical and professional skills. For this reason, RCSI has clinical training sites across the island of Ireland.

Find out more about our teaching hospitals and clinical sites here.

Each year we welcome international students to our Dublin Campus and conversely we have many diverse opportunities for students to travel abroad and expand their horizons.

Outgoing clinical and research electives
RCSI senior cycle medical students can undertake clinical and research electives and student selected components in key international hospitals and medical centres.

Incoming visiting electives
RCSI welcomes incoming medical students on our elective programme from collaborative partner institutions and locations all over the world to do clinical electives in our affiliated hospitals. Find out more here.

RCSI participates in the Erasums+ programme, sending and receiving students from Europe, Russia and China to our campus in Dublin. RCSI wishes to grow its participation in Erasmus in line with the new Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027, which will see the growth in student and staff mobilities, aimed at strengthening cultural diversity and experiential learning. 

International summer schools
RCSI has two international summer schools - RCSI Transatlantic Summer School (TASS) and RCSI Research Summer School (RSS) each providing Undergraduate students either internationally or across all campuses (Dublin, Bahrain and Malaysia) with the opportunity to become involved in research projects during the summer months. Find out more here.

Find a full list of opportunities, please visit our Student opportunities page.

Joint degree in Pharmacy
The International Clinical Pharmacy programme with Soochow University, Suzhou in China offers students an opportunity to gain an understanding of the complexity of healthcare on two different sides of the world. Find out more on our International Clinical Pharmacy page.

Soochow joint PhD programme
Since 2020, RCSI and Soochow University have developed a joint PhD programme in Nanomedicine, Cancer and Neuroscience. Each year, five PhD scholars join the programme and spend their first year at RCSI Dublin, the subsequent two years at Soochow University in Suzhou before returning for their final year at RCSI. Additionally, RCSI and Soochow University exchange scholars, fellows and junior faculty under a China Scholarships Council programme.

International academics, clinicians, scientists, researchers or professionals interested in spending a sabbatical period in Ireland, are invited to consider the opportunities and resources available in RCSI. This is an excellent opportunity to welcome visiting specialists from around the world.

Our visiting academic schemes contribute to intellectual activity in RCSI, expand our opportunities for networking, build relationships internationally and have become a stimulus for further engagement such as joint research work, publications and reciprocal visits. RCSI provides opportunities for collaboration in a number of areas including Health Professions Education, research and teaching.

RCSI visiting academic positions are available to a limited number of esteemed interested peers in academic and professional roles each year. Exchanges can be facilitated through Erasmus+ or Fulbright.

RCSI is an active participant in the prestigious Fulbright programme, managed by the Fulbright Commission, which awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research or teach in the US and for Americans to do the same in Ireland.

The RCSI award includes opportunities for collaboration with interested staff on the delivery of lectures in various areas of Health Professions Education, research, teaching at Undergraduate or Postgraduate level, workshops in the scholar’s area of expertise and discussion and development of research protocols. Find out more about the Fulbright programme.

Surgical Fellow and Members
RCSI supports a community of over 9,600 surgical Fellows and Members, practising in 83 countries worldwide. Our Fellows and Members are global leaders in surgical practice and research and we are committed to supporting them professionally at every stage of their career, with strong educational, clinical and collegiate support. Our membership examination are run in centres in Bahrain, Malaysia and Dubai. Find out more information here.

RCSI Faculty of Dentistry
The RCSI Faculty of Dentistry with approximately 3,500 Members, Fellows and Affiliates has an extensive international presence, spanning 38 countries and five continents. The Faculty has long standing collaborative programmes with New York University, USA (OSOM programme) and Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar (Paediatric Dentistry programme).

The Faculty of Dentistry is also renowned for the examinations and assessments they run. The Faculty awards prestigious RCSI qualifications to successful candidates and maintain RCSI’s long term professional associations and with them.  Apart from conducting face to face examinations in Ajman UAE, Khartoum, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, New York, Malmo, Belfast, Dublin and Cork right up until lockdown.  The Faculty prides itself for delivering the hybrid mode of examinations currently being delivered, thereby maintaining and reinforcing our relevance and links to help to raise standards of training and practice in challenging circumstances. Find out more at the Faculty of Dentistry website.

RCSI Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery
The RCSI Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery supports nursing communities globally, leading the European Centre of Excellence for Research in Continuing Professional Development with collaborating partners from 20 countries and with over 1,200 nurses from 38 countries completing the RCSI FNM Aptitude Test for Overseas Nurses.

The RCSI Hospital Group Nursing Now Campaign is a global campaign aimed at changing policy to improve health globally by raising the profile and status of nursing, influencing policy making and supporting nurses to lead, learn and build a global movement to better address global health challenges. The Nursing Now Campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) with over 266 Nursing Now groups established across 89 countries. To find our more, visit our Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery page.

RCSI Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine
The RCSI Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine was founded in 2002, as a joint faculty between the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The Faculty has approximately 650 Fellows and Members, in Ireland and overseas, providing education and training in order to provide a specialist sports and exercise medicine service of the highest standard, including a specific curriculum and schedule of higher specialist training for doctors who wish to specialise in sports and exercise medicine. Our Faculty is committed to be the leader and prime reference in education, ethics and science for sports and exercise medicine: health and science promotion of physical activity and excellence in sport performance.

RCSI Faculty of Radiologists
Our Faculty of Radiologists has Fellows and Members all over the globe and organises continuous training courses at home and abroad, as well as organising meetings, symposia and lectures. The Faculty aims to advance the science, art and practice of radiology and its allied sciences, and to promote education, study and research in radiology.