Below is a list of FAQs to keep prospective undergraduate RCSI students up-to-date ahead of course commencements. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Final exam results

If your final high school exams have been cancelled, RCSI will accept official exam results by the relevant examining body, provided they are available in advance of RCSI’s registration date.

For example, the International Baccalaureate (IB) has confirmed that all IB Diploma examinations scheduled for May 2020 have been cancelled. Students will instead be awarded a diploma based on their coursework to date and the established assessment expertise, rigour and quality control already built into the IB Diploma programme.

The IB intends to release results to universities and schools as planned on 5 July 2020 and RCSI will accept these results for 2020 entry to our Undergraduate degree programmes.


If your end of university examinations move to a pass/fail grading system, RCSI will base a final decision on your full offer status, on a review of your actual grades, predicted grades and academic references submitted to date. You will also need to have passed all pass/fail graded modules.

If your final high school exam results are not available in advance of RCSI’s registration date, we will base a decision on your full offer status on a combination of your predicted grades plus actual grades to date.

If your final high school exams are due to take place after the RCSI registration date and you wish to sit these examinations, we would advise that you request a deferral of your RCSI place to 2021, as soon as you receive confirmation of these dates. Deferral requests based on COVID-19 restrictions, which are outside of the student’s control, will be dealt with by the Admissions Office on a case by case basis. COVID-19-related deferral requests will take priority over requests to defer for other reasons. Please note that RCSI does not offer deferrals to students who simply change their minds in advance of the registration date.

All GEM applicants must present either a competitive MCAT or GAMSAT score in order to be deemed eligible for a GEM offer. We would advise that you reapply for the MCAT as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and plan for 2021 entry to the GEM programme instead.

GEM applicants whose GAMSAT exam has been postponed to an online sitting in May 2020 are still eligible for consideration for 2020 entry to the GEM programme. GAMSAT results will be released in July 2020 and the most competitive applicants will be offered places based on their GAMSAT scores.

At the moment, we advise all Indian nationals who wish to study medicine at RCSI and practice back in India after graduation to sit the NEET exam and secure their certificate of eligibility in advance of commencing the RCSI medicine programme. The NEET exam was originally due to take place on 3 May 2020 and has recently been postponed to the 26 July 2020.

We will continue to monitor news updates on the NEET exam dates for 2020 entry to medical school.

Temporary measures for 2020 as a response to COVID-19

Duolingo English Test
For students impacted by language testing centre closures due to COVID-19, RCSI has approved the use of the Duolingo English Test (DET) as a temporary measure for our 2020 student intake only. The minimum requirement is a DET score of 110. An English language competency interview may be required in conjunction with this.

IELTS Indicator
For students impacted by IELTS testing centre closures due to COVID-19, RCSI has approved the use of the IELTS indicator as a temporary measure for our 2020 student intake only. The minimum requirement is the same as our standard IELTS requirement, an overall indicated score of 6.5 with no individual band (reading, writing, listening and speaking) lower than 6.0.

If you are unable to access either of the above (DET or IELTS Indicator) we will also accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition, IELCA Home Edition or LanguageCert as a temporary measure for our 2020 student intake only. Please contact admissions@rcsi.ie for more information on the relevant entry requirements.

Academic start dates

Since the original offer letters were released in March, RCSI has made the decision to move the official start dates for new incoming students to the following start dates:

Graduate Entry Medicine to Monday, 31 August;

Undergraduate Medicine (6 year), Pharmacy and Physiotherapy degree programmes to Monday, 14 September 2020; and 

Undergraduate Medicine (5 year) to Monday, 5 October 2020.

a) Will the programmes start at a later date than outlined above?
The start dates that have been provided are based on the current health information that is available. They are based on advice from many medical experts in epidemiology and virology. We believe the start dates are realistic, but if the advice were to change, then alternative plans would need to be implemented. Our plan is to keep in regular communication with new and returning students and any changes to the planned start dates will be flagged, without delay, if amendments are required. Presently however, we do not currently envisage the programmes starting at dates later than those outlined above.

b) Will the programmes be delivered online for a period of time?
There will be an element of online delivery in conjunction with classroom teaching in the first semester. Students will be required to be in Dublin in advance of registration day. Under current Government guidelines, the first two weeks will be a self-isolation period for students who are recently arrived in Ireland. During this period, you will start your induction and orientation and begin your educational journey with online introductory lectures and course work. These two weeks are a core part of the first semester for all students, designed to allow you to get to know your fellow students, teachers and support staff in addition to commencing your academic programme.

On completion of the self-isolation period, face-to-face teaching (lectures, practical demonstrations and simulated clinical training) will commence in a safe environment consistent with the highest health and safety protocols. This will include allocated times on Campus to ensure students can partake in the full range of educational and social activities.
This will remain in place until social distancing is no longer required and full face-to-face teaching is restored.

c) What happens if classes cannot start on 14 September/5 October 2020?
We do not currently anticipate start dates being pushed back to a later date, but as outlined above, there may be a requirement for social distancing for a period of time and a combination of classroom based and online teaching, in line with the National Department of Health guidelines.

d) Will I be offered the option of a deferral or refund of fees if the programme does not start in 2020? 
In the unlikely event that start dates are further pushed back to January 2021 (or later), the option to defer or claim a refund of fees is available and can be discussed with the Admissions Office.

Yes. If the Undergraduate programmes started a number of weeks later than originally planned, there would be a need to extend the end of academic year dates by the same number of weeks. This would shorten the 2021 summer break. The following academic year would begin again on schedule.

In the event that social distancing is required in semester one, it is likely that practical elements of the programme will comprise a mixture of online and face-to-face activities (albeit in much smaller groups than previous years). It is also likely that some practical elements that normally take place in semester one will move to semester two.

A final decision has been made regarding the Year 1 GEM and Undergraduate Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy start dates, as outlined above.

  • Year 1 GEM start date: Monday, 31 August 2020
  • Year 1 UG Medicine (6 year), Pharmacy and Physiotherapy: Monday, 14 September 2020
  • Year 1 UG Medicine (5 year): Monday, 5 October 2020

If there are COVID-19-related restrictions in place in your home country which prevent you from travelling from your home country to Dublin in advance of registration day at RCSI, students will be offered the option to defer their place or request a full refund of their fees.

For new students travelling to Dublin from an overseas location, we recommend you book accommodation in one of our on-Campus accommodation facilities. You can book your accommodation online using the on-Campus accommodation section at www.rcseye.com. This site is only accessible to RCSI offer-holders and pre-registered students.

Flights can be booked at this time if you wish and many airlines are now accepting booking with the option to change dates at no cost if the passenger requires date changes.

The RCSI Travel Office is available to provide assistance and advice on booking flights from your home country to Ireland. They also offer advice on hotels located in close proximity to the university, which are often used by families who visit RCSI. RCSI Travel are happy to provide support and travel advice  to all RCSI students, regardless of whether they book their flights through RCSI Travel or directly with an airline. They can be contacted by email at travel@rcsi.ie.

Tuition fees

Although new students are required to pay the balance of their tuition fees by 1 July 2020, we are extremely mindful of the impact that COVID-19 has potentially had on people’s finances and understand your need for flexibility at this time.

On this basis, for offer-holders whose finances have been temporarily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and require a more flexible payment plan, we would ask that you please outline your fee payment requirements to admissions@rcsi.ie in advance of the acceptance deadline date.

Rest assured that each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and we will guarantee a comprehensive response within three working days of the request being made.

Please note that although the RCSI programmes will start slightly later than originally planned, they will also finish later and, as a result, students will still complete a full academic year.

It is likely that each of the Undergraduate programmes will be delivered using a mixture of face-to-face and online instruction, at least for the first semester, to respect social distancing requirements enforced by the National Department of Health and to ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and patients over the course of your first year studies.

We do not, however, envisage a reduction in the overall tuition fee rate for 2020/21, on the basis of what we have outlined above.

Please note that in order to secure your on-Campus accommodation, you will be required to pay a deposit of €500. If you require a payments plan to spread the balance of the cost over two instalments during the academic year, please email RCSI’s Accommodation Manager, Mr Ivan Carty.

Sponsored student enquiries

Scholarship students can accept their place without the requirement to make a deposit payment. They must, however, alert RCSI’s admissions office as soon as the scholarship offices reopen. Sponsored students are required to submit official documentation to the admissions office, confirming their scholarship status, a minimum of four weeks prior to registration. Otherwise, payment of fees will be required and a refund issued as soon as confirmation of their scholarship is received.

Yes. RCSI can provide you with an official letter on RCSI headed paper confirming your current offer-holder status. Please email your request to admissions@rcsi.ie and quote your RCSI student ID number.