Programme delivery

This year, students will be taught in smaller groups, known as ‘learning communities’. These learning communities will provide you with a more personalised learning experience. You will experience learning and teaching within your community group, and extracurricular/co-curricular activities will also be based around these learning communities or sub-groupings.

Typically these learning communities will consist of a maximum of 45 students per six-year medicine group and a maximum of 70 students per five-year medicine group. The number of students within a lecture theatre or classroom at any one time will be much smaller than in previous years due to current social distancing requirements and will remain in place until these restrictions are lifted.

The first two weeks of the programme will be delivered online, while students are in self-isolation. We have designed these initial two weeks to be very productive, which will provide you with a personal introduction to RCSI. Students will start semester 1 of their programme online, using a digitally engaged learning approach.

From week three onwards, when self-isolation ends, students will get to join us onsite on the RCSI Dublin Campus. To ensure we comply with current physical distancing guidelines, students will continue to be taught in their learning community. Smaller class groups will also minimise any COVID-19 related risks.

Each student can expect to be on campus to attend teaching at least three (out of five) days each week, with the remaining teaching time being delivered online. Students will have the bulk of their on-campus experience in their ‘learning community’ within lecture theatres and tutorial rooms.

Laboratory practicals, anatomy and experience of professional practice are essential parts of the first-year experience. We are restructuring these activities to provide high-quality and safe learning experiences.

As these are fundamental to learning, we will use personal protective equipment (PPE) where required. RCSI will supply PPE when required as part of the academic programme and students will be educated in the use of PPE.

No, all students who join the six-year medical programme can progress to second year provided they pass all of their examinations (including repeats) in first year of the six year programme.