Doctor talking to patient

Doctor of Medicine


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) (Doctoral Award NFQ Level 10).

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 research development training – all MD scholars are expected to complete the Postgraduate Essentials (PC01) and Research Ethics and Integrity (PC04) core modules 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.

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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 during your studies.

3. Progress reviews

You will undergo three progress reviews: an early review (up to six months), a mid review (approx. one year) and a late stage review (approx. 18 months). You will be required to give an oral presentation on the progress of your research in front of your peers and invited academic guests.

4. Submit your thesis

You will submit a thesis completion plan nine 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. Thesis examination details are available here

5. Graduation

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

Our prestigious MD StAR programme will open for application on 1 September 2023. Find more information about the programme here.