Application FAQs

In some circumstances yes you can be exempt.

If you:

  • Are resident in Northern Ireland and are presenting GCE/IGCSE qualifications for matriculation
  • OR

  • Were born outside Ireland (32 counties), permanently resident outside of Ireland and are presenting qualifications other than the Irish Leaving Certificate for matriculation

You are automatically granted an exemption and do not need to apply for one.

Exemptions from the Irish requirement may also be possible for applicants:

  • Not born in the Republic of Ireland who are presenting the Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Educated for an extended period of time outside of Ireland
  • Have specific learning difficulties affecting language acquisition.

If you fulfil any of the criteria listed above, you can apply for an NUI exemption from Irish. To apply for exemption, you will need to complete the Application for Matriculation Registration Exemption form and other relevant material. Applicants with specific learning difficulties affecting language acquisition (dyslexia) may apply for exemption from the requirement of presenting another language.

The HPAT-Ireland test measures a candidate’s logical reasoning and problem-solving skills as well as non-verbal reasoning and the ability to understand the thoughts, behaviour and/or intentions of people. It does not test academic knowledge and candidates do not require special understanding of any academic discipline.

However, some familiarity with the question types typically presented in HPAT-Ireland would be an advantage. Sample questions are available on the HPAT-Ireland website along with information about how to purchase further HPAT-Ireland practice materials.

The test results are combined with the moderated Irish Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) examination points for selecting applicants for admission to Undergraduate Medicine in the Republic of Ireland.

Before the Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) or equivalent scores are combined with HPAT scores, ILC scores above 550 points will be adjusted to a maximum of 565 points (See table below).

Normal points Adjusted points grade
550 550
551-555 551
556-560 552
561-565 553
566-570 554
571-575 555
576-580 556
581-585 557
586-590 558
591-595 559
596-600 560
601-605 561
606-610 562
611-615 563
616-620 564
621-625 565

For CAO applicants to Undergraduate Medicine, the maximum achievable score will be 865:

565 as the maximum score based on the ILC (after adjustment)


300 as the maximum score based on the HPAT-Ireland test.

Scores above 550 points will be rounded up to the nearest five points and moderated as per the table above, e.g. a score of 558 will be rounded up to 560 and result in a moderated score of 552.

To get a flavour of your chosen course we recommend you attend one of the dedicated RCSI open days or evenings. Whether you are thinking of applying as a School Leaver, Graduate or Mature Entry student, our open days will provide you with a unique opportunity to meet with academic staff, current students and graduates.

You’ll also receive guidance on the application process and tips on how to make the transition from school or full-time work to college/university, as well as details on potential career opportunities after graduation.

We also recommend you try to get exposure to working (or work-shadowing) in a clinical environment. This should clarify whether a career in healthcare is right for you.