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University College Cork School of Medicine (UCC) - Ranking, Tuition, Campus & Environment | ValueMD
University College Cork Medical SchoolUCC School of Medicine

General Information

  • Forum: European Medical Schools Forum
  • Location: Ireland
  • Time required for MD: 5 Years
  • Year Founded: 1849
  • Loans: Stafford and private loans
  • Tuition: $33,000 per year
  • Email: Email UCC
  • Survey: UCC Review
University College Cork School of Medicine

A Brief History of Ireland by The World Factbook

Flag of Ireland

Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1949, Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland is gradually being implemented despite some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began to implement the St. Andrews Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998. Read More.

Map of Ireland


UCC and the City of Cork

Cork is a city of 200,000 people situated on the South coast of Ireland . Though UCC itself has grown enormously in recent years - it now has over 16,000 students - the main campus is still a compact cluster of buildings spectacularly perched on an outcrop of rock overlooking the River Lee. There is a host of activities and attractions for students both on and off campus. Cork is a young person's city and it offers a rich social and cultural life. The city hosts international film, jazz and choral festivals and was designated as the European Capital of Culture for the year 2005.

The Medical, Dental, Nursing, Pharmacy and Clinical Therapies schools, that currently comprise the UCC College of Medicine and Health, are all large enough to provide up-to-date teaching facilities and yet small enough to be friendly and personally welcoming. The College of Medicine & Health is an exciting place in which to work and learn, not just because of the quality and variety of the teaching, but also because of the world class research that is going on in various departments within the College of Medicine & Health.

New Developments

To accommodate the College of Medicine & Health that is trebling in size, to over 2,000 undergraduate students, UCC embarked on an ambitious €120m capital building programme that includes the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, a Pharmacy building, a phase two medical building and an academic research unit in Obstetrics and Gynaecology to complement a major new obstetrics hospital at Cork University Hospital. The Brookfield Health Sciences Complex is houses Nursing & Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and the first phase of a new Medical School. The Brookfield Complex and the Pharmacy building are only a few minutes walk apart. Together they provide a modern, integrated teaching facility at UCC where students from different health professions learn respect for each others' roles through innovative curriculum developments designed to produce a health professional who will serve the public as effective members of health care teams.

These developments are bringing a richness and diversity to one of the founding faculties of UCC and create a complex of fine new buildings at the western end of the campus to the benefit of the College and the University as a whole.

The Pharmacy building has strong research links with the Science Faculty. Together with the Biosciences Institute and the Food Science and Technology buildings, it enormously strengthen UCC's research capability in the chemical, medical and molecular sciences. The Brookfield Complex of buildings provides a facility not only for undergraduate teaching and learning but also for postgraduate research and continuing professional education. The College collaborates with the Health Service South and other health service agencies and with industry to use the facilities to the maximum effect in providing university certified courses and evening/weekend courses for health professionals of all kinds.

History of the College of Medicine and Health

Medical teaching began in Cork in the 18th century, variously dated between 1722 and 1775. Organised teaching of Anatomy, Physiology, Medicine and Surgery, is recorded since 1828 when a Medical School was founded by Henry Augustus Caesar MD, at The United Voluntary Hospitals. Medicine was one of the three founding faculties along with Arts and Law when University College, Cork opened its doors to students in 1849 as Queen's College Cork. The first President, Sir Robert Kane, FRS was a distinguished physician and pharmacist. From an initial intake of about 50 students per annum, the Medical School has expanded to classes of 120 undergraduate students, from Ireland and overseas, in 2003.

A School of Dentistry was established in 1913 adjoining the North Infirmary Hospital. In 1982, it was relocated to the site of the new Regional Hospital at Wilton where modern facilities support the delivery of the BDS programme. This 5-year programme has a high reputation for clinical teaching and graduates approximately 40 students each year. A major new development in Orthodontics commenced in 2003 which further enhances clinical care and develops the research capacity and academic excellence of the Dental School.

In 2002, 200 students were admitted to a new BSc Nursing programme, following the transfer of Nursing Education from Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria Hospital and the Bon Secours Hospitals to University College Cork. This programme is one of the largest in Ireland, with a wide range of post-graduate specialist degrees and diplomas.

2003 also saw the admission of the first students to new degree programmes, in Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Pharmacy.


  • Memorandum of Understanding Between The Southern Health Board and University College Cork.
  • Memorandum of Understanding Between The School of Pharmacy, University College Cork And The Centre For Advanced Clinical Therapeutics, St. James's Hospital, Dublin.
  • Memorandum of Agreement between UCC and HSE South with respect to the Brookfield Clinic.

Why study at UCC?

About Cork

Cork - the city that has it all! The greater metropolitan area of Cork, Ireland's second largest city, has a population of almost 300,000.

Cork has a number of "sister cities" around the world; these include San Francisco, Shanghai, Rennes and Cologne. UCC receives many students from these cities who experience a warm and friendly welcome and a sense of being "home from home".

Cork City is a cosmopolitan modern city with all the advantages of a capital city with none of the disadvantages! It has the cafe, restaurant and nightlife culture of a vibrant European city while its inhabitants can still easily walk down its main street and bump into friends and acquaintances. The city is also the principal commercial and banking centre in the South of Ireland. It is a busy, thriving seaport and home to a large number of modern industries.

As a small city, everything is easily accessible and a full range of amenities, be they recreational, business, shopping or sport, abound in the city itself. Cork City however, does not stand isolated from its county - the largest in the country. Therefore, 'city and 'county' life merge effortlessly together bringing the beauty of County Cork, water sports and ourdoor pursuits right to your doorstep.

UCC's main campus is within walking distance of this mass of activity and life. What's more with the beauty of its campus, UCC is considered not only a respected University but also one of the nicest 'gardens' belonging to Cork as a whole.

Cork was also very proud to have been designated 'European Capital of Culture 2005', reflecting the strong tradition of music, art and theatre in the city.

Cork international airport is only 6 kilometres from the University. This allows for constant access to the international destinations and also highlights Cork itself as a globally attractive and exciting location.

About UCC

University College Cork (UCC) was founded in 1845 and is one of the oldest universities in Ireland. It combines a rich tradition of teaching, research and scholarship. Its degrees, conferred by the National University of Ireland, are internationally recognised. UCC is Ireland's leading research university.

The University has four colleges - Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences: Business and Law; Science, Engineering and Food Science; and Medicine and Health. There are almost 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies. UCC attracts a large number of international students with more than 2,000 students from 76 countries and all five continents currently registered.

At undergraduate level the University offers a large variety of degree programmes and there is a full range of postgraduate degrees 9bith taught and by research) at the level of Master and Doctor in all departments.

The campus is situated along a riverside garden setting, radiating a warm, personal charm, which greatly enhances the learning environment.

Research at UCC

University College Cork is Ireland's premier research university attracting the highest peer-reviewed research income per head nationally and is home to a number of major national research institutes and centres that have been established over the past few years.

International Students

If you come to UCC as an international student you will find a warm welcome in the university and in the city of Cork as a whole.

We want your stay at UCC to be a very positive experience, both academically and culturally. As Ireland’s top research university and as the only Irish University to be named “Irish University of the Year “on two occasions, UCC has much to offer. With over 2,000 international students currently studying at UCC, the university has a very rich multicultural environment.

The International Education Office is the "one stop shop" which will guide you through your application procedure, answer your questions and offer practical support during your time in UCC.

The Foundation Year Programme

The Medical and Dental Foundation Year Programme for international students is offered by the Faculty of Medicine and Health in conjunction with the UCC Language Centre. It provides access to Medicine and Dentistry at University College Cork on successful completion of the one year programme. The Programme caters specifically for the needs of students whose standard of English language reaches at least 5.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with no single skill below 5.0. [TOEFL equivalent: Paper score 530-550; computer score 197-213]. Equivalent scores on an internationally recognised examination in English as a foreign language will be considered. The successful English language exit level will be an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. Applicants who have already reached a level of 6.5 or equivalent and whose other subjects are of a competitive standard may apply for direct entry to year 1 of Medicine or Dentistry.

Accommodation: UCC has excellent student accommodation available within walking distance of the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex. A schedule of current accommodation charges may be found at the Accommodation and Student Activities Office.

Mission Statement for College of Medicine & Health

"To provide state of the art education and research facilities in Cork to students and professionals of medicine and other health-care subjects, and to enhance the Faculty's reputation world-wide as a Centre of Excellence in medical and health-care research and teaching."

Professional Accreditation

Each of the Schools within the College of Medicine and Health undergoes yearly review by the following approved accreditation bodies:

  • The Medical Council
  • The Dental Council
  • The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland
  • Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland
  • Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapists (IASLT)
  • An Bord Altranais

Medicine and Health Degree Programmes


Medicine (MB, BCh, BAO)

Why Study a Medicine?
Few fields can compete with Medicine in terms of the wide variety of opportunities available to the graduate. For most doctors, their professional lives are centred on caring for people in the community or in the hospital setting. In this context, doctors are often the centre around which the healthcare of the patient revolves, interacting with all other members of the healthcare team. However, doctors are also leaders in biomedical research, in the development of new understanding of normal and abnormal bodily function, diagnostic methods and therapies. Doctors are also engaged in the study of patterns of disease in the community; others work in pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, health insurance companies, and in the management of health and safety in the workplace. UCC medical graduates have been and continue to be involved in all of the above. The course tends to attract bright and motivated students who are interested in how the human body functions and who are intrigued by the way this knowledge can be used to improve life for others.

Students are encouraged to develop a holistic approach to patients, their problems and their environment and are encouraged to ask themselves the following questions: What, if anything, is actually wrong here? What can be done about it? Why has this happened? What is the impact on the patient, their immediate family and society in general? How could this process be prevented?

Programme Overview
The UCC Medical School has a long and illustrious history in the education of clinicians and clinician scientists. Medicine was one of the three founding faculties when University College Cork opened its doors to students in 1849 as Queen's College Cork aiming to provide "the most advanced and superior education to the inhabitants of this southern province". Nowadays the UCC Medical School caters for a diverse national and international student population and aims to "provide doctors of the future with a world class, student centred education, based on current knowledge, informed by research and with an awareness of societal needs."

The medical curriculum in UCC is firmly rooted in the basic Medical Sciences of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry but places special emphasis on clinical instruction. A distinctive feature is small group, patient-centred teaching where students learn the skills of listening and communicating, history-taking and clinical examination under the watchful eye of highly qualified clinical lecturers. We have recently initiated a new curriculum which aims to further integrate basic and clinical science, behavioural science and clinical practice in order to promote a holistic yet scientific and evidence-based approach to patient care. Enrolment to year one of this new curriculum took place in October 2005 and will continue to roll out until October 2009. For this reason some of the information presented in the programme overview will change as the old curriculum is progressively replaced.

In contrast to CK701 which is of five years’ duration, CK791 graduate entry to Medicine is a 4-year programme. In CK791, the Biomedical Sciences are compressed into a 40-week first year and the first semester of second year.

The content for year one and the first semester of year two will be different, but from then onwards there will be significant overlap between CK701 and CK791.
Thereafter, the programme will concentrate on the major clinical subjects and a considerable amount of each student’s time will be spent on various clinical attachments, both at UCC-affiliated teaching hospitals and in the community.

The work of academic staff from all of the establishing the University’s reputation as one of the top institutions in Ireland for innovative research in the sciences and Medicine. These staff are actively involved in the supervision of student project work and provide elective attachments for students, some of whom have gone on to publish their work and present their research findings at international events. Much of the academic teaching takes place in UCC’s Brookfield Health Sciences Complex. Facilities include an IT lab, a state of the art clinical skills laboratory (including a mock ward) and communication skills rooms complete with audiovisual recording equipment.
There is also generous provision of IT equipment in the modern library and cafeteria. departments in the Medical School has been crucial in

Following successful completion of the Final Medical Examination, and subsequent graduation, Medical students are required to complete one year of internship training in order to achieve full registration with the Irish Medical Council. While UCC School of Medicine makes every effort to support students in the search for an internship post, students apply and compete for internship posts in an open jobs market.

Career Opportunities
In Medicine, the primary degrees MB, BCh, BAO are really only the start of one's career, as all branches of Medicine require postgraduate training of 3-7 years after the post-graduation hospital intern year. Many graduates choose to undertake part of their postgraduate training abroad and all Medical School academic staff are available to provide advice regarding the opportunities available.

Postgraduate Opportunities
University College Cork, through the National University of Ireland, offers postgraduate medical degrees up to MD and PhD level. Graduates from UCC and elsewhere have availed of the excellent research facilities.

Many of our students have completed research work in the Biosciences Institute and Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in UCC as both of these research facilities in the University have close links with the Medical School.

There are also specific MMedSc programmes e.g. in Sports Medicine which have been very popular in recent years.


Public Health and Health Promotion (BSc)

Why Study a Public Health and Promotion?
UCC has offered this new degree since 2004. It is the only undergraduate degree in Ireland specialising in Public Health. It addresses the prevention of disease, the prolonging of life and the promotion of health through the organised efforts of society.

Effective Public Health and Health Promotion involves all levels of society, from counselling individuals about their health choices, to improving the health of entire communities, to working with governments and international agencies to foster health.

On leaving the programme students will be well prepared for further specialist training and experience in a wide number of specific areas in academic and applied public health and health promotion practice.

Programme Overview
The BSc in Public Health and Health Promotion at UCC provides a broadly based training, reflecting the range of skills that are involved in keeping people healthy and preventing disease. These include the study of the causes of disease, (Epidemiology), the biological basis of disease, (Biological Sciences including Nutrition and Microbiology), the social influences on patterns of health and ill-health (Social Sciences with inputs from Sociology, Applied Social Studies, Politics/Community Development and Applied Public Health/Health Promotion), and appropriate methods of both quantitative and qualitative research, (including Bio-Statistics and Social Research).

Following the University examinations in Spring of the third year, students must undertake an 8 week work placement. Students will be placed in an environment in which they can apply public health theory in practice. This will be with an appropriate organisation – the Health Services Executive (HSE), a local authority, a development authority, or a national agency, such as the Food Safety Authority.

The Placement module shall be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis, and must be passed in order to graduate. (Full details of the placement are contained in ‘Information Handbook for Students and Supervisors’ which will be available, on request, from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and/or the Medical Faculty Office).

Career Opportunities
Public Health and Health Promotion is a rapidly expanding field, both at home and internationally. The degree will open up a range of career opportunities, in Ireland, elsewhere in Europe or in other developed or developing countries.

One of the career paths for successful graduates will be the regional health authorities. Departments of Public Health Medicine have welcomed the launch of this degree. They currently employ Public Health Research Officers, Public Health Information Officers, Public Health Surveillance Officers and Health Promotion Officers. The degree in Public Health and Health Promotion will provide an ideal springboard into any of these three positions.

Ireland is not alone in planning for a more preventive health service. A large number of local authorities throughout Europe now employ public health analysts to aid them in the formulation of health promoting policies. The broad skills base and the specific application focus of the degree will make graduates ideal candidates for such positions. Public Health and Health Promotion specialists also work at the community level. The launch of new community health development projects in Ireland provides a growing opportunity to work directly with the members of local communities. The BSc in Public Health and Health Promotion has been designed in collaboration with international aid agencies and will also prepare students for a range of career opportunities in developing countries.

The BSc in Public Health & Health Promotion has been designed as a foundation for students wishing to pursue research opportunities, either directly in Public Health, Health Promotion and/or Epidemiology or with further training, in related areas. With an appropriate selection of modules, students will be well versed in the requisite skills of research methods, qualitative analysis and biostatistics.

Postgraduate Opportunities
The BSc in Public Health and Health Promotion provides a sound basis for further study to Master's level and beyond, in a wide range of disciplines such as public health nutrition, urban planning and international health development. In September 2008, the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health introduced a new Masters in Public Health (MPH).


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