Placements and Hospitals

In TCD, we have three years of clinical experience which is more than some other universities in Ireland. This allows us to have more time to hone our clinical skills. 

In Year 3 and Year 5, we are assigned to medical or surgical rotations. This is mostly done in St James’ Hospital (SJH) or Tallaght University Hospital (TUH). Other sites include Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH), Naas General Hospital, Blackrock Hospital, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Hermitage Medical Clinic. 

**Pre-covid era**

In Year 3:

Each rotation was usually either 2 weeks or 4 weeks long during Covid.

Mandatory rotations:

There is also an option to swap one of your rotations in the early parts of the second semester to do a rotation in the Isle of Man. This is highly recommended as you are able to experience a different healthcare system, the NHS. Also, personally, I had a lot of opportunities for hands on experience. 

In Year 5: 

You choose to start at either TUH or SJH and then swap over in the second half of the year 

In Year 4, we focus solely on Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry and General Practice with about 7 to 8 weeks of each and an examination at the end of the 8 weeks as well as a final exam in each subject at the end of the academic year. 


Rotates between three hospitals – Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin, National Children’s Hospital at TUH


Rotate between Coombe Women’s Hospital, Gynaecology department in SJH and Gynaecology department in TUH


6 weeks of general psychiatry either in St Patrick’s University Hospital, TUH or SJH
2 weeks of specialty psychiatry either in adolescent mental health, elderly mental health

General Practice

2 weeks of inner GP (in Dublin) 
2 weeks of outer GP (at rural areas)
Random allocation, can swap 


Year 2



Year 3

Evidence based medicine

Year 4


These are the research projects that is part of the curriculum but you can always engage in other research projects. 

Medical Electives

Electives are the time in medical school to explore specialties that you have an interest in but were not exposed to during clinical rotations. You can also use this as an opportunity to explore a whole new healthcare system as you can apply to do electives anywhere in the world that accepts students, with the added bonus of being able to travel and explore a new country during your free time!

Most medical schools require a certain amount of weeks of electives to be done during your summer holidays as a clinical student. For example, in TCD, it is required that you complete 8 weeks of elective over the span of 2 years (third and fourth year), a tip would be do split it evenly or do more in third year as you’d have a longer summer holiday then compared to fourth year. 

Things to take note of 

Clubs and Societies 

In every Irish university, there are more than 100 societies ranging from arts, culture, politics and debating to gaming, advocacy and music and 50 sports clubs in a range of disciplines, you’re sure to find something that interests you. You could always try a new sports, start a new hobby! 

For a medical student, the must join club would be the BioSoc society in TCD. It is one of the largest and oldest in Ireland, having been established in 1874. Head on over to to find out more and make sure to check out their year guides for some useful tips on how to tackle each year of medical school. They also hold a yearly book sale where you can get your textbooks for dirt cheap prices, so watch out for that especially if you are a new incoming student. 

If you are from south east asia (or even if you are not), another must join is the Dublin University South East Asian Society (DUSEAS) in TCD, the Malaysian Society (MSoc) in UCD, and the South East Asian Society (SEASoc) in UCC. They organise loads of events to commemorate important events for SEAs, you’re guaranteed to be reminded of home. 

To join these clubs, look out for Freshers’ Week, which is when tents and booths will be set

up in every main campus in the first few weeks of each semester. 

Life In Ireland

Getting started

Useful apps to download: 


Most networks offer unlimited internet with affordable prices. Here is a table of comparison of the more well-established networks (Three, Vodafone, Eir) and the newer networks that started in the past two years (GOMO and 48).

Note: This may have changed when you are in Ireland

Price €20€20€14.99€14.99€10.99
DataUnlimitedUnlimited Unlimited Unlimited100GB
CallsUnlimited Three to Three 60 minutes to other networks100 any network minutes & unlimited minutes from 3pm on Fridays until 11.59pm on SundaysUnlimited UnlimitedUnlimited
Extras11GB EU roamingFull allowance roaming in Europe10.9GB EU roaming  EU Roaming, Calls, Texts & 10GB Data10GB EU/UK roaming


With unlimited data and google maps in hand, you will never get lost! It is extremely easy to get around with public transport and you can walk or cycle as well! In Dublin you have the options of the Luas, an above ground tram, the bus and the train. As well as taxis. You can also opt to cycle or walk. With cycling you can get your own bike or there are many bike renting services available e.g. Dublin bikes, Bleeper etc 


In Dublin there is a plethora of choices from Asian (Malaysian, Korean, Japanese etc) to Mexican and Mediterranean. 

My favourite restaurants are: 

Grocery shopping – many choices of grocery shop, can choose depending on which is near, budget and brand choices

Preparing for Departure 

I remember accepting my offer and the excitement and nervousness that descended upon me. What have I gotten into? Moving halfway across the world to study full time? How do I pack my life into two suitcases? 


#1: The weather in Ireland is very unpredictable, one minute the sun is shining and the next it might drizzle. 


To help you stay warm throughout your academic year, we advise you to wear around 2-3 layers of clothing when you are outdoors. 

Tip: there is no need to bring too much clothes as Ireland is a great place to shop and online shopping is so easy with free delivery and returns available in many stores.