Increased Places in Medicine at NUI Galway

Monday, 10 January 2011

There is good news for CAO applicants this week as the Medical School at NUI Galway has been allocated additional places on its flagship undergraduate Medical programme. Students applying to study medicine this February for a September 2011 start, will see an additional 19 places made available, bringing the total number of Medicine places at NUI Galway to 118, making it the second largest Medical School for undergraduate Irish and EU students in the country. Beginning with a base of 55 students, the Medical School at NUI Galway has seen unprecedented growth in its undergraduate provision, with numbers more than doubling since 2006. This growth in undergraduate numbers also reflects a decision on behalf of the University not to offer a Graduate Medicine programme, but to concentrate its efforts on undergraduate Medicine. Working with its strategic alliance partner, the University of Limerick, NUI Galway will provide undergraduate medical education for the West and Mid-West regions, and beyond, while the University of Limerick will provide Graduate Medicine opportunities for those with a first degree who are interested in studying Medicine. NUI Galway's denominated Biomedical Science degree, as well as its undenominated Science programme, provide an excellent first degree for students who may be considering the Graduate Medicine programme in the future. Speaking about this shared approach to the provision of medical education, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne said: "We are delighted to be working with our strategic alliance partner, the University of Limerick, to expand the provision of top class medical education in the West and mid-West regions. With the cooperation of all of the public Medical Schools and the Higher Education Authority, we will focus on providing an excellent undergraduate Medical programme while UL concentrates on the Graduate Medicine market". The quality of students studying Medicine at NUI Galway remains among the highest in the country with students outperforming competitors in national prizes and awards. NUI Galway's medical students recently featured prominently in the Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Awards, winning 14 out of a possible 39 medals in this competition. The Henry Hutchinson Stewart Awards is a national, annual competition open to all NUI universities in Ireland. Top performing students in each subject area of Medicine are selected by their Professors and put forward for the Awards. Commenting on the increase in places on the Medicine programme, Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway said: "This is great news not just for the Medical School at NUI Galway, but also for CAO applicants considering applying to medicine. We are delighted to be able to provide more opportunities for the country's future doctors, without compromising on the exceptional quality of medical education we have been providing for many years now. Recent investments in staffing and new infrastructure, including three new buildings for medical research, as well as ground-breaking developments in our research activities, have positioned the Medical School as one of the top Schools in the country. Recent success in a number of Science Foundation Ireland Awards confirms the calibre of staff from all over the world who have been attracted to the Medical School, and ensures that our teaching is informed by high quality research." Much of the success of NUI Galway's medical students is attributed to innovative curriculum development and the commitment of the Medical School to the holistic development of its students, with the aim of producing well-grounded and well-rounded doctors of the future. One popular initiative on the Medical programme has been the development of Special Study Modules (SSM), which give students the opportunity to study a specialist area of interest in detail, with a wide range of areas to choose from, including Medicine and the Arts, Sports Psychology and Malaysian Culture and Eastern Medicine. Other recent initiatives include the setting up of a network of regional Medical Academies to cater for the increased number of clinical medical students at the University. The Sligo Academy was set up in 2009 and now has 40 students on clinical placement at Sligo Hospital, while the Letterkenny Academy commenced last week. As well as bringing clinical benefits to the patients of Sligo and Letterkenny Hospitals, the University hopes to commence capital developments on both hospital sites this year. An Academy will begin at Castlebar Hospital in 2012, while a joint Academy, shared with the University of Limerick, based at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe and Roscommon Hospital accepted its first UL students in 2010.
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