Student Views

In September 2008, NUI Galway opened its doors to the very first cohort ofundergraduate Podiatry students in the Republic of Ireland. This is a monumental occasion that will change the profession of Podiatry in Ireland.

First Cohort Photo



Typical week in first year Podiatry by Caoinleain Soffer 

A week in first year Podiatry consists of lectures in anatomy and physiology, podiatry theory, clinical studies  and most importantly; clinical placements. It can be an exhausting week but is always interesting and enjoyable!

Although there are not many hours (13-15 depending on which semester), many valuable things are learned throughout the week. For example, this semester we have been on clinical placements and the theory learned from podiatry classes has enabled my classmates and I to use our time on placement effectively which can be very satisfying. An orthotics room has also been set up which has made us aware of the many different areas in podiatry. It is essential not to miss out on any classes as each week continues to increase our skills and knowledge for a bright future career in podiatry.


Name: Aisling Phelan 

Why did you choose Podiatry? I liked working with people on a one to one basis and wanted to work as part of the healthcare team. It was a toss of a coin between Podiatry and general nursing, however I chose Podiatry in the end as I felt the course had better working hours and better prospects.


What do you most enjoy about the course? I really enjoy the clinical aspect of the course as it allows you to put the theory you have learned into practice. I enjoy the confidence boost you feel after treating a patient and knowing the immediate positive affect you have on their mobility when they leave the clinic.

What is good about studying in Galway? The city, location, social life, people and the college.

What advice would you give others thinking about studying Podiatry? I would say to write down all the courses you are interested in and what aspects of a course interest you. I found it a help to write down all the pro's and con's of doing Podiatry against nursing and I discovered that Podiatry had more pro's than nursing. It is a great course for people that want to be involved in developing a new course and profession in Ireland and for people who want to work their own hours. An interesting and enjoyable course!

Name: Anthony Walsh

Why I chose Podiatry? I developed an interest in podiatry from being exposed to many healthcare professionals whom had attended to a sick relative over a period of time and I was surprised at the difference a podiatrist consultation can make to such an individual. I was attracted to the theoretical and practical elements the course offered and I also noted that this course has the potential to provide major career opportunities to its graduates.


A typical week in the past year of the course? A typical week in the past academic year incorporated theoretical and practical sessions. The variety of the subjects this course offers provides motivation and our setting would vary from a classroom setting, to a clinical setting, to the orthotic lab. Our contact hours were less than 20 hours per week in the first semester which provided us with an excellent opportunity to interact with fellow students through the various clubs and societies NUI Galway has to offer.


What I like about the course? The medical knowledge that I have gained to date is immense.  The class size also ensures greater staff to student and student to student interaction and communication and provides the basis for making life long friendships. The encouragement of the staff for students to excel in each discipline has been immense.


What advice would I give others considering podiatry? This is a relatively underdeveloped field in Ireland at the moment, however with the requirements for diabetic footcare and footcare and lower limb assessment in general on the rise, this career will have amazing prospects for graduates. If you are seeking a challenge, you feel you are a people’s person and you would like your course to incorporate theoretical and practical components, Podiatry is for you!


Name:Grace Hughes

What course are you studying? Podiatry 
Choosing the best career possible is what drove Grace Hughes selection on the CAO.  When she heard about the new course in Podiatry at NUI Galway, she knew it would be perfect.  NUI Galway is the first third-level institution in Ireland to offer the course that will train healthcare professionals specialised in disease and disorder of the lower limb and foot.Podiatry appeals to Grace because, “The flexibility of choosing my own hours of work, being able to work straight away after graduating, and  the huge demand for Podiatrist in the country meant that there would be job prospects available”.

Was it your first choice on the CAO? Yes 

If it’s a new course you are studying – where did you hear about it?
 Grace Hughes visited the Higher Options conference at the RDS in Dublin while studying for the Leaving Cert.  It was there that she heard Podiatry was coming to Ireland and could be studied from September 2008 at NUI Galway.   

What's the best bit about the course? The practical, hands on clinical side of the course. I love it.

What is good about studying in Galway? The social life, the people, the college, and proximity to the city.

Casting your mind back to when you filled out the CAO form – do you have any tips for those now in that position? Ask yourself  what is going to make you happy in your career and be truthful. Ask yourself what do you want from your career.

Anything else you can add?  It really is a great course. 

My views of YEAR 3 of the course by Molly Smith

Why did I choose Podiatry?

I worked in the Department of Health after leaving school and during this time I did a lot of research into different jobs in healthcare.  After doing work experience in a private podiatry practice and seeing the Podiatrist make such a difference to people’s level of mobility I knew it was for me! It is a really new and exciting growth area in Ireland with great prospects at home and abroad.  Podiatry also offers the opportunity to work in a public, community or private setting.

A typical week in the past year of the course?

The mixture of lectures and clinic each week makes time fly.  Modules include Podiatry Theory, Medicine and Surgery, Health Promotion, Pharmacology, Research Methods and Clinical Studies.  There is an interdisciplinary learning series in Paediatrics which gives a really good overview of the paediatric patient.  This year we undertake specialist clinics which are really interesting and enjoyable.  They include Musculoskeletal, Vascular, Paediatric, Diabetic, Wound Care, Rheumatology, Gait and Sports Clinics.  There is plenty of time outside of this for study, socialising and engaging in clubs and societies.

What I like about the course?

The combination of lectures and clinical placement keeps it interesting.  The class numbers are small so you make good friends and the staff are really helpful and approachable.  It’s great being able to apply the theory I’ve learnt in college to clinical practice.    Most patients really appreciate the service and are full of chat!  The guest lecturers are excellent and there are opportunities to go abroad on placement in fourth year.

What advice would you I give to others thinking about studying podiatry?

As with choosing any course it is important to do your research.  The internet is a great resource full of information.  If you get the chance to do work experience even for a day do it.  All the staff and students in the Department of Podiatry are very friendly and would be happy to answer any of your questions.


My views of YEAR 3 of the course by Siobhan Hanley

Personally, I think podiatry has a lot to offer. It incorporates a range of different areas, for example, vascular, neurological, surgery, biomechanics, and medicine into one career.  It’s an exciting career working with people of all ages!

This year, we have had a dynamic learning setting.  We undertook modules such as skills for practice, which explores the diversity of the practice of Podiatry within various healthcare and educational settings. It highlights the wealth of opportunities available for the graduate preparing to enter the workforce. This was thoroughly enjoyable and will benefit us greatly as we head out into the world of work!

The contemporary practice module gave us the opportunity to experience the varied aspects of the scope of podiatry practice through the choice of specific elective subjects. We undertook classes on areas such as forensic podiatry, acupuncture for podiatrists, manipulation therapies and ultrasonography.

This year as part of my block placement I was fortunate enough to experience podiatry as a profession in New York. Being introduced to a different learning setting and a dynamic learning environment was exciting and thoroughly beneficial.

I would advise that students should make an attempt to read at least one journal article per week. Although some will find this to be a challenging task during their studies, I think it is a great idea to implement. Reading Journal articles will remind you of the possibilities available to podiatrist and how the field is rapidly changing and allow you to explore gaps for your own research!

Podiatry is a great profession and won't disappoint. . . I choose podiatry in 2008 and haven't looked back!