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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Podiatric Medicine is a branch of medicine devoted to the medical and surgical treatment of the foot, ankle and lower limb.
A podiatrist is an autonomous clinician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and management of lower limb conditions. Podiatry can significantly improve peoples’ quality of life by promoting and maintaining mobility. Therefore, podiatric medicine as a career can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling and can give immense job satisfaction.
Podiatrists work in a variety of settings in the public and private sectors. Podiatrists will treat patients of all age ranges and at all stages of life. The scope of practice of a podiatrist ranges from:
- Management of skin and nail pathologies
- Management of patients with diseases that can compromise the viability of the foot and lower limbs, e.g. diabetes, vascular disease, wound care.
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Biomechanics and gait analysis
- Sports injuries
- Minor surgical procedures
The B.Sc. (Hons.) Podiatric Medicine programme is designed to educate and train those who wish to pursue a professional career in podiatry, as a health care professional, who specialises in the management of disease and disorder of the lower limb and foot.
Clinical placements are a pivotal area of learning within the podiatric Medicine programme. Students are gradually introduced to clinical practice by use of simulated techniques and case exemplars. Onsite clinical placement and learning at Merlin Park Podiatry Clinic unite the theory with the ‘hands on’ practice education, facilitated by the academic and clinical teams. Clinical placements are integrated into each year of the programme, so that students will have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice and develop their clinical skills.
The main aims of clinical education are:
- To apply knowledge, professional reasoning and professional behaviour within practice
- To promote professional competence
- To work as an effective team member
- To promote professional confidence
- To provide opportunities for students to integrate theoretical and practical learning The clinical teaching programme involves experience with patients from various medical/surgical disciplines; this ensures a high level of quality practice education for students.
We welcome applications from school leavers, international students as well as mature applicants. The Discipline is committed to providing a comprehensive education for Podiatrists and the curriculum is based on best available evidence in relation to both theory and practice.
Applications and Selections
Who Teaches this Course
The core academic staff team on the BSc Podiatric Medicine programme consist of:
- Prof. Caroline McIntosh – Head of School of Health Sciences/ Established Professor and Head of Podiatric Medicine
- Dr. Claire MacGilchrist: BSc Podiatric Medicine Program Director/ Lecturer in Podiatric Medicine.
- Ms. Amanda Walsh - Lecturer in Podiatric Medicine, BSc Podiatric Medicine year 1 coordinator.
- Ms. Olga Carey - Lecturer in Podiatric Medicine, BSc Podiatric Medicine year 2 coordinator.
- Mr. Adam McIlwaine - Lecturer in Podiatric Medicine, BSc Podiatric Medicine year 3 coordinator.
- Mr Nigel Roberts – Lecturer and Practice Education Coordinator, BSc Podiatric Medicine year 4 coordinator.
- Ms. Sarah O’Connell - Lecturer in Podiatric Medicine
- Ms. Angela McAnearney Podiatrist/Guest Lecturer
- Ms. Fiona Lowry - Admin. Assistant
- Ms. Geraldine Farrelly - Admin. Assistant
There is also input from members of staff in other disciplines within the university, who lead on and contribute to modules across the four years of the programme, including anatomy, physiology, microbiology and pharmacology.
The clinical placements throughout the program are supervised at Merlin Park Podiatry clinic, by a dedicated HSE staff team, who host a variety of skills and experience to enhance the students’ clinical learning experience.
Requirements and Assessment
Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 Level in the Leaving
Certificate, including Irish, English, another language, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e.,
Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science), and any other subject recognised for entry purposes.
Next start date
A Level Grades (2021)
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Mode of study
The B.Sc. (Hons.) Podiatric Medicine programme is designed to educate and train those who wish to pursue a professional career in podiatry, as a health care professional, who specialises in the management of disease and disorder of the lower limb and foot. The Discipline is committed to providing a comprehensive education for podiatrists and the curriculum is based on best available evidence in relation to both theory and practice.
Central to the curriculum are the podiatric medicine modules. These modules extend throughout the programme building from year one to integrate and articulate with the theoretical learning. In first year the students are introduced to clinical protocols and pre-clinical skills, they then develop and acquire the essential psychomotor and communication skills required for podiatric practice.
1st year modules deal mainly with normal structure and function. This allows time to absorb and reflect on normal function and structure prior to progressing to abnormal structure and disease states in year two. Year 1 modules include:
- Podiatric Medicine 1
- Podiatric Dermatology
- Lower Limb Kinematics
- Human Body Structure
- Gross Anatomy of Lower limb
- Human Body Function
- Professional Development
- Redefining Health and Wellbeing
Various aspects of management planning skills are introduced at each stage of the program. Ultimately students acquire assessment and diagnostic skills and increasing competence leads to a comprehensive podiatric patient management, which requires increasing cognitive and psychomotor skills to affect safe and efficient patient care. The following modules advance the students theoretical knowledge and core practical skills, with an increasing complexity of patient assessment and management required in the clinical setting during year two of the program. Second year modules include:
- Podiatric Medicine 2
- Lower Extremity Wounds
- Applied Pathophysiology
- Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics
- Evidence Based Practice
- Health Promotion in Podiatry
This state of the art clinical facility provides a service to patients with a wide variety of medical and surgical conditions, children, sports injuries, rheumatology, vascular and diabetes care. Students in year three of the program undertake specialist clinical rotations in adult musculoskeletal medicine, paediatrics, rheumatology, vascular and diabetes care.
Students are encouraged to develop the necessary skills to understand critique and apply research-based evidence in practice. Research approaches and methodologies are covered within years 2 and 3 of the programme ensuring students receive grounding in research methods and biostatistics before they apply this knowledge in their dissertation in year 4. Modules in year 3 include:
- Podiatric Medicine 3
- Clinical Medicine
- Research Methods & Design
- Pharmacology in Health and Disease
The overall aim of the programme is to develop caring and skilled honours graduates who are knowledgeable, creative, innovative and competent practitioners applying an enquiring and scientific ethos to health care. Students consolidate a lot of their knowledge and skills in year four, which includes the following modules:
- Research Dissertation
- Podiatric Medicine 4
- Skills for Practice
- Working with Vulnerable Adults
- High Risk Limb
- Podiatric Sports and MSK Medicine
Part 2: ‘Curriculum Information’ automatically synced with Akari (see screen shot below).
Graduates have the option to study a variety of programmes at Postgraduate, Masters and PhD levels.
Why Choose This Course?
- Public hospitals- acute hospital services, specialist services e.g. diabetes, vascular.
- Private hospitals- specialist services e.g. MSK/ orthopaedics
- Primary Care Centres
- GP Practices
- Nursing homes/ residential facilities
- Sports centres/ clubs
- Private practice
- Research Graduates also have the option of studying a variety of programmes at postgraduate, Masters & PhD level.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Clinical Practice, a process of work-based learning which involves a partnership between the Clinical Educator and the student in the practice setting, is an integral part of the programme. All students are required to complete 1,000 hours of clinical practice successfully under the supervision of qualified podiatrists. Clinical practice will be integrated into each year of the programme and primarily takes place in Merlin Park Podiatry Clinic, based at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway. This facility provides an out-patient podiatry service to patients with a variety of medical and surgical conditions, children, people with sports injuries and patients requiring soft tissue surgery. The programme is the only such professionally accredited qualification in the Republic of Ireland.
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student Contribution
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
*EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy
Student Levy: €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI. Further detail here https://su.nuigalway.ie/
In year one students are required to pay a €200 fee towards a subsidised Occupational Health Service provided to students of the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences in compliance with all relevant legislation and standards.
What Our Students Say
Lauren Connell | Postgraduate Research Student
I chose to study podiatric medicine because I wanted to be an autonomous specialized clinician, initially when looking at the course I was enthralled by the thought of studying anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology whilst engaging clinically in Merlin Park Podiatry Clinic. If you are undecided about the course, I would advise to look at the course content, as this course encapsulates biological sciences and clinical content which is interesting for somebody interested in health care. If you enjoy learning about how the body functions in a normal and pathological state, if you want to make difference to patients' lives, and if you'd like to become a specialized clinician in an upcoming profession then Podiatric Medicine could be for you. In my final year I was awarded the Tomorrow’s Podiatrists inaugural podiatry student of the year award. In 2019, I graduated with a first-class degree, and I am now a postgraduate research student, with an avid interest in patient care and student education.
Marcus McGuire Daly | Podiatric Medicine
I chose Podiatric Medicine because I always had an interest in Human Biology and the course involves topics such as Human Anatomy and Physiology which appealed to me. I wanted to undertake a university course that was challenging but also rewarding and the Podiatric Medicine course at NUI Galway delivered on such factors. In addition to this I wanted my future role to be involved in healthcare and the Podiatry profession is a greatly needed healthcare service worldwide and its recognition is growing. If you feel you have an interest in healthcare and helping others, then I highly recommend that you consider this course. To get a greater understanding of Podiatry and this course I highly recommend that you look through the course at the NUI Galway website, contact the staff of the Podiatric Medicine department for any questions, explore further information online around Podiatry, and if possible, look to experience the day of a Podiatrist either within a private practice or within the health service.