So you want to be a Doctor? How to get into Medicine

So you want to be a Doctor? How to get into Medicine

10 months ago by Tom

Congratulations on your decision to pursue medicine as a career! Medicine is an interesting, valued and rewarding profession. The process of getting into medicine can be confusing, so here’s an introduction.


Criteria for getting into medicine

The minimum points required to get into medicine varies from year to year and between universities, but a total of at least 730 points is generally required. This is the addition of:

  • Your adjusted Leaving Certificate points and
  • Your overall HPAT score

Let’s consider each of these in turn:


Adjusted Leaving Certificate Points

When determining entry into medicine, Leaving Certificate points are adjusted as follows:

  • Students who obtain 550 points or less: no adjustment to points
  • Students who obtain higher than 550 points: each additional 5 points achieved over 550 points is adjusted to 1 point. Therefore, even if you score 625 in the Leaving Cert, your points when applying for medicine will be 565.


HPAT Score

The maximum score that can be achieved in HPAT is theoretically 300, but in reality anyone who gets 200 or more has done exceptionally well in HPAT, and is in the top 1% of candidates sitting HPAT.

The HPAT overall score is a weighted sum of your section scores. The three sections are weighted as follows: Section 1 (40%), Section 2 (40%) and Section 3 (20%). ACER does not release publicly how they calculate HPAT scores – this is discussed in detail in Dr Ann’s HPAT workshop.

Also remember that you need to achieve certain minimum subject requirements in subjects such as English, Irish, a third language, maths and various sciences to be eligible for entry into medicine. You can find further details on our university admissions page.


Applying for medicine

MedEntry recommends that students interested in medicine apply to all universities in Ireland offering the degree. Note that the minimum points required for medicine varies between universities and may change from year to year.

Students applying for medicine must also register with the CAO:


Important dates

There are some important dates to keep in mind when applying for medicine. A sample timeline is below (make sure you research the specific dates applicable for your year and your situation):

Date Task
Early November Registrations for HPAT open
Late January Deadline to register for HPAT
Early February Deadline to apply to the CAO
Late February Sit HPAT
Late June HPAT results released
Late August University offers released


Remember that you are going to busy in 6th year so it is important to be organised – note down important dates at the beginning of the year so you do not miss important deadlines!


More information

More information regarding the medical entry process can be obtained from:

  • University websites



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