Podiatric Medicine

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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If you want to work as a podiatrist, listen up! Have you got strong communication skills? Do you have critical thinker skills and pay attention to detail? Do you have the ability to work well with others while having the desire to help? Podiatry requires all of these qualities and more.

What is Podiatric Medicine?

Podiatric Medicine is a healthcare profession that deals with studying, diagnosing and management of disease and disorders in the foot, ankle and general lower limb. 

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Podiatric Medicine – NUIG 

Studying podiatric medicine in college

Undergraduate courses in Podiatric Medicine are limited in Ireland. The main option is to study in NUI Galway. This course is four years in length and will give you the opportunity to gain the relevant skills and opportunities in order to work in the area. 

Your first year of any undergraduate course will be a foundation year. You will gain an introduction into the area while also gaining an insight into what is to come throughout your course in the coming years. In your first year you will study topics from Human Anatomy, Human Body Function, Professional Development, Redefining Health and Wellbeing as well as Podiatry Theory and an introduction to Clinical Studies. 

In your second year you will begin to look at more complex and in depth modules and information. Modules you will cover will include Clinical Studies, Podiatry Theory II, Pathophysiology, Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics, Research Methods and an Introduction to Pharmacology. 

Third year will develop and expand on some of the information you will have been introduced to mostly throughout your second year. Areas you will focus on are Clinical Studies III, Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacology in Health and Disease, Research Methods III, Podiatry Theory III and Health Promotion in Podiatry. 

Your final year will bring all of your previous work together while also expanding and going into depth on further information. You will study modules from Clinical Studies IV, Skills for Practice and Footwear and Orthoses to Working with Vulnerable Adults and Contemporary Practice while also working on your research dissertation. 

Throughout your four years you will also take practical work experience to apply your knowledge practically and become familiar with working in the field. All the above information is based on the Podiatric Medicine course in NUI Galway. 

Career Options

The most obvious career path is to work as a podiatrist in environments from hospitals, clinics and health centres or even your own private practice that you might set up. Other places you may work include a GP Practice, nursing homes, and community rehabilitation services. You may work in the area in a different role such as a podiatry assistant, for example. 

Many may continue on their studies at postgraduate level to specialise in a particular area as well as studying at PhD level. Should you want to eventually move into a different area of healthcare following on from your undergraduate degree you will have to sit the HPAT exam. More information on this can be found below. It is also an option to go down the research and education route. 

Skills and qualities important in this area include excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, attention to detail, critical thinking skills, compassion, detail oriented, the ability to work well with others, the ability to build up a relationship with others, trustworthiness and a desire to help others. 

Related Jobs

  • Podiatrist
  • Radiographer
  • Nurse
  • Podiatry Assistant
  • Midwife
  • Occupational Therapist 
  • Physiotherapist 

Further Study

Visit postgrad.ie for more information. 


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Certain QQI Awards in a relevant area are also accepted. These change from course to course so be sure to research further. 

The points needed to study Podiatric Medicine in NUI Galway were 443 in 2020. It is one of the only courses in the area available. 

Where can I study?

You can explore your options here

Did you know?

  • Podiatrists were originally known as ‘chiropodists’
  • Archaeologists have discovered evidence of foot doctors in Greek ruins and ancient Egyptian tombs.
  • Each foot has 26 bones


Student Grant Scheme

Job description example

Five interesting facts from Podiatrists

HPAT Exam 

Aedín Dunne

Children’s Nursing


  1. Lucy Blackett Godley 7th July 2023 at 8:30 pm

    Hi staff at Podiatric medicine in NUIG . I am a practising Registered General Nurse since 2001 and have a long-standing interest in podiatry.
    Could you please forward me information in relation to the Podiatry course and I wonder do you offer any opportunities for remote learning , a reduction in the 4 year course taking General Nursing into account . I am aware here in Kerry that we are greatly understaffed in the area of Podiatry and demand is very high.
    I would not be in a position at present to relocate to Galway due to family commitments but would be very interested in outreach programmes or remote learning programmes.
    Kind Regards,
    Lucy Godley

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