Pursuing a Career in Healthcare

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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This week a significant increase in the number of third level places available in healthcare courses was announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD. Read more here.

The announcement seeks to create additional capacity in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, and  speech and language therapy.

Healthcare is one of the most meaningful and in-demand career fields in Ireland. If you have ever thought about pursuing a Career in Healthcare, read on as we take a look at a few of the healthcare professions to consider studying.


There’s an array of different specialities you can choose from in the field of medicine. Your path might range from a 5-6 year undergraduate medical degree with the aim of becoming a doctor to pursuing post-graduate research in your chosen field through an intensive programme of in-depth research. There are many specialities you can choose to pursue during your career in medicine.


Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. To become a registered nurse in Ireland requires a 4-year Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing involving both clinical study and theoretical study and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.


To become a General Dentist, it is necessary to complete a full-time five-year degree programme. There are only two colleges in Ireland offering undergraduate dental training that will qualify graduates to practise as a professional Dentist. These are Trinity College and UCC. Becoming a Dental Assistant is also an option.


Becoming a pharmacist in Ireland requires completing a 4-year Master’s degree in Pharmacy after undergraduate studies. There are three universities in Ireland that are recognized by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland:  University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.


The UCD School of Veterinary Medicine is the only centre for veterinary education in Ireland. There is also the option to pursue veterinary medical degree programmes abroad. It is becoming more common for Irish Vets practicing in Ireland to have returned home after successfully completing their veterinary studies overseas. Other options include a Certificate in Animal Care or Veterinary Assistant, which is a good starting point for careers in veterinary nursing, animal grooming, and animal care.


There are several therapy professions that are focused on helping people regain / improve abilities impacted by injury, illness or disability. These include physical, occupational, speech and language therapists. Accreditation as a therapist can require many years of training comprising a primary degree, and further post-graduate study in the specific discipline.

Whichever path you pursue, healthcare offers the chance to make a difference and launch a rewarding career. Explore your options and search our database of Healthcare courses here, here and here.

Steven Galvin

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