If you are applying to Basic Specialist Training programmes you may experience problems submitting an application. We advise you to try again to submit your application. We have extended the closing date to 4pm Monday 18 November 2019.

Applying to Basic Specialist Training

Applying to Basic Specialist Training

Applications now open | Closing date extended to 4pm Monday 18 November 2019

Basic Specialist Training (BST) is the first step towards specialisation in medicine.

It is a hospital-based training programme completed in Senior House Officer (SHO) posts. It prepares you for Higher Specialist Training, which is the final stage of training.

Completion of the intern year is an essential entry requirement.

BST is structured so that you rotate to a different post every three or six months, letting you experience different subspecialties and clinical teams. All posts approved for BST in Ireland are full-time and salaried.

In addition to supervised clinical training in the hospital, you will need to complete exams and courses designed to help you to develop professionally and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.

We offer Basic Specialist Training programmes in four specialties:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • Paediatrics
  • Histopathology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The next start date for BST is Monday 13 July 2020.

We are now accepting applications for 2020. The closing date to submit your application is 16.00 Monday 18 November 2019. 

Entry Requirements for Basic Specialist Training

The entry requirements for BST programmes:

  • You must have completed your internship by the start date of the programme (Monday 12 July 2020)
  • You must be eligible for inclusion on the Trainee Specialist Division of the Medical Council’s register at the time you apply
  • You must have proof of competency in the English language in line with HSE Specifications

Please note that to be eligible for a place BST GIM, you must be competent in:

  • intravenous cannulation
  • phlebotomy
  • nasogastric tube placement  
Doctor at work

Apply Now

We are now accepting applications for our Basic Specialist Training programmes. Applications will close at 16.00 on Monday 18 November 2019. 

To submit your application, please click on the links below: 

To view what is required for each stage of each application, please refer to the following guides: 

Frequently Asked Questions about applying to BST

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You can apply to Basic Specialist Training programmes in four specialties:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • Paediatrics
  • Histopathology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

You can apply to more than one specialty, although very few candidates will apply to more than two specialties.

All applicants who meet the entry requirements listed above will be scheduled for interview. Interviews are conducted in January, February and March. There are separate interview processes for each specialty.

You will receive marks for your academic achievements, performance at interview, clinical acumen, general suitability for the specialty and your appraisal forms. You will be matched to your highest possible preference based on your total marks.

First round offers will be made in within a couple of weeks of the interviews. There are usually three rounds of matching and offers.

You can only be matched to one preference in each specialty. You can be offered a place in more than one specialty but you can only accept one offer.

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The application process for Basic Specialist Training programmes commencing July 2020 opens on Thursday 1st October 2019. On this date, the online application forms will be made available on this web page.

The closing date for applications is 4:00pm sharp, Friday 15 November 2019.

Interviews will be held on the following dates*

  • Paediatrics - 30 January 2020
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology - 12 February 2020
  • General Internal Medicine - 11, 12, 13 February 2020
  • Histopathology - 3 Febraury 2020

First round offers will be made within a couple of weeks of the interviews.

*These dates are subject to change

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You are required to submit two appraisal forms from two referees with your BST application. You will also be required to bring these two appraisal forms to your interview.

Your referees are asked to rate your professional attitude and personal attributes on the appraisal form.

Download Blank Appraisal Form

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  • A scanned/PDF copy of your academic transcript from medical school, listing your complete academic history: programmes attended, a breakdown of marks/grades achieved, the degree awarded, your overall grade and conferring date. If you completed your degree in a non-English speaking university, your transcripts must be translated into English.
  • Verification of your decile/centile place within graduating class. If your university does not provide this you must submit a letter from your university stating this.
  • Scanned/PDF of proof of English language competency (IELTS) or documentary evidence if you are exempt from this requirement - All applicants to our training programmes are required to demonstrate their competency in the English language in line with HSE specifications*
  • A scanned/PDF copy of two appraisal forms from two referees 
  • A scanned copy of your passport identity page

* If you completed your entire medical degree in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, UK or the United States you are exempt from having to provide proof of English language competency.

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  • Your employment history
  • Professional qualifications/education
  • Experience to date under the headings
    • Audit experience
    • Presentations
    • Publications
    • Abstract publications
    • Skills courses attended
  • Career objectives
  • Details (name, title, hospital, phone and email) of two employer referees
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A limited number of Skype interviews are available for Irish graduates currently living outside of the EU.

Skype interviews will take place between 07:00 – 17.00 GMT on the following dates*:

  • General Internal Medicine: 5 February 2020
  • Paediatrics: 30 January 2020
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology: 12 February 2020

To request a Skype interview, please email your application reference number to bst@rcpi.ie once you have submitted your BST application.

We have limited capacity to conduct Skype interviews and unfortunately not all requests can be accommodated.

*Dates are subject to change. 

Applying to BST? Please read these important documents

Appraisal Form

You will be required to bring two appraisal forms from two referees to your interview. Your referees are asked to rate your professional attitude and personal attributes on the appraisal form.

Allocation of BST Places

Places in BST are allocated in the first instance to candidates who are citizens of Ireland or nationals of another member state of the European Union. Read more about allocation of places in BST.

Eligibility for Trainee Specialist Division – Guidance

If you did not graduate from a medical school in Ireland, please read our guidance on Medical Council registration.

English Language Requirements - Guidance

All applicants are required to demonstrate their competency in the English Language in line with HSE specifications. Read more about English Language requirements here.

Contact Us

We have a dedicated administrative team to support Trainees in Basic Specialist Training. They are happy to deal with any questions you have about BST.

Basic Specialist Training

Jane Fletcher

Team Lead, Basic Specialist Training

Tel: 01 8639 657

Jane is the Team Lead overseeing Basic Specialist Training.


Catherine Corcoran

Programme Coordinator, Obstetrics and Gynaecology training programmes

Contact Catherine for queries about Basic Specialist Training and Higher Specialist Training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Lauren Kerchner, BST

Coordinator, Histopathology Basic Specialist Training

Tel: +353 1 863 9640

Contact Lauren for information about Basic Specialist Training in Histopathology.


Maeli Santos

Coordinator, General Internal Medicine Basic Specialist Training

Tel: 353+ 1 863 9626

Contact Maeli for information about Basic Specialist Training in General Internal Medicine.


Paula Cullen

Coordinator, General Internal Medicine Basic Specialist Training

Tel: 353+ 1 863 9719

Contact Paula for information about Basic Specialist Training in General Internal Medicine


Vladislava Novicka

Medical Training Coordinator

I look after current and incoming BST and HST Paediatric trainees