The new medical school will be based at the Magee campus of Ulster University.
Applications are now being accepted for the new School of Medicine at the Magee campus of Ulster University in Derry.
This marks a significant development in the long-running process to make the medical school a reality.
It is now expected that an intake of 70 student doctors will take begin studying at the medical school in September 2021.
The acceptance of applications follows a successful progression through the next steps of the General Medical Council’s (GMC) rigorous quality assurance process for new medical schools.
With support from the Northern Ireland Executive, ring-fenced funding was announced last month, combined with the GMC’s recent review of the university's state of readiness, enables Ulster University to recruit staff and students for a September 2021 opening.
The medical school will select students who have already completed an undergraduate degree and provide them with four years of training.
The School will offer a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) medical degree programme that is unique in Northern Ireland.
In 2018, the Department of Health commissioned a Review of Medical School Places which recommended that Northern Ireland needs 100 more medical students a year to meet the increasing demand for doctors.
Currently, approximately 40% of medical graduates in Northern Ireland tend to stay and live within 10 miles of Queen’s University Belfast after graduation, according to the GMC.
Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Louise Dubras, who will lead the Magee school.
She said: “As a GP working in the city myself, I am continually reflecting on the role of the doctor and the doctor-patient journey. COVID-19 has emphasised that a career as a doctor requires a commitment to lifelong learning and adapting to life’s modern challenges.
“The MBBS programme at Ulster’s School of Medicine will provide students with the professional skills, knowledge and relevant clinical experience necessary to be a twenty first century doctor.
“Working closely with our partner medical School St George’s University of London and alongside globally acclaimed visiting professors, our medical provision, rooted in the heart of Derry-Londonderry on our Magee campus, will provide the much-needed doctors required for the North West.
“The School of Medicine on our Magee campus will attract students to study, work and live in the North West and will be a catalyst in the innovation corridor to be established as part of the City Deal. We look forward to taking the next steps and to welcoming our first medical students ready to embark upon such a rewarding and vital career path with us.”
The Graduate Entry programme offered at Magee is open to anyone with a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in any subject.
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