Physicianeer- Europe's first dual Medicine-Engineering Degree

NUI Galway has launched a new degree programme that will allow students too pursue a specialised Engineering stream in their Undergraduate Medical degree programme, awarding students with both a Medical degree and a Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical) degree (MB, BCh, BAO, BE) upon completion.

Developed by NUI Galway’s Professor Derek O’Keeffe and Dr Ted Vaughan, this is the first European dual Medicine - Engineering academic degree track which is currently only available in select institutions worldwide. This world class dual Medicine–Engineering programme will only be available to a stellar cohort of less than five students, who will be selected to the Physicianeer programme based on aptitude, academic merit and interview.

Students will complete three years of the Medicine degree at NUI Galway before beginning the Biomedical Engineering component. Applicaiton for consideration for the NUI Galway Physicianeer Programme is only open to students accepted onto the 5 year (GY501) medical degree. Students on the 6 year (GY501) medical programme are not eligible to apply. If successful, the dual track with Biomedical Engineering will be a total of 8 years.


Key Facts


The medtech sector responsible for €12.6 billion worth of exports.


med-tech companies in Ireland account for over 29,000 jobs.


of the top 20 global medical device companies operate in Ireland.


of companies in this sector are SMEs.


of the world’s stents are produced in Galway.


of the world’s top 10 med-tech companies are based here.


Ireland is the second largest exporter of medical devices in Europe.


About 29,000 people are employed in this sector.


Ireland is the world leader in production of drug eluting stents

Professor Derek O’Keeffe

Professor of Medical Device Technology NUI Galway and Consultant Physician at University Hospital Galway, said: “Physicians working in the healthcare environment regularly identify clinical problems that need to be solved and Engineers have the skillset to achieve this. This combined Physicianeer programme offers an interdisciplinary learning environment and will allow the development of technology, systems and solutions encompassing the full innovation cycle from bedside to bench to bedside.

“The Physicianeer programme at NUI Galway represents a new paradigm in medical education by integrating Engineering training to produce patient centred innovation. We are looking for students with a strong track record of academic excellence, the best of the best to take part in this pioneering programme to improve patient lives.”

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This dual degree is unique in Europe

Ireland is uniquely placed to develop a dual Medicine–Engineering Undergraduate degree as we have a leading role in the global medical technology sector. We currently have 450 medical technology companies in Ireland of which 50% are indigenous and 8 of the top 10 global medical technology companies represented here in Galway.

Over 29,000 people are employed in this sector, the highest per capita proportion of workforce in the any country in Europe. Ireland is currently the world leader in the production of drug eluting stents and produces half of the world’s hospital ventilators and a third of all contact lenses globally. We are currently the second largest exporter of medical technology products in Europe valued at €12.6 billion.

This innovative degree will produce graduates ideally placed to contribute to and grow the medical technology sector as well as improving patient care.

Explore NUI Galway's relationship with medtech