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Contribution to Undergraduate Education

MEU members are involved in multiple teaching, co-ordination and support activities that contribute to undergraduate education in UCC.

Teaching and Learning Activities

Clinical Science & Practice 

Clinical science and practice is at the core of our undergraduate medical training and is a through-line of both the direct entry and graduate entry medical programmes. MEU members co-ordinate and deliver teaching for students in the earlier years that  support the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes in history-taking, physical examination, communication, professionalism and clinical decision making. Our members continue to support students to further hone and develop these as they move out to clinical sites and progress through medical school.



High Fidelity Manikin Based Simulation 

UCC Medical Education Unit, in partnership with our colleagues in ASSERT, “the first 5G connected telemedicine and medical robotics training centre in the world”, facilitates regular high-fidelity simulation-based training to our Final Year Medical Students. The simulation suites and use of SimMan manikins provide a safe and supportive space for our students to hone their skills, in preparation for their intern year. Scenarios range from common calls to medical emergencies.  

Students are given the opportunity to apply and adapt their knowledge to changing clinical environments, communicate effectively with patients, staff and their peers, and administer prompt appropriate treatment in an evidence-based, practical manner. Audio-visual recording and playback of scenarios allows for immediate analysis, small group discussion and bidirectional feedback. This, in turn, allows the students to explore their clinical decision-making, while enabling staff to continually modify the clinical scenarios, enhancing realism and challenging our students, while maintaining a positive, safe and supportive learning environment. High-fidelity simulation is a firm favourite amongst our Final Years, who value the realistic but safe learning space. [ASSERT website]


Simulated Day Ward 

The MEU also has its own Simulated Day Ward. Again, technology is put to effective use here. MEU staff utilise 8 rotatable cameras and omnidirectional microphones to remotely monitor the 5-bed day ward in real time. Our MEU nurse runs the ward and is the first point of contact for our students, who may also phone other clinical staff members for advice at any time during the session. The focus of learning is patient safety. In contrast to our ASSERT simulation-based learning, the beds here are occupied by our experienced simulated patients. Small but important details, such as the use of simulated hospital background noise, enhance the realism. Simulated ward rounds again allow for exploration of clinical thought processes, discussion of evidence-based practice and bidirectional feedback.


Preparedness for Practice 

This module includes the theoretical and practical aspects of key topics required to practice as a pre-registration doctor; promotion of self-directed learning skills; and continuing development of knowledge relevant to future medical practice. 

Teaching and learning for this module includes simulation activities (discussed above) as well as workshops on practical procedures such as IV cannulation and phlebotomy, as well as patient safety, the use of the Early Warning Score (EWS) and safe prescribing.  


Interprofessional Learning

Interprofessional learning (IPL) in health professions education occurs when two or more students from different health professions intentionally learn about, from, and with, each other to enhance patient care and collaborative practice. All medical students have experienced IPL at UCC School of Medicine since 2007 with various other health professional students. Currently all medical students participate in the following IPL activities: 


  • Hospital practice-based (simulation-based at the time of COVID) medication safety exercise between senior cycle (years 3 and 4) pharmacy and final year medical students  
  • Case-based safe prescribing between 3rd year medical and pharmacy students  
  • Interprofessional simulation-based learning and group work  for 2nd year medical and pharmacy students  


Another opportunity for IPL is presented by IP3008, which is a student selected module in palliative care. Third year medical students and 4th year nursing students participate in the module. 

Various Interprofessional learning assessments as well as student evaluations to date have provided us with evidence of students’ learning about, from and with other health professions within the above initiatives. Future curricular developments in this area are expected to stem from new IPL initiatives/pilot studies that have been recently carried out by the MEU.  

For enquiries about Medical Education Unit IPL initiatives please contact Dr Aislinn Joy ( 


SAFEMED is an evidence based stress management and resilience training programme that has been designed to help build wellbeing, manage stress, prevent burnout and keep medical students and doctors well. Contributing to the HSE and NHS well-being and performance agenda, SAFEMED teaches doctors in training and doctors in practice how to build health, well-being and resilience for work and life. All medical students receive training in SAFEMED. 

The primary goal of SAFEMED is to improve the health, wellbeing and performance of doctors and medical students by empowering them to name and discuss stress, coping and challenges in practice and be active and emotionally engaged with awareness, acquisition and action tools and resources.  

Further information on SAFEMED is available here





Student Selected Modules

Student selected modules are optional clinical and non-clinical courses selected by undergarduate medical students from a diverse range of options which are separate from the core curriculum. Dr Colm O'Tuathaigh, MEU staff, coordinates the UCC Medical School SSM programme. In line with the trend towards establishing SSM programmes which are reflective of the specific strengths of a given medical school, UCC Medical School places a strong emphasis on the acquisition of skills in Evidence-based Medicine.

For enquiries about the SSM programme, contact Dr Colm O'Tuathaigh (  

Student Support

In the School of Medicine, we recognise that, at times, students need additional support, whether working through personal or academic issues, to ensure that all students reach their full potential. It is important that you have access to help, including services to support your study and learning, medical services, and counsellors. UCC offers a range of services aimed at helping you to make the most of student life, many of them conveniently located on campus.

Who to contact for student support:

The School of Medicine has a dedicated Lead for Student Support, Dr Anél Wiese (

When you need support, contact the lead for Student Support for your year group.

  • In DEM 1-3 and GEM 1-2, this is your Year Coordinator.
  • In DEM 4/5 and GEM 3/4, Dr Wiese is the first point of contact.

Additional resources:

Please explore the Medical Education Unit resource site and UCC Student Support Tree for more information on available student supports.

Student Research

Members of the MEU are involved in the supervision of undergraduate student research in the area of health professions’ education. For detail of research areas in which MEU members are involved see  (RESEARCH PAGE).

For enquiries about undergraduate research projects in this area email 

Medical Education Unit

Room 2.59, Brookfield Health Science Complex College Road Cork, T12 AK54