Dr Michael Byrne

Head of Student Health Department



Michael is the Head of Student Health Department in University College Cork . The Department is responsible for delivering student-focussed health services, targeting illnesses and health issues that predominate in the university population.

Dr Byrne has had a leadership role in a variety of university and national initiatives including;

  • The development of University College Cork’s
    – Mental Health Policy
    – Fitness to Practise Policy
    – Fitness to Continue in Study Policies
  • The use of a curricular approach to effect attitudinal and behavioural change in the 3rd level setting, in the area of sexual consent and sexual assault
  • The roll-out of UCC Health Matters, with UCC now a recognised Health Promoting University
  • Delivering initiatives to reduce alcohol and psychoactive substance related harm amongst students.

His work in the field of reducing alcohol-related harm amongst the student population came to national prominence in 2013 when UCC Health Matters under his leadership was awarded Best Public Health Initiative, and the overall award at the Irish Healthcare Awards.

He is currently leading the REACT Project (Responding to Excessive Alcohol Consumption in Third level) a national 3rd level sector project to develop a national awards and recognition scheme for 3rd level institutions that target alcohol-related ham in their colleges.

He is Principal Investigator on the MiUSE Project (My Understanding of Substance Experimentation), which is seeking to develop an on-line behavioural change tool for students to help reduce harm from novel Psychoactive Substance use

He was previously a Lead Consultant in Primary Care in Edinburgh Scotland, having been a partner in a General Practice for 7 years prior to that. He has considerable experience of working in a multi-cultural environment as Head of an Air-Base Primary Care clinic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In his spare time, he delivers master workshops on communication skills to Doctors throughout Ireland and the UK.

He has a wife, 4 kids, a dog, and a large garden.