Course Overview

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Palliative Care) is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Palliative Care Nursing. The programme aims to support students in developing as knowledgeable, caring practitioners who can effecting positive transitions for patients from curative approaches in healing to comfort measures in caring at end of life.

The programme is offered full-time over two academic years. On completion of the six modules in year one students have the option of being awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or (if they have achieved the minimum 60% average mark across these modules) may progress onto the next year to complete the Master in Health Sciences (Palliative Care).

It consists of both theoretical and clinical components. A blended learning approach is adopted in the delivery of this programme. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. Students must be working clinically with people at end of life to be considered for this programme. All students must complete a number of weeks in specialist palliative care before completing this programme. 


The course has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible to combine working full-time with studying. This course is approved by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Be registered on the general, children’s, mental health or learning disability division of the Nurse’s Register maintained by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).
  2. Have a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses).
  3. Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., Palliative Care / with people at end of life, and have, as a minimum, six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area.
  4. All students must complete additional clinical hours in a palliative care setting. The length of placement depends on the learning opportunities available to students in their current work setting.
  5. Have an Honours Bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in nursing or a comparable qualification. Applicants who do not hold an Honours degree or Higher Diploma (Level 8) may apply but must clearly demonstrate their capacity to complete a programme at this level. In addition to the other requirements outlined above, these applicants are required to submit a 1,000-word, literature-based essay. To be considered for admission, this essay must be at the level expected of an Honours degree candidate (Level 8).
  6. Candidates registered on the Mental Health or Learning Disability division of the register maintained by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland must complete additional clinical hours in a palliative care setting. This requirement may apply to registered general or children’s nurses depending on the learning opportunities available to them in their work setting. 

Top up (PAC code—GYM84)

Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PDip and who have attained at least 60%  in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of our specialist masters programmes via the link below.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).

Additional Requirements


Two years full-time (option to leave with PDip after one year)

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please see the review/closing dates website for further information.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning and workshops.

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

Students will complete three core and three specialist modules in the first year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the second year. 


  • Service Improvement (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 credits—core) 
  • Advanced Research Methods (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Assessment 1 
  • Clinical Assessment 2 
  • Palliative Approaches to Symptom Management (10 credits—specialist)
  • Care of the Child and Family with Palliative / Complex Needs (10 credits—specialist)
  • End of Life Care: Psychological & Social Perspectives (10 credits—specialist)

Module details for the full time course

Module details for the top up course

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,500 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€6,276 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,750 p.a. 2018/19

Find out More

Laura Dempsey 
T +353 91 495 353