Course Overview

Diabetes is a global health emergency with over 600 million people expected to have the condition by 2030, representing 10% of the world’s population. Therefore the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classed diabetes as an epidemic requiring urgent action for both prevention and management. This has been echoed in Ireland’s Health Service Executive national policy and clinical strategy for diabetes. It is a chronic metabolic condition that can cause significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality if not managed correctly. Central to this management is controlling key physiological indices such as blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid levels, as well as promoting health behaviours such as regular exercise, healthy eating and not smoking. Unfortunately achieving these biological targets and lifestyle goals is extremely challenging. Therefore given its growing prevalence and resulting impact on health care resources, there is an urgent need to provide specialist training in diabetes.  This interdisciplinary programme aims to meet this need. 

Learning outcomes

  1. Have a systematic understanding of diabetes informed by the latest scholarship
  2. Have a critical awareness of the current problems / new insights in diabetes.
  3. Demonstrate a range of standard and specialised research tools for diabetes
  4. Develop new skills to a high level including novel and emerging techniques in diabetes
  5. Be able to act in a variety of professional contexts on the topic of diabetes
  6. Be able to take significant responsibility for leading diabetes research
  7. Be able to self-evaluate and take responsibility for continuing academic / professional development in diabetes
  8. Be able to scrutinise and reflect on diabetes social norms and relationships and act to change them

Scholarships Available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

All prospective candidates will be interviewed by telephone or Skype. Selection will be made by the program director in consultation with the head of school, on the basis of the applicant’s written application. To be considered for admission to the programme, applicants must meet the admission criteria outlined above. Applicants will be evaluated on the:

  • Applicant’s academic record
  • Applicant’s level of motivation and suitability based on his/her Personal Statement (submitted as part of the application)
Nursing Diabetes Master’s

Please note, if you are interested in pursuing the Nursing Diabetes Master’s, click here.


Who Teaches this Course

In addition to the faculty of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (CMNHS), the Programme Board for the Masters of Science in Diabetes play an active role in teaching on this course including:

Programme Director:                      
Prof  Derek O’Keeffe Consultant Endocrinologist UHG HSE, Professor College of Medicine,  Nursing & Health Sciences, NUI Galway

Programme Board
Ms Helen Burke, ANP Diabetes, University Hospital Galway, HSE
Dr. Marua Dowling, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway
Prof Sean Dinneen, HSE Clinical Lead Diabetes, Consultant Endocrinologist UHG
Dr. Eva Flynn, General Practitioner, Lecturer, School of Medicine, NUI Galway

Requirements and Assessment

The programme is delivered using a blended learning format, combining on-line learning and face-to-face workshops. The course assessments therefore reflect this approach by using a combination of continuous assessment through examining the students’ online e-tivities, traditional essays, formal module exams and assigned project activities.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will possess at least a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 degree in an appropriate clinical or life science degree program. For those who do not hold a primary degree at the required level, a special case will be made if they have demonstrated aptitude for the course material through at least three years of high quality work experience in a relevant field of diabetes health. 

Candidates coming to Ireland from abroad or who do not have a degree from Ireland or the UK will be asked to provide evidence of an acceptable result in one of the recognised English language proficiency tests, e.g., IELTS total score of 6.5.

All prospective candidates will be interviewed by telephone or Skype.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date
 Please view the offer rounds website.
NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning (online and face-to-face workshops)

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

This programme aims to prepare graduates to effectively contribute to diabetes management through comprehensive academic and research training. 

The course is delivered through blended learning (online content and face to face workshops), with an attendance requirement of approximately 10 days per 4 month semester (please note some workshops may be scheduled at weekends). 

Year 1 Semester 1 & 2 are theoretical based and represents 60 ECTS credits which is equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma Diabetes at completion (which students can exit with, if they wish, at the end of Semester 2). Semester 3 is research thesis based which builds on the knowledge and skills learned in Semester 1&2 and represents 30 ECTS credits, thus providing a total of 90 ECTS which is the requirement for the awarding of a Masters of Science Diabetes. 

Year 1

Semester 1
GPN10            Diabetes                                                                                              10 ECTS
HP8101          Foundations of Health Promotion                                      10 ECTS
MD1562         Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice       10 ECTS

Semester 2
MD 578           Lifestyle Risk Factor Modification                                       30 ECTS

(Optional exit opportunity with PDipSc Diabetes or continue on for MSc Diabetes.)

Semester 3
MD 577            Research Project                                                                                 30 ECTS

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required HP8101: Foundations of Health Promotion (SWB)

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module provides a theoretical background to the concepts and principles of Health Promotion as a foundation for policy and practice. The development of Health Promotion internationally is discussed and current approaches and strategies are examined. In particular, the module focuses on the key actions to promote health as outlined in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986) and subsequent WHO declarations and charters. Contemporary practice, policy, and research issues in Health Promotion are examined.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. understand the theoretical models that underpin health promotion
  2. understand the core concepts, principles and values that underpin health promotion
  3. understand the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986) and their implications for practice and policy
  4. understand the importance of the evidence base for health promotion
  5. understand competing discourses within health promotion
  6. understand ethical debates and dilemmas within health promotion
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Making Health Policy" by Buse, K., Mays, N., and Walt, G.
    Publisher: Open University Press
  2. "The Pocket Guide to Health Promotion" by Laverack, G
    Publisher: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education.
  3. "Health Promotion: Foundations for Practice" by Naidoo, J. & Wills, J.
    Publisher: Balliere Tindall
The above information outlines module HP8101: "Foundations of Health Promotion (SWB)" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required GPN10: Diabetes

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Diabetes is a postgraduate module offered to health care professionals as a component of Masters in Diabetes, Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Primary Care and also as a stand alone module.The main learning objective of this module is to improve the management of patients with diabetes. This course has been developed so that the tutors and teachers involved are local experts and specialists in the area and involves a multidisciplinary approach. The aim of the course is to offer an excellent learning resource and also offer an opportunity to build support with specialists in secondary care. This module has been developed for allied health professionals including general practitioners, practice nurses, hospital and community nurses and dieticians and is aimed to address the learning needs of those managing patients with this condition. This course is ICGP accredited.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. • Demonstrate competency in diagnosis, screening and classification of patients with diabetes
  2. • Critically analyse the challenges of diabetes control, monitoring and self-management education
  3. • Implement appropriate structure of care for patients with diabetes
  4. • Integrate health behaviours methodology in the care of patients with diabetes
  5. • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the appropriate use of therapeutics in diabetes
  6. • Demonstrate the ability to recognise and manage acute and chronic diabetes complications
  7. • Implement appropriate screening and pathways of care for pregnancy and diabetes
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "A Practical Guide to Integrated Diabetes Care" by n/a
  2. "Additional recommended and supplemental references per weekly unit." by n/a
The above information outlines module GPN10: "Diabetes" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MD577: Research Project

15 months long | Credits: 30

This module applies learning acquired in the Research Methods module in semester 1 of the Diploma/Masters course. Students are required to submit a proposal for an original research project in an area drawn broadly from the six themed areas of preventive cardiology covered in the course. A supervisor(s) will be assigned to the student early in semester 2. The project will provide practical experience of research methodologies and will introduce the student to the process of publication.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Develop an idea for an original research project based on knowledge of the existing published literature in preventive cardiology.
  2. Complete a comprehensive literature review relevant to the agreed research theme.
  3. Select appropriate research methodologies which will allow a focused research question to be addressed.
  4. Prepare a structured research proposal (3,000 words) which will defend the choice of research methodology and reflect on the existing literature on the subject in question.
  5. Seek formal ethics committee approval if indicated.
  6. Manage bibliographic references using a reference manager such as EndNote.
  7. Apply a knowledge of medical statistics in the analysis of research findings.
  8. Complete a structured dissertation (5,000 words) in the format of a manuscript suitable for submission, with minimal revision, to a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • Research (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module MD577: "Research Project" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MD1562: Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice

Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module will guide the learner through the scientific research process and the use of evidence based practice in clinical settings.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Differentiate between different theories of research and the language of research
  2. Recognise the importance and principles of evidence based practice
  3. Demonstrate an ability to perform competent electronic database and internet searches to formulate a literature review
  4. Explain the role of research methods and differentiate between different types of research design
  5. Formulate a research question and conceptualise a research project
  6. Design, prepare, and submit a research proposal for ethical approval
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module MD1562: "Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required MD578: Lifestyle Risk Factor Modification

Semester 2 | Credits: 30

  • Continuous Assessment (50%)
  • Department-based Assessment (50%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module MD578: "Lifestyle Risk Factor Modification" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Specialist training in diabetes at postgraduate level will demonstrate an academic commitment to diabetes care and research, and therefore will allow the graduate to be competitive in pursing future healthcare opportunities.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,700 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€6,476 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€15,450 p.a. 2020/21

Find out More

Programme Director
Prof  Derek O’Keeffe
Consultant Endocrinologist UHG HSE 
Professor College of Medicine,  Nursing & Health Sciences, NUI Galway
Clinical Science Institute, NUI Galway
T: + 353 91 494 213

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Other programmes also offered within this suite of courses in Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Health include:

MSc Preventive Cardiology

MSc Obesity 

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  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 MB)