Course Overview

This programme is designed for registered general nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in oncology nursing.

Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland, normally within the students' own work setting.  Students may also be required to undertake additional placement(s) in order to meet the programme’s learning outcomes.

The full-time programme is offered full-time over two calendar years. On completion of Year 1 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 second year to complete the MSc programme.

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 are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours before completing this programme. 

SPECIAL FEATURES
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.

Top up:
Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PGDip in NUI Galway and who have attained at least 60%  in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of our specialist masters programmes via www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduateapplications.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and teaching assessments.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Be a registered nurse on the General Nurse division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);
  2. Have a minimum of one year of post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
  3. Be currently working in an approved oncology care setting and have as a minimum six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
  4. Satisfy the selection panel of ability to complete the programme;
  5. Provide written support from their employer that they will be able to access this client group across the programme;
  6. 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) must demonstrate that they have successfully completed (in the previous two years) a module at Level 9. Please consult the professional credit awards at Level 9 at: www.nuigalway.ie/pca/pca.html.

Top up: 
Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PDip in NUI Galway and who have attained at least 60%  in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of our specialist masters programmes via www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduateapplications.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).


Additional Requirements

Duration

2 years full-time (option to leave with PDip after 1 year)

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning & workshops

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1MDOH1—full-time | 1MDO3—top up

Course Outline

Students will complete 3 core and 3 specialist modules in the 1st year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the 2nd year.

Modules

Students will complete 3 core and 3 specialist modules in the 1st year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the 2nd year.

Modules

  •       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 
  •       Nursing Management of Patients living with a diagnosis of cancer (10 credits—specialist)
  •       Nursing Management of Patients living with a hematological condition  (10 credits—specialist)
  •       Living with and beyond cancer  (10 credits—specialist)

Module details for Oncology top-up course

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

Credits
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.
Module
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.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)

Required NU6123: Nursing management of patients living with a haematological condition


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This blended learning module addresses both malignant and non-malignant blood disorders. An understanding of normal haematopoiesis and immunology is central to this module. Reaching a diagnosis and management of both malignant and benign haematological conditions are addressed. The management of blood disorders and both emergency and non-emergency interventions are also addressed.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Discuss normal haematopoiesis and immunology
  2. Discuss the staging systems used in haematological cancers
  3. Discuss issues involved in the diagnosis, treatment and living long term with a haematological disorder; both non-malignant and malignant.
  4. Prioritise emergency and non-emergency interventions for the haematology patient
  5. Critically discuss the role of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in managing blood cancers.
  6. Critically discuss the use of appropriate blood products in line with local, national and international guidelines in relation to the patient living with a haematological disorder
  7. Critically discuss the infection control precautions needed for patients diagnosed with a malignant haematological condition
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
The above information outlines module NU6123: "Nursing management of patients living with a haematological condition" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6122: Nursing management of patients living with a diagnosis of cancer


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This specialist module addresses epidemiology of cancer (haematological & non-haematological). Psycho-social issues related to cancer prevention, including cancer fatalism are also explored. The module also addresses how cancer is diagnosed, meeting the needs of patients diagnosed with cancer, and managing distress in cancer patients.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss the role of epidemiology in cancer and aetiology of the major non-haematological cancers.
  2. Critically appraise the main principles of cancer screening and barriers to uptake of screening
  3. Critically discuss the impact of fatalism on the public and on cancer patients
  4. Explain the role of the major tests used in reaching a cancer diagnosis and discuss the role of staging and re-staging in cancer
  5. Discuss the TNM staging system & other staging systems and the role of grading in cancer
  6. Discuss the range of non-haematological cancers under the headings: risk factors, diagnosis, classification, symptoms, treatment.
  7. Critically discuss the management of distress among cancer patients
  8. Discuss the role of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy and hormone therapy and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in cancer management
  9. Explain the cell cycle and the classification of anticancer drugs
  10. Discuss the different methods of delivering radiation treatment
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Reading List
  1. "Pancreatic cancer: A whistle-stop tour." by Gee, C
    Publisher: Gastrointestinal Nursing
    Chapters: 9(7)
The above information outlines module NU6122: "Nursing management of patients living with a diagnosis of cancer" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Errors are inevitable in healthcare systems (Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, 2008). It is estimated that medical errors would rank 5 in the top 10 causes of death in the United States, ahead of accidents, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, if included on the National Centre for Health Statistics’ list (Joint Commission, 2005 p.7). In Ireland, the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (2008) acknowledge that healthcare will never be risk free but argue that it is critical that the systems in place are as safe as possible, that the right ‘checks and balances’ are in place and that learning results from mistakes. To ensure this happens it is important that programmes prepare nurses to promote and enhance clinical safety. The module is guided by the National Patient Safety Framework (The Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2005) and the WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide for Medical Schools (World Health Organisation, 2009).
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critique the concepts of ‘safety’ and ‘risk’ in context of their practice setting.
  2. Examine the concept of ‘clinical governance’ in the Irish healthcare system
  3. Identify and evaluate the factors that determine the quality and safety of healthcare from the perspective of (i) the nurse or midwife (ii) the client (iii) the multidisciplinary team and (iv) the wider healthcare system
  4. Identify local policies and procedures to improve clinical safety and apply safety principles in practice.
  5. Debate the tensions between ‘managing risk’ and ‘client autonomy
  6. Explore their role in promoting and enhancing safety as a member of the multidisciplinary team
  7. Complete a risk assessment relevant to their practice setting.
  8. Evaluate their contribution to quality improvement in their practice setting
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU623: "Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6124: Living with and beyond cancer


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module addresses the role of the oncology nurse in supporting patients during their cancer journey and beyond. The emphasis is on incorporating diverse evidence-based skills to provide holistic support during treatment and into survivorship.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss the use of protocols in cancer management.
  2. Critically discuss patients at risk of each type of oncological emergency and the evidence based prevention and management of each oncological emergency (Tumour lysis syndrome, Malignant spinal cord compression, Critically discuss patients Sepsis, DIC, Syndrome of Inappropriate Secretion of Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH). Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS), hypercalcaemia). Critically discuss the management of acute bleeding and DIC and the oncology nurse’s role in the prevention and management of oncological emergencies
  3. Describe the types of pain that cancer can cause and discuss the drugs used to relieve pain in cancer patients and explain their function. Explain what is meant by ‘total pain’ and how it to relieve it
  4. Critically discuss types and treatment of cancer-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and causes and treatment of cancer cachexia
  5. Critically discuss the assessment and management of oral mucositis
  6. Critically discuss evidence based interventions to prevent complications from neutropenia
  7. Critically discuss the multiple factors that contribute to cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and evidence based measures to manage CRF
  8. Discuss the role of the oncology nurse in supporting patients living with and beyond cancer or a haematological disorder.
  9. Critically discuss health promotion for patients living with cancer or a haematological disorder
  10. Discuss the psycho-social needs of the patient and family living with cancer
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
The above information outlines module NU6124: "Living with and beyond cancer" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6439: Service Improvement


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module will allow the student the opportunity to plan and implement, with their manager, and an academic facilitator, a service improvement initiative. The project will focus on an issue of relevance to client care or service improvement and must be supported by the student’s line manager and/or clinical facilitator. Examples of the types of projects include: completion of a defined literature review supporting some aspect of unit work, preparation of a patient education leaflet (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a patient education pack (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a strategy to reduce waiting time, an initiative that will improve patient/staff safety, development/implementation of guidelines/policies, an initiative that improves the quality of patient services or the work environment, an initiative that saves time/money or any issue/problem/change that can be addressed through action. This work must be completed within a calendar year.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically examine a practice issue and contribute to service improvement
  2. Integrate and apply learning from other modules
  3. Work collaboratively with peers and clients
  4. Become an autonomous and independent learner
  5. Develop the skills and knowledge needed to implement a change in clinical practice
  6. Develop their skills of analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving and reflection
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU6439: "Service Improvement" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU502: Advanced Research Methods


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module focuses on developing further students understanding of the theoretical foundations of research, research methodologies and methods of data collection. The module has two major goals. Firstly, to provide students with the required knowledge and skills to interpret and implement research findings in their practice and secondly, to prepare students to undertake a piece of research. Students will be given an opportunity to recap on methodological approaches to quantitative and qualitative research. A key skill in promoting students independence is preparing students to complete their own research project under the supervision of a supervisor. Therefore, this module has a specific focus on providing students with the knowledge and skills of “doing” research.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate that they have an understanding of what ‘evidence’ is and how to ssystematically search for evidence
  2. Discuss theoretical perspectives on research methodology
  3. Explain clearly the origins, underpinning philosophical assumptions, key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
  4. Articulate a research problem and formulate a research question or hypothesis as appropriate to guide the conduct of the study
  5. Justify the use of appropriate data collection, sampling, and data analysis methods for qualitative and quantitative research
  6. Create a plan with clear rationales for data collection, sampling, data analysis and rigour to be used when conducting a qualitative or quantitative study
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU502: "Advanced Research Methods" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (30 Credits)

Required NU6515: Research Dissertation


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Students will be required to undertake a piece of primary research on a topic of relevance to their specialism. Students will be assigned a research supervisor who will support them in undertaking this work
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Developed a research question of significance to their specialist nursing practice.
  2. Identify the appropriate methodology to suit the research question and/or hypothesis
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical requirements within the study
  4. Demonstrate the ability to review and analyse relevant literature
  5. Identify the most appropriate method for data collection to answer the research question
  6. Demonstrate the ability to draw a significant and meaningful conclusion from the data analysis
  7. Prepare a scholarly report, which will demonstrate accurate expression, analysis and synthesis of ideas
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU6515: "Research Dissertation" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally in clinical nurse specialist roles and clinical trials (oncology).

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,500 p.a. Yr 1; €3,250 Yr 2. 2019/20

Fees: Tuition

€6,276 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Non EU

€14,750 p.a. 2018/19

Find out More

Downloads

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 MB)