Course Overview

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma of Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing) runs over two academic years. Candidates registering for this programme upon successful completion of year one can register with the NMBI as a public health nurse. To successfully complete year one the student must complete theoretical modules totalling 60 ECTS and clinical assessment requirements as stipulated by NMBI (2015).

 Students on successful completion of year one may opt out of the programme and will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing). Students must achieve 60% on the aggregate of modules undertaken in year one to progress to year two. Students who have indicated to opt out on completion of year one will not progress to year two. Year one is currently sponsored by the HSE. Year Two of this programme is offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, and is not sponsored by the Health Service Executive.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). 

Applicants must satisfy the selection/admission committee that they have the ability to complete the programme.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have undertaken a programme of study at National Qualification Framework, academic Level 8. The academic transcript provided will be used as evidence to demonstrate this, which should be for the highest level award.  

If you do not hold a Level 8 qualification (honours degree or higher diploma) or you are unsure if your academic qualification is at Level 8 or equivalent, see, you must complete and submit an Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) Document.

Proof of equivalency applies to candidates who do not have an NQAI Level 8 qualification (honours degree or higher diploma), and are therefore required to complete the APEL document, which will be judged for both academic equivalency and capacity to undertake the programme.

Successful candidates must have secured sponsorship from the Health Service Executive prior to commencement on the programme.

Confirmation of placement on the programme is subject to the candidate providing evidence of guarantee of clinical placement for the duration of the programme

 Note: by provision of a copy of the HSE student Public Health Nurse contract following confirmation of sponsorship.


Please see the following link for important information regarding the application and recruitment policy:

Who Teaches this Course

Staff within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway:
  • Ms Mary Walsh (Programme Director)
  • Dr Marcella Kelly (Programme Director)
  • Dr Linda Biesty
  • Ms Eimear Burke 
  • Ms Ann Fallon 
  • Ms Sinead Hahessy 
  • Ms Teresa Meaney 
  • Ms Lorraine Mee 
  • Mr Bernard McCarthy
  • Ms Deirdre Vanderputten 

External expert speakers also contribute to programme content.

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and examinations.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Be registered in the General Division of the Register of Nurses maintained by NMBI;
  • Candidates must be a registered general nurse (RGN) and have a minimum of three years’ post-registration experience within the past seven years, working 39 hours per week*, or its equivalent within the last seven years if working less hours.
  • From 08/04/2009 to 30/06/2013 working 37.5 hours per week (please see HSE application for specific criteria re experiential eligibility, available at the following link;
  • Unless the candidate’s name is registered in the midwives division of the register maintained by NMBI, the candidate must complete an approved module of study on child and maternal health, approved by the NMBI, as part of the programme;
  • Satisfy the selection/admission committee that they have the ability to complete the programme;
  • Be fluent in English or evidence of Level 7.0 in IELTS academic test;
  • Hold an NQAI Level 8 qualification (honours degree or Higher Diploma) or proof of equivalency;
  • Demonstrate that they have undertaken a programme of study at NFQ Level 8. The  academic transcript provided will be used as evidence to demonstrate this, and it should be for the highest level award;
  • Meet in full the requirements for registration specified by NMBI to be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Public Health Nursing).



Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PGDip in Public Health Nursing at NUI Galway and who have attained at least 60% in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of this masters programme.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time (for Year One of programme)
1 year, full-time (for Year Two of programme)

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum)

Closing Date

To be advised.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught and blended learning.

ECTS weighting

60 (PDip—Year One), 30 (MHSc—Year Two)



Course code

Apply at

Course Outline

PROGRAMME CONTENT (subject to change)

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing)—Year One

 The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing), totalling 60 ECTS is delivered in Year One, over an academic year.  The theoretical component of the programme is comprised of six modules (if a registered midwife) and seven modules (if not a registered midwife). Students will complete two clinical practicum competency assessments within the community setting comprising of Practicum One (1, 2 and 3 professional assessments) and Practicum Two (4 and 5 professional assessments). For students who are not registered midwives one clinical skills assessment in the maternity unit is also undertaken.

Modules (Year One):

  • Clinical Governance—Supporting Safe practice  
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Service Improvement A  (non-midwife cohort)  
  • Service Improvement B  (midwife-cohort)  
  • Promoting Population  Health Across the Lifespan
  • Essential Physical Assessment Skills
  • Child Health Surveillance, Welfare and Protection
  • Child and Maternal Health (non-midwives only) 
  • Practicum One (Professional Practice 1 , 2,3)
  • Practicum Two  (Professional Practice 4, 5)
  • Practicum One (Child and Maternal ) (Non midwives only)

Note: Year one is currently sponsored by the HSE.

Master of Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing)—Year Two

On successful completion of the postgraduate diploma in health sciences (public health nursing) you can opt to undertake the Master of Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing). Entry to the Master of Health Sciences (Public Health Nursing) programme is subject to you achieving 60% on the aggregate of the Postgraduate Diploma modules. In Year 2 you complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) on a topic of relevance to public health nursing.

Note:  Year Two is provided by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, and is not sponsored by the Health Service Executive.

Module details for PHG01—full-time
Module details for GYM83—top-up

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

As a graduate, you will have the opportunity to practise autonomously within a community setting. You will have developed a specific knowledge that will enable you, as a community practitioner, to provide primary healthcare and target public health issues in the community.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€8,180 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€7,956 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

1 year, full-time (for Year One of programme):  EU fee €8,180.
1 year, full-time (for Year Two of programme): EU fee €4,090.

Find out More

NUI Galway

Dr. Marcella Kelly
T +353 91 495 036 (available Wed pm, Thursday, Friday)

Ms. Mary Walsh
T 353 91 494 129 (available Monday, Tuesday and Wed am)

HSE National Recruitment Service