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.

Thesis year only for eligible candidates—please contact the Programme Director for eligibility. 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 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 Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Application form should go live mid-March 2021.

Please read the Instructions for Applications and Instructions for Applying to the Public Health Nursing sections carefully on the Postgraduate Applications Centre website.

Applicants must satisfy the selection/admission committee that they have the ability to complete 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: Confirmation of sponsorship and clinical placement is by provision of a copy of the HSE student Public Health Nurse contract provided to you following successful application and confirmation of your 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:
  • Dr Martina Giltenane
  • Ms Teresa Meaney
  • Mr Bernard McCarthy
  • Ms Sinead Hahessy
  • Dr Maura Dowling
  • Dr Linda Biesty
  • Dr Patricia Healy
  • Ms Anne Fallon
  • Ms Deirdre Fitzgerald
  • Dr Duygu Sezgin
  • Ms Eimear Burke
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

  • Be registered in the General Nursing Division of the Register of Nurses maintained by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) or entitled to be so registered AND have a minimum of 3 years post registration general nursing experience.

  • Be registered in the General Nursing Division and another Division of the Register, including Registered Midwife (RM), Registered Children’s Nurse (RCN), Registered Nurse Intellectual Disability (RNID) or Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) Divisions of the Register of Nurses and Midwives maintained by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) or entitled to be so registered; AND  have a minimum of 18 months post registration general nursing experience as an RGN, and 18 months post registration experience as an RM or RCN or RNID or RPN.

  • Meet the academic criteria set by the relevant Higher Education Institute (HEI); Hold an NQAI Level 8 qualification (honours degree) 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.
  •  Applicants whose first language or primary language of expression is not English must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the required standard for admission. The minimum required score is 7.0 on the IELTS assessment test. 
  • 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; 
  • 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).

Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum)

Closing Date

To be advised.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught and blended learning.

ECTS weighting

60 (Year One), 30 (Year Two)



Course code

1MDH1—full-time (2 year MHSc); apply at
1MDH3—top-up; apply at

Course Outline

PROGRAMME CONTENT (subject to change)

Year One
This year totals 60 ECTS and is delivered over an academic year.  The theoretical component of year one is comprised of six modules (if a registered midwife) and seven modules (if not a registered midwife). You 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 year one you can register with the NMBI as a Public Health Nurse. You can either choose to complete your studies at the end of year one and receive the award of postgraduate diploma in health science (public health nursing) OR you can opt to undertake the Master of Health Science (Public Health Nursing) by completion of year two. Entry to year two of the programme is subject to you achieving 60% on the aggregate of modules undertaken in year one. In Year 2 you complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) on a topic of relevance to public health nursing.

Note: Year Two is self-funded.

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.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

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. 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2020/21

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

Dr Martina Giltenane 
T: +353 91 495 036



  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)