Course Overview

This programme aims to meet the educational needs of nurses working in an acute medical unit (AMU, AMAU, MAU), short stay unit or equivalent which cares for patients with acute medical conditions.

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 programme is offered full-time over two calendar years via blended learning which is a combination of on-line learning and face-to-face workshops. 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.


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 currently undergoing approval by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. 


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.

  • Yvonne Conway M.Sc., BNS, RNT, RGN, Cert. Emergency
  • Deirdre Fitzgerald BNS, RGN, RSCN

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
  2. Have a minimum of one year post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses). 
  3. Currently employed as a nurse in an Acute Medical Unit (AMUs), Acute Medical Assessment unit (AMAUs) or Medical Assessment Unit (MAUs), Short Stay Unit (SSU), or an equivalent clinical setting that has a remit for caring for patients with acute medical illness’.  Applicants must have as a minimum six months clinical experience in this specialist area. 
  4. Students must work in the clinical area for the duration of the programme. Clinical requirements for completion of the programme are to pass two clinical competencies and complete a minimum of 1000 hours in an acute medical unit or equivalent setting as deemed by the programme director.
  5. Have an Honours Bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in nursing or a comparable qualification. Applicants who do not hold an Honours bachelor’s degree or Higher Diploma (Level 8) NFQ 8 in nursing or a comparable qualification are advised to successfully complete a minimum of one 10 ECTS module offered as a Professional Credit Award. Students may take a maximum of 30 ECTS in applicable core/specialist modules prior to enrolling on a programme and can apply for exemption from that module on commencing the course. For further information please contact programme director. 
  6. Provide written support from their employer that they will be able to access this client group across the programme.
  7. Students must work in the clinical area for the duration of the programme. Clinical requirements for completion of the programme are to pass three clinical competencies and complete a minimum of 1000 hours in an acute medical unit or equivalent setting as deemed by the programme director.

Top-up (PAC Code GYM87):

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


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

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning & workshops.

ECTS weighting




Course code

GYM25—full time

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.


  • Service Improvement (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 credits—core)Advanced Research Methods (10 credits—core)
  • Advanced Reserach methods (10 credits—core)
  • Clinical Assessment 1
  • Clinical Assessment 2
  • Recognising and responding to client deterioration (10 credits—specialist)
  • Essential Physical Assessment Skills (10 credits—specialist)
  • Principles and practice of acute medical nursing (10 credits—specialist)

Module details for GYM25—full time
Module details for GYM87—top-up

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This course is particularly significant as the 2010 Report of the National Acute Medicine Programme (AMP) suggests a new approach to education and training with the development of acute medicine as a specialty for physicians, and the nursing and therapy professions. It further suggests that these nurses must consolidate and expand their knowledge and skills to meet the need for early detailed assessment and development of initial treatment plans. (HSE, 2010). In the future, there may be a demand for clinical nurse specialists and advanced nurse practitioners working in acute medicine, and graduates of this programme will be ideally placed to apply for these types of positions.

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) 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
EU fees Year 1:  €6,500 and Year 2: €3,250.

Find out More

Yvonne Conway
School of Nursing and Midwifery
T: +353 91  492 926