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 full-time 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 has category 2 approval by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). 

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications SystemPlease note if you are aiming for a postgraduate diploma in this specialist Master/Postgraduate Diploma programme you still need to choose ‘Academic Level’ of “taught masters” to find the programme you wish to apply to. 

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

Marion Tierney

Requirements and Assessment

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

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

  1. 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;
  2. Currently employed as a nurse in an Acute Medical Unit (AMUs), Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU), or Medical Assessment Unit (MAU), Short Stay Unit (SSU), or an equivalent clinical setting that has a remit for caring for patients in the acute stage of their medical illness. Applicants must have a minimum of six months’ experience in this setting over the past two years;
  3. Written evidence of support for the applicant from their Director of Nursing and clinical unit manager;
  4. Minimum academic and/or professional qualifications and standards required, together with any equivalence that may apply;
  5. 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 1,000 hours in an acute medical unit or equivalent setting as deemed by the programme director.


Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum)

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

Students will complete three core and three specialist modules in the first year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the second year.


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

€6,816 p.a. (Yr 1) & €3,230 (Yr 2) 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,676 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€15,616 p.a. 2021/22

Find out More

Enda Jennings
School of Nursing and Midwifery


Marie Lettis |   Graduate

The acute medicine programme was an excellent course. All material covered was relevant and easily related to practise. The module leaders were extremely helpful and provided guidance all the way. All course work was scheduled in a clear and easy to manage format. The facilitation of group communication also allowed for additional knowledge sharing. Overall a very worthwhile and enjoyable course.

Sinead Carragher |   Graduate

I really enjoyed completing the Masters programme in acute medicine. The first year (postgrad dip) was very practical, we learned the basics of research, service improvement but also learned loads about common acute medical conditions and advanced assessment skills. There was a combination of assessments, exams and course work and we had great access to online resources to help us complete these. The lecturers were friendly and enthusiastic about the topics they were teaching. For the second year (Masters), everything was online due to Covid-19 restrictions. Lecturers were again easily accessible to us through online teaching and interactive blogs. I felt very supported and able to plan and manage my own deadlines to complete this course. This course has enabled me to have more knowledge in the clinical area and a greater appreciation for the value of nursing research. It is great to be able to add this to my CV for any further job opportunities that may arise for me.

Catherine Burke |   Graduate, PDip Acute Medicine 2019–2020

The acute medicine programme enhanced my theoretical knowledge and provided me with essential practical skills that I now use in my everyday clinical practice. The lectures and workshops have a supportive atmosphere with great interaction between students and tutors. I enjoyed my time in the postgraduate year so much, I continued on to year 2 to complete my masters. Considering I had not been in the college environment since 2005, returning to study felt like a very daunting prospect but I am happy to say my fears were completely unfounded.


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)