Course Overview

This programme is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Intensive Care Nursing. The full-time programme is offered full-time over two calendar years. Taught components of the programme are delivered in a blended learning format. Blended learning is an innovative teaching strategy which involves a combination of face-to-face and on-line learning. This means that most learning/teaching will be delivered on-line through Blackboard, an interactive learning system which connects directly to the University from your own home computer. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. The programme is comprised of six theory /practice modules. In all modules there is an emphasis on exploring the relevance of module content to practice, similarly, practice placements allow students to explore “new” knowledge in practice, enabling them an opportunity to integrate theory and practice. 

Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland normally within the students own work setting. Where the environment does not provide sufficient opportunities to meet the learning outcomes of the programme additional placements will be required by the student in sites which will provide the experience needed. A minimum of 1,000 clinical hours need to be completed in the specialist area while undertaking the programme. 


The course is approved by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and 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.

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

  • Frances Farrelly: MSc, BNS, RGN, RNT
  • Ann Sheehan: Programme Lead (1MDI1), Clinical Facilitator Critical Care GUH; RGN, RM, RNT, ICU Cert. BScN (Hons) HDip, PDipSc Healthcare Simulation and Patient Safety, MHSc Nurse Education, MSc Healthcare Ethics
  • Claire Lavelle: Clinical Facilitator, Critical Care GUH; RGN, RNT, PDip Intensive Care Nursing, PDip Nurse Education, MHSc
  • Christine Sheehan: RGN, CCRN, MHSc, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • Pauline May: RGN, ENB 100 (ICU), ENB 934 (HIV), BA Nursing, Masters in Clinical Education

See full staff list here.

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:

  1. Be a registered nurse on the General division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);
  2. Have a minimum of six months’ post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
  3. Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., Intensive Care, and have as a minimum six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
  4. Provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing for the duration of the programme;
  5. 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:;
  6. Applicants for this programme who have undertaken the National Foundation Education Module in Intensive Care Nursing at UCD or UCC may apply for exemption for the Specialist Module 1 on the Masters/Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Intensive Care) in NUI Galway.


Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum)

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please see the review/closing dates for further information.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally in intensive care settings, in managerial positions and in educational roles.



Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,816 p.a. 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


Yvonne Fehily |   RGN, RANP, Critical Care Outreach, Galway University Hosp.

The intensive care unit is where patients are at their sickest with either single-organ, or multi-organ failure, and require varying degrees of life sustaining supports to meet their needs. After completing the postgraduate ICU course in NUI Galway, I became much more knowledgeable in being able to, care for a critically ill patient and provide a high standard of patient care with the most up-to-date evidence-based care. The PG ICU course improved my critical thinking skills, as well as my confidence to question things more, communicate effectively with the multidisciplinary team and family members. It also provided a platform to further my academic and professional portfolio, as I have now progressed on to become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner on the Critical Care Outreach Team.

Grace Callaghan |   RGN Intensive Care, Sligo University Hospital

The Postgraduate Diploma in ICU is a challenging yet equally rewarding course which reflects the very nature of Intensive Care. I would consider the Postgraduate Diploma to be a solid investment for a career in critical care. It is delivered by leaders in their respective fields and the knowledge gained is invaluable as it can be applied to any critical care or acute care setting. The postgrad course also provided the foundation for me to continue my education and complete my master's degree in Intensive Care.

Lisa Ní Thuathail |   RGN, Intensive Care, Galway University Hospital.

I completed the postgraduate diploma in Intensive Care Nursing in 2016. The program taught me the knowledge and skills to care for the critically ill patient safely and competently. The blended teaching through lectures, tutorials and workshops facilitates any learning style while also working full time.

Philip Parackal Augusthinose |   CNM3, Simulation Clinical Nurse Educator

[Philip Parackal Augusthinose, CNM3, Simulation Clinical Nurse Educator, Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation (ICAPSS), GUH & NUI Galway]. I completed my PG ICU few years ago and found the course helped me understand the rationale for some common ICU procedures and many modalities of patient care. The course menu has the best ingredients delivered by expert facilitators and tutors which helped us to deliver the best patient care with evidence-based practice. Since completing the course, I have progressed further in my career in both specialist and managerial roles in Nursing. I strongly recommend every ICU Nurse to enrol in this programme as the outcome will be rewarding.


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)