Course Overview

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Palliative Care) is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Palliative Care Nursing. This programme is offered full-time over one calendar year and part-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 seven 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.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours before completing this programme.

Special Features

The course is approved by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann 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.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Laura Dempsey, M.Sc. BNS, RNT, RGN, PG Dip CHSE
Siobhán Smyth, RMN, Dip.CPN; RNT; PG.Dip CHSE; BNS (Hons); MSc
Dr. Pauline Meskell PhD, MSc (Nursing), BSc Health Studies, RGN, Cert. Nephrology, Counselling & Psychotherapy
Dr. Adeline Cooney, M. Med.Sc., BNS, RGN, RNT, PhD
Sinéad Hahessy, RGN, B.A., M.A.(Soc.Sc). Pg Cert in Teaching and Learning 

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

1. Be a registered nurse on the General, Children’s, MentalHealth, or Learning Disability Nurse divisions of the register maintained by An Bord Altranais agus náimhseachais na hÉireann;
2. Have a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
3. Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., Palliative Care, and have, as a minimum, six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
4. Satisfy the selection panel that they have the ability to complete 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) may apply but must clearly demonstrate their capacity to complete a programme at this level. In addition to the other requirements outlined above, these applicants are required to submit a 1,000-word, literature-based essay. To be considered for admission, this essay must be at the level expected of an Honours degree candidate (Level 8).
6. Candidates registered on the Mental Health or Learning Disability division of the register maintained by An Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann must complete additional clinical hours in a palliative care setting. This requirement may apply to registered general or children’s nurses depending on the learning opportunities available to them in their work setting.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time 2 years, part-time

Next start date

This course is currently under review.

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please see the review/closing dates website for further information.

Next start date

This course is currently under review.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning and workshops

ECTS weighting




PAC code

GYM21, full-time GYM37, part-time

Course Outline

The programme comprises seven theory/practice modules. Core modules and some aspects of specialist modules are taken with students undertaking other PDips. Modules are listed as follows:

  • Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (core)
  • Collaboration And Interagency Working/Clinical Supervision (optional 
  • Using Evidence in Practice (core)
  • Palliative Approaches to Symptom Management
  • End-of-Life Care: Psychological and Social Perspectives
  • Care of the Child and Family with a Life-Limiting Illness
  • Service Improvement Module
  • Clinical Competence 1
  • Clinical Competence 2
  • Clinical Competence 3

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment as Clinical Nurse Specialists in palliative care, and as Advanced Nurse Practitioners, and also work within specialist palliative care units.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,000 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,776 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,750 p.a. 2015/16

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