Course Overview

NOTE: this programme is now not on offer for entry 2021.

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Palliative Care) is a completely redesigned new programme for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Palliative Care Nursing. The programme aims to support students in developing as knowledgeable, caring practitioners who can effecting positive transitions for patients from curative approaches in healing to comfort measures in caring at end of life. 

The full-time programme is offered full-time over two academic years. On completion of the six modules in year one 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 next year to complete the Master in Health Sciences (Palliative Care). Depending on current and future career goals students can undertake studies spanning the life cycle or choose a specific focusing on non-malignant or malignant disease and the contribution of specialist palliative care.

The programme consists of both theoretical and clinical components. 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 must be working clinically with people at end of life to be considered for this programme. All students must complete a number of weeks in specialist palliative care before completing this programme. 

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System. Please note if you are considering leaving after the first year with a postgraduate diploma, you must choose “taught masters” from the ‘Academic Level’ drop-down when making your application online.

Garda vetting is required for this programme. This will be organised by the NUI Galway after you have registered for your studies. 

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Be registered on the general, children’s, mental health or learning disability division of the Nurse’s register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);
  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/with people at end of life, and have, as a minimum, six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
  4. All students must complete additional clinical hours in a palliative care setting. The length of placement depends on the learning opportunities available to students in their current work setting;
  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. Candidates registered on the Mental Health or Learning Disability division of the NMBI register 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


Two years full-time (option to leave with PDip after one year)

Next start date

Now NOT ON OFFER for entry September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

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

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). ​As one of the specialist modules, students will have a chance to choose between NU6444: Care of the Child & Family with Palliative/Complex Needs or a new module entitled: Specialist Palliative Care for Adults with Specific Progressive Diseases. Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the second year. 


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,616 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


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)