Course Overview

This programme is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Perioperative 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.


  1. The course is approved by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) and has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills.
  2. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching.
  3. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible and easier to combine working full-time with studying.

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applicants apply on-line via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System, and applications can be made from the previous October through to the August preceding the programme commencement in September. Please 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. 

Applications are put forward for review to the relevant Programme Director when they have been marked complete (application fee paid & requested supporting documents submitted). Applicants are required to submit a letter from their employer confirming financial and placement support.  Applicants are offered places and are required to accept their place on the programme within a specific timeline. Once they have accepted their place, applicants are invited to register online. Administration staff check that this has occurred on or in advance of the induction day (held in the week before the first week of teaching in semester one (usually first week in September).

Selection will be made by the Programme Director, in consultation with the Head of School, based on applicants’ written application.  Applications will be evaluated on the following:

  • Meet the entry criteria (See above entry requirements).
  • Be working in the required specialist area, i.e., perioperative setting for the duration of the programme.
  • Be supported to undertake any additional placement(s) that may be required as outlined in the curriculum document before completion of the programme.

Documentation required to complete application

  • A copy of current NMBI registration.
  • Copies of academic transcripts from completed educational courses.
  • Copies of official awards (parchments) from completed educational courses.
  • Written commitment/memo of understanding or equivalent from the director of nursing/employer to support the student during the clinical practicum.



Who Teaches this Course

Elaine O’Hara,
Lecturer/ Post Graduate Perioperative Programme Director/Specialist Module Leader
B.N.S Degree (Hons) R.G.N., MSc in Nurse Education (Hons)
Registered Nurse Tutor
PGD in Healthcare Simulation & Patient Safety (Hons) Transferable Research Skills.

Sinead Hahessy,
Lecturer/ Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Perioperative) programme director/ Core Module Leader
R.G.N., B.A. (Hons), M.A. (Soc. Sc.), PG Cert in Teaching and Learning. PG Cert in Generic and Transferable Research Skills.

Dr. Maura Dowling,
Lecturer/Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Haematology)/ Core Module Leader
PhD; MA; MSc (Nurse Education); BNS (Hons.); R.G.N; R.N.T.

Dr. Brona Mooney,
Lecturer/ Research Dissertation Module Leader
PhD; MA; MSc (Nurse Education); BNS (Hons.); PG Cert in Business Enterprise; Cert in Critical Care Nursing, R.G.N; R.N.T.

Requirements and Assessment

A variety of assessment strategies are employed across the modules. These include engagement with on-line discussion boards/blogging, etivities, reflections, case studies, MCQs and assignments.

Students are required to attend all workshops and to participate in other academic activities, for example, e-tivities, discussion boards/ blogs, simulation, workshops etc. as required, unless prevented by some unavoidable cause of absence. Scheduled face-to-face workshops, discussion boards/blogs and e-tivities are important components of the programme, which are designed to help students develop a sense of group identity and engage with programme content. These activities are carefully selected to build students’ knowledge and skill. Students are expected to keep up a consistent rate of good attendance and participation so that their performance will not be adversely affected. Students who miss classes are responsible for updating themselves on any information provided during those sessions. Students’ attendance and participation at workshops and engagement in online work is monitored by the Programme Director.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Be a registered nurse on the General division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);
  • Have a minimum of six months’ post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
  • Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., theatre (perioperative setting) and have as a minimum six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
  • Provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing for the duration of the programme;
  • 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:

Additional Requirements


2 years, full-time (Option to leave the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma after one year)

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

NUIG does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers are issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early & as soon as possible.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

Students complete three core and three specialist modules in the first year (60 ECTS) which is conducted over two semesters. There are two clinical competency assessments, one for each semester. Students’ clinical competency will be assessed by a designed preceptor and programme director (“pass/ fail”, submitted at the end of Semester 2). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the second year. 

All students are invited to a postgraduate Induction Day prior to commencing the programme. The Induction Day has many purposes. Students meet and get to know their classmates and lecturers, they are provided with information regarding programme content, the timetable, assessment schedule; programme Marks and Standards and the resources in place to support them while undertaking the programme. Students are taught how to access Blackboard use of Turnitin and an overview of plagiarism, overview of academic writing and how to contribute to discussion boards/blogs and submit assessments. Students are also orientated to the library on-line resources and other student support services. Students meet their programme director and module leaders in break out groups during the day. The roles of various key people are outlined i.e., programme director, module leader and clinical facilitator if relevant. Students are informed about the various apps they should download, role of the student union, role of Class representative, specific location of policies they may need access to over the course of the programme e.g., leave of absence, exemptions/recognition of prior learning (RPL). The clinical components of the programme and clinical assessments are discussed. The most important aspect of the day however is allowing students the time to meet and get to know one another. We find that peer support is extremely important for students attending blended learning programmes and ensure that there is plenty of time for students to get to know one another on the Induction Day. 

Year One is a blended learning programme and is delivered using a combination of on-line learning and face-to-face skills teaching.  In all modules, there is an emphasis on exploring the relevance of module content to practice. Each module runs over a minimum of 12 weeks. Modules are developed into guided learning packs comprising of multiple units. Each pack provides a study guide for the student and includes directed learning activities (both on-line and practice based), key reading and reflective points. Students will be supported on-line as they work through each unit, using the virtual learning environment Blackboard. Students will complete practice focused assessments throughout the programme. Students will be expected to engage in discussion boards/blogs and respond to posted questions or activities, and to complete e-tivities, case studies, MCQs and assignments. The methods of assessments provide students with the opportunity to clarify their understanding, debate key issues with peers and moderator, and consider how to apply their learning in their practice.  The moderator (a lecturer) will provide written feedback on assessments. 

The face-to-face teaching component (workshops/online) will take place at intervals throughout the semester. Workshops will focus on key skills and application. Online teaching will comprise of theoretical knowledge and provide an opportunity for engagement though group work and discussions. While undertaking the programme, students will continue to work in an approved perioperative clinical care setting. Programme assessments are structured in such a way allowing students to explore “new” knowledge in the reality of their practice, thus providing them with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice.  

To be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Perioperative) students must pass each module at 40% and pass the clinical competency assessments. Students must also meet the clinical hours’ requirement of 1,000 hours. 


To be eligible to attend the Master’s of Health Sciences (Year Two), students must obtain an overall result of 60% or over in Year One.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Perioperative), Major Award, is at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. It is informed and guided by NMBI criteria. It is aimed at Registered General Nurses working in the perioperative environment. This programme provides nurses with the specific theoretical knowledge, skills and clinical reasoning abilities required to provide safe and high-quality care in the perioperative specialism. The concepts of patient centred care, evidence-based practice, and promotion of safety are examined in this programme. The learners’ knowledge of physiology, anatomy, ethical and legal practice, and specific operative procedures are also included. It covers a multitude of theory relevant to perioperative nursing practice resulting in significant career opportunities. 

Upon completing this programme, students have the requisite knowledge and clinical skills to work in a wide variety of peri-operative care settings, both in Ireland and Internationally. Past Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally. 

Furthermore, the programme has shown to support and facilitate nursing at specialist and advanced nursing levels. The programme is designed to support the development of knowledge, skills, attributes, and competencies in preparation for specialist and advanced roles within nursing. Successful completion of the Masters in Perioperative Nursing will offer students opportunities to be considered for clinical nurse specialist posts and advanced nursing practice posts.

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. 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€15,616 p.a. 2021/22

Find out More

Elaine O’Hara,
Perioperative Programme Director,
School of Nursing & Midwifery,
Aras Moyola,
National University of Ireland, Galway.

T + 353 91 492 075


Therese Davey |   Graduate

The Postgraduate Diploma in Perioperative Nursing has been a wonderful addition to my nursing career in the operating theatre. It has enhanced my practical ability with research knowledge relevant to practice. It has allowed me to complete a recent CNM2 interview with confidence in achieving a working environment the maintains patient safety all times, being an efficient and effective leader, good communicator, assists in clinical auditing, education training and showcasing my recent service improvement. I was successful in the recent interview and I do attribute this PDip as being an essential component with the success in securing this job. I really enjoyed the modules. Thank you to Elaine for the excellent introduction informing us about all aspects of the modules. The extensive reading list contributed to interesting discussions on the blog. The study days had excellent workshops on difficult airway, recovery, and ECGs. I found it extremely beneficial. Elaine, Thank you so much for all your help and assistance during the module. I certainly enjoyed it.

Rachel McLoughlin |   Graduate

The extensive use of materials covered a multitude of concepts which I believe has enhanced my practice. In my role as perioperative nurse, comprehending and anticipating complications is crucial. This programme specifically reviews the complex nature of perioperative nursing offering a comprehensive understanding of the nursing management required. The modules are organized in a way that promotes distant learning through the provision of blogs and online learning. The use of video presentations, PowerPoint videos, blackboard collaborate, and the varied learning methods used were stimulating. The workshops were a highlight for me. It covered a multitude of theory which was applicable to practice. I believe that because of this programme I have become a more competent in my role as perioperative nurse.

Suman Jossy |   Graduate

I would like to start by saying I am extremely grateful for being part of this programme. I work as a scrub nurse, so I had extremely limited experience in anesthetic care. I struggled with anesthetic emergencies as result of insufficient knowledge and practice until I started this programme. My ultimate motive for selecting this programme was to increase my knowledge in relation to anesthetic care, complications, and management. This programme has enhanced me theoretically and practically supporting my practice enabling me to provide safe perioperative nursing care. The programme provides relevant knowledge required to support the safe journey and care of the perioperative patient. I found the programme supportive and extremely helpful.


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)