UCC Postgraduate courses

Nursing - Medical and Surgical Nursing

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

This programme recognises the need for specialist postgraduate education to assist general nurses meet the challenges of increased levels of patient acuity along with ethical and patient-safety challenges in medical-surgical settings. The philosophy underpinning this programme acknowledges the importance of dynamic nursing staff, working within the multidisciplinary team, having the relevant knowledge and skills to enable them deliver evidence-based care in a competent manner while cognisant of the needs of individual patients and their significant others.

 The programme aims to:

  • enhance nursing practice through the application of well-assimilated knowledge and clinical skills
  • act as a means of professional support, educator and role model for the provision of life long learning to ensure ongoing professional development
  • exercise accountability within the clinical and professional boundaries of the role of nursing
  • contribute as a learned member of the multidisciplinary team in the delivery of quality healthcare for individuals and families across a variety of contexts.
  • Critically examine contemporary social, cultural and policy contexts of medical-surgical nursing.


Theory modules:

  • NU6005 Evidence Based Practice for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits) (Shared module across all pathways)
  • NU6053 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Decision-making in Specialist Practice (5 credits) (Shared module across all pathways except 9)
  • NU6125 Professional Practice Issues for Nurses and Midwives (10 credits)

Clinical Practice/Practicum module:

  • NU6130 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits)

Candidates who successfully complete all modules to the value of 30 credits in the PG Certificate in Nursing programme may apply to transfer into the relevant pathway of the MSc in Nursing programme with the option of exiting with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Medical-Surgical) award at the end of an additional 12 months.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This programme will be delivered in a blended format (combination of classroom-based and online modules).


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

All postgraduate programmes contain some element of blended learning. This means that modules are delivered on campus with face-to-face contact with lectures (teaching and learning strategies include lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials) in combination with some online content delivery using our virtual learning environment Canvas (teaching and learning strategies include module study guides, discussion boards, audio/visual resources and online assessments/activities). 

Modules are allocated a total of either 5 or 10 credits.  A 10 credit module has an estimated 200 hours’ student workload, and a 5 credit module has an estimated 100 hours’ student workload. The estimated workload is further broken down into time allocated to complete the online learning component (incl.  required reading, assignment preparation and submission as well as self-directed learning) and time allocated to attend scheduled lectures and workshops.

The 10 credit modules are delivered over a six-week period and have approximately 16 hours allocated to lectures/ tutorials/ workshops and approximately 184 hours allocated to the online learning component. Classes are delivered on three separate days over the six-week period (normally two half-days and one full-day). The 5 credit modules are delivered over a four-week period and will be half the hours stated above (for 10 credit modules). Classes are delivered on two separate days over the four-week period (normally two half-days).

Semester 1 - September to December (16 weeks) contains 2 x 10 credit modules and 2 x 5 credit modules, one of which is a clinical practicum (16 weeks) which is undertaken in the student’s own clinical practice area over the course of the semester.  While some workshops, lectures and tutorials are delivered on-campus in semester 1, the remainder of content is delivered online using our virtual learning environment Canvas.   Learning strategies include module study guides, discussion boards, audio/visual resources and online assessments/activities. Ten credit modules are delivered over 6 weeks and five credit modules are delivered over 4 weeks.

Prior to commencing the course each student taking a blended module will be provided with an orientation to Canvas and training on how to use the online technology within the course.  IT support will be given to students throughout the duration of the course.  

Why Choose This Course

For nurses who wish to study over a “short” period of time e.g. just one semester (September-December), they can register for the PG Certificate in Medical-Surgical Nursing programme. Previous students who successfully completed the PG Certificate programme took a year’s break from studying and then returned the following academic year to join the next cohort of students in semester two in order to complete the PG Diploma in Nursing – Medical-Surgical pathway. Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma now have the choice to proceed directly into the Master’s programme.


The Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing is a part-time programme running for 6 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Applicants choose their pathway at the application stage and all of the pathways are viewable in the College Calendar.


Applicants for the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing should normally:

  1. Hold active registration on a division of the professional register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland or be eligible for such registration as required for individual pathways. For the Medical-Surgical Nursing Pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses AND
  2. Have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways. For the Medical-Surgical Nursing Pathway applicants must have a minimum of six months' post-registration experience (excluding courses) and at least three months experience in the speciality pathway applied for.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €4,090.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay?

You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Professional Master of Education (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.


Deferrals are not permitted on this course.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
  • What is your current occupation/speciality?
  • Please upload certification of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).
  • Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.
  • All applicants must also submit a signed Declaration Form, to be completed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Equivalent Authorised Manager. This form is downloadable here: Declaration Form PG Cert in Medical Surgical Nursing, CKU08.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact