UCC Postgraduate courses

Nursing - Medical & Surgical Nursing

Course Fact File
Duration6 Months Part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
QualificationsPG Cert
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateNo longer on offer. Check www.ucc.ie/pdng
Non-EU Closing DateNo longer on offer. Check www.ucc.ie/pdng

Course Outline

This Postgraduate Certificate in Medical and Surgical Nursing programme is offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery. It 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 assessment 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 assists in the development of assessment skills which contribute to early detection of patient deterioration as well as nurse-led (and multidisciplinary) interventions. These skills are further applied in later modules in the PG Diploma Medical-Surgical programme in the follow-up semester.

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 lifelong 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/PG Diploma in Medical-Surgical Nursing programme with the option of exiting with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Medical-Surgical) award at the end of the PG Diploma programme.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

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

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The programmes has elements of blended learning. This means that modules are delivered on campus with face-to-face contact with lecturers (teaching and learning strategies include lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials) in combination with some online content delivery using our virtual learning environment, known as Canvas. 

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 (including 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. New paragraph

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. Again, most workshops, lectures, and tutorials are delivered on-campus in Semester 1, some of the content is delivered online using our virtual learning environment Canvas. Learning tools include module study guides, discussion boards, audio/visual resources and online assessments/activities. Ten-credit modules are delivered over 6 weeks and 5-credit modules are delivered over 4 weeks.

Prior to commencing the course, each student taking a blended module must attend the August Programme Orientation which includes 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. Students who successfully complete the PG Certificate programme can take a break from studying. To be eligible to join the MSc/PG Diploma Medical-Surgical Programme students must apply within five years of being registered for the PG Certificate programme. Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma 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.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


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

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

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

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? 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: 2023 Declaration Form PGCert Nursing Pathway programmes

The closing date for non-EU applications is No longer on offer. Check www.ucc.ie/pdng

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact