UCC Postgraduate courses

Health Professions' Education (Online)

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Cert
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start Date24 September 2024

Course Outline

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Health Professions' Education is a part-time, fully online course. Our online learning platform is predominantly asynchronous, with very occasional live online sessions which are recorded for later viewing by those who cannot attend. Our programme is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to be effective educators. Upon completion of the Postgraduate Certificate students who wish to further their education and development in the area of Health Professions’ Education can progress to the Postgraduate Diploma and subsequently the Masters in Health Professions' Education (MSc). All these courses are offered by the School of Medicine at UCC.

Postgraduate Certificate
The Postgraduate Certificate, delivered entirely online, consisting of 3 x 10-credit modules, introduces the student to the theory behind delivering education to health professionals and develops knowledge of teaching, assessment, feedback and instructional design.

Students who complete the PG Certificate may progress to the PG Diploma (additional 3 x 10-credit modules) which builds on the knowledge base gained in the PG Certificate with emphasis on professional development, advanced methods for teaching and assessment as well as the management and development of academic programmes in Health Professions' Education (HPE).

The Postgraduate Certificate comprises 3 online modules:

  • MH6020 Teaching and Learning in Health Professions' Education I (10 credits)
  • MH6021 Theory in Health Professions' Education (10 credits)
  • MH6022 Instructional Design: Teaching and Learning in Health Professions' Education II (10 credits)

Postgraduate Diploma
The Postgraduate Diploma is also fully online. Students complete a further 3 x 10-credit modules from the following list:

  • MH6023 Scholarship and Professional Development in Health Professions' Education (10 credits)
  • MH6024 Advanced Assessment in Health Professions' Education (10 credits)
  • MH6025 Leadership and Academic Programme Development (10 credits)
  • MH6021 Online and Simulation-based Approaches to Health Professions' Education (10 credits)

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma (including module MH6023), students may progress to the Masters in Health Professions’ Education.

In addition to 60 credits from the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma, students complete a research dissertation (MH6027) to the value of 30 credits. Successful completion of MH6023 is essential for those wishing to progress to the Masters in Health Professions' Education. The MSc can be completed in the same year as the Postgraduate Diploma.

In accordance with UCC's Policy for Recognition of Prior Learning, students who have completed relevant university postgraduate modules in a cognate area at a similar NFQ level may apply for exemptions for modules taken within the last five years.

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

You will be required to engage with online materials, contribute to online discussions, link with peers, perform and reflect on teaching practice, and complete personal reading and written assignments. The completion of online materials and contribution to discussions is expected to take in the region of 40 hours per 10-credit ECTS module. Additional time should be spent on self-directed reading, planning, performing, and reflecting on teaching.

There is no work placement in this programme, but you will be expected to be able to access teaching opportunities to allow the completion of compulsory assignments.

Students completing the MSc programme are expected to communicate regularly and attend meetings as required with their supervisor regarding their dissertation.

 The following skills and equipment are necessary to participate in this programme:

  • Basic computing and word processing skills
  • PC or a laptop with an up to date operating system capable of playing SCORM packages
  • High-speed broadband (a minimum of 1MB download speed and 500KB upload speed is required)
  • Common plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight, Java, and Flash
  • Access to MS Office or an equivalent, e.g. Open Office
  • Access to a modern standards-compliant web browser. UCC recommends either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
  • Camera for recording a teaching episode (smartphone camera will suffice)

Why Choose This Course

Our UCC Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Health Professions’ Education are designed for busy healthcare professionals, including those working full time, who want flexible access to learning. UCC has a strong tradition in the education of educators and the Medical Education Unit is specifically dedicated to the development of teachers in the health professions. The course team includes faculty from the Medical Education Unit, the Schools of Nursing & Midwifery and Pharmacy, and the Department of General Practice who have a broad range of experience and expertise in the area.

Skills and Careers Information

What can I do after I graduate with a qualification in Health Professions’ Education?

Our Postgraduate Certificate will provide you with the knowledge and skills to be an effective educator.  The Postgraduate Diploma will allow you to develop yourself in the areas of scholarship and leadership in HPE. The completion of the Master's programme will give you:

  • Critical skills to evaluate education methods and courses, and the evidence base for current practices in HPE;
  • Knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of key topics required to be a health professions’ educator;
  • Knowledge and skills required to design, undertake and evaluate research in HPE;
  • Skills to act as a leader and innovator in HPE.
  • NURSES, Please note: Successful completion of this MSc does not provide a recognised NMBI Nurse Tutor qualification.

Occupations associated with Health Professions’ Education

Occupations include but are not limited to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychology and social care professionals.

What are our graduates doing?

The programme is relevant to individuals involved or interested in teaching in clinical or academic settings. In addition, it is relevant to those working in postgraduate training bodies. Graduates can utilise the knowledge and skills acquired in this course for teaching, research, and leadership roles relating to Health Professions’ Education in any of these settings.


Candidates must have the following:

  • An undergraduate degree (NFQ 8) or equivalent qualification in an appropriate healthcare-related subject, such as (but not restricted to) medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, psychology, social science;
  • Access to teaching opportunities to allow completion of compulsory assignments;
  • Applicants who do not meet these requirements may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on a case by case basis following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the programme board.

Technical Requirements

To access and interact with the course content, assignments and assessments etc., students will require access to a PC/Laptop running at least Windows 7 or later or a recent version of Mac OSX. Common plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight, Java and Flash will also be required. Students must have access to MS Office or an equivalent suite of applications such as Open Office.

Students must also have access to a modern standards-compliant web browser. UCC recommends either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. A minimum of 1MB download speed and 500KB upload speed is required. To engage productively and successfully with the content, basic technical computer skills such as familiarity with word processing, web browsing and email is recommended.

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.

Additional Requirements

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • Students accepted on the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Professions' Education are required to have access to teaching opportunities to allow the completion of compulsory assignments. Please download and upload a signed copy of the Health Professions' Education - Confirmation of Opportunities to Teach doc to confirm that you will have access to teaching opportunities. 

  • Those who have previously completed the PG Cert or PG Dip in Health Professions' Education and wish to progress to the PG Dip or MSc in Health Professions' Education should email Dr Catherine Sweeney c.sweeney@ucc.ie with an expression of interest before May 31st, 2022.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact