UCC Postgraduate courses

Nursing - Gerontological Nursing

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Nursing - Gerontological Nursing

  • Code


  • College

    Medicine and Health

  • Duration

    2 Years - PG Diploma (Year 1); Masters (Year 2)

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    PG Dip / MSc

  • EU Fees

    €7,130 (PG Diploma, Year 1); €2,630 (Masters, Year 2)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees

    €14,700 (PG Diploma, Year 1); €5,000 (Masters, Year 2)

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    2 June 2023

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    2 June 2023

  • Start Date

    28 August 2023

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Diploma/Masters in Gerontological Nursing, offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork, is a pathway of the MSc/Postgraduate Nursing Diploma.

Our Gerontological Nursing programme advances the development of expert gerontological nursing in order to meet the complex needs of older people in a variety of care settings.

Our philosophy underpinning this course values the concept of positive ageing and the unique individual characteristics of the older person. The course seeks to validate this through the development of expert gerontological nursing to meet the complex needs of older people in a variety of care settings.

Programme Pathways

There are 7 clinical pathways to the degree of Masters in Nursing, all of which have an exit route available for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing. Gerontological Nursing is Pathway 3 and comprises theory modules and clinical practice modules as follows:

Gerontological Nursing (Pathway 3)

Year 1 (60 credits)

Core Theory modules (blended learning)

  • NU6005 Evidence-Based Practice for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
  • NU6053 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Decision-making in Specialist Practice (5 credits) 
  • NU6070 Clinical Leadership in Practice Enhancement for Nursing and Midwifery (10 credits)
  • NU6078 Ageing and Older People: Comprehensive Assessment and Management (10 credits)
  • NU6079 Promoting Positive Ageing and Planning for End of Life (5 credits)
  • NU6117 Contemporary Approaches to Dementia, Stroke, and Mental health in Later Life (10 credits)

Clinical Practice/Practicum modules

  • NU6130 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits)
  • NU6131 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 2 (5 credits)

If you successfully complete 60 credits in Year 1 you can register for the Masters programme in Year 2 (30 credits).

Note: Students who have successfully completed 30 credits from the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing (Gerontological Nursing) and transfer into the MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Programme must take theory modules to the value of 25 credits from above (NU6070NU6079NU6117) and one Clinical Practice/Practicum module to the value of 5 credits (NU6131).

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, Gerontological Nursing students should be able to:

  • Understand and critically evaluate the complex theories and concepts underpinning gerontological nursing practice;
  • Identify and critically evaluate ethical issues in order to challenge assumptions and question values, beliefs, and policies underpinning care;
  • Develop and apply a critical awareness of the knowledge and skills required to promote the holistic development of a patient-centered approach to the care of the older person incorporating the patient's individual needs, beliefs and values;
  • Develop a collaborative, empowering, and advocacy approach in working with older adults;
  • Exercise accountability within the clinical, ethical, and professional boundaries of the role of gerontological nursing;
  • Critically appraise, evaluate and apply current research evidence and best practice when nursing older people;
  • Critically appraise and apply assessment strategies, which are appropriate and sensitive to the older adult;
  • Act as a means of professional support, educator, and role model for the provision of lifelong learning to ensure ongoing professional development.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Some of this programme is taught online. All students will be initially registered for the postgraduate Diploma in Nursing full-time. If a student wishes to progress to the Masters they will be registered for the 2nd year on a part-time basis.

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

Workload: For each 10-credit module, there is an estimated 200 hours of student workload. The breakdown of these hours is 184 hours distance online and technology learning and approximately 16 hours of face-to-face contact in the Brookfield Health Science Complex, but is subject to change year-on-year. The breakdown for 5-credit theory modules will be half the hours stated above for 10-credit modules. Each 10-credit model runs for 6 weeks and each 5-credit module runs for 4 weeks. The practice modules involve direct clinical placement learning to meet Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland requirements.

Semester 1 - September to December (16 weeks) contains 2 x 10-credit modules and 1 x 5-credit module. The student is required to attend 3 x 8-hour days and 4 x 4-hour days on campus in Semester 1 for workshops, lectures, and tutorials but is subject to change year-on-year. The remainder of the 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.  

Semester 2 - January to May (16 weeks) contains 2 x 10-credit modules and 1 x 5-credit module. The student is required to attend 4 x 8-hour days and 2 x 4-hour days on campus in Semester 2 for workshops, lectures, and tutorials but subject to change year-on-year. The remainder of the content is delivered online using our virtual learning environment Canvas. Learning strategies include module study guides, discussion boards, teleconferencing, and online assessments.

Students will be required to prepare and submit an E-portfolio on professional development and change management and Quality Improvement activities relating to clinical practice placement.   

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.  


A range of assessments are used throughout the programme including written assignments, seminar presentations, online activities, and a Competency book is completed for the practice modules.

Who teaches this course

Our staff from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork teach on this programme and include the following:

Why Choose This Course

With the rapidly growing older-adult population and the rapidly changing healthcare services of today, it is vital that nurses working in older-adult settings are competent to provide the highest quality of nursing care, and maintain professional standards of care. The curriculum encourages you to develop an enquiring and creative approach to both the theory and practice of gerontological nursing.

Top 50 Nursing School in the World

The School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, has been ranked within the top 50 nursing schools in the world, according to the QS global subject rankings. The school provides a world-class environment for cutting-edge research to prepare tomorrow’s nurses to shape and advance health care practices through research and education. Within UCC’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, researchers are addressing global challenges, including the growing burden of diseases, nurse workforce requirements, population aging, and sustainable approaches to healthcare and health promotion and our teaching staff are at the forefront of these developments.

Skills and Careers Information

This course will provide registered general nurses, registered intellectual disability nurses, and registered psychiatric nurses, the knowledge and skills to work as a member of an older-adult team in a variety of gerontological settings – enabling them to meet the complex needs of older people.


There are 7 clinical pathways to the degree of Masters in Nursing, all of which have an exit route available for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing. The pathways to the degree of Masters including the Postgraduate Diploma exit route are all available to view in the College Calendar

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Pathway 3 - Gerontological Nursing

Applicants for this MSc in Nursing, including the Postgraduate Diploma exit route, 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 Gerontological Nursing pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses Or Registered Intellectual Disability Nurses Or Registered Psychiatric Nurses;
  2. Have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways. For the Gerontological Nursing pathway, applicants must have a minimum of six months of post-registration experience (excluding courses) and at least six months experience in the speciality pathway applied for;
  3. Applicants must provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing/equivalent authorised Nurse Manager stating:

(a) The applicant will be working in the relevant specialist area for the duration of the programme for a minimum of 18.75 hours a week 
(b) They will be released from practice to attend the programme requirements 
(c) A Clinical Preceptor and/or Clinical Facilitator can support learning in the specialist area of practice for the duration of the programme.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not fulfill the entry requirements may be recommended for entry to the programme under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the programme committee. Such applicants may be invited for interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the  School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Note: Prospective students who do not fulfil the clinical practice experience entry requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Gerontological Nursing may be eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing programme (30 credits).

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. Vsit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €7,130 (PG Diploma, Year 1); €2,630 (Masters, Year 2) .

The Non-EU fee for this course is €14,700 (PG Diploma, Year 1); €5,000 (Masters, Year 2).


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 is 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 contact the Fees Office.

How Do I 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.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

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.

Deferrals: Deferrals are not permitted on this course.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

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:

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please provide evidence of at least 6 months post-registration experience.
  • Please upload certification of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).
  • All applicants must also submit a signed Declaration Form completed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Equivalent Authorised Manager.  This form is downloadable here: 2023 Declaration Form PGDip Nursing pathways

Additional Information

For students who have exited this programme with the award of postgraduate diploma and wish to return to complete the Masters within 5 years, please apply for CKX13, MSc in Nursing Studies Direct Entry Year 2.


The closing date for non-EU applications is 2 June 2023

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact