UCC Postgraduate courses

Nursing - Neonatology Nursing

Course Fact File
Duration2 Years - PG Diploma (Year 1); Masters (Year 2)
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsPG Dip / MSc
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateNot on offer for 2024/25
Non-EU Closing DateNot on offer for 2024/25

Course Outline

Note; The next intake for this programme will be in September 2025

Our Neonatology Postgraduate Nursing Diploma/Masters programme is offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork. This programme is a pathway of the MSc/Postgraduate Nursing Diploma. It is designed to meet the needs of nurses working in neonatal care who wish to undergo a specialist programme. The programme facilitates students to become more knowledgeable and skilled in neonatal nursing including developing skills in implementing evidence-based practice in neonatal care.

The Postgraduate Neonatology Nursing programme consists of taught modules in neonatal nursing, practice modules to obtain competencies in neonatal care, and shared modules in research, ethics, and practice enhancement with nurses undertaking other specialist programmes. The shared modules are offered using blended learning (part online and part attendance at workshops/tutorials).

The programme is delivered over one academic year and on successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma (60 credits), students can progress to the MSc in Nursing in Year 2 (30 credits).

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.  Neonatology Nursing is Pathway 6 and comprises theory modules and clinical practice modules as follows:

Neonatology Nursing (Pathway 6)

Year 1 (60 credits)

Theory modules

  • 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)
  • NU6150  Nursing Management of Neonates (10 credits)
  • NU6159  High Dependency in Neonatal Nursing (15 credits)

Clinical Practice/Practicum modules

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

Year 2 (30 credits)

In order to progress to Year 2 students must pass modules to the value of 60 credits in Year 1.

  • MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
  • NU6073   Dissertation in Nursing (20 credits)

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

  • Enhance neonatal nursing practice through the application of well-assimilated theoretical, practical, and policy knowledge and clinical skills;
  • Exercise accountability within the clinical, ethical, and professional boundaries of the role of neonatal nursing;
  • Critically appraise and evaluate current research evidence and best practice for perioperative nursing and its implications for practice;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of individual outcomes against specialist intervention plans for neonates and families in neonatal nursing practice;
  • Synthesise health-related issues for the development of intervention/service responses appropriate to the needs of neonates and families in neonatal nursing practice;
  • Contribute as a learned member of the multidisciplinary team in the delivery of quality healthcare for neonates and families within the context of neonatal nursing;
  • Act as a means of professional support, educator, and role model for the provision of lifelong learning to ensure ongoing professional development.

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

Assessment includes assignments, presentations, end-of-year exams, online activities, and competency assessment of clinical practice.

Who teaches this course

Our staff from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork teach on this programme and include staff from the neonatal services in Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Why Choose This Course

The programme is delivered in partnership with neonatal services in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) and much of this content will be delivered in CUMH by experts in neonatal care.

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 ageing, and sustainable approaches to healthcare and health promotion and our teaching staff are at the forefront of these developments.

Skills and Careers Information

On completion of the postgraduate diploma, students can progress to an MSc in Nursing. See the College Calendar (Diploma/Masters in Nursing) for more information on the MSc programme.


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 (Diploma/Masters in Nursing)

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:  Pathway 6 – Neonatology Nursing

Applicants for this MSc in Nursing, including 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 Neonatology Nursing Pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses Or Registered Children's Nurses Or Registered Midwives.
  2. Have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways. For the Neonatology 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 19.5 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 an 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.

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: 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:

  • 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.
  • Please upload certification of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

All applicants must also upload the following to their online application: 

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 Not on offer for 2024/25

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact