UCC Postgraduate courses

Nursing - Medical and Surgical Nursing

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Nursing - Medical and Surgical Nursing

  • Code


  • College

    Medicine and Health

  • Duration

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

  • Teaching Mode

    Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    PG Dip / MSc

  • EU Fees 2021

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

  • Non-EU Fees 2021

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

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Closed for applications for admission 2021/22

  • Start Date

    2 September 2021

Course Outline

The MSc in Nursing comprising of 10 clinical pathways is available as a part-time programme completed over two years from the date of first registration for the programme (ie 60 credits in Year 1 and 30 credits in Year 2).

Students who apply for the MSc in Nursing may opt to exit the programme at the end of the first year with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing award upon successful completion of modules to the value of 60 credits (applicable to all pathways - see below). 

A student who subsequently wishes to continue progression for the degree of Master must complete the programme within 5 academic years from the date of successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma Examinations, subject to the programme being available. 

Also, students who have successfully completed all modules to the value of 30 credits in the PG Certificate in Nursing programme may apply to transfer into a relevant pathway of the MSc in Nursing programme with the option of exiting with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing award at the end of an additional 12 months. An exception is the PG Certificate in Nurse Prescribing where a corresponding PG Diploma Pathway is not available.. 

Candidates who successfully complete all modules to the value of 30 credits in the PG Certificate in Nursing (Nurse/Midwife Prescribing) programme may choose to register on a MSc Nursing /Post graduate Diploma Pathway relevant to their practice. Please Note: eligibility for credit exemption is not guaranteed as there is no corresponding PG Diploma in Nurse/Midwife Prescribing pathway. Decisions on credit exemption will be based on content of pathway chosen and on individual academic transcript and are subject to the approval of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

All students admitted to the MSc (Nursing) are registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing in Year 1.  Students who pass Year 1 can progress to the MSc, unless they opt to exit the programme at the end of Year 1 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing


Theory modules  

  • NU6005 Research Methods (10 credits) (shared module across all pathways)
  • NU6053 Ethics for Specialist Practice (5 credits) (shared module across all pathways except 9)
  • NU6070 Practice Enhancement for Nursing and Midwifery (10 credits) (shared module across all pathways except 5 and 9)
  • NU6125 Professional Practice Issues for Nurses and Midwives (10 credits)
  • NU6085 Wound Care for Healthcare Professionals (5 credits)
  • NU6152 Medical and Surgical Nursing of Individuals with Cardiorespiratory Problems (10 credits)

Clinical Practice/Practicum module 

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

Note: Students who have successfully completed 30 credits from the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing (Medical-Surgical Nursing) in order to transfer into the MSc Programme must take theory modules to the value of 25 credits from above (NU6005, NU6053 and NU6070) and one of the following Clinical Practice/Practicum modules to the value of 5 credits: NU6130 - Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits) or  NU6131 - Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 2 (5 credits).


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

Additional Teaching Mode Information

All students will initially be registered for the postgraduate diploma in nursing part-time. If a student wishes to progress to the Masters they will be registered for the 2nd year part time.


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.

Why Choose This Course

The Postgraduate Diploma Medical Surgical Nursing Programme is delivered in a blended format (combination of classroom-based and online modules). Therefore, students are required to attend college for fewer days and, instead, complete more online work. This format suits a lot of students who invariably have difficulty being released from clinical practice to attend college classes.  Students come from a variety of Health Care Providers and from very mixed clinical backgrounds which lead to excellent class discussions.

Postgraduate students from other programmes join the students for some modules. This increases the cultural diversity in relation to Health Care Provider backgrounds, from an international perspective, which in turn further enhances discussions around nurse-led clinical practice decision-making.  

The Postgraduate Certificate Medical Surgical Nursing Programme has modules that are very useful for medical-surgical clinical practice. The feedback from students has been excellent as exemplified by the below testimonials.

'I wish to take this opportunity to thank you Michèle for everything! As a nurse who has been out of college for nearly 10 years now it was so wonderful to be taught by such supportive lecturers.  My favourite module was CardioResp, it was so exciting to learn so much academic knowledge that had immediate clinical impact i.e. ABG interpretation, ECG’s, patient information on CVD, ESC tool etc. I felt the simulations were great for reflective practice. I wish you all the best with the MED-SUR Programme.' Louise Murphy

'Thank you so much for all the encouragement . When I stood up on that stage for the first CUH inaugural research conference, I remembered all my teachers who made the day possible for me. It was one of the most fulfilling days in my life . And I want to thank all my teachers for the knowledge they have imparted to me. I realised what I have gained in the last year from my postgraduate diploma  is that it has empowered me to be me and has made me a confident person in life. It would have been impossible without the constant support and encouragement from all of you. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to you Michèle for being so supportive and good to us. Thank you so much again.'     Anju Menon


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 degree of Masters including Postgraduate Diploma exit route are all available to view in the College Calendar


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 Medical Surgical Nursing Pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses;
  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 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 fulfil 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 Medical Surgical Nursing may be eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing programme (30 credits).

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 €7,130 (PG Diploma, Year 1); €2,630 (Masters, Year 2).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €14,000 (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 at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I 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 .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

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 Education - 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)

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.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • What is your current occupation/speciality?
  • Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.
  • 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: Declaration Form 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.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact