Clinical Physiology

University College Cork

Clinical Physiology

This programme will appeal to science graduates with a background in physiology and individuals from other healthcare professionals interested in developing professional skills in the diagnostic evaluation of patients in one of four different disciplines: cardiology, neurology, gastrointestinal and respiratory science. A unique element of this programme is the focus on neonatal physiology.

We aim to provide an excellent educational experience in both academic and clinical environments and to support our students as they develop the necessary attributes to contribute to the constantly advancing and evolving nature of clinical measurement science.

Practice education is an integral component of the programme and our students will have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements in both Years 1 and 2.

Course Practicalities
The MSc Clinical Physiology programme is situated in the long-established Department of Physiology with strong links to the internationally recognised School of Medicine, in the College of Medicine and Health.

The MSc is a two-year full-time programme, comprising compulsory modules to the value of 70 credits in Year 1 and 50 credits in Year 2: 120 credits in total.

Semester 1 will be campus-based and will prepare students for clinical placement. Students will continue to have some campus-based teaching in semester 2. They will also undertake two introductory hospital-based placements in semester 2 and semester 3. Students will be supported on placement by a Practice Educator, based in the hospital department. In Year 2 students will complete a research project and two advanced placements which may be in one or two different physiological fields in the hospital setting.

Students completing the research modules are expected to communicate regularly and attend meetings as required with their supervisor regarding their dissertation. Students should be aware that they may be placed in hospitals outside of Cork. Travel and accommodation costs associated with placement are the responsibility of the student.

Why Choose This Course
The introduction of the MSc Clinical Physiology in UCC is great news for the profession in Ireland… there is a real shortage of trained clinical physiologists across all specialties. (HSE)

There is a shortage of Clinical Measurement Scientists in both the HSE and private sectors so our MSc Clinical Physiology graduates will be widely sought after by employers in these sectors.

Our MSc course will act as an entry point into the profession of Clinical Measurement Physiology; you will learn how to apply a theoretical understanding of the physiological systems to identify dysfunction and disease in one of four disciplines (cardiology, neurology, respiratory and gastrointestinal physiology), with the additional benefit of gaining a unique insight into neonatal physiology and disease.

Established links to a medical school will give you access to experts in each of the clinical fields and you will be active members of multi-disciplinary healthcare teams where you will gain hands-on experience in patient treatment.

Placement or Study Abroad Information
Practice education is an integral component of the programme and students will undertake four different placements in Years 1 and 2.

These placements will take place in the Clinical Measurement Departments of UCC teaching hospitals of the South/Southwest Hospital Group.

Hospitals of the South/Southwest Group include Cork University Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital Cork, Mercy University Hospital, South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital, Bantry General Hospital, Mallow General Hospital, Tipperary University Hospital, University Hospital Kerry, and University Hospital Waterford.

Travel and accommodation costs associated with placement are the responsibility of the student.

Subjects taught

Year 1 Modules

Semester 1

PL6004 Principles of Professional Practice in Clinical Physiology (5 credits)
PL6005 Clinical Measurement Instrumentation (10 credits)
PL6006 Core Placement Skills for Clinical Physiologists (5 credits)
PL6007 Biological Systems for Clinical Physiologists - Cardiology (5 credits)
PL6008 Biological Systems for Clinical Physiologists - Respiratory Function (5 credits)
PL6009 Biological Systems for Clinical Physiologists - Neurology (5 credits)

Semester 2

PL6010 Biological Systems for Clinical Physiologists - Gastroenterology (5 credits)
PL6011 Biological Systems for Clinical Physiologists - Neonatology (5 credits)
PL6012 Effective Communication for Clinical Physiologists (5 credits)
PL6013 Professional Practice in Clinical Physiology I (Placement) (10 credits)
Semester 3

PL6014 Professional Practice in Clinical Physiology II Placement (10 credits)

Year 2 Modules

Semester 1

PL6015 Professional Practice in Clinical Physiology - Specialist 15-Week Placement I (15 credits)
PL6017 Research Project in Clinical Physiology I (5 credits)
PL6018 Research Project in Clinical Physiology II (15 credits)

Semester 2

PL6016 Professional Practice in Clinical Physiology - Specialist 15-Week Placement II (15 credits)
Flexi-option (to be completed prior to entry to the course)

PL6019: Introduction to Clinical Physiology (5 credits)*
* Prerequisite module where supplemental knowledge of physiology is deemed necessary by the programme board. This will be completed prior to the commencement of the programme.


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.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have at least a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) (or equivalent) in any of the following relevant subject areas: physiology, medical and health sciences, neuroscience or other relevant biological sciences. Other graduates with an honours primary degree in a relevant health care discipline e.g. nursing, may also be interested in this programme, although proficiency in understanding systems physiology will be an important entry criterion.

Shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview (face-to-face with an opportunity for online).
Recognition of Prior Learning

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may also be given to applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements but who have relevant experience in a relevant field to physiology, medical and health sciences, neuroscience or other relevant sciences.

Eligible applicants will be shortlisted for an interview based on the following criteria:

Educational qualifications

Academic achievements outside of the curriculum, e.g., publications, conference presentations

Contributions beyond academia

Motivation to become a Clinical Measurement Physiologist, e.g., a motivational statement will include the applicant's research aspirations in this field and indicate how their previous degree will contribute to this research and their future career as a clinical measurement physiologist.

Communication skills

Garda Vetting Policy

Students, or applicants in receipt of an offer, are subject to Garda Vetting as per the UCC Student Garda Vetting policy and are prohibited from engaging in a relevant work placement unless the vetting process has been completed.

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

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.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 10 March 2023

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.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.


2 Years (Year 1: Semesters 1, 2 and 3; Year 2: Semesters 1 and 2) full-time.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
On completion of this course, you will be eligible to apply for careers in clinical measurement physiology in both the HSE and private sectors.

The HSE has identified a national shortage of appropriately trained Clinical Measurement Physiologists, particularly in cardiology, respiratory medicine, and clinical neurophysiology. Measurement scientists are key members of the teams managing conditions such as myocardial infarction, epilepsy, COVID-19, or peptic ulcer disease. A shortage of measurement scientists is a critical reason for prolonged waiting lists in these areas. There are departments of clinical measurement in all the teaching and acute hospitals in Ireland.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider