This part-time Graduate Certificate in Dermatology comprises three specialist modules in dermatology and will normally be completed over one year on a part-time basis. The purpose of the course is to provide specialist education for nurses and healthcare practitioners in order to advance knowledge and skills in the care of people who have dermatological conditions. The course is aimed at nurses and healthcare practitioners working in a variety of settings including hospital based dermatology departments, minor injury/day surgery units, tissue viability, primary care settings including GP practices and the community. This course sets out to address a nationally recognised need to develop educational provision for nurses and healthcare professionals in the field of dermatology.

Developed by the DCU School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health, the course is delivered in partnership with clinical experts from practice including Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioners in Dermatology/A&E, Consultant Dermatologists, SpR Dermatology/Plastics and other healthcare practitioners with specialist expertise in caring for people with dermatology conditions.

Why do this course?
Gain specialist education in dermatology
Advance knowledge and skills in the care of people with dermatological conditions


The structure of the Grad Cert award will comprise 30 credits. Module content is strategically aligned to areas of dermatology practice were lengthy waiting lists exist for out-patient appointments and where real potential presents to develop nurse led initiatives. Students will undertake three modules in total; two 10 credit core modules and one 10 credit option module (Surgical Skills for Healthcare Practitioners or Advancing Evidence-based Practice*). Students can follow one of two paths on the programme, the path will be determined by their clinical work setting. Students wishing to take option module 'Surgical Skills for Healthcare Practitioners' must be working in an area of practice where they are likely to encounter the need to undertake minor dermatological surgical procedures on patients i.e. suturing, cryotherapy, wound debridement or abscess/cyst management. Students caring for patients who are not likely to require such interventions will take the module 'Advancing Evidence-based Practice'. This module will foster knowledge, skills and competencies needed to deliver evidence-based practice to patients with dermatology conditions.

The programme will be delivered using a blended learning approach. Face to face lectures and skill demonstrations will be augmented with innovative technological approaches. Attendance is required for four days per module (*delivered in seven half days spread over a 12 week semester).

Modules on the programme are also available to undertake on a stand alone basis. Candidates who do not wish to apply for the Graduate Certificate programme can undertake single modules only but need to apply separately. Please note, it will not be possible to seek the award of Graduate Certificate in Dermatology retrospectively where all three modules comprising the programme are registered for and undertaken on a stand alone basis.

Candidates who have previously successfully completed dermatology Stand alone modules in DCU will be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning when registering for the Graduate Certificate Award. Students who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate in Dermatology programme will be eligible to seek entry into the MSc in General Nursing Practice or MSc in General Healthcare Practice if desired. DCU Marks and Standards will apply with regard to surrender of any lesser award prior to admission.


DCU is a young, innovative, research-intensive and globally-engaged university. It seeks out opportunities to transform lives and society through innovation, research and teaching excellence with more than 120 programmes offered over five faculties. Transforming lives and society is a central mission underpinning the development of dermatology education within the School. We have established a strong collaboration with expert clinicians from the field of dermatology/minor injuries and community practice. Dermatology modules have been delivered on a stand alone basis within the school for a number of years leading to demand for, and subsequent successful accreditation of, the Graduate Certificate in dermatology award.

The programme will offer the candidates a high quality teaching and learning experience equipping them with the capacity to build and grow their professional expertise. They will graduate with a skill set enabling them to transform the lives of patients in their care, help to maximise health outcomes and help ease the burden of chronic disease on society.

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements

•Candidates will be required to hold a primary degree (Level 8, NFQ or equivalent). Those who do not meet the entry requirements will be considered on a case by case basis. Previous relevant professional development/experiential learning will be considered in accordance with the DCU policy on Recognition of Prior Learning

•Candidates must be working in an area of practice where they will see patients presenting with dermatological conditions. In addition, for module NS5057-Surgical Skills for Healthcare Practitioners; candidates must be working in an area where they are likely to encounter the need to undertake minor surgical procedures. Where this is not possible, candidates cannot take this option and must instead undertake modules NS558 Advancing Evidence-based Practice. This module is delivered on MSc in Nursing/Healthcare Practice programme in the SONHS and runs in the same semester as NS5057. Module NS558 is also accredited as a stand-alone module (L9, 10 ECTS).

•Candidates must provide a signed declaration from their employing authority confirming their agreement to ensure an optimum learning experience is provided for the student. This includes the provision of supports necessary to promote and sustain ongoing engagement in a clinical supervision process to enable the student achieve clinical competencies in practice. Candidates will be required to furnish a completed 'Engagement Agreement for Clinical Supervision Process' from their employing authority/line manager prior to commencement. This form accompanies the application form.

• Candidates who have already completed one or both of the existing stand-alone modules in Dermatology (NS5077 Chronic Skin Conditions or NS5057 Surgical Skills for Healthcare Practitioners) will be eligible to apply to undertake the proposed award. As per DCU Marks and Standards they may seek exemptions, through the appropriate Faculty channels, for credits successfully achieved (within a given timeframe). It will not be possible to seek the award of Graduate Certificate in Dermatology retrospectively in the event that all three modules comprising the programme are undertaken on a stand alone basis.

•Applicants wishing to apply for the programme must be registered or eligible for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).


1 year part-time

Post Course Info


This programme will support healthcare professionals who wish to further their career in a particular area of practice, e.g. where there are opportunities for developing new services, models and roles, or for specialist and advanced practitioner roles in healthcare provision. It will also help professionals gain valuable postgraduate clinical/practice education, thereby helping them to progress in their chosen career.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Graduate Certificate

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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