Health Professions Education HPE

The MSc in Health Professions Education is an interdiscplinary programme for all health and social care professionals seeking a graduate qualification that will prepare them to design programmes of study and faciltate student learning. For Registered Nurses and Midwives, the programme will confer eligibility to register as a Nurse Tutor (RNT) or Midwife Tutor (RMT) with the Nursing and Midwfery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Applicants who already hold a Master's Degree in a relevant subject may take the Graduate Certificate in Health Professions Education.

This interdisciplinary programme will prepare health and social care professionals to design and deliver programmes of study for undergraduate and graduate students of their disciplines.

For registered nurses and midwives, successful completion of the programme leads to registration in the Nurse or Midwife Tutors' divisions of the Register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

The MSc in Health Professions Education builds upon and develops students' knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values, in order to prepare them to assume the role of the educator, capable of designing engaging programmes of study and of faciltiating students' learning.

The specific aims of the programme are to enable students to:

Realise their potential, engage their creativity, and build their confidence and self-esteem so that they can likewise enable their students to do the same by maximising the learning opportunities available to them.

Acquire and apply selected theories, concepts, models and frameworks to enable high levels of judgement, discretion and decision making in health professions education. These include key academic ideas from curriculum and pedagogical theory, the psychology of learning and related perspectives in the sociology of education.

Develop a critical awareness of relevant legislation in their respective professions, specifically, and the health system, generally, and relevant standards and requirements, or other criteria, for professional registration education programmes in their health profession.

Demonstrate the acquisition, synthesis, integration and application of knowledge from a select range of disciplines to inform, develop and innovate education practice in the healthcare professions.

Design, develop and deliver education and training programmes for their respective health professions.

Develop curricula, cognisant of learners' characteristics, programmes' purposes and relevant contextual considerations, including the human, technological, infrastructural, financial and other resources available.

Develop effective communication skills in order to present balanced arguments and engage with confidence in academic and multi-professional debates in health professions education.

Conduct a comprehensive education and training needs assessment to support the provision of responsive, flexible and innovative education programmes in the health professions.

Act as an effective member of the education team and participate in a multidisciplinary team approach to health professions education.

Demonstrate the value and distinctive contribution of their profession through the generation of disciplinary knowledge and innovative educational practice.

The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills in curriculum design and development, and in the facilitation of student learning. The focus is on education as a professional practice and you will be supported to analyse, apply and appraise relevant scholarship and research. and to discern its potential contribution to your practice in your specific contexts.

On successful completion of the programme, you will receive an MSc in Health Professions Education from the UCD School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems. The programme is recognised nationally and is validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland for nurses and midwives seeking regsitration as a Nurse or Midwife Tutor.

The programme is delivered by blended learning and comprises a number of workshops supported by Brightspace, UCD's virtual learning environment. A range of methods will be used to expose students to innovative and dynamic ways of facilitating and enhancing learning, including lectures,workshops, small group discussions, blended learning, case presentations and clinical simulation.

Subjects taught

The programme offers two tracks, both 90 ECTS credits in total.

1. Education with Leadership and Management (places on this track are limited as module capacity is restricted, you are therefore advised to indicate a preference for both tracks when applying).

2. Education with Research

Programme structure.

YEAR 1 (all students, both tracks)

Core modules
NMHS43630 Enabling Effective Learning 10 ECTS credits (Autumn and Spring)
NMHS43640 Creating Curriculum 10 ECTS credits (Autumn and Spring)
NMHS43910 Facilitating Student Learning 1 10 ECTS credits (Autumn and Spring)
NMHS43270 Research Methods Applied to Healthcare 10 ECTS credits (Spring)

Optional modules (both tracks)

Candidates for the entry to the Registered Nurse Tutor (RNT) division of the NMBI register must take:
NMHS43260 Nursing Knowledge: Philosophy and Practice

Candidates for the entry to the Registered Midwife Tutor (RMT) division of the NMBI register must take:
NMHS41560 Midwifery Practice and the Concept of Normality

All other Heathcare Professionals must take:
NMHS43820 Systems Thinking in Healthcare


Leadership Track (all students)
NMHS43850 Leading, Innovating and Managing in Health Systems 10 ECTS credits (Autumn)
NMHS43920 Facilitating Student Learning 2 10 ECTS credits (Autumn and Spring)
NMHS43610 Strategic Leadership for Healthcare Improvement and Innovation (Spring and early Summer)
NMHS43620 Innovations in Healthcare: Local and Global 10 ECTS credits (Spring and early Summer)

Research Track (all students)
NMHS43920 Facilitating Student Learning 2 10 ECTS credits (Autumn and Spring)
NMHS44020 The MSc Dissertation Evidence Synthesis or Translation 30 ECTS credits (Autumn/Spring)

Entry requirements

· Active registration as a health professional with the appropriate regulatory body

· Have at least three years or equivalent clinical experience as a registered health professional prior to entry. This experience should be in clinical areas where students of the applicant's health professional discipline undertake placements as part of their pre- and post-registration education.

· Have a bachelors' degree in the relevant health profession or in an allied health subject relevant to the profession.

Prior to commencing the programme, applicants must provide evidence that they have secured access to the teaching experience required to undertake it. During the programme students must undertake at least 100 teaching hours (at least eighty [80] classroom teaching hours and at least twenty [20] clinical teaching hours). The assessment of teaching skills in the context of professional practice hours must be completed under the supervision of an experienced health professional educator and, in the case of nurses and midwives, a Registered Nurse or Midwife Tutor.

Opportunities must also be provided to observe the role of preceptors, lecturers in the health profession and other health care specialists who coordinate students' clinical learning experiences and the assessment of learning in practice.

Documentation required to complete application:

· Indication of preference for the leadership or research options (availability of preferred option cannot be guaranteed as it is subject to module capacity)

· Two academic references
· One professional reference
· Copies of academic transcripts from completed degree programme/s
· Written confirmation of teaching arrangements, confirming that:

the applicant has secured at least 100 teaching hours (at least eighty [80] classroom teaching hours and at least twenty [20] clinical teaching hours). This confirmation must be signed by the appropriate person in the Higher Education Institution and/or Centre of Nurse or Midwife Education, and the Healthcare Provider Organisation providing the teaching opportunities.

the assessment of teaching skills in the context of the professional (clinical) practice hours will be completed under the supervision of a named experienced health professional educator and, in the case of nurses and midwives, a named Registered Tutor (please provide name/s and contact details).

opportunities will be provided to observe the role of preceptors, lecturers in the health profession and other health care specialists who coordinate students' clinical learning experiences and the assessment of learning in practice.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) applications must be submitted online through your SISWeb account.

There are two instances in which you can apply to have recognised prior learning taken into account when applying for a programme in UCD.

1. RPL for admission to a UCD programme

If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning.

2. RPL for exemption from a module or modules on a UCD programme

If you have been accepted onto a UCD programme and wish to have credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study, you may apply for RPL from a module or modules.

When applying for RPL, please note the following:

You must submit your application for RPL as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.
An application for RPL relating to a particular module should be submitted before the third week of the trimester in which it is offered. Applications made after this date will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.

Your application will be reviewed by the Taught Graduate Standing Committee and Programme Board. You can expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four to six weeks of submitting it (depending on committee schedules).

Please note that in some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied, therefore you must register for, attend and participate in the module or modules until you have been informed of the decision of the School Programme Board.

If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module.


Please read the UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning at this link: UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning

Application dates

Closing Date:
31 July 2022 (Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and programmes will close once they are filled. We advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ?Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.


Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant

Nurse or midwife applicants: A current photocopy of NMBI registration
Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body

Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport

Completed signed Teaching requirements form that confirms applicant has secured 100 hours of teaching practice, including 20 hours of clinical teaching supervised by an appropraitely experienced and qualified person.

Professional Reference Forms (original form)

Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)

Health Professions Education Track Preference form


2 years part-time.

Post Course Info

Careers/where can I go?
The MSc in Health Professions Education provides you with the knowledge and skills required for educating students at Certificate, Diploma, Bachlelor's and Master's level. Possessing a broad and deep understanding of the theory and skills of education will ensure you are well positioned to work in a variety of educational settings and in a variety of education posts both nationally and internationally. The leadership track will prepare you to assume leadership and management roles up to senior level. The research track will prepare you to conduct research into important issues in educational policy and practice.

The programme's predecessor was particularly aimed at preparing nurses and midwives to assume the role of nurse tutor and many graduates have taken up roles as clinical facilitators, placement co-ordinators and practice development officers within the health sector as well as academic roles within higher education institutions.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider