Nursing - Acute Medicine

Course Overview
This programme aims to meet the educational needs of nurses working in an acute medical unit (AMU, AMAU, MAU), short stay unit or equivalent which cares for patients with acute medical conditions.

Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland, normally within the students' own work setting. Students may also be required to undertake additional placement(s) in order to meet the programme’s learning outcomes.

All students will register on the full-time one-year Postgraduate Diploma. On completion of both theoretical and clinical modules for this course, students will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma or (if they have achieved the minimum 60% average mark across these modules) they may apply to transfer to the second year of the MSc programme.

A blended learning approach is adopted in the delivery of this programme. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. Students are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours (reduced from previously-published 1,000 hours, on NMBI advice)

Special Features
The course has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible to combine working full-time with studying. This course has category 2 approval by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Subjects taught

Students will complete three core and three specialist modules in the first year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the second year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)
Required NU606: Principles & Practice of Acute Medical Nursing
Required NU605: Recognising & Responding to Client Deterioration
Required NU921: Clinical Competence 1
Required NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice
Required NU6439: Service Improvement
Required NU607: Essential Physical Assessment Skills
Required NU502: Advanced Research Methods
Required NU922: Clinical Competence 2
Optional RPL010: Recognised Prior Learning
Optional RPL020: Recognised Prior Learning
Optional RPL030: Recognised Prior Learning

Year 2 (30 Credits)
Required NU6515: Research Dissertation
Optional RPL030: Recognised Prior Learning

Entry requirements

1. An honours bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in nursing or a comparable qualification. Applicants who do not hold an honours degree or Higher Diploma (Level 8) must demonstrate that they have successfully completed (in the previous two years) a module at Level 9. Please consult the professional credit awards at Level 9;

2. Currently employed as a nurse in an Acute Medical Unit (AMUs), Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU), or Medical Assessment Unit (MAU), Short Stay Unit (SSU), or an equivalent clinical setting that has a remit for caring for patients in the acute stage of their medical illness. Applicants must have a minimum of six months’ experience in this setting over the past two years;

3. Written evidence of support for the applicant from their Director of Nursing and clinical unit manager;

4. Minimum academic and/or professional qualifications and standards required, together with any equivalence that may apply;

5. Students must work in the clinical area for the duration of the programme. Clinical requirements for completion of the programme are to pass two clinical competencies and are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours (reduced from previously-published 1,000 hours, on NMBI advice) in an acute medical unit or equivalent setting as deemed by the programme director.

Application dates

How to apply
We encourage all applicants to apply as early as possible.

Review/Closing Dates (for Taught Programmes)
For most programmes, University of Galway does not set specific closing dates for receipt of applications. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and course quotas will be reviewed continuously throughout the application cycle with the exception of applications for some programmes which are reviewed after the specified closing date. Candidates who do not have their final degree marks available may be made a conditional (provisional) offer.

Online Application
Applications to most postgraduate programmes at University of Galway are made online via (see "Application Weblink").


2 years full-time (with option to leave with PDip after 1 year).

Enrolment dates

Next start date: September 2024.

Closing Date: 31st May 2024.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
This course is particularly significant as the 2010 Report of the National Acute Medicine Programme (AMP) suggested a new approach to education and training with the development of acute medicine as a speciality for physicians and the nursing and therapy professions. It further suggested that these nurses must consolidate and expand their knowledge and skills to meet the need for early detailed assessment and development of initial treatment plans (HSE, 2010). In the future, there may be a demand for clinical nurse specialists working in acute medicine, and graduates of this programme will be ideally placed to apply for these types of positions.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider