Nursing - Acute Medicine

Your Course
This course aspires to meet the needs of registered nurses working in acute medical settings by equipping them with the evidence- based knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients with complex conditions. The programme is comprised of six theory/practice modules delivered over two years using a blended learning format, combining online learning and face-to face workshops. On completion of Year One, students have the option of being awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or (if they have achieved a minimum 60% average mark across these modules) may progress on to Year Two to complete the MSc programme. Case studies will be used to help students test out what they would do in different situations. Students will work in a clinical setting for the duration of the programme, and will be supported by their unit manager and named preceptor. Modules titles are listed on the course website.

Subjects taught

Module titles are as follows: Recognising and Responding to Client Deterioration (10 credits—specialist); Principles and Practice of Acute Medical Nursing (10 credits—specialist); Essential Physical Assessment Skills (10 credits—specialist); Service Improvement (10 credits—core); Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 credits—core); Advanced Research Methods (10 credits—core); Clinical Assessment 1; Clinical Assessment 2.

Entry requirements

Minimum 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. If you wish to apply for a Level 9 module, please consult the professional credit awards at Level 9 at:;

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), Medical Ward, 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, 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 complete a minimum of 1,000 hours in an acute medical unit or equivalent setting as deemed by the programme director.

Application dates

WHEN TO APPLY: NUI Galway does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers will be issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.


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

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