Nursing - Children's Palliative Care / Complex Care

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Children’s Palliative / Complex Care) is facilitated by both the teaching teams at University of Galway and UCD. The programme designed for Registered Nurses working with children and adolescents with complex or life limiting conditions. The programme aims to provide students with the necessary in-depth evidence-based knowledge, skills and competencies to provide quality care to highly dependent children as they live with life-limiting illness and may face the end-of-life.

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.

It consists of both theoretical and clinical components. 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. Additionally, students are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours (reduced from previously-published 1,000 hours, on NMBI advice) before completing this programme. 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 is approved by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

A Scholarship available within this programme:

For academic year 2023/24, HSE is providing limited number of scholarships. Priority for the scholarship will be given to those working in specialist community palliative care settings in line with recent HSE policy recommendations . Applicants are considered first come, first served basis. Please contact the Programme Director Claire Quinn ( for further information.

Subjects taught

Full-time 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 their Masters year.

The student can avail of Professional Credit Awards as stand-alone modules prior to the commencement of the full PDip/Master’s.

Entry requirements

Applicants must:

Be registered on the general, children’s, psychiatric, intellectual disability or midwifery division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland;
Have a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., an area associated with palliative care/children’s care/children’s palliative care or allied areas (neonatal, disability, oncology) and have as a minimum six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
Complete additional clinical hours in a children’s palliative care/complex setting. Placement length depends on the learning opportunities available to students in their current work setting;
Provide written support from their employer that they will be able to access this client group across the programme;
Satisfy the selection panel of their ability to complete the programme;
Have 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 at:


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

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024

Closing Date 31 May 2024

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally in clinical nurse specialist roles (neonatology, palliative care, paediatric palliative or specialist complex care,) specialist community home care, disability or liaison roles and/ or children’s hospice employment.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

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

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider