Nursing - Critical Care Nursing - Children

A Graduate Diploma Critical Care Nursing (Children) will build on your existing knowledge and skills in caring for infants, children and young people within the paediatric intensive care setting. Possessing this advanced knowledge will enable you to utilise a range of therapeutic interventions, and enhance your ability to review differing approaches and trends in the care and treatment of infants, children, young people and their families in the paediatric critical care setting.

The Graduate Diploma Critical Care Nursing (Children) programme aims to build upon and advance the registered practitioner’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values, in order to prepare to assume the role of a specialist in this area of care. The programme aims to develop the practitioner’s capacities for caring and competent practice in paediatric intensive care , in order to provide a patient-centred service within health care.

On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Critical Care Nursing (Children) from the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The programme is recognised nationally and internationally.

What will I learn?

The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills with respect to the holistic care of Infants, children young people and their families.

Programme strengths

Students will undertake placements in clinical sites in the PICU in either the Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street, or Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin. You will rotate on occasion between both hospitals to experience nursing care of a wide spectrum of specialities which includes care of neonates, care of the child with a thermal injury, cardiac care, care of child post renal transplantation, care of child with a neurological disorder.

Lectures are both clinical and university-based and are delivered by a wide range of members of the multidisciplinay team.

There is a strong emphasis on continuous progression of clinical ability and clinical effectiveness through continuous assessment, clinical examinations, and case presentations

The delivery of specialist modules designed to scaffold learning, commencing with fundamental concepts in children’s critical care, then advanced children’s critical care, and finally specialist concepts in children’s critical care .

Flexible pathway – may be undertaken over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Extensive use of IT in supporting the teaching environment of the programme

Access to excellent facilities for lectures

Subjects taught

Programme Structure:

The course may be taken over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time. Assessments are varied (learning pack/student debate/care presentations/clinical case review/discussion board)) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters. Core modules will be delivered in UCD through blended learning, while specialist and clinical modules will be delivered through theory blocks usually at clinical sites. . Clinical learning outcomes are completed with a designated clinical assessor during the programme.


You will complete six modules in total, to include two core modules and four specialist modules.

Core Modules:

NMHS43270 - Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Autumn Trimester)

NMHS43140 Developing Leadership Competency (Spring Trimester)

Specialist Modules:

NMHS43700 Fundamental Concepts Children's Critical Care (Autumn Trimester)

NMHS43720 Advanced Children's Critical Care (Autumn and Spring Trimester)

NMHS43730 Specialist Considerations in Children's Critical Care (Spring Trimester)

NMHS42460 - Clinical Practicum: Paediatric Critical Care Nursing (Autumn, Spring and Summer Trimesters)

Entry requirements

Applicants should be registered as an RCN, RCN/RGN with a minimum of one year's experience in Paediatric Intensive Care

Applicants registered as an RGN with a minimum of two year's experience in Paediatric Intensive Care may be considered for the programme

Documents Required

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

Nurse applicants: A current photocopy of NMBI registration

Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport

Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)

Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)

Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee

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

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL may be granted in respect of individual modules if applicants can demonstrate that the modules' learning outcomes have been achieved through prior credentialled or experiential learning. In some cases, where an applicant does not meet the prerequisites for entry to a programme, an RPL application may be considered. Further information can be found in respect of this here.

Application dates

How to apply?

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip Critical Care Nursing (Children) FT (X617)

Duration 1 Years

Attend Full Time

Deadline Rolling*

Grad Dip Critical Care Nursing (Children) PT (X748)

Duration 2 Years

Attend Part Time

Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.


Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability

Careers/Where Can I Go?

The Graduate Diploma in Critical Care Nursing (Children) provides you with the comprehensive knowledge and extensive skills required for caring for infants and children in the critical care setting, thereby equipping you to work nationally or internationally. Academically there are opportunities to continue to Masters / PhD level, and clinically you may choose to further your expertise to facilitate critical care education, to take a position as a Clinical Nurse Manager or Clinical Nurse Specialist or to study for the role of Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Completion of the programmes facilitates progression to advanced practice roles such as CVVH, IPATs and ECLS.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider