Nursing - Critical Care Nursing - Intensive Care

Critical care nursing requires an advanced knowledge base, skilled assessment, prompt intervention and ongoing evaluation in order to care for the critically ill with complex needs. The critical care nurse maintains the balance between the science of nursing and the art of caring. This course will provide the nurse with an opportunity to develop, enhance and maintain these specialist skills that are required to care for the critically ill.

Major strengths
UCD has a long history of producing high-quality graduates

This programme enables graduates to be even more effective clinicians, change agents and clinical leaders in Critical Care

Access to clinical and university-based lecturers with national and international expertise from clinical, research and educational perspectives

The Programme employs a variety of innovative assessment strategies with a strong clinical focus

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

Access to excellent facilities for lectures

Vision and Values Statement
The purpose of the Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Critical Care: Intensive Care) is to support graduate students in enhancing their existing knowledge, skills and behaviours, in order to respond effectively to current needs of the critically ill patient in the intensive care clinical setting. The programme promotes an integrated, flexible, student-centred, patient-focused, and dynamic approach to learning, in order to enrich students' continuous professional and societal contribution, and their personal development. This programme actively fosters informed, relevant, skilled, ethical, innovative, reflexive, careful, research-led clinical and educational practice, so as to develop 'fit-for-purpose' professional practitioners and dynamic leaders in this complex and challenging field.

A wide variety of current, validated, pedagogical approaches and innovative, creative technologies are integrated and utilised in this programme, to ensure excellence in all teaching and learning processes and to enhance the overall student experience. The comprehensive engagement of our clinical partner sites in this programme's design and delivery and the resultant valuable student learning opportunities, are major strengths. The programme is delivered by experts in the fields of scholarship, education, and practice discipline and patient advocacy. This ensures that learners experience a coherent, cumulative, research-based educational programme that meets all academic and professional regulatory standards and requirements.

Subjects taught

The Graduate Diploma in Critical Care Nursing – Intensive Care is a 60 ECTS programme offered over 1-year full time (X547) or two years part-time (X745).

There are two Core Modules (& year one of X745):
NMHS43260 Nursing Knowledge Philosophy and Practice (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS)

NMHS43270 Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)

Four Specialist Modules (& year two of X745):
NMHS 32440/42630 Core Concepts of ICU Nursing (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS) *
NMHS42770 Complex Critically Ill Patient (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)
NMHS42780 Chronically Critically Ill (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)
NMHS42520 Clinical Practicum (ICU) (Year Long Module, 10 ECTS)

*Please note that students are eligible to apply for exemption from NMHS 32440 based on successful completion of the following modules.
NMHS 32770: National Foundation Module in Critical Care Nursing
NMHS 31820 Foundation Intensive Care Nursing MMUH
NMHS32830 Foundation Intensive Care Nursing SVUH

Entry requirements

All applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in a related discipline)/RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) consideration if no degree

All applicants must be listed on the Register of Nurses and Midwives, which is maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

All applicants must have at least one year's post-registration experience at the time of application

All applicants must be employed in intensive care nursing for the duration of the programme and work a minimum of 75 hours per month

Also, each student must provide documented evidence from the Director of Nursing in the clinical practice area, which guarantees ICU placement for the duration of 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

Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body

Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport

Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)

Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)

Nurse applicants: 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.

Application dates

How to Apply?
The following entry routes are available:
Grad Dip Nursing ICU FT (X547)
1 Years
Full Time

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

Assessment Info

Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation/practical examination) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.




1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2020

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
The Graduate Diploma Critical Care Nursing: Intensive Care provides you with the comprehensive knowledge and skills required for caring for the critically ill. The key knowledge and skills gained on this Programme will also enable you to innovate and lead in your area of practice in Critical Care.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider