Nursing - Diabetes

Diabetes is a global health emergency with over 600 million people expected to have the condition by 2030, representing 10% of the world’s population. Therefore the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classed diabetes as an epidemic requiring urgent action for both prevention and management. This has been echoed in Irelands Health Service Executive national policy and clinical strategy for diabetes. It is a chronic metabolic condition that can cause significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality if not managed correctly. Central to this management is controlling key physiological indices such as blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid levels, as well as promoting health behaviours such as regular exercise, healthy eating and not smoking. Unfortunately achieving these biological targets and lifestyle goals is extremely challenging. Therefore given its growing prevalence and resulting impact on health care resources, there is an urgent need to provide specialist training in diabetes for clinicians and in particular nurses who are an integral part of the Diabetes Multidisciplinary Team.

The course is delivered through blended learning (online content and face to face workshops), with an attendance requirement of approximately 10 days per 4 month semester (please note some workshops may be scheduled at weekends).

Subjects taught

Year 1 is theoretical-/clinical-based and represents 60 ECTS credits which is equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma Diabetes at completion (which students can exit with, if they wish, at the end of Year 1). Year 2 is research thesis based which builds on the knowledge and skills learned in Year 1 and represents 30 ECTS credits, thus providing a total of 90 ECTS (Year 1 & 2) which is the requirement for the awarding of a Masters Health Sciences Diabetes.

Semester 1
GPN10: Diabetes (10 ECTS)
NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 ECTS)
NU605: Recognising & Responding to Client Deterioration (10 ECTS)
NU921: Clinical Competence 1 (0 ECTS)

Semester 2
NU502: Advanced Research Methods (10 ECTS)
NU6439: Service Improvement (10 ECTS)
PO5101: Management of Diabetic Foot disease
NU922: Clinical Competence 2 (0 ECTS)

(Optional exit opportunity with PDip Diabetes or continue on for MHSc Diabetes.)

Year 2

Semester 1 & Semester 2
NU6515: Research Dissertation (30 ECTS)

Students’ clinical competency will be assessed by a practice portfolio (submitted end of Year 1 Semester 2). Students also complete practice focused assignments throughout the whole of Year 1 programme [September to June]. In order to be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Diabetes) students must pass each module at 40% and pass the clinical practice portfolio.

The clinical practice component forms an integral part of the programme. Students are required to attain at least 1,000 hours specialist practice experience of working and caring for patients with diabetes in a variety of environments over the programme. This includes consolidating the experiences and opportunities that are available in their own clinical environments. The student will be expected to engage in the assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of care to patients with diabetes with the support of designated preceptor agreed on with the programme director. To successfully meet the requirements of 1,000 hours of practice, the student will be required to work, for the duration of the first year of the programme, within practice settings that manage care for diabetes patients. If required, it may be possible to arrange clinical placements with the Diabetes Service at the University Hospital Galway which will cover the full spectrum of Diabetes Care.

Entry requirements

To be considered for entry to the programme applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

be registered as a general nurse
hold an active general nursing registration
have a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience
Applicants who do not hold an honours degree or postgraduate diploma (Level 9) may apply but must clearly demonstrate their capacity to complete a programme at this level, and must successfully undertake a minimum of one 10ECTS module (Level 9) offered as a Professional Credit Award.

Candidates coming to Ireland from abroad or who do not have a degree from Ireland or the UK will be asked to provide evidence of an acceptable result in one of the recognized English language proficiency tests, e.g., IELTS total score of 6.5.


2 years, full-time (MHSc); 1 year, full-time (PDip)

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024

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Career Opportunities
On completion of the Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Health Sciences Diabetes, which are Level 9 NFQ awards, a registered nurse would be eligible to apply for clinical nurse specialist registration in diabetes. Please note that this course is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

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

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider