Nursing - Gerontology

Course Overview
This programme is for all nurses caring for older people in acute, community or long-term care settings. The programme recognises the need to enable and empower people to age with confidence, security and dignity. It also acknowledges the need for gerontological nurses to attain postgraduate specialist knowledge, skill and competence to effectively work with older people to achieve their individual goals and ambitions about their personal health and wellness. The programme aims to equip nurses with the broad skills needed to meet the needs of older persons across a wide variety of settings acknowledging older people as valuable active citizens who deserve the support and empowerment of service provision to enact a fulfilled life.

This programme is offered full-time over two calendar years. On completion of both theoretical and clinical modules in Year 1, you have the option of completing a Postgraduate Diploma or (if you have achieved the minimum 60% average mark across these modules) you may progress onto the second year to complete the MSc programme.

A blended learning approach is adopted in the delivery of this programme. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for an average of 12 days during the academic year. As a Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) requirement students are required to complete a minimum of 500 clinical working hours caring for older persons in order to complete the programme.

Special Features
The course has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills in gerontological nursing. 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.

Subjects taught

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 the second year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)
Required NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice
Required NU921: Clinical Competence 1
Required NU6102: Ageing & Older People: Biopsychosocial Perspecti
Required NU6103: Contemporary Issues in Gerontological Nursing
Required NU6439: Service Improvement
Required NU634: Dementia Care: Transforming Practice
Required NU502: Advanced Research Methods
Required NU922: Clinical Competence 2
Optional RPL010: Recognised Prior Learning
Optional RPL020: Recognised Prior Learning
Optional RPL030: Recognised Prior Learning

Year 2 (30 Credits)
Required NU6515: Research Dissertation
Optional RPL030: Recognised Prior Learning

Entry requirements

1. Be a registered nurse on the General Nurse or Psychiatric or Intellectual Disability division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);

2. Have a minimum of one year of post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);

3. Be currently employed as a nurse in a setting where he/she has opportunities to care for older people and have a minimum of 6 months experience in this specific clinical setting.

4. Satisfy the selection panel of ability to complete the programme;

5. Provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing and Clinical Unit Manager guaranteeing practice placement in a setting where he/she has an opportunity to care for older person patients/clients for the duration of the programme. Alternatively, where necessary, agreement that the applicant is facilitated to undertake additional practice in a suitable placement setting focused on care of the older person.

6. 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) or Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9) must demonstrate that they have successfully completed (in the previous four years) a module at Level 9. Please consult the professional credit awards at Level 9 at:

7. Provide the following supporting documentation on application:
- A copy of your current NMBI registration
- Copies of your academic transcripts from completed educational courses
- Copies of your official awards (parchments) from completed educational courses
- Letter from your line manger confirming support for practice placement
- Letter confirming funding for the programme

Application dates

How to apply
We encourage all applicants to apply as early as possible.

Review/Closing Dates (for Taught Programmes)
For most programmes, University of Galway does not set specific closing dates for receipt of applications. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and course quotas will be reviewed continuously throughout the application cycle with the exception of applications for some programmes which are reviewed after the specified closing date. Candidates who do not have their final degree marks available may be made a conditional (provisional) offer.

Online Application
Applications to most postgraduate programmes at University of Galway are made online via (see "Application Weblink").


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

Enrolment dates

Next start date: September 2024.

Closing Date: 31st May 2024.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally in service and care provision to older persons in the acute, long term residential and community healthcare sectors.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

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

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider