Nursing & Healthcare Quality Improvement

University College Cork

Nursing & Healthcare Quality Improvement

Course Outline
Our online MSc in Healthcare Quality Improvement course is an exciting, contemporary, degree for healthcare professionals, offering a flexible mode of learning while continuing to work.

This programme will enable practitioners to take leadership roles in an increasingly complex healthcare environment with an emphasis on quality improvement in healthcare. It should appeal to students from a number of clinical areas and from management positions.

This online programme offers a flexible online approach to learning, designed to allow healthcare professionals to undertake their studies while working simultaneously. The programme is designed to allow students to undertake their studies while working simultaneously with the intention to suit service, personal and academic requirements.

Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality Improvement

The MSc programme consists of seven modules to the value of 70 credits and one module to the value of 20 credits. Students have the option of exiting the programme after completing 30 credits with a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Quality Improvement.

Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Quality Improvement

Students have the option of exiting the programme after completing Year 1 and one 10-credit (NU6306) module in Year 2 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Quality Improvement.

Subject areas covered in the MSc programme include digital healthcare, contemporary issues in healthcare, practice enhancement for quality healthcare, advancing practice for patient safety, clinical leadership for healthcare quality improvement, implementation of evidence-based practice, and advanced research methods applied to healthcare. The final project will involve conducting a systematic investigation of a problem relevant to the student's practice area using the research process.

Course Practicalities
The MSc (Healthcare Quality Improvement) is a part-time online programme. This programme consists of seven 10-credit modules and one 20-credit module. Each 10-credit module will be delivered over a six-week period with one module delivered at a time. The 20-credit Dissertation module will be delivered over 33 weeks. Successful completion of the online MSc (Healthcare Quality Improvement) will allow eligibility to apply for entry into Doctorate programmes in related disciplines.

Applicants can complete this online programme over a minimum of 2 academic years. Each 10-credit module will be delivered over 6 weeks with one module delivered at a time. The 20-credit Dissertation module (NU6309) will be taken over 33 weeks (8 months) as a final project. Each 10-credit module consists of an estimated student workload of 200 hours. The 20-credit module consists of an estimated workload of 400 hours. This involves online learning, self-directed learning, required readings, subject investigation, online activities and assignment preparation, participation and submission.

Subjects taught

Modules - 90 credits over two years as follows:

Year 1

NU6313 Digital Healthcare (10 credits)
NU6303 Advancing Practice for Patient Safety (10 credits)
NU6302 Practice Enhancement for Quality Healthcare (10 credits)
NU6310 Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice for Quality Improvement in Healthcare (10 credits)
NU6312 Contemporary Issues in Healthcare (10 credits)

Year 2

NU6306 Clinical Leadership for Healthcare Quality Improvement (10 credits)
NU6304 Advanced Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (10 credits)
NU6309 Applied Research for Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement (20 credits)
Consult the University Calendar MSc Healthcare Quality Improvement (Online) for further course and module content.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Applicants must satisfy the following to be eligible to apply:

Applicants must be qualified healthcare professionals registered with the regulatory body in their country of residence.
Applicants must have a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not fulfil this entry requirement may be recommended for entry to the programme under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the programme committee.

Some such applicants may be invited for an interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Admission to such applicants will be subject to the approval of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Technical Entry Requirements:
To access and interact with the programme content, assignments and assessments etc. students will require reliable broadband and access to at least a PC/Laptop running Windows 7 or later and Mac OSX 10.7.4. Common plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight, Java and Flash will also be required. Students must have access to MS Office or an equivalent suite of applications such as Libre Office. They must also have access to a modern standards-compliant web browser. UCC recommends either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. To engage productively and successfully with the content, basic technical computer skills such as familiarity with word processing, web browsing and email are recommended.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 2 June 2023

How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

Please upload certification of current registration with the appropriate professional body.

Deferrals are not permitted on this course.

Assessment Info

A range of continuous assessments are used across the modules. These include essays, case study discussion, portfolio submission, digital presentation, accumulative report writing and online activities. In addition, students complete a written research/evidence based project as the final module of the programme.


2 years part-time online.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
What can I do after I graduate with an MSc in Healthcare Quality Improvement?
This online, MSc in Healthcare Quality Improvement enables students to take a leadership role in clinical practice in an increasingly complex healthcare environment with an emphasis on quality improvement in healthcare.

The programme prepares healthcare professionals to advance patient-centred care with a specific skillset relevant to contemporary healthcare including but not limited to patient safety, digital healthcare, practice enhancement and quality improvement, research and evidence-based practice, and managing and leading change innovation.

Our graduates will be well-positioned to engage in leadership roles relating to quality improvement initiatives, and middle/senior management in their work environments as well as seeking promotional opportunities in these areas. Our graduates will be qualified to pursue a number of exciting careers including:

Practice development positions
Quality improvement/project manager positions
Clinical research positions

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider