Nursing & Healthcare Quality Improvement - Online

Course Outline
The online MSc in Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement programme is an exciting, contemporary, degree for registered Nurses, offering a flexible mode of learning while continuing to work. The programme will enable practitioners to take leadership roles in an increasingly complex healthcare environment with an emphasis on quality improvement in nursing and healthcare. It should appeal to students from a number of clinical areas and from management positions. Subject areas covered in the programme include designing an e-portfolio for personal and professional development, practice enhancement for quality improvement, advancing practice for patient safety, clinical leadership for quality improvement, advanced research methods applied to healthcare. Elective subject areas relate to quality improvement in gerontological nursing and health assessments. The final project on the programme will involve developing the skill set to conduct a research/evidence based project applied to practice area.

This online programme offers a flexible online approach to learning, designed to allow Registered Nurses to undertake their studies while working simultaneously. The programme is designed to allow Nurses to undertake their studies while working simultaneously with the intention to suit service, personal and academic requirements. This 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 Nursing and 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 Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement.

For the 90 credits in the programme, there are six core 10 credit modules to be completed by all students, two elective 10 credit modules from which the student chooses one module, and one final 20 credit module to be completed by all students.

Why Choose This Course
This MSc in Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement is the only fully online, programme available in Ireland and one of the few available in the world. There is a strong emphasis on quality improvement and on advancing knowledge and skills thereby preparing students for current nursing and health service challenges and reform. The programme will not only prepare nurses to advance their practice and take leadership roles in healthcare, it will also prepare nurses for new career opportunities.

Entry requirements

Applicants must satisfy the following to be eligible to apply:

Applicants must be qualified Nurses registered with the regulatory body in their country of residence.

Applicants must have a primary degree, Level 8 or equivalent.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not fulfil this entry requirement may be recommended for entry to the programme following a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the programme committee. Some such applicants may be invited for 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 recommended.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants.

For more information please contact the International Office.

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.

Subjects taught

Students take 90 credits as follows:
Year 1 - 50 Credits
Year 2 - 40 Credits

Students take 40 credits as follows:

NU6301 Personal and Professional Development 10 credits
NU6303 Advancing Practice for Patient Safety 10 credits
NU6302 Practice Enhancement for Quality Nursing and Healthcare 10 credits
NU6310 Evidence Based Practice for Quality Improvement in Healthcare 10 credits

Plus one Elective Module (subject to availability*) to the value of 10 credits to be chosen from the following:

NU6307 Contemporary Issues and Quality Improvement in Gerontological Nursing 10 credits
NU6311 Health Assessment in Nursing 10 credits

*Not all modules will be offered each year

Students take 40 credits as follows:
NU6306 Clinical Leadership for Nursing and 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

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.


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 Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement?

This online, MSc in Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement enables students to take a leadership role in clinical practice in an increasingly complex healthcare with an emphasis on quality improvement in nursing and healthcare. The programme prepares Nurses to advance nursing and patient-centred care with a specific skillset relevant to contemporary healthcare including but not limited to patient safety, practice enhancement and quality improvement, research and evidence based practice, and managing and leading change innovation. Graduates will be well positioned to engage in leadership roles relating to nurse-led services, practice development and quality improvement initiatives, and middle/senior management in their work environments as well as seeking promotional opportunities in these areas.

The additional skills provided by this programme will be the ability to:
Develop an e-portfolio to track personal and professional activities and development.

Change management at clinical and organisational levels incl. project management, team organisation, auditing.

Clinical leadership.

Proficiency at advancing patient safety in clinical practice and at organisational level e.g. communication, negotiation, problem-solving.

Collaborative skills of engaging in research to enhance nursing and healthcare practice.

Generating questions from clinical practice/services for research and conducting this research.

Others e.g. report writing, development and delivery of oral PowerPoint presentations, computer literacy and online lifelong learning.

Occupations associated with an MSc in Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement

Graduates from the online MSc in Nursing and Healthcare Quality Improvement will be qualified to pursue a number of exciting careers. The identified career pathways for graduates of this programme include:
Clinical Nurse Managers
Assistant Director of Nursing
Director of Nursing
Practice Development Positions
Quality Improvement/Project Manager positions
Clinical Research positions

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type


  • Apply to