Nursing - Medical Surgical Nursing

University College Cork

Nursing - Medical Surgical Nursing

This programme recognises the need for specialist postgraduate education to assist general nurses meet the challenges of increased levels of patient acuity along with ethical and patient-safety challenges in medical-surgical settings. The philosophy underpinning this programme acknowledges the importance of dynamic nursing staff, working within the multidisciplinary team, having the relevant knowledge and skills to enable them deliver evidence-based care in a competent manner while cognisant of the needs of individual patients and their significant others.

There is particular emphasis on the development of assessment skills and early detection of patient deterioration as well as nurse-led (and multidisciplinary) interventions. The self-directed, theoretical and physical skills' learning is then applied to simulated critical, clinical incident scenarios within our State-of-the-Art Clinical Skills & Simulation Resource Centre (CSSRC). To date nurses have enjoyed the challenges of this programme and enhanced career prospects following their personal and professional development and autonomy. See students' testimonials below in "Why choose this course".

This programme has Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) Category Two status and is awarded 60 credits at Level 9 major award on the National Framework of Qualifications (National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI)).

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing forms the first year of the MSc Nursing. Students who pass Year 1 can progress to Year 2 of the MSc, unless they opt to exit the programme at the end of Year 1 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing.

Why Choose This Course
The Postgraduate Diploma Medical Surgical Nursing Programme is delivered in a blended format (combination of classroom-based and online modules). Therefore, students are required to attend college for fewer days and, instead, complete more online work. This format suits a lot of students who invariably have difficulty being released from clinical practice to attend college classes. Students come from a variety of Health Care Providers and from very mixed clinical backgrounds which lead to excellent class discussions.

Postgraduate students from other programmes join the students for some modules. This increases the cultural diversity in relation to Health Care Provider backgrounds, from an international perspective, which in turn further enhances discussions around nurse-led clinical practice decision-making.

The Postgraduate Certificate Medical Surgical Nursing Programme has modules that are very useful for medical-surgical clinical practice.

Subjects taught

All students admitted to the MSc (Nursing) are registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing in Year 1. Students who pass Year 1 can progress to the MSc, unless they opt to exit the programme at the end of Year 1 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing.

Theory modules
- NU6005 Research Methods (10 credits) (shared module across all pathways)
- NU6053 Ethics for Specialist Practice (5 credits) (shared module across all pathways except 9)
- NU6070 Practice Enhancement for Nursing and Midwifery (10 credits) (shared module across all pathways except 5 and 9)
- NU6125 Professional Practice Issues for Nurses and Midwives (10 credits)
- NU6085 Wound Care for Healthcare Professionals (5 credits)
- NU6152 Medical and Surgical Nursing of Individuals with Cardiorespiratory Problems (10 credits)

Clinical Practice/Practicum module
- NU6130 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits)
- NU6131 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 2 (5 credits)

Note: Students who have successfully completed 30 credits from the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing (Medical-Surgical Nursing) in order to transfer into the MSc Programme must take theory modules to the value of 25 credits from above (NU6005, NU6053 and NU6070) and one of the following Clinical Practice/Practicum modules to the value of 5 credits: NU6130 - Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits) or NU6131 - Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 2 (5 credits).


MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
NU6073 Dissertation (20 credits)

Entry requirements

There are 7 clinical pathways to the degree of Masters in Nursing, all of which have an exit route available for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing. The pathways to degree of Masters including Postgraduate Diploma exit route are all available to view in the College Calendar.


Applicants for this MSc in Nursing, including Postgraduate Diploma exit route, should normally:

Hold active registration on a division of the professional register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland or be eligible for such registration as required for individual pathways. For the Medical Surgical Nursing Pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses;

Have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways. For the Medical Surgical Nursing Pathway, applicants must have a minimum of six months of post-registration experience (excluding courses) and at least six months experience in the speciality pathway applied for;

Applicants must provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing/equivalent authorised Nurse Manager stating:
(a) The applicant will be working in the relevant specialist area for the duration of the programme for a minimum of 19.5 hours a week
(b) They will be released from practice to attend the programme requirements
(c) A Clinical Preceptor and/or Clinical Facilitator can support learning in the specialist area of practice for the duration of the programme.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not fulfil the entry requirements 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. Such applicants may be invited for interview to satisfy the selection committee of their suitability for the programme. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Note: Prospective students who do not fulfil the clinical practice experience entry requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Surgical Nursing may be eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing programme (30 credits).

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

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 online.

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, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

Closing Date: 3 June 2022.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Deferrals are not permitted on this course.

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 describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

What is your current occupation/speciality?
Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.
Please upload certification of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

All applicants must also submit a signed Declaration Form completed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Equivalent Authorised Manager. This form is downloadable online: Declaration Form Nursing Pathways

Additional Information
For students who have exited this programme with the award of postgraduate diploma and wish to return to complete the Masters within 5 years, please apply for CKX13, MSc in Nursing Studies Direct Entry Year 2.


2 Years - PG Diploma (Year 1); Masters (Year 2)

All students will initially be registered for the postgraduate diploma in nursing part-time. If a student wishes to progress to the Masters they will be registered for the 2nd year part time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: Late August 2020

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

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

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider