Nursing - Neonatal Nursing

University College Cork

Nursing - Neonatal Nursing

Course Outline
Our Neonatology Postgraduate Nursing Diploma/Masters programme is offered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at University College Cork. This programme is a pathway of the MSc/Postgraduate Nursing Diploma. It is designed to meet the needs of nurses working in neonatal care who wish to undergo a specialist programme. The programme facilitates students to become more knowledgeable and skilled in neonatal nursing including developing skills in implementing evidence-based practice in neonatal care.

The Postgraduate Neonatology Nursing programme consists of taught modules in neonatal nursing, practice modules to obtain competencies in neonatal care, and shared modules in research, ethics, and practice enhancement with nurses undertaking other specialist programmes. The shared modules are offered using blended learning (part online and part attendance at workshops/tutorials).

The programme is delivered over one academic year and on successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma (60 credits), students can progress to the MSc in Nursing in Year 2 (30 credits).

Course Practicalities
Assessment includes assignments, presentations, end-of-year exams, online activities, and competency assessment of clinical practice.

Subjects taught

Programme Pathways

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. Neonatology Nursing is Pathway 6 and comprises theory modules and clinical practice modules as follows:

Neonatology Nursing (Pathway 6)

Year 1 (60 credits)

Theory modules

NU6005 Evidence-Based Practice for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
NU6053 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Decision-making in Specialist Practice (5 credits)
NU6070 Clinical Leadership in Practice Enhancement for Nursing and Midwifery (10 credits)
NU6150 Nursing Management of Neonates (10 credits)
NU6159 High Dependency in Neonatal Nursing (15 credits)
Clinical Practice/Practicum modules

NU6130 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 1 (5 credits)
NU6131 Clinical Practice in Specialist Nursing 2 (5 credits)
Year 2 (30 credits)

In order to progress to Year 2 students must pass modules to the value of 60 credits in Year 1.

MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)
NU6073 Dissertation in Nursing (20 credits)
On successful completion of this programme, Neonatology Nursing students should be able to:

Enhance neonatal nursing practice through the application of well-assimilated theoretical, practical, and policy knowledge and clinical skills;

Exercise accountability within the clinical, ethical, and professional boundaries of the role of neonatal nursing;

Critically appraise and evaluate current research evidence and best practice for perioperative nursing and its implications for practice;

Evaluate the effectiveness of individual outcomes against specialist intervention plans for neonates and families in neonatal nursing practice;

Synthesise health-related issues for the development of intervention/service responses appropriate to the needs of neonates and families in neonatal nursing practice;

Contribute as a learned member of the multidisciplinary team in the delivery of quality healthcare for neonates and families within the context of neonatal nursing;

Act as a means of professional support, educator, and role model for the provision of lifelong learning to ensure ongoing
professional development.

See the Academic Calendar (PG Diploma/Masters in Nursing) for more information on this programme.


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

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 the degree of Masters, including the Postgraduate Diploma exit route, are all available to view in the College Calendar (Diploma/Masters in Nursing).

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Pathway 6 – Neonatology Nursing

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 Neonatology Nursing Pathway, applicants must be Registered General Nurses Or Registered Children's Nurses Or Registered Midwives.

Have clinical practice experience (and support structures, if applicable) as required for individual pathways. For the Neonatology 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 fulfill 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 an 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.

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.

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.

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.
Deferrals: 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.

Please upload certification of current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

All applicants must also upload the following to their online application:

A Declaration Form completed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Equivalent Authorised Manager is viewable here: 2023 Declaration Form PGDip Nursing pathways
A Practice Agreement Form viewable here: Practice Agreement Form CKW09

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.

Assessment Info

Assessment includes assignments, presentations, end of year exams, on-line activities and competency assessment of clinical practice.


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

Enrolment dates

Start Date August 2019

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
On completion of the postgraduate diploma, students can progress to an MSc in Nursing. See the College Calendar (Diploma/Masters in Nursing) for more information on the MSc programme.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Dip / MSc

  • Qualifications

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

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider