Nursing - Specialist Nursing

Are you a qualified nurse or midwife keen to expand your expertise and advance your nursing career? This part-time, blended-learning programme enables you to choose one of these specialist pathways: Chronic Disease Management, Population Health Practice or Women’s Health.

Designed by the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health in partnership with leading nurses and midwives, the pathways address contemporary Irish healthcare issues and prepare students to work in specialist areas.

Throughout your study, you’ll learn how to develop a person-centred approach to care, design a structured treatment plan, work as part of a multidisciplinary team, and understand how to prevent illness and manage patients.

A two-year, part-time, blended programme that combine theoretical and clinical components offered to all nurses and midwives on the NMBI register*. The programme offers specialist pathways aligned with, and responsive to, national health policies/strategies such as Sláintecare (2018), the National Maternity Strategy (2016), Shaping the Future of the RNID (2018), Sharing the Vision (2020) and the Children's Nursing Strategy (2021) amongst others.

*NMBI Registrants - This programme is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

Blending theory with practice

Theory is mostly taught online, while you’ll gain supervised practical experience on clinical sites.

Once you graduate, you’ll be well qualified to work in interdisciplinary health and social care practice, welfare rights and advocacy, community development, health and social activism, health promotion and inclusion, research and academia, and government and policymaking.

Subjects taught

The MSc in Specialist Nursing offers 3 specialist pathways, students must choose one of the following:

Chronic Disease Management
Women's Health
Population Health Practice (this pathway will not have an intake in September 2024)

Year One
In year one students will complete a total of 50 ECTS credits.

Students will complete the following core modules:
Health Communications and Digital Solutions
Research and Evaluation Methods

Students will also complete the modules relevant to their chosen specialist pathway.

Women's Health
Women’s Health Specialist 1
Women’s Health Specialist 2

Chronic Disease Management
Adult Chronic Disease Management Specialist 1
Adult Chronic Disease Management Specialist 2

Students also choose one of the following optional modules in year one:

Palliative and End-of-Life Care
Person-Centred Dementia
Adult Advanced Physical Assessment and Intervention

Year Two
In year two students will complete a total of 40 ECTS credits, comprising a Nursing Leadership and Change Management module (10 credits) and a year-long supervised Practice Development OR Research Dissertation module.

Entry requirements

Applicants will typically hold a (NFQ) Level 8 Honours Degree with a H2.2 or equivalent. Candidates will generally hold a primary degree in a relevant discipline.

In addition, candidates must:

be currently registered in one of the following divisions of the Register of Nurses maintained by NMBI: General Nursing; Psychiatric Nursing; Intellectual Disability Nursing; Children’s Nursing, Midwifery.

have a minimum of 12 months post registration experience, which should be 12 months full-time experience OR 24 months at minimum of 19.5 FTE.

be currently employed in the specialist area/setting and provide written evidence, using this template, from their line manager that they will be supported in completing the minimum required hours of practice, including the clinical practicum.

Applicants must be employed for a minimum of 19.5 hours per week or 0.5 FTE.

Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details below.

Application dates

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until:
Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024.
Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024.
Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.
All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Alongside the application form candidates must also provide the following as part of their application on the Student Application Portal, available at the link below.

• Academic transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable, this must be a primary degree of nursing/midwifery.

• A personal statement detailing experience and interest in the course, (400-500 words) the personal statement may be used as part of the selection process to determine candidate suitability.

• Professional letter of reference, please see application for details.

• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

• Proof of current NMBI registration.

In line with DCU’s (2019) Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, candidates who do not have the appropriate level of academic attainment for direct entry may apply for access via the Recognition of Prior Learning process (RPL) (the policy is available at: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) | Dublin City University | recognition-prior-learning (

Prior learning may be formal accredited learning or experiential/uncertified learning which includes the knowledge, skills and personal qualities acquired through life, work experience and study which are not formally attested. Prospective students may apply through the RPL route if they meet one or more of the following entry 5 requirements:

• Relevant learning, qualifications and experience within their RPL application

• Holding a position or role related to health or social care, health and social inclusion promotion, or a related area

• Holding an appointment or professional position in the domain

• Professional qualifications in the domain, with clear articulation of intention to progress to work in the domain.

Queries from EU applicants should be directed to
Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to


2 years part-time, blended learning.

Enrolment dates

The programme commences in September 2024.

Post Course Info

The programme prepares graduates to advance their career in specific clinical specialist areas and in leadership and management positions within the health care service.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider