Graduate Certificate Cancer Nursing: Children

The programme will enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for children with cancer.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is aimed at advancing the registered nurse’s repertoire of knowledge and skills in the care of children with cancer; it is particularly aimed at preparing the nurse to assume the role of clinical nurse specialist in this area.

This is a good option for nurses who have already completed a level 9 Graduate Diploma in another nursing specialty. This is a good option for nurses who have already completed a level 9 Graduate Diploma in another nursing specialty. For more information, please see RPL below.

Programme objectives

The programme aims to develop the practitioner’s capacities for caring and competent practice in Children’s Cancer Nursing in order to prepare the nurse to provide patient-centred care within the health service.

The specific aims of the programme are:

  • To build upon and advance the student’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values that were developed during the course of his/her basic training and arising out of his/her experiences in clinical practice
  • To provide the student with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values for the advancement of his/her role in the care of children with cancer including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication
  • To develop a greater understanding of the theory which underpins Children’s Cancer Nursing practice, including theory in the social and behavioural sciences and theory in the biomedical sciences
  • To provide learning experiences that advance the student’s professional development and personal growth and experiences that affirm the student’s capacity to be a self-directed learner
  • To advance the student’s sense of professional awareness, and commitment and a sense of professional responsibility and accountability in Children’s Cancer Nursing
  • To enable the student to value learning as a continuous process and as a necessary process in the context of his/her professional role in Children’s Cancer Nursing
What will I learn and how will I benefit?

The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills with respect to the holistic assessment and management of children with cancer.

How will I benefit?
On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Graduate Certificate in Nursing (Children’s Cancer Nursing). This is a highly regarded qualification for nurses caring for children with cancer in Ireland.

Programme structure

This is a one (academic) year programme, broken down into two trimesters. Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation and clinical assessments), (Clinical Competency Assessment Tool, Clinical Learning Outcomes) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.

Please click on the followining link for a graphical representation of the Graduate Certificate Cancer Nursing Children:


Careers/where can I go?

Possessing a broad and deep understanding of the theory and skills required for caring for children with cancer, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of settings specialising in this area both nationally and internationally. As the programme is particularly aimed at preparing nurses to assume the role of clinical nurse specialist, many nurses eventually take up CNS positions and some may undertake further study required for the role of ANP in children’s cancer nursing. Many nurses also proceed to assume CNM/Educational/Clinical Facilitator roles.

Entry requirements
  • Applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in related discipline)
  • Applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RCN)
  • Applicants must hold a Graduate Diploma in another specialist area of nursing or have obtained 30 ECT (credits) at Level 9 (Masters Level in both research and theoretical aspects of nursing)
  • Other criteria to be used in the assessment of the application include number of years of experience, and evidence of ongoing professional development
Specific requirements
  • Applicants must have at least one year’s experience in Children’s Cancer Nursing at time of attendance
  • Applicants for the Adult and Children’s Cancer Nursing strands will be required to demonstrate competency in the administration of systemic anti-cancer treatments and will therefore normally be based on oncology/haematology wards and/or oncology/haematology day wards (preferably rotating across both settings) prior to and for the duration of the programme. Applicants for the Adult and Children’s Cancer Nursing strands who are caring for patients with cancer but who are not based in the aforementioned settings will require a letter of support from their Assistant Director of Nursing undertaking to facilitate a placement in oncology/haematology for at least 6 weeks over the course of the programme.  
Documents to be submitted with your application

The official closing date is July 30th, however, as places on the programme are subject to clinical placements which are limited, you are advised to have all of the required documentation submitted by July 1st.

  • Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
  • Applicants: A current photocopy of An Bord Altranais registration
  • Other health care professionals:  A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)
  • Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)
  • Applicants: Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)


How to apply

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ​Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

Apply online


The fees for your programme can be found at the links below. Search using your major code (the four-digit code beginning with 'X' which can be found in the key information box on this page).

· EU fees information

· Non-EU fees information

Please note that UCD fees are subject to change annually. The fees shown include the student centre levy which must be paid by all students. 


If the fees for your programme are being paid by a third party (full or partial), please ensure your funding organisation/sponsor/hospital contacts Please note this is not a student facing email address.

Student Queries:

If you have any queries about your fees, please contact the Student Desk:

Application Fee:

Please note that all applicants are required to pay the €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

More information about fees is available on the UCD website at the link below:

General information about UCD Fees

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) applications must be submitted online through your SISWeb account.

There are two instances in which you can apply to have recognised prior learning taken into account when applying for a programme in UCD.

1. RPL for admission to a UCD programme

If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning. Please click here for a link to the policy and guidance on admission based on experiential learning.

2. RPL for exemption from a module or modules on a UCD programme

If you have been accepted onto a UCD programme and wish to have credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study, you may apply for RPL from a module or modules.

When applying for RPL, please note the following:

  • You must submit your application for RPL as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.
  • An application for RPL relating to a particular module should be submitted before the third week of the trimester in which it is offered. Applications made after this date will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Taught Graduate Standing Committee and Programme Board. You can expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four to six weeks of submitting it (depending on committee schedules).
  • Please note that in some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied, therefore you must register for, attend and participate in the module or modules until you have been informed of the decision of the School Programme Board.
  • If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module.


Please read the UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning at this link: UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning

Information Technology

It is essential that you have access to a personal computer and an email account as communication with students is primarily undertaken by email. Lecture handouts/announcements are made available to students via Blackboard (a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching) and/or via email. Messages from the university regarding examination policy and procedures are also sent via email.