Graduate Certificate Critical Care Nursing: Intensive Care

The Graduate Taught Orientation will take place online on Monday 5th September 2022. The schedule and links will be available in the coming weeks.

Critical care nursing requires an advanced knowledge base, skilled assessment, prompt intervention, and ongoing evaluation to care for the critically ill with complex needs. This course will provide the nurse with an opportunity to develop, enhance and maintain these specialist skills that are required to care for the critically ill.


Who is the programme for?

This programme is for registered nurses working within the critical care environment in the Republic of Ireland. Applicants for this programme most hold either a UCD, MSc Clinical Practice qualification or who have completed the following modules NMHS43260 Nursing Knowledge Philosophy and Practice and NMHS43270 Research Methods Applied to Healthcare.


Programme objectives

Develop a greater understanding of the holistic principles which underpin the various aspects of critical care nursing

Augment knowledge and appreciation of the relevant nursing theory and biopsychosocial sciences which underpin critical care nursing practice in intensive care

Provide students with an opportunity for personal growth and professional development

Develop skills to enhance their professional practice, including clinical reasoning, clinical research analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication skills


How will I benefit?

This programme will enhance your career prospects and give you the building blocks for lifelong self-directed learning. It will also provide you with the vital knowledge and skills to innovate and lead in your area of practice in Critical Care.  Following successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Critical Care - Intensive Care, you will be able to complete an MSc Critical Care in one academic year.

Major Strengths

UCD has a long history of producing high-quality graduates

This programme enables graduates to be even more effective clinicians, change agents and clinical leaders in Critical Care

Access to clinical and university-based lecturers with national and international expertise from clinical, research and educational perspectives

The Programme employs a variety of innovative assessment strategies with a strong clinical focus

Extensive use of IT in supporting the teaching environment of the programme

Access to excellent facilities for lectures


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 Brightspace; (a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching).


Programme structure

The Graduate Certificate in Nursing, Critical Care – Intensive Care is a 40 ECTS programme offered over1-year. Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation/practical examination) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.

NMHS 32440/42630 Core Concepts of ICU Nursing (Autumn Trimester, 10 ECTS)*

NMHS42770 Complex Critically Ill Patient (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)

NMHS42780 Chronically Critically Ill (Spring Trimester, 10 ECTS)

NMHS42520 Clinical Practicum (ICU) (Year Long Module, 10 ECTS)

*Please note that students are eligible to apply for exemption of NMHS 32440 based on successful completion of the following modules.

NMHS 32770: National Foundation Module in Critical Care Nursing

NMHS 31820 Foundation Intensive Care Nursing MMUH

NMHS32830 Foundation Intensive Care Nursing SVUH


Due to COVID -19, most lectures will be delivered online.

Careers/where can I go?

The Graduate Certificate in Nursing, Critical Care- Intensive Care provides you with the comprehensive knowledge and skills required for caring for the critically ill. The essential knowledge and skills gained on this Programme will also enable you to innovate and lead in your area of practice in Critical Care.


Entry requirements

- Applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in a related discipline)/RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) consideration if no degre

- Applicants must be listed on the Register of Nurses and Midwives, which is maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)

- 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

- Must have at least one year’s post-registration experience at the time of application

Must be employed in coronary care nursing for the duration of the programme and work a minimum of 75 hours per month

- Also each student must provide documented evidence from the Director of Nursing in the clinical practice area, which guarantees ICU placement for the duration of the programme

Documents to be submitted with your application
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:


• EU fees information

• Non-EU fees information


Recognised Prior Learning

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.

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