Graduate Diploma Emergency Nursing (Adult)

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

The Graduate Diploma Emergency Nursing (Adult) aims to build upon and advance the emergency nurse’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values. The course aims to develop the clinician’s capacities for caring and competent practice in emergency nursing, in order to prepare the nurse to provide a patient-focused, best-practice service within the acute health care delivery service.

Who is the programme for?

The course is aimed at advancing the range, breadth and depth of professional knowledge and skills in the care of persons presenting with acute illness or injury to an emergency department. It is aimed at qualified nurses who are currently employed in an emergency department and who have a minimum of six months’ of emergency nursing practice and one year’s acute medical/surgical ward experience.

Programme aims

The specific aims of the course are:

  • To provide the student with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values for the advancement of his/her role in the care of emergency department patients, including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication
  • To advance the student’s sense of professional awareness, responsibility and accountability in emergency nursing
  • The course will enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with sudden or severe illness or injury. Possessing this expertise will enable you to become a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team involved in emergency care
How will I benefit?

On successful completion of the course, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing from UCD’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The Programme is recognised nationally and internationally and is a highly regarded qualification for nurses caring for emergency department patients throughout Ireland.

What will I learn?
The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills in the comprehensive assessment and management of emergency department patients.

Particular strengths include:

  • A long and honourable history of producing high quality graduates, many of whom are now working in advanced nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and nurse management and educational roles
  • Specialist modules and clinical placements are offered in close partnership with the Emergency Departments and Nurse Education Centres of St. Vincent’s University Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • Short placements in the Emergency Departments of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, the Children’s University Hospital and other acute areas
  • This facilitation of access to different hospital sites and settings results in numerous and valuable learning opportunities

The course enables students to gain a comprehensive understanding of subjects relevant to caring for emergency department patients. Particular emphasis is placed on recent national and international research findings and evidence-based guidelines aimed at ensuring optimal outcomes for ED patients.

Information Technology

It is essential that you have some basic computer knowledge, such as word processing and accessing the internet. Communication with our students is primarily undertaken by e-mail. You will be allocated a UCD e-mail address and access on registration and the facility of access to a computer in the library. Lecture handouts and 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.       

Programme structure

This is a one year programme, divided into two academic trimesters. Autumn Trimester runs from September to early December. Spring Trimester runs from January to May of the following year. Assessments are varied and include case presentations, poster presentations, clinical rounds and short examination questions and occur at intervals during and at the end of each trimester. You will complete six modules in total, to include two core modules and four specialist modules:

2 Core Modules:

  • Nursing Knowledge: Philosophy and Practice (Autumn Trimester)
  • Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Spring Trimester)

4 Specialist Modules:      

  • Care of the Acutely Ill (Autumn Trimester)    
  • Care of the Acutely Injured (Spring Trimester)    
  • Care of the Person with Specific Needs (Autumn & Spring trimesters)
  • Clinical Practicum (Autumn & Spring trimesters)

Students taking the programme over two years will take the two core modules in year 1 and the four specialist modules in year 2.

2022/2023 Provisional Timetable:

Week of 5 th September – Orientation Week

Core Modules
NMHS43260 Nursing Knowledge: Philosophy and Practice [Autumn Trimester]

    NMHS43270 Research Methods Applied to Healthcare [Spring Trimester]

    Specialist Modules
    1. NMHS42670 Care of the Acutely Ill [Autumn Trimester]
    Provisional Workshop/Assessment Dates
     Tuesday 13th  September 2022
     Friday 7th  October 2022
     Wednesday 2nd  November 2022
     Wednesday 30th November 2022 – Assessment online

    2. NMHS42940 Person with Specific Needs [Autumn and Spring Trimesters]
    Provisional Workshop/Assessment Dates
     Wednesday 8th February 2023 – Obstetrics
     Wednesday 29th March 2023 – Paediatrics
     Wednesday 17th May 2023 – Assessment in person

    3. NMHS42950 Clinical Practicum [Autumn and Spring Trimesters]
    Provisional Workshop/Assessment Dates
     Monday 12th September 2022 – afternoon
     Monday 23rd January 2023 – morning

    4. NMHS42930 Care of the Acutely Injured [Spring Trimester]
    Provisional Workshop/Assessment Dates
     Wednesday 8th February 2023
     Wednesday 1st March 2023
     Wednesday 15th March 203 – Assessment in person
     Tuesday 28th March 2023
     Wednesday 26th April – Assessment in person

    Careers/where can I go?

    Possessing this qualification, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of emergency care settings both nationally and internationally. Many of our graduates are now working as clinical nurse managers, as advanced practitioners (with additional MSc. qualification), and in educational roles.         

    Entry requirements

     All applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in related discipline)/APEL consideration if no degree
    - All applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RGN)
    - All applicants must have at least six month’s experience in emergency nursing and one year’s acute medical /surgical ward experience
    - All applicants must be employed in an Emergency Department prior to commencing the course and for the duration of the course
    - Other criteria include experience and evidence of ongoing professional development

    Documents to be submitted with your application


    • Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
    • Nurse applicants: A current photocopy of NMBI 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 by Employer
    • Completed Professional Reference Form
    • Nurse 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:


    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.

    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