Graduate Diploma Emergency Nursing (Children)

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 in Emergency Nursing(Children) programme runs in partnership with UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, and Children Health Ireland. This programme aims to build upon and advance the emergency nurse’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional values. This programme will build on your existing knowledge and skills in caring for infants, children and young people within the paediatric emergency care settings. This training will enhance advanced knowledge of the nursing staff working in the paediatric emergency settings and enable them to utilise a range of therapeutic interventions and enhance their ability to review differing approaches and trends in the care and treatment of infants, children, young people and their families in paediatric emergency settings.


Who is the programme for?

The Graduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing(Children) is either one-year(full-time) or 2 years (part-time), which is designed to meet the professional educational needs of registered nurses caring for children and adolescents within the emergency department setting. It aims to advance your professional awareness, commitment, responsibility, and accountability in paediatric emergency care nursing. 

  • It will build on your existing knowledge and skills in caring for acutely ill or injured children who present to the emergency department
  • It will provide you with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional values for the advancement of your role in the care of children and their families in emergency care, including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making, and communication
How will I benefit?

On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Paediatric 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.  With it, you will be well-positioned to work in a variety of paediatric emergency care settings both nationally and internationally. Many of our graduates are now working in diverse roles such as nurse managers, educators, researchers and advanced practitioners.

Teaching and learning

Specialist modules and clinical placements are offered in close partnership with the Emergency Departments of Children’s Health Ireland and other acute care delivery sites. This facilitation of access to different hospital sites results in invaluable learning opportunities for our students. You will have key support and guidance from experienced ED Clinical Facilitators who are based in these acute settings. We use a range of teaching methods including lectures, workshops, and seminars and our assessment methods are diverse and student-oriented.  Clinical teaching is undertaken by specialists in the clinical area with particular emphasis on assisting students in applying theory to practice.  The clinical placements provide students with excellent opportunities to learn from experts in other hospitals; students attend multidisciplinary tutorials and engage in supervised practice in order to develop and refine specific clinical skills.

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. Some basic computer knowledge, such as word processing and accessing the internet is needed, as communication with our students is primarily by email. You will be allocated a UCD email address on registration. Lecture handouts and announcements are available to students via Bright Space (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

The course may be taken over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time. Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation/practical examination/online discussion boards) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters. Students will attend college one day per week and learning experiences are also undertaken in planned block weeks of study, at local hospital sites.


You will complete six modules in total, including two core modules and four specialist modules.

Core Modules:

NMHS42230  - Leadership and Organisational Dynamics (Autumn Trimester)

NMHS43270  - Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Spring Trimester)

Specialist Modules:

NMHS42470 Acutely Ill Child (Autumn Trimester)

NMHS42430 Acutely Injured Child (Spring Trimester)

NMHS42470 Child with Specific Needs (Spring Trimester)

NMHS42480 Clinical Practicum (Paed EN) (Autumn and Spring Trimester)


Entry requirements
  • Registered with NMBI as a Registered General Nurse* or registered Children’s Nurse.
  • Have at least 12 month’s experience in emergency nursing care.
  • Currently employed in an ED where children also attend.
  • Other criteria include previous experience and evidence of ongoing professional development.
  • Every application is reviewed on an individual basis – extra clinical placements may be required.
  • *If you are an RGN - you must identify a Preceptor/Mentor in your own clinical site who has an RCN qualification/who has completed a Higher/Graduate Diploma in Paediatric Emergency Nursing.
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
  • Nurse applicants: Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
  • Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body
  • Photocopy of Birth Certificate or photocopy of Personal Page of Passport
  • Signed Declaration Form by Employer 
  • Completed Professional Reference Form
  • 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