Graduate Diploma Peri-operative Nursing

Peri-operative nursing requires an advanced knowledge base, skilled assessment, prompt intervention and ongoing evaluation. This programme is designed to provide nurses with an opportunity to develop, enhance and maintain these specialist skills required to care for patients in the peri-operative environment. It also provides students with an opportunity for personal growth and professional development.

Apply for Sept 2021

Full-Time Graduate Diploma 1 year click here to apply 


Who is the programme for?

This programme is for nurses who have a primary degree (or equivalent) in nursing or a related discipline with at least two year’s post-registration experience with one year’s experience in the peri-operative environment. Usually, applicants have experience in the areas of anaesthesia, intra-operative, post-anaesthesia care nursing. The programme is designed to expand the knowledge and clinical skills of nurses who already are engaged in the care of people within the peri-operative environment. Candidates must be employed in a peri-operative environment at the commencement of and for the full duration of the programme.


Candidates are expected to have completed foundation training in some aspect of Perioperative practice. This may be in the form of an accredited module such as Perioperative Nursing CPD modules at MMUH or SVUH, or the NCPA National Foundation module in Anaesthesia/Recovery Room Care. Students who have not completed an accredited module may be eligible through the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning route. 

Programme aims

This programme aims to enable students to develop new knowledge and greater understanding of the principles and theories which underpin the various aspects of peri-operative nursing, including nursing theory and theory in the bio-psychosocial sciences.

How will I benefit?

This programme will enhance career prospects and provide the building blocks for lifelong self-directed learning. It will provide key knowledge and the critical skills required to be a more effective clinician and to innovate and lead in peri-operative nursing practice.

The emphasis throughout the programme is on practical application of specialist nursing knowledge and skills in peri-operative contexts. The programme comprises 6 credit-bearing modules.

Programme structure

Running over one calendar year as a full time programme or over two years as a part time programme.

The one year programme has a three-semester specialist training programme consisting of six modules of study. The modular structure offers flexibility and ease-of-access in order to best meet the educational needs of the students.

Core modules:
NMHS42230 - Leadership & Org Dynamics (Trimester 1)

NMHS43270 - Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Trimester 2)

Specialist modules:

NMHSxxxx Introduction to Specialist Perioperative Nursing (Trimester 1)

NMHS44000 Advances in Anaesthetic and PACU Nursing (Trimester 1)

NMHS43990 Advances in Intraoperative Nursing (Trimester 2)

NMHS44010 Clinical Practicum and CUSP (Trimester 1&2)

** Where students from partner hospitals MMUH and SVUH have taken either NMHS32880 & NMHS32740 with 10ECTS they may be eligible for RPL*

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

Careers/where can I go?

With the Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Peri-operative Nursing) students have the requisite knowledge and clinical skills to work in a wide variety of peri-operative care settings, both in Ireland and internationally.

Entry requirements
  • Hold a Primary Degree in Nursing or equivalent in a related discipline or apply for Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Be entered onto the general division of the Nurses Register maintained by NMBI
  • Have a minimum of two year’s post-registration experience in nursing
  • Have at least one year’s experience in the peri-operative environment within the last five year
  • Normally, have a specified period of experience in the area of anaesthesia/post-anaesthesia nursing, and in the area of pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative nursing
  • Candidates must be employed in the peri-operative environment prior to commencing the course and for the duration of the course for a minimum of 75 hours per month
  • Other criteria to be used in the assessment of the application include number ofyears and type of peri-operative 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
  • A current photocopy of NMBI registration
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)
  • Two completed Professional Reference Forms (original form)
  • Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
  • Completed Candidate Clinical Experience Record (non-partner Hospital sites)
  • 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.

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