Graduate Diploma Rheumatology Nursing

This programme will enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with rheumatic disease. Possessing of this enhanced level of expertise will enable you to become a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team specialising in rheumatology.

Who is the programme for?

This course is aimed at advancing the registered nurses repertoire of knowledge and skills for professional practice in the care of people with Rheumatic Disease.

Main programme objectives

The course aims to build upon and advance the registered nurse's repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values within the chosen field of Rheumatology Nursing. It aims to develop the practitioner’s capacities for caring and competent practice in Rheumatology, in order to prepare the nurse to provide a patient-centred service

What will I learn?

The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills with respect to the holistic assessment and management of patients with rheumatic disease.

How will I benefit?

On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Rheumatology Nursing from the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The programme is recognised nationally and is a highly regarded qualification for nurses caring for patients in Ireland.

Information technology

Blackboard, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching, is used extensively.

Programme structure

This is a one year academic programme, broken into two trimesters. Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation/practical examination) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.

Core Modules

Nursing Knowledge Phil & Prac (Autumn Trimester)
(Download dates for on-campus lectures)

Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Spring Trimester)
(Download dates for on-campus lectures)

Specialist Modules

Pathophysiology of Rheumatic Disease
Holistic Approaches to Rheumatology Care
Specialist Rheumatology Nursing Practice
Clinical Practicum (Rheumatology Nursing)

Careers/where can I go?

Upon completion of the programme, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of care settings both nationally and internationally. Many graduates also proceed to assume CNM/Educational/Clinical Facilitator roles.

Specific requirements:
  • Have a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience, including at least six months in rheumatology nursing
  • Candidates must be employed in the care of patients with rheumatic disease 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 of years of experience, and evidence of ongoing professional development
General Requirements:
  • Hold a primary degree in Nursing or equivalent
  • Be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RGN)
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
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)  Declaration Form
  • Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)  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)

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).

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 you are being funded to do your programme, please make sure your organisation gets in contact with 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:

If you have any queries about your fees, please contact

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

Recognition of 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