MSc Person-Centred Care (Older People)

Ireland is experiencing a demographic transition. As the percentage of older people in the population rises and life expectancy increases, it is imperative that care is provided which meets need and also demonstrates high quality outcomes. Acknowledging this, the Master of Science (MSc Person Centred Care) seeks to develop valuable knowledge and skills to meet the needs of older people and to develop areas of clinical leadership and practical research methods that can be applied in the workplace. 

Who is the programme for?

The Master of Science (MSc Person Centred Care) is a taught graduate programme aimed at health professionals and other health and social care practitioners, as well as researchers working with, or for, older people. This programme is designed for holders of Graduate Diploma level 9 in older person care. With an emphasis on practice and empirical research, the programme provides advanced education for those in health and related disciplines with an interest in older people, ageing and health, ageing policy, health systems for older people, social and community services, practice development, and advanced assessment, including outcomes evaluation.

Programme objectives

We aim to give you a strong theoretical and practical foundation in relation to ageing, older people and their needs.  The programme develops students’ skills and awareness about policy, assessment, advocacy, and research. The programme also provides students with a firm basis to pursue future graduate research training to PhD level in the field of older people.

What will I learn?

You will sharpen your analytical and critical thinking and develop knowledge and skills that will help you develop expertise in the field of ageing.

How will I benefit
The programme will enhance your career prospects and give you the building blocks for lifelong self-directed learning.  It will provide you with the key knowledge and skills to innovate and lead in diverse areas of ageing practice.

The programme is focused on developing practical, usable leadership and research skills to enable graduates to be even more effective professionals, change agents and clinical leaders in the workplace.

Innovative modules
Each of the modules in the programme is designed for experienced health care professionals such as nurses, medical practitioners, professionals in social service and those from other disciplines who would like to develop expertise in the field of ageing. The emphasis throughout the programme is on the practical application of knowledge and skills in specific contexts. Key features of this programme are that you will be engaging with a core group of professional and highly motivated peers. You will experience an innovative mix of academic and practical learning opportunities as well as being exposed to professionals who are currently engaged in the field of ageing and health care.

The student body is drawn from a wide variety of clinical specialisms and organisations, enabling the sharing of learning and experience between you and your class members, as well as from the academic staff. 

Programme structure

This programme is designed to be studied on a part-time basis running over a two-year period. Students are required to complete a Dissertation:  Evidence Translation in the Spring and Summer Trimesters and a second module Applied Research in the Autumn Trimester. 

The programme is broken down into three trimesters (Autumn, Spring and Summer). You are allocated a supervisor at the beginning of the programme to support you in completing your project.

The Master of Science (MSc Person Centred Care) comprises taught modules and a minor thesis. The programme is offered in a modular structure with European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits awarded for each module successfully completed.

With your newly-developed leadership and research skills, you can work at a number of levels within your organization and within the wider health and social care system; for example, in clinical management, practice development and project management.

NMHS43880 Applied Research (Autumn Trimester)

NMHS43860 Dissertation: Evidence Translation (Spring & Summer Trimesters)

Entry requirements

Applicants must have completed the Graduate Diploma Person Centred Care (Older People) Graduate Diploma in the area of older person care or an equivalent (NQAI Level 9).

Documents to be submitted with your application


  • Academic Transcripts including date and grading of Degree award (non UCD only)
  • Nurse applicants must provide copy of current registration and Pin with An Bord Altranais
  • Other healthcare professionals must provide copy of registration with a recognised professional body
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Pages of Passport (non UCD only)
  • Signed Declaration Form from Employer  Declaration Form
  • Professional Reference Form 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).

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



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