Professional Diploma Prescription of Medication

The Professional Diploma Prescribing Medicinal Products prepares the nurse or midwife for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) as a Registered Nurse Prescriber (RNP) or a Registered Midwife Prescriber (RMP).  This is a 20 ECTS* credit, level 8 NFQ** special purpose award.

This programme provides the nurse or midwife with the requisite knowledge, skill and competence to prescribe medicinal products safely and effectively in accordance with legal and professional regulatory frameworks and standards. It is delivered in collaboration with lecturers from UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.

Candidates registering to this programme must have successfully completed at a minimum level 8 NFQ Health Assessment module.  If you have not successfully completed a Health Assessment module, please apply for the X644 Professional Diploma Prescription of Medication (with Health Assessment)

Prior to applying to UCD: 

Please note:

  • All applications will be reviewed after the closing date. Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis to applicants who meet the entry criteria, have uploaded fully complete required documentation and paid the application fee.  Once capacity is reached, no further offers will be made.  You are advised to apply early so as to avoid disappointment.

The Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director HSE funds all registered nurses and midwives employed in the HSE to undertake this education programme. 

You may also be interested viewing in the University Certificate Prescribing Medicinal Products and Referring for Radiological Procedures which combines two programmes into one (i.e. the 'Professional Diploma Prescription of Medication' and the 'Professional Certificate Referring for Radiological Procedures'). 

* ECTS - European Credit Transfer System 

** NFQ - National Framework of Qualifications

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for any nurse or midwife who feels the extension of the authority to prescribe will enhance their role and improve the quality and standard of patient care. This extended role must be discussed and approved in advance with your Director of Nursing/Midwifery/Public Health.

This programme is for any General, Psychiatric, Children's, Intellectual Disability Registered Nurse or Midwife or Registered Public Health Nurse, who has three years post registration clinical experience (within the past five years) with the equivalent of one year full time experience in the specific area of practice in which they wish to prescribe.

Programme objectives

At the end of the programme the candidate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the regulatory framework associated with prescribing, including legislation and professional guidelines, supporting safe prescribing
  • Critically utilize evidence based knowledge and skill of patient/client assessment and consultation to achieve a holistic approach to patient/client care in the prescribing of medicinal products
  • Apply expert skills in clinical decision making in relation to prescribing medicinal products
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role of the multi-disciplinary team and effective communication processes involved in safe medication management


Programme structure

The programme commences in January, runs over two trimesters and comprises three modules:

January - May (Spring Trimester)

  • NMHS32170 Pharmacology for Nurse-Midwifer Prescribing
  • NMHS33140 Prescribing Practice Context

January - August (Spring & Summer Trimesters)

  • NMHS33150 Clinical Practicum Prescribing





Teaching and Learning

Some modules are delivered using face-to-face classroom teaching while others use a blended approach to teaching and learning.  Using a blended approach offers greater flexibility and choice about when, where and how you want to learn. Blended learning requires a high level of personal motivation, self-discipline and an aptitude for self-directed learning. Brightspace (a web-based virtual learning environment) is used extensively. Access to fast broadband and proficiency in computer skills are essential. 

Theoretical Component

Normally, all face-to-face  classroom teaching is delivered on UCD Belfield campus and is scheduled each Wednesday from January to May. Candidates received no less than 28 days (168 hours) theoretical instruction (to include self-directed study and exams).  Due to Corona virus restrictions, face-to-face classroom teaching may be delivered live each Wednesday via virtual classroom.

Clinical Component

The clinical component runs over a minimum 26 week period (i.e January to August). Candidates receive no less than 12 days (96 hours) of clinical instruction under the supervision of a named medical practitioner.  All candidates must be working in the area where the clinical practicum will occur for the duration of the programme. Discretionary practice placements may be selected based upon individual student identified needs.  Students are required to complete 10 prescribing case studies (seven formative and three summative) under the supervision of a medical practitioner.  The assessment of competence is comprised of three summative assessments and a record of having completed 96 hours clinical instruction.

Entry requirements

You must:

  • Be registered as a nurse or midwife on the live register with the NMBI
  • Be currently employed as a nurse or midwife
  • Have a minimium of 3 years post-registration clinical experience (within the past 5 years) with at least one year in the area in which prescribing is proposed
  • Have successfully completed a Health Assessment module (minimum NFQ level 8)
  • Submit a Site Declaration Form signed by the Director of Nursing/Midwifery and nominated Medical Practitioner
  • Posess IT competencies
Documents to be submitted with your application

You must submit the following documents:

  • Validated copies of Certificate/Diploma/Degree awards in Nursing 
  • Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
  • A photocopy of current NMBI registration 
  • A copy of your birth certificate or personal page of passport
  • A validated copy of successful completion of a Health Assessment module (minimum NFQ Level 8)
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)
  • Site Declaration Form (Only up to date fully complete Site Declaration Forms will be accepted)

Please note:  Failure to submit the required documentation or parts thereof prior to the application closing date will result in your application being rejected.



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.

Failure to submit the required documentation or parts thereof prior to the application closing date will result in your application being rejected. 

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


Funded Students: Employees of the Health Services Executive  

If you are an employee of the Health Services Executive Voluntary and Statutory Services and your Director of Nursing supports your application, then the HSE will fund you to undertake this education programme.   Please note, funded applicants must pay the €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

UCD Fees

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 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: