General Nursing

The role of the general nurse is to foster the health and wellbeing of persons experiencing a transition in their health status or  a change in life processes, taking into account their physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual needs. Approaches to care include health promotion, disease prevention, disease management, rehabilitation and end of life palliative care. The role of the nurse extends beyond clinical practice to encompass education, research and management.   

Why is this course for me?

Are you empathetic and reliable, a team player with good communication skills and an analytical, problem-solving mind? If so, Nursing in UCD is the ideal career choice for you. Our innovative degree programme is taught by experienced lecturers in a friendly and supportive environment, with state-of-the art facilities. It prepares you to become a professional nurse who can successfully manage the complex healthcare needs of the adult population.

Clinical Placement

The majority of clinical learning takes place in our affiliated partner hospitals: the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St Vincents Healthcare Group, along with numerous other premier clinical sites.  These sites are centres of excellence, where you will work with multidisciplinary teams to provide first-class, patient-centred care.

What will I study?

Modules of theory are followed by clinical placements. Experienced lecturers and practitioners will facilitate your learning in a friendly and supportive environment where you attend lectures, workshops and tutorials in our state-of-the-art facilities in the UCD Health Sciences Centre. Clinical placements will help you to develop the required clinical competencies. Modules include:

First Year

  • Transition to University
  • Foundations of Nursing
  • Biosciences
  • Psychology
  • Practice experience in a hospital setting for approximately 10 weeks

Second & Third Year

  • Medical-Surgical Nursing Care
  • Pharmacology
  • Biopsychosocial Approaches to Health
  • Ethical and legal context for practice
  • Specialty clinical placements, such as intensive care and maternity care

Fourth Year

  • Promoting Health
  • Management and Quality Improvement
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare
  • Sociology
  • Clinical placement/internship

Assessment is through a combination of end-of-trimester exams and continuous assessment, including assessment of performance on clinical placements.

Career Opportunities

Completing this degree programme qualifies you as a Registered General Nurse (RGN).  You can work in acute and chronic care in a variety of medical and surgical settings.  There are also career prospects for nurses to work in education, research or management, as well as excellent opportunities to build on your experience through work abroad.

In addition, you can pursue further specialist studies  in nursing at higher diploma, graduate diploma, master's and doctoral level.

International Study Opportunities

In your second year of the programme, you have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad as part of an Erasmus exchange with one of our established Erasmus partner universities. 



Student Profile

"As a mature student, being exposed to the range of subjects and knowledge from different disciplines that underpin nursing practice, was and is, an extremely exciting and stimulating time for me. Lecturers encourage open discussion and exploration of different perspectives. Theory is linked with clinical practice, where students are encouraged to develop their problem solving abilities and become competent practitioners. In UCD NMHS the students and staff have a great rapport and you always feel well supported. UCD has opened up a wide range of career opportunities for me. The skills I have learned have given me the confidence to work as a nurse in Ireland or abroad. I am proud to be a student at UCD and would recommend this course to any student interested in nursing as a career."

Fiona Dargan (Mature Student, Stage 4: General Nursing)

Entry Requirements