Course Overview

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Children’s Palliative / Complex Care) is designed for registered nurses working with children and adolescents with complex or life limiting conditions. The programme aims to provide students with the necessary in-depth evidence based knowledge, skills and competencies to provide quality care to highly dependent clients as they live with life-limiting illness and face end-of-life.

The programme is offered full-time over two academic years. On completion of the six modules in year one students have the option of being awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or (if they have achieved the minimum 60% average mark across these modules) may progress onto the next year to complete the Master programme.

It consists of both theoretical and clinical components. A blended learning approach is adopted in the delivery of this programme. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. Students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours before completing this programme. 


The course has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible to combine working full-time with studying. This course is approved by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Claire Quinn, RGN, MSc, ONC, PhD student

Deidre Fitzgerald, RCN, RGN

See full staff list here.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

  1. Be registered on the general, children’s, psychiatric, intellectual disability or midwifery division of the register maintained by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.
  2. Have a minimum of one year of post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses).
  3. Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., an area associated with palliative care/children’s care/children’s palliative care or allied areas (Neonatal, Disability, Oncology) and have as a minimum six months clinical experience in this specialist area.
  4. All students must complete additional clinical hours in a children’s palliative care / complex setting. The length of placement depends on the learning opportunities available to students in their current work setting.
  5. Provide written support from their employer that they will be able to access this client group across the programme.
  6. Satisfy the selection panel that they have the ability to complete the programme. 
  7. Applicants who do not hold an honours degree or higher diploma (Level 8) may apply but must clearly demonstrate their capacity to complete a programme at this level.

In addition to the other requirements outlined above, these applicants are required to submit a 1,000 word literature based essay. To be considered for admission, this essay must be at the level expected of an honours degree candidate (Level 8).

Top Up: (PAC code: )

Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PGDip and who have attained at least 60%  in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of our specialist masters programmes via the link below.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).

Additional Requirements


Two years full-time (option to leave with PDip after one year)

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning and workshops.

ECTS weighting




PAC code


Course Outline

Full-time students will complete three core and three specialist modules in the first year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in their Masters year.


  • Service Improvement (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 credits—core) 
  • Advanced Research Methods (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Assessment 1 
  • Clinical Assessment 2 
  • Quality of Life & Symptom Management in Children’s Palliative / Complex Care (10 credits—specialist)
  • Care of the Child and Family with Palliative / Complex Needs (10 credits—specialist)
  • Specialist Understanding of Complex Care for Children (10 credits—specialist)

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates will find employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,800 Yr 1 & €3,900 Yr 2 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€7,576 Yr 1 & €3,676 Yr 2 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€13,750 p.a. 2018/19

Find out More

Laura Dempsey
T: +353 91 495 352