Midwifery (Master of Health Sciences)
Midwifery (Higher Diploma)

College of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Sciences

Course overview

Masters: the complex and changing nature of health care today requires nurses prepared to a minimum of a bachelors degree. In order to progress in a career as a midwife it is now recognised that a postgraduate qualification is a necessity. The Master of Health Sciences (Midwifery) is designed for the midwife to address in detail matters relating to the care of clients in their area of specialism. The clinical experience the midwife brings to the theoretical knowledge gained through the programme promotes the development of expert practice. The award can also be used as a stepping stone to advanced practice and teaching qualifications. The programme is part-time over two years or three years and is delivered in a blended format. Blended learning is an innovative teaching strategy which involves a combination of face-to-face and on-line learning. This means that learning/teaching is delivered on-line through Blackboard, an interactive learning system which connects directly to the University from your home computer. Face-to-face learning/teaching takes the form of 2 or 3 workshops (depending on the module) each semester. Students will therefore attend for 2 or 3 days a semester, plus and orientation day prior to the commencement of the first year.


HDip: the 18-month Higher Diploma in Midwifery is for registered nurses who wish to pursue a career in midwifery. The programme builds on students' prior professional, academic and personal experiences. Following successful completion of the programme students are competent to fulfil the role of the midwife as outlined by the International Confederation of Midwives and are eligible to apply to register as a midwife with An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Candidates for either of the Masters programmes must:

  • Have attained at least an upper Second Class Honours degree in Nursing/Midwifery or Nursing/Midwifery Studies at H2.1 or at H2.2 with appropriate experience or a Higher Diploma in Midwifery with appropriate experience or meet the required standard in the MHSc Nursing Qualifying Examination. 

  • Be a registered midwife of the Register maintained by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann.

  • Have practiced as a midwife for a minimum of 2 years post registration.

Applicants for the Higher Diploma must be registered on the General Division of the Register of Nurses maintained by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (Registered General Nurse). A minimum of one year general nursing post registration experience is required. Students must meet the normal minimal educational requirements for admission.

Duration: Masters—2 years, part-time
HDip—18 months, full-time

Next start date: HDip—TBC | Masters—Course not running for entry 2014-2015

ECTS weighting: 90 (Masters), 150 (HDip)

Average intake: 6 (Masters) | 17 (HDip)

Closing date: HDip—TBC
Masters—Course not running for entry 2014-2015 

Mode of study: Blended learning (Masters) | Taught (HDip)

Course outline

Masters programmes content:

1st year
Module title

  • Concepts and Theories of Midwifery 
  • Option choice 
  • Reflective Practice I 
  • Advanced Research Methods 
  • Option choice 

2nd year
Module title

  • Developing Practice 
  • Option choice 
  • Reflective Practice II 
  • Option choice 
  • Research Dissertation

HDip programme content:

  • Application of the Biological Sciences to Midwifery 
  • Normal Midwifery Care I 
  • Evidence Based Practice 
  • Social Sciences (Sociology and Psychology) 
  • Normal Midwifery Care II 
  • Care of the Woman at risk I 
  • Clinical Practice 
  • Practice Assessment  
  • Care of the Woman at Risk II 
  • The Neonate requiring Special Care 
  • Issues in Midwifery Practice and Women's Health 
  • Clinical Practice 
  • Practice Assessment    

Applications and selections

Applications for the Masters & Higher Diploma programmes are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Further information on the Higher Diploma recruitment can be found here.

Who teaches this course?

Masters programmes' teaching staff:
Adrienne W. Montgomery, Dip. Nursing (Lond.)., MN (Wales)
Mary O'Hara, M.Sc., RGN, RM, RNT
Professor Kathleen Murphy, RN, RNT, Dip Nursing, Dip Nursing Education, M.Sc, B.A, PhD.
Dr. Adeline Cooney, M. Med.Sc., BNS, RGN, RNT, PhD.
Declan Devane, M.Sc., Pg Dip (Stats), B.Sc., Dip. HE, RGN, RM, RNT
Siobhán Smyth, RMN,Dip.CPN; RNT; PG.Dip CHSE; BNS (Hons); MSc
Lorraine Mee, M.Sc., B.Sc., R.G.N., R.M. , R.C.N.T., R.N.T
Dr. Maura Dowling, M.Sc., BNS, RNT, RGN, RM, Cert. Oncology, PhD
Bernard McCarthy, Dip.Nurse Mgt. (RCSI), Cert.Adult. Ed. (City & Guilds), B.Sc. (South Bank), C.Q.A.M. (GMIT), M.Sc. (Dub.)
Teresa Meaney, M.Sc., BNS, DNS, RGN, RM, RNT


HDip teaching staff:
Miriam Brennan, MSc, BNS, RNT RM, RGN
Anne Fallon, RN, RM, Dip.Psych.Couns., BNS, MSc, RNT
Deirdre Van der Putten, RGN, RM, Dip.N.Mgt (RCSI), BNS, MSc (UCD) RNT. 
Declan Devane, MSc, Pg Dip (Stats), BSc, Dip. HE, RGN, RM, RNT
Mary O'Hara, MSc, RGN, RM, RNT
Margaret Folan, RGN, RM, MHSc    

Find out more

Masters programmes:
E nursing.midwifery@nuigalway.ie


HDip programme:
Miriam Brennan
T +353 91 493651
E miriam.brennan@nuigalway.ie

PAC code

GYM28 Masters
MWG01 HDip

Fees for this course

Current students

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Nursing Postgraduate Brochure