Course Overview

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Oncology) is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Oncological Nursing. This programme is offered full-time over one calendar year. Taught components of the programme are delivered in a blended learning format. Blended learning is an innovative teaching strategy which involves a combination of face-to-face and on-line learning. This means that most learning/teaching will be delivered on-line through Blackboard, an interactive learning system which connects directly to the University from your own home computer. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. The programme is comprised of seven theory/practice modules and three clinical assessments. In all modules there is an emphasis on exploring the relevance of module content to practice, similarly, practice placements allow students to explore "new" knowledge in practice, enabling them an opportunity to integrate theory and practice. Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland normally within the students' own work setting.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours over the duration of the programme.

Special Features

The course is approved by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann and 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.

Applications and Selections

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

Who Teaches this Course

Dr. Maura Dowling, M.Sc., BNS, RNT, RGN, RM, Cert. Oncology, PhD
Mary McLoughlin, RGN, RSCN HDip (Oncology), BNS (Hons)
Sinéad Hahessy, RGN, B.A., M.A.(Soc.Sc). Pg Cert in Teaching and Learning
Dr. Adeline Cooney, M. Med.Sc., BNS, RGN, RNT, PhD
Siobhán Smyth, RMN,Dip.CPN; RNT; PG.Dip CHSE; BNS (Hons); MSc
Laura Dempsey, M.Sc. BNS, RNT, RGN, PG Dip CHSE
Bernard McCarthy, Dip.Nurse Mgt. (RCSI), Cert.Adult. Ed. (City & Guilds), B.Sc. (South Bank), C.Q.A.M. (GMIT), M.Sc. (Dub.)

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and teaching assessments.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Be a registered nurse on the General Nurse division of the Register maintained by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann. 
  2. Have a minimum of two years post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses). 
  3. Be currently working in a designated Oncology setting (e.g. oncology in-patient unit, haematology-oncology day unit, radiotherapy department) and have as a minimum six months clinical experience in this specialist area. 
  4. Satisfy the selection panel that they have the ability to complete the programme. 
  5. 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 on a topic relevant to oncology nursing. To be considered for admission, this essay must be at the level expected of an honours degree candidate (Level 8).

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

This course is currently under review.

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum)

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Next start date

This course is currently under review.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning & workshops

ECTS weighting




PAC code

GYM19, full-time

Course Outline


  • Clinical Governance: Supporting safe practice (core) 
  • Using research in practice (core)  
  • Experiencing Cancer (Specialist) 
  • The Cancer Trajectory (Specialist) 
  • Cancer Management: the Nursing Perspective on a Treatment Journey (Specialist) 
  • Option Module* 
  • Service Improvement Module (core) 
  • Clinical Competence

*Students may select one of the following optional modules:

  • Clinical Supervision 
  • Collaboration and Interagency Working 
  • End-Of-Life Care: Psychological and social perspectives  
  • Advanced Wound Care Management 
  • Empowering Clients to Self-Manage Chronic Diseases

Please note that the programme and optional modules offered are subject to sufficient student numbers.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment in the health services. Other career progression opportunities include clinical nurse specialist in oncology and clinical trials (oncology).

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,000 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,776 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,750 p.a. 2015/16

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