GradDip Cancer Nursing

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

Established in 1988 at diploma level, the UCD Cancer Nursing programme was the first specialist course in oncology nursing in Ireland. Over the years, hundreds of oncology nurses throughout the country have successfully completed what is now a Graduate Diploma in Cancer Nursing . 

The Graduate Diploma in Cancer Nursing is an academic and clinically based programme designed for students who wish to deepen and broaden their knowledge and expertise in cancer care in order to provide safe, effective and holistic care to people with cancer. There are four strands in this programme (Adult Cancer Nursing, Breast Care Nursing and Children’s Cancer Nursing) Students undertaking the programme will choose one of these strands. Established in 1988 at diploma level, the UCD Cancer Nursing programme was the first specialist course in oncology nursing in Ireland. Over the years, hundreds of oncology nurses throughout the country have successfully completed what is now a Graduate Diploma in Cancer Nursing.

Careers & Employability

Possessing a broad and deep understanding of the theory and skills required for caring for patients with cancerous conditions, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of settings specialising in your chosen area both nationally and internationally. As the programme is particularly aimed at preparing nurses to assume the role of clinical nurse specialist, many nurses eventually take up CNS positions and some may undertake further study required for the role of ANP in Adult, Breast or Childrens care. Many nurses also proceed to assume CNM/Educational/Clinical Facilitator roles.

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The programme is aimed at further advancing the registered nurse’s repertoire of knowledge and skills in caring for people affected by cancer* (PABC)). The Adult and Children’s Cancer Nursing strands are particularly aimed at nurses who are based in oncology/haematology wards and/or oncology/haematology day wards while the Breast Care Nursing strand are aimed at nurses working in surgical wards/clinics who care for patients with breast cancer.

*PABC: those at high risk of developing cancer, patients, cancer survivors, families/significant others.

The programme aims to further develop the practitioner’s capacities for caring and competent practice in cancer nursing, so that she/he can continue to provide person-centred care to people affected by cancer (PABC).

The specific aims of the programme are:

  • To build upon and advance the student’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional values that were developed during his/her undergraduate programme and arising out of his/her experiences in clinical practice.
  • To provide the student with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional values for the advancement of his/her role in the care of people affected by cancer (PABC), including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication.
  • To develop a greater understanding of the theory which underpins cancer nursing practice including theory in the social and behavioural sciences and theory in the biomedical sciences.
  • To provide learning experiences that advance the student’s professional development and personal growth and experiences that affirm the student’s capacity to be a self-directed learner.
  • To advance the student’s sense of professional awareness, and commitment and a sense of professional responsibility and accountability in cancer nursing.
  • To enable the student to value learning as a continuous process and as a necessary process in the context of his/her professional role in cancer nursing.

Course Features

The UCD Cancer Nursing programme offers 3 specific strands: Adult Cancer Nursing strand, Children’s Cancer Nursing strand and Breast Care Nursing. Applicants who apply for the Graduate Diploma have the option of undertaking the programme over one year as a full-time student (full-time programme code is X546) or over two years as a part-time student (part-time programme code is X747). Once accepted onto the programme and having chosen either the full-time or part-time option, applicants will then register for the modules applicable to their strand (speciality). Nurses need to be working in this specialty area prior to and for the duration of the programme.

All the teaching and assessing on the programme is undertaken by tutors/clinicians who have national and/or international clinical expertise in cancer care. Many of the tutors will also have extensive research and teaching expertise.

Supernumerary clinical placements and continuous assessments which are central to the programme encourage and enable students to broaden and deepen their expertise in cancer nursing over the course of the programme.

View All Modules Here

This is a one (academic) year programme, broken down into two semesters.

Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentation and clinical assessments (Clinical Competency Assessment Tool, Clinical Learning Outcomes and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the semesters.

List of core modules:

  • Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Sem 1)
  • Leadership module (Sem 2)

List of specialist modules:

  • Fundamentals of Cancer Care 
  • Psychological Impact of Chronic Illness
  • Adult Cancer Nursing
  • Clinical Practicum (Adult Cancer Nursing)  or
  • Breast Care Nursing 
  • Clinical Practicum (Breast Care) or
  • Children's Cancer Nursing
  • Clinical Practicum (Children's Cancer Nursing)

GradDip Cancer Nursing (X546) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10150
nonEU    fee per year - € 19400

GradDip Cancer Nursing (X747) Part Time
EU          Year 2 - € 5060 aa
nonEU    Year 2 - € 9540
nonEU    Year 1 - € 9850
EU          Year 1 - € 5240

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2024 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2023/24
***Fees are subject to change

Funding

If the fees for your programme are being paid by a third party (full or partial), please ensure your funding organisation/sponsor/hospital contacts student.payments@ucd.ie. 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:

www.ucd.ie/askus

https://www.ucd.ie/students/studentdesk/

Application Fee

Please note that all applicants are required to pay the €60 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:

General information about UCD Fees

Applicants for this programme must be registered nurses. Normally, applicants will have a primary degree in nursing. Nurses who do not have a degree may apply for recognition of prior experiential learning (RPEL). Criteria to be used in assessment of the RPEL application includes number of years of experience, and evidence of recent and ongoing professional development. Please see below for more information on RPL.

Applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) (be registered as a registered general nurse (RGN)/ registered children's nurse (RCN).

  • Applicants must have at least one year’s experience in nursing in their specialist area at the time of commencing the programme.Applicants for the Adult Cancer Nursing and Children's Cancer Nursing strands who have at least one years experience in Cancer Nursing, at least 9 months of this experience will need to be in the oncology/haematology setting (if currently or previously based in surgical oncology). 

  • Applicants for the Adult and Children’s Cancer Nursing strands will be required to demonstrate competency in the administration of systemic anti-cancer treatments and will therefore normally be based on oncology/haematology wards and/or oncology/haematology day wards (preferably rotating across both settings) prior to and for the duration of the programme. Applicants for the Adult and Children’s Cancer Nursing strands who are caring for patients with cancer but who are not based in the aforementioned settings will require a letter of support from their Assistant Director of Nursing undertaking to facilitate a placement in oncology/haematology for at least 6 weeks over the course of the programme.

  • Applicants for the Breast Care Nursing strand must be employed in a unit caring for patients with breast cancer, respectively prior to commencing and for the duration of the programme.

  • All applicants must have identified a clinical assessor who is willing to undertake their clinical assessments over the duration of the programme. The clinical assessor must have the experience and qualifications relevant to the speciality.

Documents Required

PLEASE NOTE - The official closing date is July 31st, however, as places on the programme are subject to clinical placements which are limited, you are advised to have all of the required documentation submitted by July 1st.

  • Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
  • Applicants: A current photocopy of NMBI registration
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)
  • Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)
  • Applicants: Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)
  • Completed accreditation RPL Application Form (if no degree)
  • Letter of support (to facilitate placement in oncology/haematology ward/day ward) from ADON for applicants to the Adult Cancer Nursing and Children’s Cancer Nursing strands if not normally based in an oncology/haematology ward/day ward.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL may be granted in respect of individual modules if applicants can demonstrate that the modules' learning outcomes have been achieved through prior credentialled or experiential learning. In some cases, where an applicant does not meet the prerequisites for entry to a programme, an RPL application may be considered. Further information can be found in respect of this here.

 

We have many wonderful graduates of the Grad Diploma programme and some have shared their stories with us. Please have a read of some of the inspiring alumni stories linked below:

Kim Hayden (Grad Dip Cancer Nursing 2015, MSc Palliative Care 2017)

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip Nursing (Cancer Nursing) FT (X546)
Duration
1 Years
Attend
Full Time
Deadline
Rolling*
Grad Dip Nursing (Cancer Nursing) PT (X747)
Duration
2 Years
Attend
Part Time
Deadline
Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Application Closing Date: 31st July