GradDip Emergency Nursing (Adult)

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

The Graduate Diploma Emergency Nursing (Adult) aims to build upon and advance the emergency nurse’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values. The course aims to develop the clinician’s capacities for caring and competent practice in emergency nursing, in order to prepare the nurse to provide a patient-focused, best-practice service within the acute health care delivery service.

The Graduate Diploma Emergency Nursing (Adult) aims to build upon and advance the emergency nurse’s repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values. The course aims to develop the clinician’s capacities for caring and competent practice in emergency nursing, in order to prepare the nurse to provide a patient-focused, best-practice service within the acute health care delivery service.

On successful completion of the course, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing from UCD’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The Programme is recognised nationally and internationally and is a highly regarded qualification for nurses caring for emergency department patients throughout Ireland.

What will I learn?
The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills in the comprehensive assessment and management of emergency department patients.

Particular strengths include:

  • A long and honourable history of producing high quality graduates, many of whom are now working in advanced nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and nurse management and educational roles
  • Specialist modules and clinical placements are offered in close partnership with the Emergency Departments and Nurse Education Centres of St. Vincent’s University Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • Short placements in the Emergency Departments of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, the Children’s University Hospital and other acute areas
  • This facilitation of access to different hospital sites and settings results in numerous and valuable learning opportunities

The course enables students to gain a comprehensive understanding of subjects relevant to caring for emergency department patients. Particular emphasis is placed on recent national and international research findings and evidence-based guidelines aimed at ensuring optimal outcomes for ED patients.

Careers & Employability

Possessing this qualification, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of emergency care settings both nationally and internationally. Many of our graduates are now working as clinical nurse managers, as advanced practitioners (with additional MSc. qualification), and in educational 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 course is aimed at advancing the range, breadth and depth of professional knowledge and skills in the care of persons presenting with acute illness or injury to an emergency department. It is aimed at qualified nurses who are currently employed in an emergency department and who have a minimum of six months’ of emergency nursing practice and one year’s acute medical/surgical ward experience.

This programme's primary purpose is to support graduate students in enhancing their existing knowledge, skills and behaviours, in order to respond effectively to Irish emergency department attendees' urgent/unscheduled healthcare needs now, and in the future. The programme promotes an integrated, flexible, student-centred, patient-focused, and dynamic approach to learning, in order to enrich students' continuous professional and societal contribution, and their personal development; it has sound, cohesive, academic and clinical foundations, augmented by expert and enthusiastic discipline-specific educators, in a positive and beneficial partnership with affiliated hospitals and other diverse clinical sites. This programme actively fosters informed, relevant, skilled, ethical, innovative, reflexive, careful and research-led clinical and educational practice, so as to develop 'fit-for-purpose' practitioners and dynamic leaders in this complex and challenging field; it aspires to develop skilled, knowledgeable, aware, thoughtful, questioning and balanced practitioners, who demonstrate a clear sense of professional identity, commitment, responsibility, accountability and judicial decision-making aptitude, as well as vibrant inter-and-intra disciplinary team working capability.          

A wide variety of current, validated, pedagogical approaches and innovative, creative technologies are integrated and utilised in this programme, to ensure excellence in teaching and learning processes and to enhance the overall student experience; educational activities are entirely student-centred, incremental and aligned, and assessments are carefully-planned, timely and appropriate; the comprehensive engagement of our clinical partner sites in this programme's design and delivery and the resultant valuable student learning opportunities, are major strengths. Learning takes place in multiple environments across the university and clinical practice environments, and is facilitated by an established culture of respect and responsiveness, to meet current and emerging student, professional and health systems' needs. The programme is delivered by experts in the fields of scholarship, education, practice discipline, professional standing, and patient advocacy; this ensures that learners experience a coherent, cumulative, research-based educational programme that meets all academic and professional regulatory, standards and requirements, as well as societal and social justice exigencies. This is a national programme, with a large student cohort from different emergency departments nation-wide, and is the largest, longest-established, continuous, graduate emergency nursing programme in Ireland, which incrementally evolved from hospital-based programme more than four decades ago.

The specific aims of the course are:

  • To provide the student with the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values for the advancement of his/her role in the care of emergency department patients, including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication
  • To advance the student’s sense of professional awareness, responsibility and accountability in emergency nursing
  • The course will enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with sudden or severe illness or injury. Possessing this expertise will enable you to become a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team involved in emergency care

View All Modules Here

This is a one year programme, divided into two academic semesters. Semester 1 runs from September to early December. Semester 2 runs from January to May of the following year. Assessments are varied and include case presentations, poster presentations, clinical rounds and short examination questions and occur at intervals during and at the end of each semester. You will complete six modules in total, to include two core modules and four specialist modules:

2 Core Modules:

  • Research Methodologies
  • Theoretical Bases of Nursing.

4 Specialist Modules:      

  • Care of the Acutely Ill (Semester 1)    
  • Care of the Acutely Injured (Semester 2)    
  • Care of the Person with Specific Needs (Semester 2)
  • Clinical Practicum (spans both semesters)

Students taking the programme over two years will take the two core modules in year 1 and the four specialist modules in year 2.

GradDip Emergency Nursing (Adult) (X616) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9670
nonEU    fee per year - € 18480

GradDip Emergency Nursing (Adult) (X751) Part Time
EU          Year 1 - € 4990
nonEU    Year 1 - € 9380
EU          Year 2 - € 4820 aa
nonEU    Year 2 - € 9090 aa

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2023 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2022/23
***Fees are subject to change


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

Application Fee

Please note that all applicants are required to pay the €50 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:


  • All applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in a related discipline). Applicants not holding a degree may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning.
  • All applicants must be entered on to the appropriate division of the Register of Nurses and Midwives, which is maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).
  • All applicants at the time of application must have at least one year’s post-registration experience working in an Emergency Department.
  •  All applicants must be employed in an Emergency Department for the duration of the programme and work a minimum of 75 hours per month. To facilitate engagement and collaboration with your allocated mentor, the majority of these hours must be day shift hours. This is confirmed by a declaration form signed by the Director of Nursing at the student’s place of employment before the commencement of the programme.

Documents Required

  • Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
  • Nurse applicants: A current photocopy of NMBI registration
  • Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Signed Declaration Form by Employer
  • Completed Professional Reference Form
  • Nurse applicants: Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)

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.


The following entry routes are available:

Grad Dip Emergency Nursing (Adult) FT (X616)
1 Years
Full Time
Grad Dip Emergency Nursing (Adult) PT (X751)
2 Years
Part Time

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