GradCert Children''s Cardiac Care

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 40)

The Graduate Certificate in Children’s Cardiac Care will develop your knowledge and skills in caring for children with a cardiac condition and their families, supporting you to practice at specialist level  in Children’s Cardiac Care. The programme is aimed at healthcare professionals preparing for specialist practice. It is specifically suitable for those already in possession of a Graduate Diploma e.g. in Critical Care Nursing (Children), the Graduate Diploma in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing, or equivalent.

Programme Strengths

  • Students on this programme will undertake clinical placements in CHI at Crumlin based on area of work and individual learning needs. Clinical placements will allow you to experience the care of a wide spectrum of presenting cardiac conditions including congenital heart disease, and acquired cardiac defects in settings including the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, cardiac intensive care, the hybrid lab and cardiac theatre.
  • Lectures are both clinical and university-based and are delivered by a wide range of specialists. These include Specialist Nurses, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Pharmacists, Radiologists, Dieticians, Physiotherapists and Psychologists.
  • There is a strong emphasis on continuous progression of clinical ability and clinical effectiveness through continuous assessment, including objective standardised clinical examinations (OSCEs), case presentations, poster presentations and discussion boards.
  • The programme offers a flexible pathway – recognition of prior learning can be utilised where applicable.
  • The ability to pivot to a blended format enhanced by the learning platform ‘Brightspace’.
  • Access to student support services including a dedicated student advisor, librarian and access to the UCD Writing Centre

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

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

Healthcare professionals in possession of a Graduate Diploma in clinical practice, who wish to specialise in Children’s Cardiac Care should apply for this programme. Applicants possessing a degree in their cognate discipline, registered with their respective professional body i.e. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), the Health and Social Care Professions register (CORU), the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the United Kingdom (NMC), and working for a minimum of two years in a children’s cardiac setting should apply. Applicants not holding a bachelor’s degree may apply for recognition of prior learning.

If you are:

  • A Registered Children’s Nurse (RCN) and RCN/Registered General Nurse (RGN) with a minimum of one year's experience in Children’s Cardiac Care/a children’s healthcare setting
  • Registered as an RGN with a minimum of two years’ experience in Children’s Cardiac Care / children’s healthcare setting.
  • A non-nursing applicant with a healthcare related primary degree and are engaged in clinical practice in children’s cardiac care for at least two years and have completed leadership training and instruction in research methodology in healthcare at post-baccalaureate level, then you should consider applying.

Those with an interest in Children’s Cardiac Care who are not working in this specialist area will be facilitated to complete a 6-12 month rotation in Children’s Cardiac Care prior to commencing the programme, based on professional background and learning need. Similarly, those working in non-cardiac critical care will be supported to spend 6 months in Childrens’ Cardiac setting prior to commencing the programme.

The Graduate Certificate in Children’s Cardiac Nursing programme aims to build upon and advance the students’ repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values, in order to prepare them to assume the role of a clinical specialist in this area of care. The programme aims to develop the practitioner’s capacities for caring and competent practice in children’s cardiac care, in order to prepare them to provide a child and family centred service within the healthcare setting. The programme aims to-

  • Advance knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in the area of children’s cardiac care.
  • Promote the voice of children, young people, parents/ guardians and carers through deep understanding, collaborative practice and an appreciation of the advocacy role in child health.
  • Synthesise and integrate knowledge from a broad range of interprofessional disciplines in response to complex health related problems in Children’s Cardiac Care.
  • Engage in systematic and comprehensive assessment processes, based on the integration of theory, evidence, research and interprofessional perspectives as a foundation for advanced reasoning/ or decision making.
  • Advocate for and communicate the needs of infants, children, young people, their parents/guardians and fellow nurses within the context of Children’s Cardiac Care and evidence-based practice.
  • Promote personal and professional growth in a children’s healthcare role, through life-long learning and continuous professional development.
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge in children’s cardiac care through systematic inquiry, knowledge development, translation and scholarship.

View All Modules Here

  • Semester 1  -  NMHS44180 Fundamental Concepts of Children's Cardiac Care
  • Semester 1&2 - NMHS43720 Advanced Children's Critical Care
  • Semester 2 -  NMHS44170 Specialist Considerations in Children's Cardiac Care
  • Semester 1 and Sem 2 - NMHS42460  Clinical Practicum: Paediatric Critical Care Nursing

GradCert Children's Cardiac Care (XA06) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 7370
nonEU    fee per year - € 14550

***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 €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

Entry Requirements

  • 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 or equivalent (e.g. NMC)
  • 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 from Employer (original form)
  • Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)
  • Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)
  • Successful confirmation of RPL/RPEL as appropriate.

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.

'I completed the 2yr part time cardiac diploma course this year. I enjoyed completing this course and found it hugely beneficial. Through lectures delivered by experts in the field my knowledge of common cardiac conditions and treatment courses for these conditions has been greatly improved. I have found I am now a more skillful practitioner due to my time on placement in CHI heart centre where I was able learn new clinical skills. Through the completion of challenging assignments I have found my critical thinking skills have improved and I have a greater ability to critique current research to ensure my practice is evidence based. Although assignments where time consuming I felt very well supported by the teaching staff who were easy to contact and always gave good advice and support. Overall I found this course very well run and hugely beneficial both personally and professionally and since completing it I have been able to enhance my career through promotion.'


Sarah Hagen

(Temporary Deputy Ward Sister Clark Clinic Belfast)

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Cert Children's Cardiac Care PT (XA06)
1 Years
Part Time

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

Potential applicants can submit an expression of interest in undertaking the Programme to their manager. This must be done well in advance of commencing the programme so that funding and specialist placements can be organised. 

Once an applicant applies to the University applicants receive communication from the Programme Administrator, and when the entry criteria are met, they may be offered a place in the Programme.