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Professional Diploma Cancer Nursing (Colorectal) X689

Key Information

Major Code: X689

Duration: 2 Trimesters Blended Learning

Next Intake: September 2023

Closing Date: 31 July 2023


The programme will enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with malignant and benign colorectal conditions.

The programme is aimed at advancing the registered nurse’s repertoire of knowledge and skills in the care of patients with colorectal conditions; it is particularly aimed at preparing the nurse to assume the role of clinical nurse specialist in this area.

This is a good option for nurses who have completed a leve 9 Graduate Diploma in Cancer Nursing.

The programme aims to develop the practitioner’s capacities for caring and competent practice in Colorectal Nursing in order to prepare the nurse to provide patient-centred care within the health service.

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 the course of his/her basic training 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 patients with malignant and benign colorectal conditions including critical analysis, creative thinking, decision making and communication
  • To develop a greater understanding of the theory which underpins Colorectal 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 Colorectal 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 Colorectal Nursing

The curriculum is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills with respect to the holistic assessment and management of patients with colorectal conditions.

How will I benefit?
On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Professional Diploma in Nursing (Colorectal Cancer Nursing). This is a highly regarded qualification for nurses caring for patients with malignant and benign colorectal conditions in Ireland.

It is essential that you have access to a personal computer and an email account as communication with students is primarily undertaken by email. Lecture handouts/announcements are made available to students via Blackboard (a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching) and/or via email. Messages from the university regarding examination policy and procedures are also sent via email.

This is a one (academic) year programme, broken down into two trimesters. Assessments are varied (assignments/short examination questions/MCQ/case presentations and clinical assessments, (Clinical Competency Assessment Tool, Clinical Learning Outcomes) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.

Please click on the link below for a graphical representation of the Professional Diploma Colorectal Nursing.

View Graphic

Possessing a broad and deep understanding of the theory and skills required for caring for patients with colorectal conditions, you will be well positioned to work in a variety of settings specialising in this 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 cancer nursing. Many nurses also proceed to assume CNM/Educational/Clinical Facilitator roles.

  • Hold a Graduate/Higher Diploma in Cancer Nursing (different strand)
  • Applicants must hold a primary degree in Nursing (or equivalent in related discipline)
  • Applicants must be entered onto the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (be registered as an RGN)
  • Other criteria to be used in the assessment of the application include number of years of experience, and evidence of ongoing professional development

  • Applicants must have at least one year’s experience in Colorectal Nursing at time of attendance
  • Applicants must be employed in a colorectal unit (focusing on caring for patients with colorectal conditions) or related specialist setting prior to commencing the course and for duration of the course

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.

  • Certificates of nursing qualifications or validated copies of awards
  • Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
  • A current photocopy of NMBI registration
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
  • Professional Reference Form(original form)
  • Declaration Form
  • Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form
  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)

Applications are made online through UCD Applications. ​Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Please note that all applicants are required to pay a €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

Apply online

The fees for your programme can be found at the links below. Search using your major code (the four-digit code beginning with 'X' which can be found in the key information box on this page).

EU fees information

Non-EU fees information

Please note that UCD fees are subject to change annually. The fees shown include the student centre levy which must be paid by all students. 


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:



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:

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) applications must be submitted online through your SISWeb account.

There are two instances in which you can apply to have recognised prior learning taken into account when applying for a programme in UCD.

1. RPL for admission to a UCD programme

If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning. Please click here for a link to the policy and guidance on admission based on experiential learning.

2. RPL for exemption from a module or modules on a UCD programme

If you have been accepted onto a UCD programme and wish to have credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study, you may apply for RPL from a module or modules.

When applying for RPL, please note the following:

  • You must submit your application for RPL as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.
  • An application for RPL relating to a particular module should be submitted before the third week of the trimester in which it is offered. Applications made after this date will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Taught Graduate Standing Committee and Programme Board. You can expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four to six weeks of submitting it (depending on committee schedules).
  • Please note that in some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied, therefore you must register for, attend and participate in the module or modules until you have been informed of the decision of the School Programme Board.
  • If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module.


Please read the UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning at this link: UCD Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning

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Ask a Question

If you are considering applying to the programme please contact the Programme Administrator.

Does this programme have an official conferring ceremony?

Please note there is no online or in-person conferring ceremony for this programme. Your parchment will be posted to you by UCD Conferring.

Contact the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems

Health Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4
T: +353 1 716 6488 | Location Map