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Graduate Diploma Primary Care Nursing Practice

Key Information

Major Code: X940

Duration: 1 Year

Next Intake: September 2024

Application Opening Date: 1st February 2024

Application Closing Date: Application to the programme will close once full, or on the 30th June 2024, whichever comes first.


The Graduate Diploma in Primary Care Nursing Practice Programme is provided by the UCD School of Nursing Midwifery & Health Systems and the UCD School of Medicine. This programme has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Innovation Fund under Theme 4. It is open to General Nurses in the Public Health Nursing Service and General Practice Nurses. 

This Programme addresses an immediate need in primary care. International and National Health Care face major challenges due to the increasing demands of an ageing population, the rise in long-term chronic conditions and multimorbidity. Primary care serves as a key part of the solution in providing the majority of prevention and treatment for the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Primary care nurses are at the forefront of individualised services in the General Practice or Public Health Nursing Service. The programme aims to provide formal, structured education and training to equip nurses with knowledge, skills and competencies to work as expert generalists in primary care. The Programme will support the delivery of person-centred care in  the community, thus realising the Sláintecare vision of providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Programme delivery is a blended learning approach that is innovative and impactful in pioneering new interdisciplinary approaches. Digital culture is embedded to facilitate the student experience to ask questions, discover new knowledge and new ways of working.

Please note:

Places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to applicants who meet the entry requirements and have uploaded fully complete required documentation. To avoid disappointment, early application is advised.

The Programme is for Primary Care: 

  1. General Nurses in the Public Health Nursing Services 
  2. General Practice Nurses in General Practitioners Services

The programme is designed to expand students’ knowledge, competencies and critical engagement in the care of persons living with chronic illness, multimorbidity and the broad spectrum of contemporary healthcare issues in Primary care.

The programme will enhance your career prospects and give you the building blocks for lifelong self-directed learning.  It will provide you with the key knowledge and skills as an Expert Generalist Nurse in Primary care.

The programme is focused on developing practical, usable skills in the multiple contexts of Primary care nursing. Students will develop specific critical skills in the area of Primary care nursing which will lead to the ability to engage with multiple client groups effectively and efficiently.

Each of the modules in the programme is designed to provide experienced nurses with a comprehensive learning experience and opportunities for acquiring new skills.  The emphasis throughout the programme is on the practical application of knowledge and skills in the specific context of Primary care.

The programme will support Primary Care Nurses to develop as leaders in delivering person-centred, planned and safe high-quality care.

Nurses working in Primary Care, General Practice, and the Public Health Nursing service will gain specialist theory in managing chronic illness and a broad spectrum of contemporary healthcare issues. Advanced Health Assessment  will increase confidence and knowledge competencies for practice. Students are provided with a foundation in evidence-based practice, research and scholarly activity, and translating evidence into practice. The focused clinical practicum module allows for the application of specialist knowledge in the primary care setting. 

The modules will support Primary Care Nurses to develop as leaders in delivering person-centred, planned and safe high-quality care.

Core Modules 

Module Title 



NQF level 

NMHS 42960

Advanced Health Assessment





Contemporary Issues in Primary Care and General Practice





Managing Chronic Illness in Primary Care





Scholarship Enhancing Clinical Practice




MDCS 42310 

Contemporary Issues in Primary Care and General Practice 2

Spring (5 Credit)

Summer (5 Credit)



NMHS 44080

Primary Care Clinical Practicum

Autumn (5 credit) 

Spring (2.5 credit)  Summer (2.5 credit)



Graduating as a Primary Care Expert Generalist has the potential to create opportunities to drive new pathways for the development of specialists' nursing roles in primary care service in line with Sláintecare Health Reform. 

Graduates of  Primary Care Nursing Practice programme will be eligible to continue to a Masters award to support career progression to Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Midwife Practitioner, Management, Education, Practice  Development and Leadership roles in community specialist care.

  • Applicants must hold a minimum of a BSc Degree or equivalent in Nursing (or hold a suitable NFQ level 8 qualification). Applicants not holding a Bachelor's degree may apply for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
  • All applicants must be entered into the appropriate division of the Nurses Register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) (be registered as an RGN).
  • Applicants must be employed in primary care nursing (General Practice or Public Health Nursing Service) for the duration of the programme and work a minimum of 75 hours per month.
  • Each student must provide documented evidence from the Director of Public Health Nursing/General Practitioner in the clinical practice area, which guarantees placement for the duration of the programme.
  • In addition, submit a Clinical Competence Supervisor/Mentor/Assessor Nomination Form. The nominated person agrees to provide you with support and clinical supervision towards the achievement of the required competencies for the duration of the programme.
  • Garda vetting is required for this programme. Once you submit an application, you will automatically receive details of the vetting procedure. Please see the following link.
  • Students will automatically receive a notice from UCD Student Vetting upon applying to these programmes. All correspondence should be between students and UCD Student Vetting upon applying to these programmes. All correspondence should be between students and UCD Student Vetting regarding this process.

Document application upload name 

Details and Links for original forms 


Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non-UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant

NMBI Pin Photocopy 

A current photocopy of NMBI registration

Birth Cert/Passport page and/or Marriage Cert 

Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport and/or Marriage Cert

Work Related Reference 

Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)*

Declaration form 

Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)*

Supervisor/Mentor Nomination form 

Clinical Tutor / Mentor Agreement Form (Original form)* 

English Language Test 

Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)

Additional Documentation 


*Electronic signatures are accepted however, prospective students uploading forms are accountable for ensuring employers/nominees/referees authentic e-signature and the employers/nominees/referees are fully aware of their responsibility as outlined in the forms.

For applicants who do not meet the Level 8 honours degree programme entry requirement, UCD will consider an application made through the Approved Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) process. Please see below APEL information and application form for more information.

Download APEL Information and Application Form

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 €60 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

Apply online

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Innovation Fund under Theme 4.

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Ask a Question

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

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(opens in a new window)