Course Title
Faculty of Science and Health

Nursing (Intellectual Disability)

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing (Intellectual Disability)

  • CAO CodeDC217
  • Course Type Undergraduate
  • NFQ Level 8
  • Delivery Modes Full-time
  • Min Points 2019 347
  • Duration 4 Years

Course Fees

  • Student Contribution€3,043
  • EU Status Fee€7,149
  • Non EU Fees€13,200
About fees & requirements

Nurses play a critical role in society: they help individuals achieve, maintain or regain the best possible health, and at other times, they provide comfort, support and dignity in times of illness or death. They often work in conjunction with families, groups or the larger community.

In addition to professionalism, a nurse must practice with intelligence, compassion and enthusiasm.

DCU’s BSc in Nursing (Intellectual Disability) programme employs a combination of academic and practical learning to instill you with competence in clinical, theoretical, ethical, intercultural and cross-disciplinary knowledge. You’ll focus on the fundamental issues in nursing practice, and integrate these with aspects of psychology, sociology, philosophy, law, pharmacology and microbiology. You’ll also have a chance to put your new skills to practice under the guidance of registered nurses in a real-world work environment.

This nursing specialty will help you understand how to help people with intellectual disabilities achieve their full potential, in a variety of settings, and in collaboration with their families, other professionals, and care facilities.

Why do this course?

  • Dynamic nursing lecturing team
  • Students are taught mainly on campus
  • Innovative teaching methodologies
  • Partners with some of Dublin's busiest and prestigious teaching hospitals and services
  • Extensive practice placements in clinical settings

Student Voice

As a mature student, undertaking this course of study was a difficult decision to make. Having almost completed my first year, I have no doubts in my mind that I took the right decision and the right nursing pathway. So far, it has been a wonderful experience all the way through and if I had to choose again, I would choose to study Nursing. If you have a caring nature, it's the right course for you.

Arinola Esther Ajetunmobi, BSc In Nursing (Intellectual Disability)

About the course

The BSc in Nursing provides you with the pre-registration education you’ll need to qualify with one of the following awards:

  • BSc in Nursing (General)

  • BSc in Nursing (Children’s and General)

  • BSc in Nursing (Intellectual Disability)

  • BSc in Nursing (Mental Health)

You’ll also be eligible for professional registration with Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

In Years Two and Three you’ll undertake specialist modules relating to your chosen nursing discipline.

Each year you’ll have the opportunity to practice nursing in the clinical setting. These are called ‘practice placements’. During Years Three and Four you’ll spend longer periods on these practice placements.

In Year Four you’ll participate in a 36-week internship with local health service providers, gaining further practice-based learning and also taking formal assessments of practice competencies.

Garda vetting is a requirement for all nursing students, who throughout their training have supervised access to vulnerable population groups. Applicants must successfully pass the Garda vetting process in order to complete the process of registration on the BSc in Nursing.

View the current course structure →

Course Life

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.


Exceptional Facilities
DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.


A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment
Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. Already building has begun on an exciting, new €14m Student Centre that will be home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.


Upon graduation, your internationally recognised degree will qualify you to work as an Intellectual Disability Nurse both at home and abroad.

You’ll also be eligible for professional registration with Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

You’ll find work opportunities in the community, schools, general practice, occupational health, and traditional hospitals and care facilities. Career pathways also exist in clinical practice, management, education and research.

  • Education
  • Intellectual Disability Nurse

In these areas


Leaving Certificate

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

Minimum of O6 or H7 in Mathematics and minimum of O6 or H7 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry or Agricultural Science

GCE A Level

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level D or GCSE C Mathematics and GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level D or GCSE C in one of Physics, Chemistry , Biology, Physics with Chemistry or Agricultural Science

QQI level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go

Transfer Applications

Applications for entry to first-year Nursing are welcomed from students who wish to transfer from another Level 8 course, providing they have achieved the requisite points, fulfil the requirements of the course and there are clinical placements available

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving examinations

Applicants presenting EU/FETAC Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Mature Applicants

Mature applicant codes are no longer in use therefore, all applicants use the standard Nursing Codes DC215, DC216, DC217 and DC218 when applying through the CAO.

Mature candidates are assessed by the Nursing Careers Centre (NCC) of Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)

For more information visit: or email: to request a copy of their nursing and careers booklet

All mature candidates are required to apply through CAO by 1st February, register with PAS ( and submit an online application form through PAS. 

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form by clicking here

Fees & Payments

For information about payment methods & Schedules, download the DCU fees booklet.

Register/Pay Online

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing (Intellectual Disability) Course Fees

Course Student Contribution EU Status Fee Non EU Fees
Full Time €3,043 €7,149 €13,200