Children's Nursing (Higher Diploma)

Higher Diploma in Children's Nursing

Course Details

CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
NFQ Level
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Mode:
Minimum Points
1 yr
+353 (0) 1
700 5947

If you’re already a registered nurse who would like to specialise in paediatric nursing, this course is for you.


Overview Icon

This course is delivered by academic and clinical leaders in the field of paediatrics, and you are guaranteed employment as a registered children’s nurse nationally and internationally upon completion of the programme . 

As you are already registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), you will bring your existing theoretical knowledge and clinical experience to the course which will be enhanced and built upon throughout your studies. We aim to foster a mindset of lifelong learners and appreciate that you  already have that philosophy as you are pursuing further career development.

All you need for a career in paediatrics
During the course, you’ll gain extensive clinical exposure alongside evidence based theoretical knowledge and skills, ensuring you’ll feel confident to work in any paediatric healthcare setting worldwide. Our curriculum is developed in line with the NMBI Standards and Requirements for Post-Registration programmes and based on the principles of cyclical and continuous learning.  

Every graduate is guaranteed to find employment once they have completed this course. Possible career pathways include working in public or private healthcare settings, occupational health or education, either in Ireland or abroad. You may also opt to continue your professional education to Master’s and PhD level.

DCU People

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Nwigbo Ogechukwu

This has been a uniquely interesting programme.

Read more about Nwigbo Ogechukwu
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Joy Conlon

I have always been passionate about learning and empowering others.

Read more about Joy Conlon

Careers & Further Options

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Qualified nurses who undertake the Higher Diploma in Children's Nursing course have greater opportunities in the vast area of public and private healthcare at home and abroad. You may also opt to continue your professional education to Master’s level.


DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.

DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.

Go to our Careers site to find out more about career planning, our mentorship programme, skills development and online resources for students when working on CVs and making applications.

Children's Nurse
Community Nurse
General Nurse
Children's Nurse
Community Nurse
General Nurse

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements Icon

Applicants must be:
A registered nurse or eligible to register with Bord Altranais agus Cnaimhseachais na hEireann (Nursing and MIdwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)) as a Registered General Nurse, a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Registered Nurse Intellectual Disability;


Hold a Diploma in nursing or judged equivalent.

Students must have at least six months post-registration clinical nursing experience.
Applicants who do not have a Diploma in Nursing (or judged equivalent) will have their prior certified learning assessed through a system of APEL (Approved Prior Experiential Learning) and will be advised to complete the access modules successfully. Each individual's application will be assessed by the APEL Board for evidence of prior certified learning and deficits in prior certified learning and deficits in prior certified learning to Diploma level.

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

No Entry Path

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. Click here for further information on international applications.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon

This one-year, full-time course includes 12 weeks of lectures, 36 weeks of clinical experience and four weeks’ holidays. All the lectures are delivered in the School of Nursing and Human Sciences at DCU with a three-week block at the beginning of the programme followed by two-days-per-week block release over a five-week period in semester one and a 12-week period in semester two.

Students will undertake the 36-weeks clinical practice within the clinical environment in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, attending partner services for specialist placements. The 36 weeks will be divided into two practice modules and will include four weeks holidays at a specified time.

For the course’s duration, students will be employees of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 1.

Upon completion of the course, students will be eligible to register with Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland) as a Registered Children’s Nurse (RCN).

For more information on the course structure click here

Fees and Funding

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EU Status Fee
€11,300 per annum
Non EU Fee
€11,700 per annum

How To Apply

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The closing date for submissions of CV’s and letter of application is Friday, 18th February at 11.45pmApplications must be completed through the advertised post on by clicking ‘Apply for Job’. Applications will not be accepted through direct email or any other method.

To apply visit:

For general enquires please contact Suzanne Cullen, Nursing Workforce Lead at CHI or  

Life On Campus

Life on Campus

At DCU, our students can expect a unique campus experience. We are known for our excellent teaching and learning facilities, our active clubs and societies, and our great social and sporting facilities. All this makes DCU an exciting place to be. 

DCU has three academic campuses; Glasnevin, St. Patrick’s and All Hallows (both in Drumcondra), all close to Dublin City centre. 

They can be reached by public transport, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, with our Drumcondra campuses a ten minute walk from Drumcondra Train Station. Glasnevin is a 20 minute walk from St Patrick’s and All Hallows. They are also linked by Dublin Bus.

Each campus has a library (O’Reilly, Cregan and Woodlock Hall), study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. There are sports facilities on Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s, and there is a dedicated sports campus, St Claire’s, located near Glasnevin on the Ballymun Road.

DCU’s 19,000 students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses. 

These include modern learning theatres, research centres, a new media and TV studio, radio/podcast studios, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of Languages, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Biotechnology, as well as a Sports Performance centre and a training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.

We continue to improve and update our facilities. For example, construction of a new world-class STEM facility is underway on the Glasnevin campus. With capacity for an extra 3,000 STEM students, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science and health, computing and engineering disciplines.

Studying in DCU isn’t just about course work. The university is rich in student life and activities.

There are more than 140 clubs and societies for students in DCU, with ‘Clubs & Socs’ days taking place on both the Glasnevin and Drumcondra campuses at the start of the academic year. They span everything from rugby to rock climbing, anime to jazz.

For many students, sport is an important part of the DCU experience. DCU’s Sports Complex boasts a 25 metre swimming pool, fitness centre gym, all-weather pitches and squash courts, as well as soccer, GAA and rugby pitches. DCU Dóchas Éireann, the university’s GAA club, is the largest third level Gaelic Games club in the country. Meanwhile, DCU Athletics has been Ireland’s highest achieving university club for many years. And DCU has dozens of other clubs to get involved in, from Archery to Weightlifting. 

The Glasnevin campus is home to our purpose built, state-of-the-art student centre, The U, which serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body. Here, you will find the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub. Also located on our Glasnevin campus is The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.

On our St Patrick’s campus, we have the Java Student Hub, a vibrant, warm and welcoming space where students can meet for coffee, play music, use the projector to watch events, or just relax. The walls of the Java Hub were designed based on the cultural history of St Patrick’s Campus, including the special references to the notable sporting history and history of the arts.

We have a number of academic, professional and social supports for students.

Student Advice Centre - Offers a wide range of supports and services to students and advice 

The Writing Centre - drop-in writing workshops for students through the academic year 

Maths Learning Centre - provides maths support for students of all ability levels with maths modules 

Student Learning - facilitate the transition from passive to active learning for students at DCU, by teaching study skills, nurturing critical thinking and building student confidence. 

Careers work with students to help them on their professional journey into graduate employment.

Our student support team offers a comprehensive support programme, helping students make that all important transition into university life and focusing on building confidence and skills which are key to success at third level.

DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus


FAQ Icon

Is DCU all one campus?

 DCU is a multi campus university - the Glasnevin, St Patrick's and All Hallows campuses. The St Patrick's campus is where the Education courses are taught and some of the subjects from the BA Joint Honours degree. There is a 20-25 minute walk between the campuses but there are buses and bikes available to go between them also.

Click here to see maps of all of our campuses


If I'm studying on the St Patrick's campus, can I use the library and sports centre on the Glasnevin campus?

Yes, all facilities such as sports and accommodation are open for all DCU students to avail of. 


Are there libraries in DCU and if they have wifi and work stations?

We have a brand new state of the art four floor library on our St. Patrick's Campus which complements the existing library on the Glasnevin campus. There is free wifi, work stations as well as desktop computers. 


Does DCU provide accommodation?

DCU does have on-campus accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and you can find out more and apply via the Accommodation Office webpage.