Course Overview

This fully online postgraduate qualification equips students with the knowledge and skills required to make meaningful contributions to cardiac rehabilitation practice. The scientific evidence for cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation is compelling. As such, evidence-based practice features strongly together with multidisciplinary approaches to the comprehensive delivery of high-quality care. The effective implementation of intensive lifestyle and medical risk factor management together with enabling psychosocial health and wellbeing are cornerstone.

Unique features of this programme include:

  • Flexible learning: Delivered online using scheduled remote tutorials and workshops coupled with directed study, enabling students to simultaneously maintain professional roles in clinical practice or manage other commitments whilst completing their studies.
  • Delivered in partnership with the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC): This partnership enables an exceptional opportunity for students to interact with leading experts as well as engage in cutting-edge research and further opportunities in cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation.
  • Interdisciplinary expert teaching faculty: Students from a variety of backgrounds from all over the world interact with international leaders and clinical specialists from cardiology, nursing, nutrition, exercise, behavioural medicine and public health.

The course addresses the latest evidence-base, implementation of best-practice guidelines and healthcare policy, behavioural change strategies, lifestyle approaches to risk factor modification, psychosocial health and medical management of risk factors including hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity and smoking. Outcome measures, health technology and innovation in service design also feature strongly to enable programme uptake and high-quality delivery.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

This course is delivered by an interdisciplinary teaching faculty of leading experts and clinical specialists in cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation:

Noeleen Fallon
Specialist nurse in cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation. Past-President of Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (IACR).

Elaine Robinson
Specialist nurse in tobacco cessation.

Suzanne Seery
Specialist dietitian in cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation.

Denise Dunne
Specialist physiotherapist in cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation.

Dr Catriona Jennings
Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist.

Dr Susan Connolly
Consultant Cardiologist; Clinical Lead in Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Karen Cradock
Specialist Physiotherapist in Cardiac Rehabilitation; Past President of Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Laura Tobin
Specialist Physiotherapist; Healthy Ireland Project Lead.

Professor Derek O’Keeffe
Consultant Endocrinologist and Expert in Diabetes and Technology & Innovation.

Professor Francis Finucane
Consultant Endocrinologist and Expert in Obesity.

Health Health Behaviour Change Research Group and School of Psychology at University of Galway
The team contribute to teaching across content in health behaviour change, psychosocial health, sexual health and medication adherence.

Discipline of Health Promotion at University of Galway
The team contribute to teaching across content in health promotion approaches to cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention.

Professor Robyn Gallagher
Expert in Digital Health and Current President of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Dr Jennifer Jones
B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD
Senior Lecturer
View Profile
Dr Yvonne Finn
MB, BCh, BAO, BSC, MSc (Health Sc) MRCPI
View Profile
Prof Bill McEvoy
B.Med.Sc., M.B. B.Ch. BAO, M.H.S., M.Ed
Professor of Preventive Cardiology
Twitter Handle: @johnwmcevoy
View Profile

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will possess at least a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 degree (or equivalent) in a health care discipline or related subject area (e.g., medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, dietetics, sport and exercise science, clinical or health psychology, pharmacy, health promotion, public health etc). For those who do not hold a primary degree at the required level, consideration will also be given to applicants with relevant work experience, background knowledge and skills. 

Overseas students will need to satisfy the University’s English Language requirement of IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent).

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


5 months, part-time

Next start date

January 2024 | January 2025

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

For Entry January 2024, closing date = 16 December 2023
For Entry January 2025, closing date = 9 December 2024 

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

The Postgraduate Certificate in Cardiac Rehabilitation involves students participating in a 30 ECTS Level 9 module that runs from the first week of January to the end of May each year. This module is delivered fully online with scheduled virtual tutorials and workshops taking place typically 1–2 Thursday/Friday evenings (3-7 pm) and 1 Saturday per month.

  • Unit 1: Evidence, Guidelines and Practice of Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Unit 2: Behaviour Change and Education
  • Unit 3: Intensive Risk Factor Management
  • Unit 4: Current Perspectives and Future Advances in Cardiac Rehabilitation

Each Unit above has an associated assessment which are all in the form of essays or equivalent, e.g., written assignments, poster presentations, case reviews. There are no exams—coursework accounts for 100% of the assessment.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There is an array of employment opportunities in public health, health promotion, healthcare management, academic and research settings and the pharmaceutical industry. Graduates of the course with a clinical background will also specifically benefit from career advancement in the specialty of cardiac rehabilitation as well as cardiovascular health more broadly.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,070 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€6,000 p.a. (€6,070 including levy) 2024/25

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2024/25).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  A P1 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €70.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

Dr Jennifer Jones,
Programme Director.
E: jennifer.jones@ 

What Our Graduates Say


Ruth Coleman |   Senior Physiotherapist, Department of Health

I decided to undertake the Cert to ensure that clinically I was working to the highest standards of evidence available and that our service was optimised to ensure our patients met their goals also. While it was challenging to get back into the domain of research and online education, I really enjoyed the course and felt that we received a broad spectrum of knowledge and experiences while also meeting my objectives. I look forward to bringing in changes to how I work with the confidence the course has provided me with and am happy to recommend it to all professionals working or hoping to work in the area.

You may also be interested in...

Other programmes also offered within this suite of courses in Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Health include:

MSc Preventive Cardiology

MSc Obesity 

MSc (Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation)

MSc Diabetes

Sign up to receive updates

Opt in