Course Overview

This programme's development is in response to a need for nurses and midwives to prescribe, in order to support high quality person-centred care. This follows from two key reports which mooted the extension of prescriptive authority for nurses and midwives; i.e. The Commission on Nursing in 1998, followed by the Review of the Scope and Practice for Nursing and Midwifery Final report in 2000. This recommendation was comprehensively evaluated in a 3½ year joint project by An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann and the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery in 2005. The review concluded that prescriptive authority should be extended to nurses and midwives. A further implementation project in 2008 put in place the regulatory, professional and support requirements which enabled nurses and midwives to take on this role. Prescriptive authority was extended to nurses and midwives by the Minister for Health and Children in 2007.

Nurses and midwives prescribe within the confines of robust legislation and professional regulation and their scope of practice.  Improving client care is core to this extended role.

The programme is delivered over a six-month period. Students will attend college for an induction day and three-days of workshop for each module (10 days in total). In addition, students will be mentored in their practice setting for the duration of the programme which will include 12 days of direct supervision of the prescriptive process by a designated medical practitioner.

The programme is comprised of  three theory/practice modules a clinical competency assessment in prescribing.    

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

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

Who Teaches this Course

Programme Director: Catherine Meagher

  • Dr Ingrid Cunningham (Law)
  • Dr John Kelly (Pharmacology and Therapeutics)
Dr Maura Dowling
MSc,BNs,RNT,RGN,RM Cert Oncology,PhD
View Profile
Ms Frances Farrelly
RGN, RNT, BNS, M.Sc (nursing), ENB100
School of Nursing & Midwifery
Aras Moyola
National University of Ireland, Galway
View Profile
Dr. Fionnuala Jordan
RPN, PG.Dip.,PhD
Lecturer Above The Bar
T: 019- 493818
View Profile
Mr Bernard McCarthy
RGN, R.N.M.H, Bsc, Msc
View Profile
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and examinations.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Be registered as a nurse or midwife on the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);
  2. Be currently employed as a nurse or midwife;
  3. Have a minimum of three years’ recent post-registration clinical experience in nursing or midwifery (within the last five years), with the equivalent of one-year full-time experience in the specific area of practice in which prescribing is proposed;
  4. Possess the competencies recognised at Level 8 of the National Framework of Qualifications;
  5. Provide evidence of having undertaken continuing professional education;
  6. Have support from an employer to undertake the programme, evidenced by a completed Site Declaration Form;
  7. Have confirmation of a designated nurse/midwife/medical evidenced by a completed Site Declaration Form.

Additional Requirements


6 months, full-time

Next start date

Two intakes: January 2023 & September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10 (minimum) Please note that the programme offered is subject to sufficient student numbers.

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

 Please view the offer rounds website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

CERT-NMPS (September intake); CERT-NMPJ (January intake)

Course Outline


  • Physical Assessment Skills
  • Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing Drugs
  • Drugs, Patients and Illness.
  • Clinical Competency—Prescribing  

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (0 Credits)

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme will equip students with the competencies and skills needed to take on the extended role of prescribing medicines.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,000 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€2,930 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€70 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€13,596 p.a. 2023/24

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

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


  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)