Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

The Bachelor of Nursing Science (General) course is a four-year degree programme provided in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE) West, Blackrock Health Galway Clinic, Bon Secours Hospital Galway. The programme consists of theoretical and clinical modules. The theoretical content aims to provide students with the knowledge necessary to underpin their professional practice. It comprises lectures, seminars, workshops, experiential learning, skills training. Clinical modules are undertaken in the practice setting in the acute hospital setting, community settings and in specialist placements.  Following completion of the programme, students are eligible to apply to register as a General Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. This is an international recognised registration.

The first three years are run within the academic year and include a combination of theory modules and clinical practice modules. Practice modules will require students to be in clinical practice for 32hours per week. Year four comprises clinical/theory instruction in semester one and a 36-week internship in clinical practice which runs from January to September. During this period, the student will be an employee of the HSE Saolta Group and paid a salary.

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

The course is taught by academic staff from:  Nursing, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Medicine. In addition, guest lectures are delivered by Specialist Practitioners from Clinical Practice, Patients and Patient advocacy groups.

The Programme Director:

Bernard McCarthy RGN, R.N.M.H, Bsc, Msc

Year Leads:

Year 1

Bernard McCarthy
RGN, R.N.M.H, Bsc, Msc

Year 2

Ms Teresa Meaney

Year 3

Ms Claire o Tuathail
RN, Dip, MSc, PGCertTLHE

Year 4

Dr. Collette Kirwan

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science), and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Health requirements: Nursing and midwifery are demanding professions, both physically and emotionally. This requires good mental and physical health and the ability to achieve the required competencies of a nurse/midwife. Students will be required to complete a Medical Assessment Self Declaration Form and undergo a medical assessment/screening and a vaccination programme, etc. as determined by an EB/healthcare agency. Students must satisfactorily complete these or other health requirements to commence/continue with the programme. This aligns with the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland framework as detailed in "Nursing/Midwifery A Career for You (2023)"

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


4 years

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades (2023)


Average intake

80 (Matures 12, Access 2, NVQ 2 )

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

2 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

The course provides an excellent foundation in the theory and practice skills required for contemporary nursing and enables students to become knowledgeable, competent, safe and highly skilled practitioners.

For the graduate of the Bachelor of Nursing Science (General) to be eligible to practice as a Registered Nurse, the student will meet the following programme learning outcomes as outlined by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (2016):

  1. Acquire the knowledge, professional values and discipline specific competences to fulfil the role of the Registered Nurse to deliver safe, high quality, compassionate, ethical, legal and accountable practice across the life spectrum and in diverse healthcare settings.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge, clinical skills and professional behaviors that are underpinned by the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework (NMBI 2015) and the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurse and Registered Midwives (NMBI 2014).
  3. Practice as a competent Registered Nurse to assess, plan, priorities, deliver and evaluate nursing care based on a comprehensive and systematic assessment of health and nursing needs in consultation with the person receiving such care, their representative and the multi-disciplinary team.
  4. Apply theoretical principles to the practice of nursing using professional judgement, critical reasoning, problem-solving and reflection derived from an evidence base of nursing and from the applied life, health and social sciences.
  5. Deliver person-centred, high quality and safe nursing care based on a collaborative relationship with a person receiving such care, that respects her/his dignity, autonomy, self-determination and rights to make health and life choices across the health spectrum.
  6. Demonstrate skills of effective communication, delegation, inter-professional liaison and team working to promote the quality and safety of the health care environment.
  7. Maintain competence to develop and enhance the capacity for self-awareness, reflective practice, leadership and professional scholarship.
  8. Apply evidence from an appraisal of research studies relevant to the division of nursing to the practice of nursing.

Students will take 23 theory modules and 8 clinical modules during the four years of the programme. Module content is viewed as interconnected and interdependent. The table below outlines the modules taken each semester for each year of the programme. Modules are designated as either theory or clinical practice:

  • Theory modules aim to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills on which to base care delivery.
  • Modules are also identified as shared, profession-discipline specific or shared/profession-discipline specific.
  • Shared modules refer to modules that are taken by all groups (General, General and Midwifery)
  • Profession-Discipline Specific is a specialist module which focuses on the Discipline/Profession specialty

In all theory modules there is an emphasis on exploring the relevance of module content to practice. Similarly, practice modules allow students to explore “new” knowledge in the reality of the practice setting, thus providing students with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice. Internship provides students with an opportunity to consolidate their clinical skills and become confident in their abilities.  Modules in Year 4 Semester 2 concentrate on preparing students for the transition from student to qualified practitioner.

 Below is a summary table of the theoretical modules completed across the 4 years 



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.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

Graduates have the option to study a variety of nursing programmes at postgraduate, diploma, masters and PhD levels, for example:

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Nurses have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings both in the hospital and the community. The Bachelor of Nursing Science degree is recognised internationally and many nurses choose to work overseas to broaden their experience.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Practice modules are sited in the clinical setting and focus on the integration of theory and practice. Theory and practice are juxtaposed to enable students to assimilate classroom learning with experiential learning in the clinical practice area. Practice modules are sequenced throughout the programme and commence in Year 1 Semester 1. This is in line with the Requirements and Standards from (NMBI) 2016) for an early clinical placement. Careful consideration has been given to thetiming of practice placements to ensure that students can enhance their skills with each practice experience, while simultaneously building on the preceding experience.

Students take advantage of the various areas of expertise available within the Saolta University Health Care Group mainly in University Hospital Galway, Portiuncula University Hospital, Merlin Park University Hospital, Blackrock Health Galway Clinic and Bon Secours Hospital Galway. Below is a summary of the placements

Year 1 to Year 3 of the programme the student spends between 8-14 weeks each year out in practice placement integrated across each semester.

Year 1:  (8 weeks):  General Medical and General Surgical experience in the acute hospital setting

Year 2: (15 weeks):  3 Weeks Acute Hospital And 12 weeks Specialty (Older Persons, Learning Disability, Mental Health, Maternity, Community, Self-Selected Placement).

Year 3: (12 Weeks) Two of the following Acute Hospital placements rotations (6 weeks Medical, 6 weeks Surgical or 6 weeks Specialty (Emergency Care, Theatre. Pediatrics) 

Year 4 Semester 1:  9 weeks:  7 weeks of the rotation not completed in year 3 and 2 weeks pre-internship Medical or Surgical wards.

Year 4 Semester 2:  36 weeks clinical internship (4 rotations of 9 week each, medical surgical placements) which runs from January to September. During this period, the student will be an employee of the Saolta University Health Care Group and paid a salary.

Students have the opportunity to take advantage of the various areas of expertise available within the Saolta University Health Care Group mainly in University Hospital Galway, Portiuncula University Hospital, Merlin Park University Hospital, Blackrock Health Galway Clinic and Bon Secours Hospital Galway

Students are required to complete their clinical practice placements within the HSE West region. While on clinical placements, students will be supervised by a nurse who has been specially prepared to guide and direct student learning. Students are also supported by the clinical placement co-ordinator, who ensures that learning outcomes are identified and achieved.

Study Abroad

There are international and European opportunities for students available through the Erasmus Programme and other international partnerships in, for example, Barcelona, Africa, Fairfield University, USA, and Case Western University, USA.

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,106 p.a. (€7,246 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€4,106 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€26,500 p.a. (€26,640 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

*EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy

Student Levy: €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI. Further detail here https://su.nuigalway.ie/

Find out More

The School of Nursing and Midwifery
T 353 (0)91 493 432
F 353 (0)91 494 537
E nursing.midwifery@universityofgalway.ie


What Our Students Say


Suelyn Sibanda |   BSc (Nursing)

I decided to do a nursing degree after working for 3 years as a care assistant with a nursing agency. I felt l could do more, give more in my job but l was limited. I enjoy the way the programme is set out with due emphasis given to both theory and clinical experience components. Through the theoretical component, I've had the chance to learn many things, not just about nursing but also from biological sciences and social sciences, making the course all the more dynamic and enjoyable. I have also gained clinical experience in medical and surgical nursing, midwifery, psychiatric and public health nursing