Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

MSc Nursing (Advanced Leadership)

(NFQ level 9 Major Award 90 ECTS)

"I completed MSc Nursing at the RCSI over the last 2 years, blended learning combined with excellent mentorship provided a platform for a positive learning experience. The course was thoroughly enjoyable and supported my development as a clinician in an increasingly demanding, ever-changing health-system that enables directly influencing patient care in a professional positive manner."
Gillian O' Brien, class of 2015.

Programme overview:
The MSc Nursing (Advanced Leadership) is a two-year part-time Masters programme. The programme aims to develop the student's ability to critically reflect on their leadership role and examine theories and policies underpinning health and health care, at individual and organisational level while developing the student's confidence in taking a leading role as an effective member of the healthcare team and enable them to actively participate in the interdisciplinary team approach to care delivery. Students will develop an in depth knowledge of information retrieval, data management skills, referencing skills, systematic reviewing, research implementation and action research skills as well as developing and engaging in research projects and activities across disciplinary boundaries and with academic institutions in the area of leadership.

Learning Outcomes/aims:
On successful completion of this programme the student will be able to:

  • Critically analyse research, relevant knowledge and evidence-based practice;
  • Critically evaluate the application of clinical judgement to professional leadership practice by utilising evidence-based practice;
  • Critically apply leadership skills in strategic planning and auditing of services as they relate to nursing practice and integrate learning form the audit process into strategies for the improvement of services;
  • Critically evaluate the role of teaching & education in the development of professional practice and initiate, implement and evaluate education as appropriate;
  • Critically analyse the components of clinical governance, patient safety and risk management and demonstrate an understanding of the challenges affecting leadership in nursing and healthcare at individual and organisational level in an ever changing healthcare system;
  • Compare and contrast management and leadership approaches to the effective management and leadership of organisational change for nurse leaders;
  • Critically self-evaluate their professional and personal learning needs and their continuing professional development and identify and accept responsibility for seeking out opportunities for growth and learning.

Programme structure:
The two-year programme is run over four academic semesters, semester 1 is from September - December, semester 2 is from January to May, semester 3 begins in September of year 2 and semester 4 begins in January of Year 2.The programme modules are:

Module name  ECTS credits Assessment method 
Year 1: Advanced Research Methods


Year 1: Advanced Leadership - Professional & Clinical  10 Assignment
Year 1: Advanced Management & Strategy 10 Assignment
Year 1: Change Management: Theory and Practice  10 Presentation and assignment 
Year 1: Education & Training 10 Presentation and assignment 
Year 1: Contemporary Issues: Clinical Governance, Safety and Risk Management 10 Presentation and assignment 
Year 2: Dissertation Module 30 Dissertation 

Who is this programme for?
This programme is aimed at nurses who wish to advance their academic and professional knowledge and skills within leadership in nursing, to ensure that they are maximally prepared to meet the leadership challenges encountered whilst working within an ever changing health care arena.

What next?
On successful completion a student may progress further specialist areas including; Advanced Practice and PhD studies. Recommended: PhD

Entry requirements?
Students who wish to join this programme must be active on the NMBI register and have a level 8 qualification. Applicants who do not hold a level 8 qualification may still be eligable to join them programme through our pathway programme, please contact us for further information on this route.

More information:
If you would like further information on this programme please contact:

Programme Coordinator: Ms Cassandra Kelly (

Programme Director: Ms Linda Nugent (lindanugent

How to apply?

Applications will open Feb 2019


Course fees For information regarding the tuition fee for the academic year 2018/19, please contact the Programme Cordinator
Application forms Applications are accepted via the link above. A €50 application fee is required when applying. You will also be required to upload transcripts of prior education during the application process.