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Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Community Mental Health) Level 9
Course Code: INT08

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Studies Level 9

Entry Requirements:

Be a registered psychiatric nurse who is currently practising as a psychiatric nurse with at least 18 months post-registration experience


One year part-time

Fees (euro):


Application Process:

Download Application form and return to:
Mr Tom O'Grady
Department of Nursing & Heath Studies
St Angela's College
Lough Gill
T: 071-91 35624

Next Intake:

January 2015

Closing Date: 2014-10-03

Programme Overview

The Mental Health Services are undergoing changes that emphasise movement towards a community based service (Planning for the Future, 1984; Department of Health and Children, 2006). This programme seeks to assist nurses to develop skills to enable autonomous practice. Required attendance is 12 academic days in college. This enables the student to study in the comfort of their own home, with excellent support still offered by the college.

Module Date
Induction Day 7th Jan 2015
Psychosocial Interventions 1 3rd Feb 2015
Therapeutic Communications 17th Feb 2015
Psychosocial Interventions 1 3rd March 2015
Psychosocial Interventions 2 24th March 2015
Therapeutic Communications 14th April 2015
Therapeutic Communications 28th April 2015
Psychosocial Interventions 2 26th May 2015
Reflective Practice 9th June 2015
Mental Health Nursing in the Community 8th September 2015
Primary and Community Mental Health Care 22nd September 2015
Mental Health Nursing in the Community  6th October 2015
Primary and Community Mental Health Care  27th October 2015
Mental Health Nursing in the Community  10th November 2015

This programme consists of seven modules as per the below.   

A unique aspect of the programme is the quality clinical practice (Professional Practice Module) of a minimum of 300 hours under the supervision of an experienced community mental health nurse. Students provide care to an assigned caseload of a minimum of twelve clients with a range of mental health problems.


Psychosocial Interventions in Mental Health Care 1
While acknowledging the importance of medication in supporting someone with a mental illness, this module examines other complimentary ways such as relapse prevention; medication management; holistic assessments; solution focused brief interventions; use of CBT with psychosis; family interventions; supporting someone with auditory hallucinations among others to ensure a quality recovery for these individuals.

Therapeutic Communication
The aim of this module is to enhance knowledge and understanding of therapeutic communication. The module with further enhance therapeutic skills and help the student to develop the therapeutic relationship which serves to underpin the basis of all psychological therapies. Critical exploration of attitudes, feelings and behaviour will take place.

Primary and Community Mental Health Care
This module will critically consider the concepts and definitions of community and primary health care. Key concepts of the community nursing role as well as the fundamental dimensions of primary care, with special emphasis on mental health will be examined. The role of voluntary agencies will also be addressed.

Mental Health Nursing in the Community
This module covers many key issues regarding caring for someone with a mental illness in a community setting. The importance of mental health promotion, as well as advocacy groups, service user rights and management and caseload issues are all examined.

Reflective Practice
Developing professionals as reflective practitioners and responding to their personal and professional needs are two of the key values of this module. It aims to introduce the participants to the theory and practice of professional reflection in ways that enhance their own performance and contributes to the work of which they are part.

Professional Practice
This module will build upon the practitioner's previous nursing experience and expertise. The focus of this module is on the development of the professional role of the student as a community mental health nurse. The student will manage, under supervision a minimum of 12 service users, thus caring for a caseload with a variety of mental illnesses and care plans.

Psychosocial Interventions in Mental Health Care 2

This module complements the previous module regarding interventions from a psychological and social perspective that support people with mental health difficulties.

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this programme places the nurse in an excellent position to apply for and carry out various community nursing roles in many of the community mental health teams.

Career Opportunities

Contact Details

Tom O Grady
T:   071 91 35624.

FAQ – New Home Economics Programme

Why is the programme going from four to five years?
The programme is going from four to five years in keeping with Teaching Council recommendations in the areas of subject criteria and guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Programmes. Since 2014 all postgraduate teacher training programmes have become two years long, meaning the number of years of required study across the board has risen to five.

Will the student workload be lighter because of the longer duration?
The student work load will not change significantly.

What qualification will I have after completing the course?
The qualification will be a Professional Master of Education (PME) in Home Economics, NFQ Level 9. 

Can I graduate with a degree after four years and complete the Master of Education at a later date?
Yes. An Exit Award will be available at the end of Year 4.  This will be a BA (Education, Home Economics and Gaeilge or Religious Education or Biology or Economics).

Will I automatically progress into the Masters after the Undergraduate stage?
Students do not have to compete for a place in the fifth stage (Master of Education). However, students must reach the required standard of H2.2 after Stage 4 before they can progress into Stage 5.

Will I be qualified to teach after stage 4?
No, students must successfully complete Year 5, Professional Masters in Education (with Home Economics) to gain their teaching qualification recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

What fees apply to the restructured programme?
The current Registration Fee of €2,750 will only be applicable to the first 4 years of the programme. It is our understanding, at this time, that students will be liable for fees in the 5th year as opposed to the State. The fee structure has yet to be negotiated and agreed with the Higher Education Authority. The Registration Fee (€2,750) does not apply to Postgraduate Fees. Fees have yet to be set but we expect them to be in the region of €4,000 for Year 5 of the programme.

What financial assistance will be available?
For the first four years financial assistance will be the same as for other undergraduate courses and details can be found at the following link.
Financial assistance for fees is available to eligible students during the postgraduate year of the course. However, maintenance payments are not available for postgraduate courses. Please see details at the following link.
The Student Assistance Fund is also available to assist students who are experiencing financial hardship.  Please see details at and

Will there still be alternative entry routes such as Mature, Access, HEAR, DARE ?
Yes. Contact will need to be made with St. Angela’s Access Officer Karen Kennedy at 071 9195575 or email

When will the restructured programme come into effect?
September  2015.

What is the breakdown per year of school placements?
BA 1st Year – 3 weeks – Mainstream Post-primary
BA 2nd Year – 4 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary
BA 3rd Year – 4 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary
BA 4th Year – 4 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary and Special Community and Further Education settings (which are recognised in accordance with Section 10 of the Education Act,1998)
PME – 10 weeks - Mainstream Post-primary

What will the programme be called on the CAO form?

  • AS001 Home Economics with Biology – Second Level Teaching
  • AS002 Home Economics with Religious Education – Second Level Teaching
  • AS003 Home Economics with Irish – Second Level Teaching
  • AS004 Home Economics with Economics – Second Level Teaching

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