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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Intellectual Disability)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Intellectual Disability)
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

CAO points history:
Course code:
4 Years

† Indicates that students admitted to the programme are required to undergo a Garda Vetting process.
Course leader:
Dr Ruth Ryan
Email: Tel:
00 353 (0)61 234216
Tel: 00 353 61 202015

If you are an individual who enjoys working with people who seek to understand how humanistic, legalistic, psychological and sociological factors, which impact health and wellbeing of people with intellectual disability and their families, and respond accordingly, then this programme may be for you.

Why Study Intellectual Disability Nursing at UL?

The BSc. Nursing (Intellectual Disability) full-time four year degree programme is offered by the Department of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Limerick in conjunction with the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland has approved the BSc Nursing (Intellectual Disability) programme.  The theoretical component of the programme offers the diversity of a small class size for discipline specific modules and large class size for modules shared with other nursing and midwifery disciplines.  Clinical Skill Laboratory/Tutorial sessions compliment many classroom lectures. Additionally, throughout the four years of the programme a wide range of practice placement experiences are incorporated including early intervention, day-service, residential, respite and community settings. On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to present for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and practice as a Registered Nurse Intellectual Disability (RNID).

The BSc. Nursing (Intellectual Disability) is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to become an analytical and reflective practitioner, capable of providing compassionate, caring and committed approaches to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The programme based on a philosophy of inclusion, empowerment and valuing people, enables the integration of humanistic, scientific and research based principles to enhance your knowledge and understanding of physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual needs of persons with intellectual disabilities.

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What you will study

The programme is offered full time over four years.The curriculum encompasses the development of theory and practice simultaneously, with the programme structured as follows:

  • 63 weeks Theory (minimum)
  • 45 weeks un-rostered clinical placement
  • 36 weeks internship.

Nursing is a demanding profession both physically and emotionally. Successful applicants must be of good health and have the ability to achieve the required competencies of a nurse. Offers of places on the nursing programmes are subject to satisfactory completion of a health declaration/medical assessment and vaccination programme.

NM4131 Shared Module:
Promoting Safety within a
Healthcare Context
NM4171 Practice Placement 1  
NS4121 Shared Module:
Foundations for Engaged Learning
NM4092 Shared Module:
Introduction to Health and Health Promotion
NM4241 Understanding Intellectual Disability NM4252 Introduction to Support Strategies across the Lifespan  
NM4251 Sphere and Practice of the RNID NM4152 Shared Module:
Biological Sciences applied to
Nursing & Midwifery 2
NM4151 Shared Module:
Biological Sciences applied to
Nursing & Midwifery 1
PS4062 Shared Module:
Introduction to Psychology applied to Nursing and Midwifery
NM4161 Shared Module:
Communication and Interpersonal Relationships in Nursing & Midwifery
NM4172 Practice Placement 2 NM4193 Practice Placement 3  
NM4103 Intellectual Disability Early Childhood Nursing NM4134 Intellectual Disability Adult Nursing  
NM4263 Intellectual Disability Adolescent Nursing NM4144 Intellectual Disability Older Adult Nursing  
NM4173 Shared Module:
Biological Sciences applied to
Nursing & Midwifery 3
NM4243 Shared Module:
Nursing Individuals living with Long Term Conditions
NM4183 Shared Module:
Principles of Infection Prevention & Control for Nurses and Midwives
NM4104 Shared Module:
Law and Ethics for Nursing and
Midwifery Practice
NM4022 Shared Module:
Pharmacology for Nurses and
S04014 Shared Module
Sociology of Health and Illness for Nursing and Midwifery
    NM4115 Practice Placement 4  
NM4125 Practice Placement 5 NM4076 Shared Module:
Nursing in Primary and Community Settings
    NM4086 Shared Module:
Research and Evidence in
    NM4036 Meeting and Supporting the Person with Intellectual Disability and
Complex Needs
    NM4046 Supporting the Person with Intellectual Disability in Challenging Behavioral or Mental Health Situations  
    NM4116 Shared Module:
Transition towards a Competent
NM4126 Practice Placement 6 NM4097 Practice Placement 7  
NM4067 Shared Module:
Practice Research Project
NM4008 Practice Placement 8  
NM4077 Shared Module :
Leading and Managing in Quality Practice
NM4137 Envisioning the Future Role and Practice of the RNID      


Entry requirements

CAO points history 420
Minimum grades

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Enquiries about the methods of evaluation of results of examinations and qualifications other than the Republic of Ireland Leaving Certificate Examination should be addressed to the Admissions Office of UL.

Subject requirements

In addition applicants must hold an O6/H7 grade in one of the following Laboratory Science subjects: Biology; Physics, Chemistry; Physics and Chemistry; or Agricultural Science.

Additional considerations

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.

Mature Students

Applicants who wish to be considered for a place on the grounds of mature years must satisfy Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann as to their suitability by means of an assessment test. Mature applicants should be 23 years old on or before January 1st of the year of enrolment. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Application information for mature student applicants (PDF)

In addition to the CAO application, mature applicants must also register for an assessment test with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. Mature applicants may also be considered on the basis of educational qualifications. Such applicants should also consult the booklet: Nursing and Midwifery A Career for You, published by the Nursing Careers Centre, An Bord Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais na hÉireann Tel +353 (0)1 6398500 Website:

Non-EU Entry Requirements

How to apply

Where are you applying from? How to Apply
Ireland Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here. 
The UK  Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website. 
The EU EU Students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.


Fees & funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Centre Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA paysTuition Fees€4,106
SUSI paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA paysTuition Fees€4,106
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student paysTuition Fees€4,106
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Non-EU Students

Student paysTuition Fees€24,627
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Student course fees are comprised of three components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The curent student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Centre Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Centre Levy of €90. Please note the Student Centre Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website


These scholarships are available for this course

Title Award Scholarships available
Edith and Leslie Downer Entrance Scholarship

These scholarships are available for all courses

Title Award Scholarships available
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Programme
Individual Award - a bursary to the value of €2000. Team Project Grant - €1750
1 of each
Plassey Campus Centre Scholarship Programme
All Ireland Scholarships - sponsored by J.P. McManus
Higher Education Grants & VEC Grants
Financial Aid Fund
Elaine Fagan Scholarship
Stuart Mangan Scholarship
Provincial GAA Bursaries Scheme
The Michael Hillery and Jacinta O’Brien Athletics Scholarship
Various benefits equating to over €7,000 in value
Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship
UL Sports Scholarships
Varies depending on level of Scholarship
Cooperative Education Award
1 medal per faculty
UL 40 Entrance Scholarship

Your future career

Employability skills from this degree


  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Empathy
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Leadership
  • Determination and tenacity
  • Conducting research
  • Utilising research and evidence-based practice
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Collaboration
  • Working in partnership with different disciplines
  • Teamwork
  • Compassion
  • Professional responsibility and accountability

The year after graduating with this degree

The University of Limerick Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) is a detailed review of the employment outcomes of UL graduates conducted annually by the University and supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The survey forms part of a nationwide review of the employment outcomes of Irish University Graduates. The table below illustrates a five-year trend for UL graduate employment levels and location the year after graduation.

Employed in Ireland Employed abroad Further study Not available Seeking employment No. of responses Total no. of graduates Year
100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 15 18 2014
89% 5% 5% 0% 0% 19 23 2015
80% 0% 10% 0% 10% 10 15 2016
100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 9 16 2017
91% 0% 9% 0% 0% 11 16 2018

Further Study Options

  • Postgrad Dip in Nursing
  • Nursing (Conversion to Adult)

Job titles of graduates with this degree

Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:

  • Autism Nurse
  • Disability Nurse
  • Care Nurse
  • Home Help Carer
  • Geriatric Nurse
  • Social Care Worker
  • Community Nurse

Student Profile

Thomas Dawson
This course interested me because there’s a good mix between theory/college work and practical work in the clinical labs, and in the amount of placement time spent working in hospitals and care centres. Placements were a huge benefit to me as everything you learn in lectures and from textbooks make more sense when you see it and do it for real.

The course is very enjoyable and you’ll meet new friends and colleagues out in the work place. I enjoyed working with people with an intellectual disability and making a difference in their lives, no matter how small. This course at UL equipped me with the knowledge and skills to do that.