Entry Points (2020)

Course Overview

The Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) – Intellectual Disability, is a four year degree pre-registration course focusing on the theory and practice of Intellectual Disability Nursing to support people throughout the life span.

On completion of the course graduates will be eligible to register as an Intellectual Disability Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of ireland (NMBI)/An Bord Altranais having obtained an honours degree awarded by NUI Galway.  The course is offered in conjunction with Health Service Executive organisations and groups in the Western region. 

The aim of the BNSc ID course is to prepare practitioners as analytical, reflective and independent thinkers who will practice as competent, accountable, registered nurses who support inclusive and fulfilling lives for people with an intellectual disability.

What is Intellectual Disability Nursing?
Intellectual disability nursing is based on the principles of human rights, equality, person-centredness and empowerment. These principles underpin the achievement of autonomy, active participation, inclusivity for the person and the delivery of quality life, health and social care. Registered Nurses Intellectual Disability (RNID) collaborate with the person with intellectual disability, their family, advocates and members of the multi-professional and multi-agency teams to enable the person with to live within their community. RNIDs develop the requisite values, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviours to facilitate and empower people with intellectual disability to exercise their human rights, make informed decisions and engage in their communities.

* Not all on this points score were offered places

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

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* and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.
*Laboratory Science subjects include: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics/Chemistry or Agricultural Science.

Applying as a Mature Applicant:

If you are over 23 by the January of the year of application, you are eligible to apply as a mature student. Mature applicants who wish to apply for our BNSc courses must register and apply to sit an assessment test conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS). Applicants must register and apply for the test between 3 February and 21 February 2020 at 3.00pm. To register and apply with PAS you should have to hand your CAO application number (if you have one), a valid email address and your Personal Public Service (PPS) number (if you have one).
For futher information see the NMBI website.

Additional Requirements

Students must satisfy Garda/police vetting and medical clearance requirements.

Four Years

Next start date

Autumn 2021

A Level Grades (2020)

See www.nuigalway.ie/alevels

Average intake


Closing Date

Please see Important CAO Dates.

NFQ level

Level 8

Mode of study

Classroom based.

ECTS weighting


Bachelor of Nursing Science (Intellectual Disability)



Course code

Course Outline

This BNSc Intellectual Disability course is four calendar years in duration.  The practice of nursing is at the heart of the course.  Each year of study of the course is divided into two semesters; (September-December & January-May) and within each semester students will study on average four modules.  Modules are both theory and practice based.  Two thirds of the theory component of the course is devoted to nursing subjects, one sixth to science subjects and one sixth to the social sciences.  In order to meet a variety of learning styles, various methods of teaching are used such as lectures, seminars, group work, role play, workshops and practical skills training.  The learning is assessed through essays; exams; posters; group presentations and by observing students completing nursing skills.

Eight core themes are covered over the four years of the course including:

• Biological and Social Sciences
• Research
• The Profession of Nursing
• Health Promotion
• Leadership and Team Working
• Intellectual Disability Nursing Studies across the Lifespan
• Intellectual Disability Nursing Practice across the Lifespan
• Communication, Life and Social Skills Development

Semester 2 of Year Four includes:
• Practice Internship (36 weeks)

Further Education

Many BNSc graduates choose to undertake further study in order to enhance their nursing practice and career opportunities. We offer a number of Postgraduate options which include:

  • MHSc (Nursing/Professional Studies)
  • MHSc (International Healthcare Management)
  • PDip in Health Sciences (Nursing/Professional Studies)
  • MHSc/PDip/PCert in Disability Studies
  • PDip/PCert in Applied Health and Wellness Coaching
  • Professional Development Standalone Modules

Further details of these Postgraduate opportunities can be seen HERE

Nationwide there are a host of programmes that nursing graduates can pursue after attaining an initial degree.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This course provides students with an academic and professional qualification that allows graduates to travel anywhere in the world and make a difference to the lives of people with intellectual disability. Graduates can decide to work with individuals and groups with intellectual disabilities in the community or to work with families and other professionals. Intellectual disability nurses also gain employment in schools, respite services and supported employment agencies. Graduate nurses often decide after they have gained some initial experience as an RNID to specialise and work with persons who have particular challenges such as complex needs, autism spectrum disorders, behaviour or mental health challenges. Many RNIDs also chose to enter careers in research, teaching, or management.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

In each semester students will undertake at least one practice module whereby time will be spent in intellectual disability services, schools learning how to support persons with an intellectual disability in their lives. Students spend over half of the course working in various areas where persons with an intellectual disability live, are educated, work and socialise. In the final year students are working with persons with an intellectual disability in all of the settings outlined above from January to September.

Study Abroad

St. Angela's College can offer Erasmus+ opportunities to BNSc students. Please contact your Year Leader and the International Office for further information.

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,181 p.a. 2021/2022 (Total Amount)

Fees: Tuition

€4,106 p.a. 2021/2022

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2021/2022

Fees: Student levy

€75 p.a. 2021/2022

Fees: Non EU

€12,318 p.a. 2021/2022


Secure online fee payments can be made HERE

Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government if you qualify for the Free Fees Initiative

Student Contribution: may be aided by the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant. 
For more, visit www.susi.ie


Find out More

Admissions Officer

Sinéad O’Doherty
T: +353(0)71 9135640
E: admissions@stangelas.nuigalway.ie


                           What Our Students Say


Darielle Brady |   BNSc Intellectual Disability Nursing

This BNSc provided me with the opportunity to expand on the theoretical knowledge gained from lecturers, many of whom had worked in the field of intellectual disability nursing, and apply it to all practical placements experienced over the four years.