Course Overview

This postgraduate qualification equips students with the knowledge and skills required to make meaningful contributions to cardiac rehabilitation practice. This course includes disease-specific theory and practice components together with a strong focus on research, integrated care approaches, and evidence-informed innovation in rehabilitative service delivery. Whilst the main focus is cardiovascular and pulmonary disease prevention and rehabilitation, key learning outcomes achieved apply to chronic disease management more widely.  

The course runs from January to May each year and is delivered online. Structured weekly directed study is coupled with a schedule of group-based lectures, tutorials, and interactive workshops. These group-based sessions are delivered in real-time via live sessions and are timetabled for Thursdays and Fridays (3 pm – 8 pm) with occasional Saturdays (10 am – 3 pm). After successful completion of this programme students can continue their education to the master's level and apply for MSc Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation or MSc Preventive Cardiology.  

Unique features of this programme include: 

  • Flexible learning: Online delivery using scheduled tutorials and workshops coupled with directed study enables students to simultaneously maintain professional roles in clinical practice or manage other commitments whilst completing their studies.  
  • Delivered in partnership with theNational Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC):This partnership enables an exceptional opportunity for students to interact with leading experts as well as engage in cutting-edge research and further opportunities in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. 
  • Interdisciplinary expert teaching faculty: Students froma variety of backgrounds from all over the world interact withinternational leaders and clinical specialists from medicine, nursing, nutrition, exercise, behavioural medicine, and public health. 


The course addresses the latest evidence-based, implementation of best-practice guidelines and healthcare policy, behavioural change strategies, lifestyle approaches to risk factor modification, psychosocial health, and medical management of risk factors including hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and smoking. Outcome measures, health technology, and innovation in service design also feature strongly to enable programme uptake and high-quality delivery.  Whilst focusing on cardiovascular and pulmonary populations the content aligns strongly with the management of non-communicable diseases. 

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

This course is delivered by an interdisciplinary teaching faculty of leading experts and clinical specialists in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. The Programme Board comprises of: 
Dr Jennifer Jones 

Programme Director and Specialist Physiotherapist in Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 

Professor Catriona Jennings 

Nurse Specialist and Senior Researcher, University of Galway 

Professor Molly Byrne  

Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Psychology, University of Galway 

Dr Lisa Hynes 

Health Psychologist and Head of Health Programmes, Croí Heart and Stroke Centre 

Dr Susan Connolly 

Consultant Cardiologist, Clinical Lead in Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 

Ms Suzanne Seery  

Senior Specialist Dietitian in Cardiovascular Health 

Ms Karen Cradock 

Specialist Physiotherapist in Cardiac Rehabilitation; Past President of the Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation 

Ms Wendy Yell  

Specialist Occupational Therapist in Cardiac Rehabilitation 

Professor Robyn Gallagher  

Expert in Digital Health and Current President of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 

Ms Noeleen Fallon 

Specialist Nurse in Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, Past President of the Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (IACR) 

Dr Yvonne Finn 

Lecturer in Clinical Medicine, University of Galway 

Professor Derek O’Keeffe 

Consultant Endocrinologist and Expert in Diabetes and Technology & Innovation 

Prof Francis Finucane 

Consultant Endocrinologist, UHG and Specialist Lead for Endocrinology, Saolta Group 

Dr Jennifer Jones
B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD
Senior Lecturer
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Dr Yvonne Finn
MB, BCh, BAO, BSC, MSc (Health Sc) MRCPI
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Prof Bill McEvoy
B.Med.Sc., M.B. B.Ch. BAO, M.H.S., M.Ed
Professor of Preventive Cardiology
Twitter Handle: @johnwmcevoy
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Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will possess at least a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 degree (or equivalent) in a health care discipline or related subject area (e.g., medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, dietetics, sport and exercise science, clinical or health psychology, pharmacy, health promotion, public health etc). For those who do not hold a primary degree at the required level, consideration will also be given to applicants with relevant work experience, background knowledge and skills.  

Overseas students will need to satisfy the University’s English Language requirement of IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent). 

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


5 months, part-time

Next start date

January 2024 | January 2025

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

For Entry January 2025, closing date = 9 December 2024 

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

The Postgraduate Certificate in Cardiac Rehabilitation involves students participating in a 30 ECTS Level 9 module that runs from the first week of January to the end of May each year. This core teaching is delivered with scheduled virtual tutorials and workshops taking place typically 1-2 Thursday/Friday evenings (3 pm -8 pm) and 1 Saturday per month (10 am – 3 pm). Between these sessions students are expected to complete directed study tasks, extended learning and complete the assessments associated with this module. 

  • Unit 1: Evidence, Guidelines and Practice of Cardiac Rehabilitation 
  • Unit 2: Health Behaviour Change  
  • Unit 3: Lifestyle and Medical Risk Factor Management in Cardiac Rehabilitation 
  • Unit 4: Current Perspectives and Future Advances in Cardiac Rehabilitation 


Each Unit above has an associated assessment which is all in the form of essays or equivalent, e.g., written assignments, poster presentations, and case reviews. There are no exams—coursework accounts for 100% of the assessment. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There is an array of employment opportunities in public health, health promotion, healthcare management, academic and research settings, and the pharmaceutical industry. Graduates of the course with a clinical background will also specifically benefit from career advancement in the speciality of cardiac rehabilitation as well as cardiovascular health more broadly. 

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,070 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€70 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€6,000 p.a. (€6,070 including levy) 2024/25

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2024/25).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  A P1 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €70.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

Programme Director: 
Dr Jennifer Jones  
Senior Lecturer in Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Health, 
College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, 
University of Galway 
Director of Education and Training, 
National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC). 
T: +353 91 893 299  


What Our Graduates Say


Ruth Coleman |   Senior Physiotherapist, Department of Health

I decided to undertake the Cert to ensure that clinically I was working to the highest standards of evidence available and that our service was optimised to ensure our patients met their goals also. While it was challenging to get back into the domain of research and online education, I really enjoyed the course and felt that we received a broad spectrum of knowledge and experiences while also meeting my objectives. I look forward to bringing in changes to how I work with the confidence the course has provided me with and am happy to recommend it to all professionals working or hoping to work in the area.

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Other programmes also offered within this suite of courses in Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Health include:

MSc Preventive Cardiology

MSc Obesity 

MSc (Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation)

MSc Diabetes

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