Palliative and End of Life Care - Mayo

This programme provides for those who wish to develop competence in caring for persons and their families requiring palliative and end of life care. The suite of modules are designed for all professionals who are working in areas that cater for persons with palliative and/or end of life care needs.

Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from all professionals such as; doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, health care assistants, receptionists, therapists, psychologists, social workers, managers and support staff. Applicants do not have to work in a specialist palliative care area to apply.

Programme Content and Design
The programme is designed around four key themes:

1.Towards improved interdisciplinary professional understandings, principles and innovations in palliative and end of life care.

2. Improving person centred care within the context of palliative and end of life care.

3. Developing a systematic approach to enhancing the comfort and quality of palliative and end of life care.

4. Developing professional and ethical practice in the context of palliative and end of life care.

Additional Information

Practice Focus
A key feature of the programme is the strong focus on 'real practice' for the purposes of skill development, assessment and confidence building. This will enhance understanding of the palliative care focus and approach to person care.

Lecture Structure
Lectures consist of discussion groups, presentations, debates. Guest lectures from practice experts is a key feature of this programme.

On-line Teaching
Much of this programme is completed on line. Lecture notes and
reading material are provided. Blogs and discussion groups occur
online which is very flexible for adult learners.

How often do I have to attend college for lectures?
This programme is specifically designed for busy professionals who cannot commit to weekly college attendance. Instead you attend college on four residential weekends in semester one and semester two only. This involves lectures all day on Friday and until 1pm on Saturday in GMIT Mayo. B&B for the residential weekend is provided.

• Certificate in Science (Cert) in Palliative and End of Life Care

• Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PgDip) in Palliative and End of Life Care

• Master of Science (MSc) in Palliative and End of Life Care.

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for undertaking this programme are:

• Honours Degree (H2.2) in any health or social care discipline or
recognised cognate professional qualification.

• A minimum of one year's experience in delivering a palliative care approach within practice within the last two years.

• Be employed for the duration of the course in an area where the principles of palliative care are operationalized when caring for individuals with life threatening illness and their families. An example of such may be; Acute Hospitals, community hospitals, care homes, private practice, hospice and community health centers.

• Applicants other than nurses, must be employed in a practice area which allows interaction with patients who have palliative/end of life care needs and, where appropriate, be registered with their respective professional body.

Additional Entry requirements Specific to Nurses

• Current registration on the appropriate division of the Nursing
and Midwifery Board of Ireland live register;

• Currently working a minimum of 78 hours per month.

• Be employed in a clinical area that is approved by the course team.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Applicants may use RPL as a means of accessing the programme. They can also use RPL to gain exemptions. RPL can either be certified or experiential. GMIT will assess individual applicants on a case-by-case basis, in line with the RPL policy.

Subjects taught

Year 1

Semester 1 - Cert in Science in Palliative and End of Life Care

Principles of palliative and end of life care

Psychosocial, ethical and spiritual care

Effective symptom management in life limiting conditions or reflective practice or End of life care for the person with dementia

Semester 2
Bereavement and loss

Applied research: theory

Clinical practice placement (for registered nurses only) or Creative arts in palliative care

Year 1 (Semester 1&2) - PG Dip in Science in Palliative and End of Life Care

Year 2

Year 2 - MSc in Palliative and End of Life Care


90 credits in total:

• Cert: 30 credits Year 1 Semester 1 (13 weeks)

• PgDip: 60 credits Year 1 Semester 1 (30 credits) & Semester 2 (30 credits)

• MSc: 90 credits Year 1 (60 credits) & Year 2 (30 credits)


2 years

Flexible learning/ blended delivery

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Having completed this programme graduates will have developed enhanced contextual, cultural and professional insights into palliative and end of life care and will be equipped with a set of skills that will have a direct impact in the quality of care offered to persons and families in need of palliative and end of life care in your work area. These roles vary across the spectrum of health and social care. Graduates of this programme will advance their career prospects in terms of promotion eligibility and post-graduate training. This may be in areas of management, practice development and/or specialist clinical areas such as palliative care.

On completion of the programme registered nurses who meet the criteria may be eligible to apply for clinical nurse specialist in palliative care.

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