Palliative Care

University College Cork

Palliative Care

Course Outline
Our Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care is the first of three courses providing postgraduate training in Palliative Care at UCC. The suite of courses comprises a blended learning, interdisciplinary Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and MSc in Palliative Care.

The Palliative Care programme at UCC is an innovative collaboration between clinicians at the world-class Marymount University Hospital & Hospice and UCC. It aims to provide students with a flexible educational experience and offers a number of elective module choices to allow each student to tailor the course to their own learning needs, work setting, and role.

The programme aims to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care to people with palliative care needs and their families. Course content includes practical information on holistic symptom assessment and management, a strong focus on communication, leadership, ethical approaches and interdisciplinary teamwork, decision-making and care planning, translation of evidence to clinical practice, and reflection on legislative, policy and societal influences on palliative care across health and social care settings. The impact and benefit of palliative care for patients with both cancer and non-cancer diagnoses is also included.

All students register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care in the first instance. On successful completion of the Certificate, you will be eligible to progress to the Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Care in the following year. You can progress to the MSc Palliative Care course after successful completion of the Diploma.

In addition, we believe that many established professionals from multiple disciplines will benefit from this suite of courses as part of their Continued Professional Development (CPD) including the Marymount University Hospital & Hospice Palliative Care programmes.

Subjects taught

Year 1 - Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care (NFQ Level 9, Minor Award) (30 credits)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care is a part-time, blended learning programme that runs over one academic year (nine months) from the date of first registration. There is no work placement element to the Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care.

Students take taught modules to the value of 30 credits over 9 months.

Core Modules (20 credits)
IP6007 Philosophy, Development and Principles of Palliative Care (10 credits)
IP6008 Interprofessional Approaches to Pain and Symptoms in Palliative Care (10 credits)

Elective Modules (Choose 10 credits)*
IP6009 Psychosocial and Spiritual Aspects of Palliative Care (5 credits)
MH6032 Effective Communication in Healthcare (5 credits)
IP6013 Pharmacotherapeutics in Palliative Care (5 credits)
IP6010 Care of the Dying Patient , Grief and Bereavement(10 credits)
EH6157 Qualitative Research in Public Health (5 credits)
NU6053 Professional, Ethical and Legal Decision-making in Specialist Practice (5 credits)
MH6016** Advance Care Planning (5 credits)
CG6016 ** Advanced Issues in Dementia Care (10 credits)

*In consultation with the programme director, students may take up to a maximum of 10 credits in elective modules in lieu of 10 credits listed above, relevant to palliative care from other programmes in UCC, in related disciplines. Such electives will be approved on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the permission of the relevant department and module coordinator, timetabling and workload considerations.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the PG Cert must have a Primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent qualification in an appropriate healthcare profession* to be approved by the programme team.
In some circumstances, applicants who do not meet these requirements, by virtue of their training and experience may, at the discretion of the programme team, be deemed suitable for entry to the programme. Such candidates may be requested to undergo an interview.

*A relevant healthcare profession includes but is not limited to medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and hearing science, psychology, social science, pastoral care, and art therapy.

Following successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care, and subject to the approval of the programme team, a student may progress to the Postgraduate Diploma. Following successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Care, and subject to the approval of the programme team, a student may progress to the MSc, with exemptions granted for modules already taken in the Postgraduate Certificate and the Postgraduate Diploma within the previous 5 years. This does not require a new application by the student.

Garda/police clearance is required for registration for the Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Care.

Recognition of Prior Learning
In accordance with UCC’s policy on Recognition of Prior Learning, a student who has successfully completed modules for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) within the MSc in Palliative Care programme, and/or has completed relevant university postgraduate modules in a cognate area at a similar NFQ level (subject to the approval of the Programme Team), and who meets the entry requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care, can apply to register for the Postgraduate Certificate. On completion of the PG Cert, you can progress to the Postgraduate Diploma, and subsequently the MSc in Palliative Care, with exemptions granted for modules taken within the previous five years. This will require an application by the student.

Application dates

Closing Date Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.


9 months part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 9 September 2024

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
In today’s competitive workforce, higher professional qualifications are an essential part of continuous professional development and career advancement.

The Postgraduate Certificate supports students from a range of professional backgrounds in developing knowledge, skills and competencies to assist them in delivering palliative care to patients and their families at a generalist level.

The Postgraduate Diploma supports students to take on the delivery of palliative care at the specialist level and leadership roles in palliative care.

The MSc provides the knowledge and skills required to critically evaluate the available evidence and develop and undertake research in palliative care and is particularly suitable for those who want to assume a management and leadership position in the delivery of palliative care.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Minor Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider