Palliative & End of Life Care

ATU - Mayo Campus

Palliative & End of Life Care

In ATU Mayo our commitment to postgraduate palliative care education is founded on the intention of advancing the quality of life of people and their families experiencing life threatening illness, through continuing education of professionals employed in or wishing to advance their career in this area.

Our suite of postgraduate palliative and end of life education programmes consist of three strands (Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science) that provide for educational training and education for professionals at ATU-Mayo. This suite of programmes was developed in consultation with clinical experts in palliative and end of life care both nationally and internationally. We provide a flexible learning environment.

Since first launched in 2019, this programme has proved extremely popular with practitioners and service providers and has been fully subscribed each year. Our programme team continually strive to maintain a practice-based approach incorporating current research and professional development requirements in our teaching and learning. Our programme content is informed by the WHO Guidelines for Palliative Care (2016) and the Palliative Care Competence Framework (HSE, 2014). We work very closely with our clinical expert partners in acute care and hospice care. Our lecturing staff include clinical experts in the palliative care field. The programme delivery includes guest lectures and practical workshops delivered by clinical specialists in the area. The teaching and learning frequently draw from clinical practice scenarios and assessments are applied in nature.

Our programmes use a blended online flexible approach with residential workshops (Thursday pm and Friday 9am-6pm) every 3-4 weeks (4 times in semester 1 and 4 times in semester 2). The additional teaching and learning are online via tutorials, discussion groups and Moodle. The cost of overnight accommodation for the residential sessions and the core reference books are included in the fees.

Master of Science in Palliative Care
This is a recently developed 90 credit taught master's programme designed for professionals working in areas that cater for people in palliative and/or end of life care. We are now accepting applications for the September 2023.

This programme offers Standalone Modules; this gives the student the opportunity to study a module of particular interest at Level 9 without undertaking the full programme.

This programme comprises of blended online interactive learning and residential sessions and is adapted for flexible learning. The programme is two years in duration. Entry to this programme is via the postgraduate diploma in palliative care pathway. It involves undertaking an applied research project.

Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from all professionals such as:
Social workers
Occupational therapists
Speech therapists
Health care assistants
Social workers
Support sta?

Applicants do not have to work in a specialist palliative care area to apply.

Additional Information
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.

Programme Pathways
All students are invited to choose electives* relevant to their practice area. The suite of electives provides for this choice thus respecting the diversity of palliative and end of life care environments.

There are module choice requirements specific to medical and nursing professionals undertaking the programme.

There are also Clinical Nurse Specialist career pathways offered as part of this programme.

*Not all electives may run.

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

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

Online Teaching
Much of this programme is completed online. 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. (In light of COVID-19, this may change).

Work placement: Included

Subjects taught

Year 1
Principles of Palliative and End of Life Care 10 credits
Psychosocial, Ethical and Spiritual Care 10 credits
Effective Symptom Management in Life Limiting Conditions 10 credits
Reflective Practice 10 credits
End of Life Care for the Person with Dementia 10 credits
Applied Research 10 credits
Bereavement and Loss 10 credits
Clinical Practice Placement 10 credits
Creative Arts in Palliative Care 10 credits

*Exit Award option available.

Year 2
Dissertation 30 credits

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for undertaking this programme are:
• Honours Degree (H2.2) in any health or social care discipline or recognised cognate professional quali?cation.

• 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 NMBI.

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. RPL application is via the website.

For Registered Nurses Only
An additional checklist needs to be completed by the applicant's Director of Nursing.

This checklist relates to mentoring support within the practice placement module and organisation support for the applicant.

****It is an essential requirement that this checklist is completed.

Application dates

Postgraduate Applications

Details on how to apply for Postgraduate Courses at ATU

Applications for programmes commencing in September 2023 are NOW OPEN.

Click on "Application Weblink" below.

If you have any queries or need any assistance applying for a postgraduate course please contact our Graduate Studies and Professional Development (GSPD) team who will guide you through the process.

Email: and reference the course you're interested in applying for in your message.

Are you an international student? Please contact the International Office for more information:
Tel: +353 (0)91 74 2149/2211


Mode of Study: Part Time
Method of Delivery: Blended

Post Course Info

Job 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 o?ered 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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime,Weekend

  • Apply to

    Course provider