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Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care is an important public health issue. As a clinical practice it addresses the suffering, dignity, care needs, and quality of life of people with serious life limiting illness. It provides care and support to their families and friends during the time of illness to manage complex symptoms and decision-making and after death occurs, provides bereavement support. Education and training are essential to prepare the palliative care practitioners of the future.

The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary programme designed to enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with life limiting illness. The programme will enable you to become a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team providing palliative care and further enhance the care provided to patients in your current area of practice who have a range of complex symptoms that need impeccable assessment and management.

Programme aims
The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care course aims to build upon and advance the repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values, in order to promote competence and confidence in the practitioner’s work. The course aims to prepare individuals to enhance the care provided to patients and their families facing physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems associated with life limiting illness.

What will I learn?
The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care programme is aimed at advancing the health professionals' repertoire of knowledge and skills for palliative care of people who have life limiting illness within a variety of care settings and contexts.

How will I benefit?
On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The programme is recognised nationally and is a highly regarded qualification for health care professionals caring for patients with life limiting illness who require palliative care.

Programme structure
This is a one (academic) year programme, broken down into two semesters. Assessments are varied (assignments/ MCQ/case studies) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the semesters.

Entry requirements

Specific requirements:
• All applicants must have a minimum of two years post-registration experience

• Applicants must have exposure to either Level 2 or Level 3 Palliative Care, as indicated in the Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care (2001), for the duration of the course for a minimum of 75 hours per month.

• Non-clinicians need to demonstrate the application of their discipline to palliative care practice

• Ability to demonstrate an understanding of research in practice is desirable

• Evidence of recent study is desirable

General Requirements:
• Have a Graduate Diploma/Masters Degree (NQAI Level 9) in a health related discipline

• Nurse applicants must be registered on the live register maintained by An Bord Altranais

• Other health care professionals must be registered with a recognised professional body


• Original transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant
• Nurse applicants: A current photocopy of An Bord Altranais registration
• Other health care professionals: A current photocopy of registration with professional registration body
• Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport
• Signed Declaration Form from Employer (original form)
• Completed Professional Reference Form (original form)
• Nurse applicants: Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee
• Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)


1 year part-time.

Careers or further progression

Careers/where can I go?
The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care will provide you with knowledge and skills required for caring for patients with life limiting illness who require palliative care.

Further enquiries

General Enquiries:
Nicola Berry
Senior Executive Assistant
B105, UCD Health Sciences Centre
Tel: +353 1 716 6409

Academic Enquiries:
Dr Michael Connolly
B322, UCD Health Sciences Centre
Tel: +353 1 716 6404


Who is the programme for?
This course is aimed at advancing the health care professionals' repertoire of knowledge and skills for professional practice in the care of persons with life limiting illness.

Teaching methods
• All modules are offered using a Blended Learning Approach utilising a range of teaching methods including lectures, workshops and seminars are used

• Learning is facilitated by a multidisciplinary teaching team with particular emphasis on assisting students in applying theory to practice

Application date

How to apply
Applications are made online through UCD Applications.​ Applicants may be required to undertake an interview (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: September 2017.

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.

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