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Palliative Care

The MSc Palliative Care programme is an interdisciplinary programme designed to enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with life limiting illness. Possessing this enhanced level of expertise 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 objectives
• To create an interdisciplinary learning environment in which students are encouraged to critically reflect on, evaluate and implement where possible, evidence-based practice to the enhancement of palliative care practice, research, and policy

• To develop academic and clinical leaders who embody the values, principles and philosophy of palliative care for the future progression of contemporary health care in Ireland

• To promote innovation in inter-disciplinary learning, translation of theory into practice and enhancement of palliative care for patients, their families, the wider healthcare team and society.

Programme structure
This is a one (academic) year programme, broken down into two semesters. Assessments are varied (assignments and completion of a Dissertation).

You will complete two modules in total (additional 30 credits added to Grad Dip):
• NMHS42660 Advanced Research Methods Applied to Healthcare (Semester 1)

• NMHS43320 Dissertation (Semester 1 & 2)

Entry requirements

Applicants must have completed the Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care or equivalent (NQAI Level 9).

• Academic Transcripts including date and grading of Degree award (non UCD only)

• Nurse applicants must provide copy of current registration and Pin with An Bord Altranais

• Other healthcare professionals must provide copy of registration with a recognised professional body

• Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Pages of Passport (non UCD only)

• Professional Reference Form

• 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 Master of Science Palliative Care will enhance your research knowledge and skills in the context of 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 builds on the healthcare professionals' repertoire of knowledge and skills for professional practice in the care of persons with life limiting illness. The programme is aimed at health professionals who have completed a Graduate Diploma (Level 9) in Palliative Care.

How will I benefit?
On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Master of Science in Palliative Care from the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems.

What will I learn?
The Master of Science Palliative Care programme is aimed at advancing the health professionals' repertoire of knowledge and skills for palliative care practice.

Programme strengths
Particular strengths of the programme include:
• Strong working relationship between UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems and clinical partners in Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross

• A long history of producing high quality graduates (over 200 to date) many of whom are now working in CNS/Clinical/Educational Facilitator and CNM roles

• Clinical and university-based lecturers (multidisciplinary teaching team) with national and international expertise from clinical, research and educational perspectives

• Modularised programme with some modules being taught using a blended approach

• Clinical Placements in a variety of palliative care settings which enable students to learn from leading experts in oncology

• Extensive use of IT in supporting the teaching environment of the programme

• Access to excellent facilities for lectures

• Flexibility to pursue the programme over a longer period of time

• Access to applicants who have not had the opportunity to pursue third level education before (RPL Recognition of Prior Learning)

Teaching methods
A range of teaching methods including lectures, workshops and seminars are used.

Information technology
It is essential that you have access to a personal computer and an email account as communication with students is primarily undertaken by email.
Lecture handouts/announcements are made available to students via Blackboard (a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that supports online learning and teaching) and/or via email. Messages from the university regarding examination policy and procedures are also sent via email. The Master of Science Palliative Care enables students to gain a broad and deep understanding of subjects relevant to caring for patients with life limiting illness who require impeccable assessment and management of complex symptoms. Particular emphasis is placed on recent national and international research findings and/or evidence-based guidelines and recommendations aimed at ensuring optimal outcomes for patients with cancer.

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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