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Short courses
Nursing & Health

Practical Palliative Care for Doctors in Training
University Certificate in Professional Development


Course overview

Palliative care is specified as a training need in some speciality curricula and has been incorporated into the National Service Frameworks for some chronic medical conditions. If you are a doctor in specialist training, this award provides you with the knowledge and skills to care for patients with advanced and incurable medical conditions.

As the award is predominately delivered via distance learning it allows you to study in your own environment, you are allocated to a mentor who is a palliative medicine consultant and provides guidance and support throughout the award. You attend 10 clinical sessions allowing you to work with palliative care teams in the hospital and community. This gives you an understanding of common problems and how these are managed, and how different teams in different settings collaborate.

Where you study

You study via distance learning with professional/practice placements.


Course details

What you study

You study topics relevant to palliative care such as:

  • communication skills and strategies for breaking bad news
  • the holistic nature of palliative care
  • management of pain and other symptoms
  • management of the last few days of life
  • practical use of syringe drivers
  • palliative care aspects of non-malignant disease
  • ethical decision making
  • palliative care emergencies and the
  • end of life pathway.

How you learn

The award is delivered by distance learning via Blackboard with tutorial support, there is also a 10 session clinical placement. You attend an induction evening in early September then a series of 10 weekly topics are delivered electronically via Blackboard, these include short formative assignments.

You complete a critical reflective diary during the clinical attachment and assessment is a 4,000 word case study reflecting on the management and care of a patient to illustrate your learning in practice and use of palliative care theory.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You must be a GMC registered doctor in specialist training.



2021/22 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: Distance learning via Blackboard and 10 clinical sessions
  • Start date: September
  • Level: Diploma
  • Credits: 20

Apply online