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Palliative Medicine and Palliative Care (Taught)

Cardiff University
3 years
Part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Online / Distance
27 September 2021

Program description

Palliative Medicine and Palliative Care (Taught)

The MSc in Palliative Medicine for Health Care Professionals provides high quality distance education for clinicians working with neonates, children and adults in many different settings in all parts of the world.

At the core of its design and delivery is the desire to improve patient outcomes wherever palliative care is practiced by its students and to enhance the quality of palliative care through research and quality improvement.

Using the palliative care approach as defined by the World Health Assembly in 2014 (WHO 2014) is an increasingly important imperative for health care professionals throughout the world in order to meet the palliative care needs of their populations. Although cancer as a burden of disease remains an issue globally, there are rising numbers of patients, including neonates and children, with palliative care needs from other conditions. These include learning disability, dementia, frailty and elderly people with multiple co-morbidities.

The vision of the course is to improve patient care by delivering accessible, effective education through which we aim to support health-care professionals to develop, share and extend their knowledge, understanding and application of evidence based medicine, best practice and governance frameworks in palliative care appropriate to their own professional settings.

The taught stages (years 1 and 2) cover the core understanding, frameworks, challenges and research evidence relevant to optimising and developing the practice of palliative medicine and palliative care. The MSc (year 3) provides the opportunity for students to identify an issue of importance in their own practice and carry out an evidence based project intended to contribute to knowledge and practice in palliative medicine and palliative care.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the academic year. The final modules will be published by September.

Admission requirements

Applicants will typically:

Be graduates in medicine or a profession allied to medicine (nursing, physiotherapy, occupation therapy, pharmacy and dentistry), or nurses with the RGN qualification.


Have current professional registration with the appropriate health professional regulatory body for their chosen health care profession prior to and for the full duration of the program.


Be currently working in a clinical role including caring for patients with palliative care needs and having gained at least 2 years’ post-qualification experience in this setting.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

  • Tuition fees for the UK and EU students: £4,850
  • Tution fees for the Students from outside the EU: £7,850


What skills will I practise and develop?

By fully engaging in this course, you will have the opportunity to develop a wealth of skills and abilities you can apply to any professional setting. In addition to greater conceptual understanding of current knowledge, issues and methods, you will have the opportunity to practise and develop abilities in critical analysis, in the application of evidence based medicine and in dealing with complex issues systematically and creatively. Your studies should also help you develop your problem-solving and decision-making abilities by enabling you to utilise evidence effectively and communicate important concepts to colleagues and others. Through any research focused elements you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in aspects such as literature review, critical evaluation and knowledge of research principles.

By fully engaging in the taught stages you should be able to:

  • Develop a systematic understanding of knowledge, core principles, frameworks in the field of palliative medicine and palliative care promoting well informed clinically efficient practice.
  • Critically appraise current thinking and evidence behind palliative care interventions
  • Work more effectively with other professionals and inter-professional team working to enhance the delivery of patient centred palliative care.
  • Develop a comprehensive approach to symptom management in inter-professional palliative care settings.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the complexities of palliative care in challenging situations in relation to legal and ethical issues, the wider health care team and wider community.
  • Critically assess and develop approaches to managing the last year of life, the last hours of life, death and bereavement.
  • Explore ways in which team working and leadership can impact on the delivery of palliative care.
  • Appraise different approaches to measuring, researching and improving the quality of palliative care.
  • Develop proposals for research projects demonstrating a sound understanding of research design, methodology and ethics.
  • Develop proposals for quality improvement projects demonstrating a sound understanding of appropriate design, methodology and ethics.

In addition to the learning outcomes to be achieved during the taught stages, by fully engaging in the MSc dissertation stage you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of specialised and/or complex area(s) of study, and an ability to relate these to their own professional context.
  • Complete a comprehensive project that demonstrates good practice in research / quality improvement and contributes to the development of the body of knowledge and/or clinical practice in the field.

Career opportunities

This program is suitable for those who wish to increase their knowledge of palliative medicine in order to help improve patient care.

This Masters program enables you to demonstrate you are taking the opportunity to develop your abilities in critical analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, finding and using evidence and in dealing with complex issues. Whilst we do not formally assess clinical skills or competencies in a face-to-face context (so the program is not a substitute for a formal specialty training program), studying at this level should help successful students demonstrate numerous academic skills that should be highly regarded in relation to their career development and progression. In particular, the program offers opportunities to demonstrate the development of knowledge and skills in relation to the application of evidence-based medicine and the potential enhancement of services and governance frameworks. As such, it should provide evidence of commitment and potential that may assist you in relation to taking on greater responsibilities or perhaps seeking management, research, scholarship, or leadership roles.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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