Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care

The Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary, part-time, online, modular course. It aims to ensure health and social care practitioners can contribute to the quality of life of patients and their families through knowledgeable practice. It is delivered in partnership with St Columba’s Hospice Care, offering access to experienced specialist palliative care practitioner input and resources.

The course is relevant to health and social care professionals working in adult, children or neonatal services, in either hospital, community, care home or hospice settings. This course can be accessed by practitioners with or without a first degree.

It is possible to study for the full Graduate Certificate or study single modules for CPD.

Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care: The course in brief

In line with current strategic directions, this course will address the palliative care needs of people with cancer and life-limiting illness. We aim for learners to advance their palliative care practice through the development of knowledge.

There is a portfolio of four specialist palliative care modules to choose from. The course supports practitioners to engage in transformative learning practices. 

How will I be taught?

Structure, delivery, duration and outcome

Structure: The course comprises of the completion of three out of four 20-credit modules at Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 9. Successful completion of three modules is necessary for the award of Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care. 

Delivery: Fully online

Duration: Part time over 1.5 years

Outcomes: Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our online teaching practice includes synchronous online learning and pre-recorded lectures. Assessment strategies will encourage application to practice. This will be achieved through the use of varied strategies that draw on the student’s own areas of practice such as critical reflection, the use of case studies and skills rehearsal. Tutor, and self-assessment, will be an important component of approaches to assessment. 

What will I learn?


Students must complete 3 of the following:

  • N3607 Anticipating and Responding to Pain and Symptoms in Palliative Care (20 credits)
  • N3608 Care for the Patient and Family in Palliative Care (20 credits)
  • N3615 Using Person-Centred Communication Skills in Palliative Care (20 credits)
  • N3647 Person-centred Palliative and End of Life Care into Practice - Work-based Learning (WBL) (20 credits)

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (April 2023) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2023/2024. Please check back here for any updates.

Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care: Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

All applicants must:

  • be registered health or social care practitioners with the appropriate professional body
  • have evidence of health/ social care qualifications; and
  • have responsibility for patients and families in the palliative care phase of illness. 

Please note: We cannot sponsor International students to study this course as Student visas are not available to those studying an online course.


2024/25 Undergraduate fees (qmu.ac.uk)


For more details on application, please contact the Palliative Care team.

Application deadline

Semester 1 deadline: 1 September 2024

Semester 2 deadline: 15th December 2024     

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Start date

September 2023 and January 2024

More information and QMU contacts

For further information, including application process, please contact The Palliative Care Team

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