Postgraduate Certificate Palliative Care (Distance Learning)
Palliative care is an essential part of holistic care, and by definition is an approach that is fundamentally a multi-professional one and services offered to patients are truly multidisciplinary in nature. Joint working and excellent communication across professional teams is essential to guarantee all those for whom palliation is required and of benefit, is received and of a high quality (World Health Organization (WHO) 2020).
Palliative Care is provided by many different professions across all sectors within primary and secondary care and is relevant to all health care professionals. This course is recommended for all individuals with an interest in, or working with, adult patients who have palliative care needs and is designed to develop your knowledge, skills, and confidence to care for patients and their families who have life limiting illnesses.
This distance learning course combines excellent resources and support from the course leader, which allows you to combine both study and professional commitments.
You have the option to study one module or a combination of all three modules over one to five years.
We also offer a short online course in paediatric palliative care.
Nature and Scope of Palliative Care: Specific issues pertinent to the delivery of effective palliative care - 20 credits
This will explore issues pertaining to palliative care via case studies and a narrative approach. These can include euthanasia, the right to die, and the use of advanced directives while considering the issue of capacity and choice.
Module leader: Clare Churcher
Therapeutic Management of Life Limiting Illness in Palliative Care: Assessment and management of complex symptoms - 20 credits
The assessment and management of complex symptoms including pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, depression, fatigue and agitation will be explored and appropriate interventions critically discussed. Consideration through the module will be given to psychosocial issues, such as, anxiety and depression within patients who have a life limiting illness and the communication strategies used in relation to managing difficult symptoms.
Module leader: Clare Churcher
End of Life Care: Role of the professional in the care of an individual at the end of life, including perspectives from the individual and family - 20 credits
You will critically explore the role of the professional in the care of an individual at the end of their life. It will include exploring the impact of death and dying from a holistic perspective on the individual and family. The themes of loss, grief and bereavement will be central within this module. Professional, legal and ethical issues related to death and dying will also be considered through the module.
Module leader: Clare Churcher
This flexible modular programme allows you to complete to your own schedule. Plus, you can transfer the credits gained towards the MSc in Professional Practice.
Each module will have a number of contact days. During these contact days, discussion and support with the modules can be provided in various means such as telephone, e-mail or face to face if location allows.
However, the teaching team are available for support outside these contact days should you require it. Discussion forums are encouraged to link in with your fellow students wherever in the world they may be.
You will learn through:
- Self-directed distance learning
- Online learning environment with discussion forums
- Contact days with your lecturer
- Independent learning
Summative Assessment involves a variety of assessments. You will receive key learning materials and be supported throughout the course by the module team and your contact with other students.
Nature and Scope of Palliative Care
One 2,500 word essay and one 15-minute oral presentation
The 2 summative assessments, relate to the learning outcomes of the module, and both assessments need to be passed to pass the module. Each summative assessment is based on a formative case study, which is submitted prior to the summative assignment. This ensures the case study is appropriate and links the assignment brief and module outcomes
- Essay : Select a model of loss or transition. Analyse the model in respect of a patient you have known, their immediate social group and the wider care network. Appraise the input from members of your multi professional team. This essay will be related to a specific case study encountered in clinical Practice (case study should be 300 words, which is not included in the word count)
- Oral Presentation : Critically evaluate the legal, professional OR ethical implications associated to a specific incident encountered in your clinical practice. This oral presentation will be related to a specific case study encountered in clinical Practice (case study should be 300 words, which is not included in the word count)
The Therapeutic Management of Life Limiting Illness
One 2,500 word essay and a poster presentation
The 2 summative assessments, relate to the learning outcomes of the module, and both assessments need to be passed to pass the module. Each summative assessment is based on a formative case study, which is submitted prior to the summative assignment. This ensures the case study is appropriate and links the assignment brief and module outcomes.
- Essay: Choose one of the following essays on pain:
A. Use the literature to reflect on a patient you have cared for and critically analyse pain assessment using the holistic approach (Physical, Social, Psychological & Spiritual) as a basis for your assessment. This essay will be related to a specific case study encountered in clinical Practice (case study should be 300 words, which is not included in the word count).
B. Drawing on your experiences reflect on one example that will illustrate your discussion of the therapeutic use of the analgesic medication used for their pain control. In this discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the analgesic used, the health professional role and identify if an alternative could have been used. This essay will be related to a specific case study encountered in clinical Practice (case study should be 300 words, which is not included in the word count)
- Poster Presentation: Select one symptom / problem and highlight the relevant nursing issues in relation to that symptom, focusing on the impact this can have on the patient and the family. Discuss the interrelating issues that are applicable, focusing upon how that symptom impinges on or causes others. This poster will be related to a specific case study encountered in clinical Practice (case study should be 300 words, which is not included in the word count)
End of life care
One 4,000 word essay
With reference to national and local policies, critically analyse the main issues that impact upon the delivery of end of life care within your own area.
- Clare Churcher, course leader
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
An Honours degree or equivalent. Applications from individuals with evidence of ongoing professional development will also be considered through the accreditation of prior learning (APL)/ accreditation of prior and experiential learning (APEL) mechanism.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Part-time UK: TBC
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Part-time UK: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
The Postgraduate Certificate Palliative Care course will enable students to demonstrate clear evidence of ongoing professional development in line with national strategic plans.