Graduate Certificate in Psycho-Oncology

Course 136-AA (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Course Coordinator: Dr Eleanor Flynn. Course Administrator: Ms Sue Donnelly
Course Overview:

Please note this course is unavailable for study in 2008.

The Graduate Certificate of Psycho-Oncology is a multidisciplinary program designed for nurses, doctors, psychologists, social workers and other appropriate practitioners who are interested in the area of oncology and palliative care. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a sound understanding of the range of psychosocial issues that occur in oncology and palliative care and equip them with enhanced counselling skills which can be applied to the management of patients in the palliative care setting.

Objectives: It is expected that on completion of this course students will be able to:
  • explore the range of psychosocial issues that occur in oncology and palliative care, including bereavement, and to develop skills in the areas of communication, psychosocial assessment and management;
  • relate basic concepts of cancer development and treatment to the provision of psychosocial support to people receiving cancer services.

Course Structure & Available Subjects: The Graduate Certificate of Psycho-Oncology is a one year, part-time graduate course. The course consists of two semester long, double subjects worth 25 points each, to the total of 50 points for the course.

No particular sequence of subjects is assumed. Although students must complete all subject requirements for the course, they can choose the order in which they complete subjects giving them a degree of flexibility.

The Graduate Certificate of Psycho-Oncology is open to both metropolitan and distance learning students. Metropolitan students are required to attend one, five hour seminar per week on topics detailed in the Course Outline. Seminars will take a problem orientated, discussion approach to each topic. Communication skills will be developed experientially in small groups and the psychotherapy practicum will be supervised by an accredited supervisor.

All students in Psycho-Oncology will be required to attend an intensive weekend workshop in communication skills and practice in semester 2. An optional Introductory Day will also be held in semester one.

Distance learning students will receive a Course Outline, audio recordings of the weekly seminars on CD and an electronic copy of any PowerPoint presentations used by the presenter. Psychotherapy supervisors, accessible to the students, will be accredited to supervise them whilst they conduct counselling sessions with patients. Two Distance Learning Educators and the Academic Programs Officer will maintain regular contact, via email and telephone, with distance students. Students will be kept informed of important academic and administrative matters at all times.

It is expected that applicants will choose to enrol in either the certificate or diploma course, depending on their future career plans. However, there may be some students who having completed the certificate course, who wish to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Psycho-Oncology course. In these instances, students may apply to the University to have the completed certificate subjects credited toward the diploma, providing that they have successfully completed these subjects not more than three years prior to commencing the diploma course.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Core Subjects:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2

Elective Subjects

Elective Subjects:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Students who already have a basic knowledge of conditions treated in Oncology may be eligible to undertake an alternative subject, either 'Clinical Symptom Management' or 'Oncology and Advanced Disease', in place of 'Introduction to Cancer Studies'. However, students must obtain permission from the Course Directors before enrolling in either of these alternative subjects.

Entry Requirements: A degree in medicine, nursing, social work, clinical psychology or other health-related discipline is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes: None
Notes: Residential and assessment costs for distance learning students are additional costs to be paid for by the student.

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