Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care

Course GC-PALCARE (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Ms Karen Quinn, Co-Ordinator Education & Project Officer for Victorian Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Collaborative, Centre for Palliative Care


School of Melbourne Custom Programs
Award Programs Team

Program Coordinator - Gemma Hughes

Phone - +61 3 9810 3253


Course Overview:

The Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care will appeal to a range of health professionals and aims to be the industry standard for working in palliative care. The course is primarily delivered face to face, complemented by online resources and activities. The Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care consists of four 12.5 credit point University of Melbourne accredited subjects, and is delivered by a range of experts in their field, who may be drawn from multiple institutions around Victoria as appropriate. Course content will explore the core concepts of palliative care including; pain and symptom management, the interface between aged care and palliative care, communication skills, non malignant diseases, psychosocial concepts, family carers, paediatric palliative care and bereavement care.

Learning Outcomes:

Beyond the core curriculum of the Specialist Certificate, the Graduate Certificate will extend health professional competencies across a greater range of clinical areas. Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care will have increased knowledge, skills and competence in areas of bereavement care, adult and paediatric palliative care as well as a sound foundation in the core principles of palliative care.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:
  1. NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative Care (12.5 point subject)
  2. NURS90047 Critical inquiry in Adult Palliative care (12.5 point subject) AND
  3. NURS90065 Paediatric Palliative Care (12.5 point subject) AND
  4. NURS90073 Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement (12.5 point subject) OR
  5. NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care (12.5 point subject)

All subjects are compulsory to achieve the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care.

Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in medicine, nursing, allied health profession, science or social science, and
• documented evidence of at least two years relevant professional work experience in a medical, nursing, scientific or allied health environment.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking and/or assessing applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic qualification and performance; and
• the professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and degree 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 degree.
For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives 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 course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes: None
Generic Skills:

On completion of the course, students will have:

  • An advanced theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary palliative care practice
  • Developed the capacity to analyse and relate evidence based practice to the clinical setting
  • Increased their level of clinical competency in analysis and evaluation to assist in assessing and managing a range of clinical symptoms
  • Considered the role of a multidisciplinary team in meeting the needs of a patient and family with a life limiting illness and enhanced ability to transmit solutions to the team
  • Critically analysed the impact of loss and bereavement both for themselves and for the provision of services to patients as practitioners
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