Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care

Course GC-PALCARE (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - 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

Victorian Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Collaborative

Centre for Palliative Care


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Currently enrolled and future students:

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 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:

Core subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Elective subjects

Choose one of the following subjects;

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 Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

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:

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:

Further Study:

After completion of this course you may be eligible to gain 50 credit points of advanced standing toward the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice.

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
Links to further information:

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