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MSc/PgDip/PgCert Supportive and Palliative Care

Sheffield Hallam University

In Sheffield ()

£ 6,300 + VAT


  • Typology



Course description
Gain an expert understanding of palliative and end of life care and its aims to achieve the best quality of life for patients facing life-threatening illness on this course. You also learn how to give vital treatment for their condition. Your studies focus on a holistic approach to symptom management for the patient and psychological, social and spiritual support for the patient and their family.
This course is ideal for experienced practitioners providing day-to-day care to patients in their homes, hospitals, hospices and nursing homes.
We have designed this course to make it easy to fit around your work and suit your professional needs. You can tailor your studies to your needs and area of practice, through a mix of core and optional modules. And you complete your studies via distance learning through our online learning environment allowing you to learn in the way most suited to your personal circumstances.
The course was developed by a multiprofessional team for a multiprofessional workforce. The learning, teaching and assessment strategies reflect the interprofessional working in supportive and palliative care helping develop more effective teamwork. Various professionals contribute to the teaching.
An academic supervisor will support your dissertation, on a topic which we work with you to devise. Dissertations can benefit you and your employer through implementation of your research findings. Study at this level also develops autonomous practice in professionals, improving their leadership skills and ability to implement service developments.
PgCert End of Life Care
If you don't want to complete the full MSc, you can stop your studies at the end of year one and receive the PgCert End of Life Care. You can rejoin and complete the Msc at a later date.
Accreditation of previous certificated learning
We encourage the awarding of academic credit for previous certificated study that you may have completed in this area. This means you...

To take into account

This course enables you to give vital treatment and support patients with life-threatening illnesses to achieve the best quality of life. It is designed to be flexible, allowing you to tailor your studies to your needs and area of practice.

Entry requirements 2017 entry requirements Typically you need a degree or equivalent in a health or social care discipline. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more You should be working in a general or specialist area of supportive or palliative care. If you are accepted on the course, we will send you preparatory tasks and course information at least two months before you begin. Late applicants receive this information as soon as they are accepted unconditionally. If...

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  • Decision Making
  • Approach
  • Teaching
  • Quality
  • Palliative care
  • Team Training
  • Quality Training
  • Communication Training

Course programme

Course structure

Distance learning – typically three years

Starts September and January

Typical modules may include

Course structure

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

Postgraduate certificate core modules

End of life decision making (30 credits)
This module enhances your decision making skills in end of life care so you develop intellectual potential, critical reflection and clinical reasoning skills and improved ability to evaluate and enhance practice. The focus on the decision making needs of patients and other service users in end of life care settings will work towards promoting individualised compassionate patient-centred care. This module reflects philosophical, political, ethical and legal developments and you are encouraged to evaluate practice alongside the latest guidance and theoretical frameworks. This module will facilitate the development of an in-depth critical approach to the evaluation of contemporary issues relevant to your practice. These will include the concepts of hope and spirituality, advance care planning, issues relating to dying and support for carers.

Loss, grief and bereavement (15 credits)

The support of individuals experiencing loss and bereavement is a fundamental principle in palliative and end of life care. This module develops your confidence and competence in working with people who are experiencing a loss or have been bereaved. You are encouraged to routinely reflect on the work undertaken throughout the module and to apply this to practice when working with bereaved clients, or people who are experiencing a loss.

Complexities of symptom management (15 credits)

This module enables you to further develop a holistic approach to the multi-disciplinary management of the complexities of managing symptoms when working with clients requiring palliative care. The philosophy of the module is to focus on the patient’s narrative of individual needs, the quality of their life and the management of symptoms in a way that is appropriate to them at a specific time and so enhancing clinical practice.

Postgraduate diploma core modules

Collaborative working in supportive and palliative care (15 credits)
This module aims to develop a culture of collaborative working in supportive and palliative care. The philosophy of this module focuses on the critique of effective team working in supportive and palliative care with the patient and carer highlighted as key members of this team. You benefit from learning together and using a problem-based approach to assessment. This promotes sharing of expertise and good practice across professional groups and influences effective team working in practice.

Research methods for practice (15 credits)

This module allows you to develop a critical understanding of a range of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and apply their use to specific health care scenarios. You are encouraged to critically appraise the appropriateness of a range of study designs and data collection and analysis methods, in relation to a specific research question(s). This knowledge will further enhance your ability to critique the value and quality of research evidence underpinning clinical practice and you also apply this knowledge in later dissertation work, or other research you plan and undertake.

Postgraduate diploma optional modules

30 credits from either Sheffield Hallam University or elsewhere, as long as they are relevant to the course. Examples include:

Psychology of cancer care (30 credits)
This module has been designed for health professionals working in oncology and cancer care. It enables you to extend and develop the skills you use, and the care you deliver in practice by developing a deeper awareness and critical understanding of the physical, psychological and emotional needs of patients and their carers. You are encouraged to critically reflect on your practice and that of others, including opportunities for discussion with your peers.

Advanced communication and information in supportive care (30 credits)
This module has been developed to enhance role development for health care professionals (HCPs) in the area of psychosocial support. Recent policy has advocated that staff working in cancer and palliative care settings should be committed to developing advanced communication skills and access specific accredited training - NHS Cancer Action Team (NHS 2006). Although this module does not assess practical competencies it is designed to aid the reflective practitioner who can develop a specific area of their practice – this may be in advanced communication or informational developments.

Informed consent in healthcare practice (15 credits)
This module aims to facilitate and support the active participation of health care practitioners in the informed consent process. It enables you to work with, and respond to, current policies and legal and ethical frameworks in practice. It also enables you to develop an increased awareness of the patient/carer perspective regarding the process of informed consent. You are encourage to critically reflect on this, and the principles and practice of information consent in the context of your scope of practice, helping to improve the service you and others deliver and enhance the patient experience of informed consent as a result.

Our full range of module options is available on our continuing professional development website.


Dissertation (60 credits)
This module provides an opportunity to conduct a project that is of importance to your professional practice and of relevance to your own workplace organisation with the ultimate aim of influencing and impacting on the care provided to those using this service.

MSc/PgDip/PgCert Supportive and Palliative Care

£ 6,300 + VAT