Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Palliative Care Award Specialist Certificate
CourseSpecialist Certificate in Palliative Care

Course Code

GC - PALLC
Course Abbreviation SpecCertPalCare
Partner Faculty Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science (MDHS), School of Health Sciences
Background The Centre for Palliative Care (CPC) has a state-wide role in palliative care education, with a focus on ensuring education is multidisciplinary and delivered by experts in their field who may be drawn from multiple institutions around Victoria as appropriate. The goals for CPC in regard to palliative care education are to:
  • Increase general understanding and skill in palliative care through education and training of the general health workforce
  • Develop future leaders in palliative care through programs designed to increase the number of palliative care specialists, and through facilitating opportunities for networking, peer support and leadership development.
As part of its strategy to offer education in palliative care, CPC recognised the need to develop a university accredited postgraduate training program in palliative care, which would be the industry standard for working in specialist palliative care and open to all disciplines as well as interstate participants. CPC partnered with the University of Melbourne to develop and deliver 'The Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care'.
Course Description The 'Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care' is a formal award of the University of Melbourne comprising 25 points of training at Masters level, delivered as two standard 12.5 point subjects requiring 4 days of face to face teaching each.

The course aims to be the industry standard for working in specialist palliative care and is delivered by experts in their fields, drawn from multiple institutions around Victoria. The course explores the core concepts related to palliative care, including symptom management, communication skills, and evidence based practice, non-malignant palliative illnesses, psychosocial issues and the role of the family caregiver.

'Fundamentals of Palliative Care' is the core subject for the Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care. Students can then choose either Adult Palliative Care or Paediatric Palliative Care or Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement or Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care to complete the award course. The Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care is a stand-alone award in its own right that may be considered for credit into more substantial postgraduate courses (including the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care).
Delivery Mode A combination of face to face and online delivery, with a strong clinical focus.
Who Should Apply The training is targeted at health professionals (all disciplines) who are required to provide palliative care in their work setting. A delivery format of two four-day subjects offered intensively throughout the year has been established to accommodate the needs of regional and interstate health professionals.

Over the seven years since the Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care was introduced, a total of 160 students have successfully completed the award course. Students have included health professionals from the following disciplines; nursing, medicine, social work, family support worker, occupational therapy, pastoral care, speech therapy, music therapy, art therapy, physiotherapy and hospital chaplaincy.
Subjects
  • NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative Care
  • NURS90047 Adult Palliative Care
  • NURS90065 Paediatric Palliative Care
  • NURS90073 Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement
  • NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects in Palliative Care
NOTE: Subjects will only run if minimum number of participants is met. Please contact School of Melbourne Custom Programs for further details (+61 3 8344 2887)
Assessment Each subject is formally assessed to meet the requirements of University accreditation. Assessment is designed to be practical and clinically relevant for healthcare professionals.
Pathways to Further Study Students that have completed the Specialist Certificate will be given credit for study completed into the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care.
Additional Information The Order of Malta Award is an annual prize ($1,000) which is awarded to the student who achieves the overall highest academic grade for the year.

Some components of the award course subjects are also offered as short course options. Refer to the related non-award courses information below.
Academic and Teaching Team Professor Peter Hudson, Director, Centre for Palliative Care AND Professor of Palliative Care Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom

Associate Professor Mark Boughey, Centre for Palliative Care and Director, Palliative Medicine St Vincent's (Melbourne)

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

Mr Chris Hall, Director, Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

Dr Jenny Hynson, Consultant Paediatrician, Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program The Royal Children's Hospital

Melissa Heywood, Liaison Nurse/Manager, Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program The Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne)

Dr Di Clifton, Psychiatrist, Psycho-Oncologist, St Vincent's Melbourne

Where relevant, experts from other institutions and services are also involved in the delivery of the programs.
Entry Requirements An undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in medicine, nursing, an allied health profession, science or social science which is recognised by the University as evidence of adequate preparation for the course

Plus documented evidence of at least one year's full-time relevant professional work experience in a medical, scientific or allied health environment. Potential students will be responsible for providing palliative care within their current workplace.

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.
Course Fees Fees in 2017 are $5,780 ($2,890 per subject). Fees are subject to an annual increase.
Fee Inclusions Fees include tuition, course materials and access to on-line resources & catering (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea) during intensive delivery of subjects.

As enrolled students of the University of Melbourne, students have access to a range of facilities and amenities provided by the University of Melbourne.
FEE HELP Fee-Help is a loan from the Australian Government to cover tuition fees and is available to Australian Citizens only.
Delivery Dates and Times
Semester 1
NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative CareTimeDate
Palliative Care: The Essentials 9AM - 5PM 9 & 10 February 2017
Therapeutic Communications 9AM - 5PM 4 & 5 May 2017
NURS90073 Contemporary Approaches to BereavementTimeDate
Historical and theoretical perspectives on bereavement 9AM - 5PM 23 February 2017
Developmental perspectives on bereavement 9AM - 5PM 24 February 2017
Clinical Interventions 9AM - 5PM 26 April 2017
Self-Care and Ethical Issues in Bereavement Care 9AM - 5PM 27 April 2017
Semester 2
NURS90047 Adult Palliative CareTimeDate
Pain Assessment & Management* 9AM - 5PM 20 July 2017
Symptom Assessment & Management* 9AM - 5PM 21 July 2017
Palliative Care in Non-Cancer Contexts 9AM - 5PM 7 September 2017
Family Centred Palliative Care 9AM - 5PM 8 September 2017

*Compulsory face-to-face modules for doctors and nurses

NURS90065 Paediatric Palliative CareTimeDate
Illnesses Encountered in Paediatric Palliative Care 9AM - 5PM 20 July 2017
Symptom Management in Paediatric Palliative Care 9AM - 5PM 21 July 2017
Psychosocial and Spiritual Aspects 9AM - 5PM 7 September 2017
Ethics 9AM - 5PM 8 September 2017
NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care Time Date
Identification and Assessment of Psychological
and Psychiatric Disorder
9AM- 5PM 24 August 2017
Management of Psychiatric and Psychological Disorder 9AM- 5PM 25 August 2017
Special Needs and High-Risk populations 9AM- 5PM 28 August 2017
Supporting health care professionals to care for palliative
care patients and families who are experiencing psychosocial distress
9AM- 5PM 29 August 2017

NOTE: Subject will only run if minimum number of participants is met. Please                    contact School of Melbourne Custom Programs for further details +61 3 8344 2887.

Delivery Venue Graduate House
220 Leicester St, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia, 3053
Online Learning System - SOLE Once you have enrolled you will be issued with a Student Online Learning Environment (SOLE) user name and password where you can access all course materials and activities as well as being able to interact with other students using this platform e.g. participating in discussion forums.
Applications Close Applications for 2017 are now open and will close Friday 13 January 2017, unless maximum number reached prior.
Related Award course Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care
Related non-award courses Fundamentals of Palliative Care
Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement
Adult Palliative Care
Paediatric Palliative Care
Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care

*Note that places on the above short courses are limited. Priority for place is given to award students. Please contact School of Melbourne Custom Programs for further details +61 3 8344 2887
Contact Program Coordinator - Gemma Hughes
Phone : +61 3 8344 2887