Master Cert Palliative Care

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Comments about Master Cert Palliative Care - At the institution - London - Greater London

  • Objectives
    To develop the skills necessary to appraise evidence-based care and conduct research on issues of palliative care in order to inform clinical practice and service development in the field of palliative care.
  • Entry requirements
    people with a degree in medicine or dentistry or an upper second-class honours degree in nursing, life sciences or social sciences from a UK or overseas university. You should also have experience of working in palliative care or an associated area, eg clinical or social care research.
  • Academic title
    MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert Palliative Care
  • Course description
    Programme description

    - This is a multi-disciplinary course – palliative care professionals from all disciplines learn alongside each other.
    - The course has a national and international reputation attracting students from all over the world.
    - Teaching staff are key academics, practitioners and policy-makers in the field of palliative care. Visiting lecturers are drawn from across the UK and Europe.

    The course is jointly run with St Christopher’s Hospice, which is widely regarded as the pioneer institution of the modern hospice movement with a reputation for excellence in clinical practice, research and education.

    This multi-professional MSc is a joint development between Guy's, King's & St Thomas' School of Medicine and St Christopher's Hospice. We aim to develop the skills you need to appraise research and evidence in issues of palliative care to inform your clinical practice and service development.

    You will develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the many clinical, social, psychological, and ethical issues in palliative care and their assessment and management. You will also acquire the skills required to critically appraise the evidence of both existing and new treatments and carry out your own research.

    Programme format and assessment

    MSc and Diploma students take four core and two optional modules. In addition, MSc students complete a research study project. Part-time students study three core modules plus one optional module during the first year. Remaining modules and research project (MSc only) are studied in the second year. PG Cert students study two core and one optional module over one year. Assessment is by examinations and coursework and for MSc students a 15,000 word research project (30 per cent).

    Programme modules for MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert Palliative Care 

    Psychosocial, Cultural, Ethical and Spiritual Issues
    (Core Module)
    This module reviews the psychosocial, cultural, ethical and spiritual issues for patients and families/carers in palliative care, leaving students with the skills to explore these issues. Participants will consider how these psychosocial, cultural and spiritual issues effect patients and their families and what strategies can be developed to effectively provide help. Training in communication skills will also be provided. The main ethical debates in palliative care including, truth telling and communication, cultural relativism, nutrition and hydration, and euthanasia are also considered.

    Research Methods and Statistics (Core Module)
    This module aims to describe and illustrate the methods available for research in palliative care, leaving students able to understand, appraise and develop sound research studies. Common research methods in palliative care are reviewed, including systematic literature reviews, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, clinical trials, epidemiological methods, survey design, economic analysis, and integration of methods in palliative care research.

    Service Organisation & Policy (Core Module)
    This module considers the historical and international perspectives of palliative care practice and policy. It will provide you with an overview of ways that services have developed, how this is affected by different cultures, local communities, resources and local and national policies. It considers approaches to needs assessment, organisation theory and local management including financial aspects, quality control and clinical audit.

    Advanced Pain & Symptom Control

    This optional module reviews the effectiveness of different interventions to control pain and symptoms in advanced cancer. A number of common symptoms are covered, but the module concentrates on symptoms that are difficult to control including neuropathic pain, dyspnoea, fatigue, cachexia, nausea and vomiting. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions are considered.

    Advanced Psychosocial & Spirtual Care
    This module reviews the effectiveness of the psychosocial and spiritual interventions for patients and families/carers in palliative care leaving students with evidence based clinical skills and knowledge on which to base their future practice.

    Applying Epidemiology in Palliative Care
    This module provides participants with a detailed knowledge of the incidence and prevalence of advanced diseases, including cancer, and an understanding of how epidemiologically based approaches can be applied to palliative care research

    Biology & Management of Symptoms in Advanced Disease
    This module reviews the epidemiology and pathophysiology of progressive incurable illnesses, which are relevant to specialists in palliative care. It then reviews the aetiology, mechanisms and management of common symptoms in palliative care leaving participants with the skills to assess and manage symptoms and appraise new therapies appropriate to their professional group.

    Service Development & Management
    This optional module considers the approaches to developing and managing services using evidence based clinical practice. It reviews the evidence underpinning service development, the adaptation of such evidence to local needs, working within existing communities and cultures and detailed aspects of management including financing, strategy and marketing. Finally, the process of introducing and developing systems of quality assurance in clinical audit is considered in depth.


    MSc: One year FT, two years PT. PG Dip: One year FT, two years PT. PG Cert: One year FT, January to December.

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