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Students undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care will have experience of working with people with palliative care or end of life care needs in hospitals, hospices, care homes or the community.

Successful completion of our course will allow you to meet government standards for those working in hospices (e.g. NHS QIS 2002).

It also enables local health authorities to meet their obligations in relation to national and international standards of palliative care provision (e.g. World Health Organisation 2014). Lifelong learning and continuing professional development is integral not only to the provision of high quality palliative care but also to career progression.

Modules incorporate a variety of teaching and learning methods.

Living and Dying Well - explores the history, development and current principles and practices of palliative care.

Person-Centered Palliative Care - examines thanatology, existential issues in palliative care, effective communication and ethically sound decision-making.

Non-Malignant Conditions - examines the ways in which palliative care can be utilised to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for people with non-malignant diseases.

Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

You must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Section 6 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following course requirements:

Registration on Part 1 of the Professional Register of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) or equivalent professional body.

If you are an international student undertaking this module as part of an international cohort, you must be able to demonstrate current professional registration from the country in which you practice.

You may also be considered with other academic, vocational or professional qualifications deemed to be equivalent.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this Palliative Care course is: Overall IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this Palliative Care course, we offer a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree.

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree course at UWS and who need to improve their English

Course details

The Graduate Certificate consists of three core modules, each credit-rated 20 points at SCQF Level 9. The modules that you can expect to study are:

  • Living and Dying Well
  • Person-Centred Palliative Care
  • Non-Malignant Conditions

Teaching and Assessment

Each module incorporates a variety of teaching and learning methods.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Our Palliative Care course is mainly assessed using a variety of assessment methods including:

  • Written examinations
  • Coursework
  • Practical assessment

Career Prospects


Our award offers you the opportunity to gain skills in palliative care which could support a move into a more specialised role within dedicated palliative care services.

Further Study

Further study options include the Postgraduate Certificate in Cancer and Palliative Care or MSc Advancing Practice.


You should apply for all UWS postgraduate courses using our online application form.


The first stage of the process is to create an profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving what you do each session and return to complete it at a later date.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

You can find out more here in our Postgraduate Application Guide.

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.


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Course Leader

Jan Meechie


Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.


We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.