Course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 to 3 years

UK/EU fee

£1,000 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

Course level



PG Cert

Start dates

January, September


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

For all professionals working within supportive palliative care, whether within health, social, voluntary or pastoral care, there is the opportunity to make a positive difference to the experience of people who are living with a palliative diagnosis and to their families. This opportunity brings with it the responsibility to be appropriately equipped with the range of skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that are needed to be able to support, care for and treat people at this vulnerable time of their lives.

The programme is aimed at providing inter-professional learning in the specialist area of palliative and end of life care to enable students to make a real difference to the lives of the communities they serve in their practice.

The palliative care PG Certificate will provide you with the specialist knowledge and skills to underpin the advancement of practice within palliative and end of life care.

This programme has been developed in response to both national and local drivers to enable NHS Trusts and other employing organisations to develop a workforce that can deliver effective care.

Key overarching strategies reflecting palliative and end of life care priorities are utilised throughout this programme. A wide range of inspiring and innovative teaching and learning approaches will be used to stimulate greater understanding and knowledge in the student group, by supporting their development when applied to real life situations and complex practice-based scenarios.

Short Version of the Dying Matters video from the NHS which sees a number of people talk about the taboo around dying and people who are dying.

Video commissioned by Southern Derbyshire CCG in collaboration with the members for the Derbyshire Alliance for end of life care.

What you will study

This award provides the flexibility to best meet the student’s needs.

The PG Certificate includes the core 40 credit module ‘Supportive Palliative Care Across the Lifespan’. In addition to this, students can then chose one of the two ‘Communication skills modules’ or the ‘Symptom Management within palliative & end of life care’ module.

Students can undertake either “Advancing Communication Skills” for those with less experience, or “Advanced Communication” for those wishing to further develop their already well established and honed skills in communication.

PG Cert. recommended routeCreditsSemester
Supportive Palliative Care Across the Lifespan  40 (core) Autumn
Advancing Communication Skills (online)/Advanced Communication (face to face) 20 (option) Autumn and Spring
Symptom Management within Palliative & End of Life Care 20 (option) Spring
Total 60  

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Side-on black and white portrait of a young student looking to the sky for inspiration with bokeh lights

Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

A variety of study options are available, including the innovative development of 2-3 day course attendance, with experiential, filmed role play, as proposed within the Advanced Communication module.

Each student is allocated a personal tutor who will work with the student to achieve a successful outcome to the programme of study. The personal tutor will act as the point of contact with the University and as an advisor for all matters which the student wishes to raise. 

Students will work in action learning sets to develop their understanding and skills in relation to leading a service. They will also be encouraged to develop presentation skills, utilise reflective models to analyse their practice and engage in professional discussions in the classroom relating to problem solving and examining palliative care case scenarios.

During the programme, students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of inter-professional teaching and learning activities. These will occur throughout the programme of study and actively encourage students to value working within an inter-professional framework and recognise the benefits that this approach provides for service users.

How you're assessed

The emphasis of this PG Cert in Palliative Care is for students to produce assessed work that will be topical, innovative and current to reflect their working practices within palliative and end of life care. Assessments have been designed to be flexible and innovative, facilitating inter-professional learning and allowing students to produce work relevant to their own workplace.

The overall purpose of the assessments is to aim to changing practice in the workplace setting, by developing skills within palliative care that impact on improving patients’ outcomes.

Students will be involved throughout in supporting their peers and facilitating the assessment process. Within the module, ‘Advanced Communication’, students will participate in a filmed role play and subsequently critique their performance, in order to recognise strengths and areas for improvement, which in turn will enhance their effectiveness in practice.

Critical incident analysis will be required within the ‘Symptom Management’ module, requiring students to produce a written assignment based on an actual case in practice. The student will be expected to identify best practice in palliative care symptom management and critique their approach to care.

Entry requirements

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)



£1,000 per 20 credits*




*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

How to apply


You may be already employed in a health, voluntary, pastoral or social care setting however, the knowledge and skills gained from this programme may enable you to further develop your career, for example, by moving into more advanced palliative care practice roles, appropriate to this award of PG Cert in Palliative Care.

Progression from the PG Certificate through to diploma and full Masters degree will be encouraged and supported by the academic team, focussing specifically on palliative care, or alternatively accessing other modules, should your career aspirations change. This PG Certificate therefore allows the opportunity for routes through the MSc Advanced Practice, and for those working outside of advanced practice the route through MSc Heath and Social Care Studies.

Successful completion of the programme may also equip you with the capacity to progress to a Doctorate level of study. 

Contact us

Course: Sharan Watson (Programme leader) +44 (0)1332 593497

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.