PGCert Integrated Palliative & End of Life Care

Join a programme for frontline healthcare staff which enables you to deliver palliative and end-of-life care for people with advanced, progressive and terminal illnesses, immersing you in an interactive virtual community of fictional patients.

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    • Overview

      Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time, 18 Months Part-Time
      Start Dates: February 2022, September 2022, February 2023
      Subjects: Health and Social Care
      Location: Edge Hill University
      Terence Burgess Education Centre, Southport

      This PGCert is designed to make palliative and end-of-life care real, meaningful and accessible for all frontline clinical staff. The programme is suitable for nurses (community, hospital, nursing home, hospice), health and social care practitioners, allied health professionals, paramedics and doctors (GPs, specialist doctors and doctors in training). You will gain enhanced knowledge, confidence and competence in assessing the palliative and end-of-life care needs of patients and their families. Individual disease groups will be analysed and the trajectory of dying assessed, looking for similarities and differences and seeing how these might be managed. In addition to this, you will learn how to manage symptoms and address concerns arising across the four domains of holistic care (physical, psychological, spiritual and social). Ethical and legal aspects of care will also be considered.

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      The programmes introduces you to the philosophy and principles of palliative care, assessment and symptom management.

      You will study the trajectories of end-of-life care in a variety of diseases and conditions, examine holistic care from a physical, psychological, spiritual and social perspective, and gain skills and knowledge in both supporting family carers and providing bereavement support.

      In addition to this, you will focus on the delivery of palliative care through enhanced communication skills, advance care planning and the management of complex medicines.

      How will I study?

      The two core modules are delivered at the Terence Burgess Education Centre in Southport. Attendance is typically one half day per week with an additional full introductory day at the start of each module and a further full revision day at the end. The remaining module is delivered at Edge Hill University and contact hours will vary depending on your module choice.

      Blended learning is encouraged as part of the learning time and includes a substantial amount of material available via our virtual learning environment.

      As part of these online activities, you will be exposed to a variety of end-of-life care challenges faced by the residents of a fictional community of families. You will be expected to contribute to web-based discussions with your peers about the relevant care required by members of this virtual interactive community.

      How will I be assessed?

      Assessment methods vary according to the demands of each module and include written assignments, designing a teaching pack, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), portfolios, seminar presentations and work-based learning projects.

      Who will be teaching me?

      You will be taught by specialist palliative care and palliative medicine staff who have experience working in a specialist palliative care unit and across healthcare settings. The programme team’s expertise will be supplemented by guest lecturers who have specialist interests in end of life care.

      A Great Study Environment

      Terence Burgess Education Centre

      Terence Burgess Education Centre is a purpose-built teaching hub based at Queenscourt Hospice in Southport. It is equipped with audio-visual facilities and a small palliative care reference library. The library contains a variety of books, journals and videos relevant to palliative care.

      Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

      The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

      Offering some of the best facilities for health, social care and medicine students in the country, the outstanding teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

      The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.


      Expand All

      HEA4197Transforming Integrated Palliative and End of Life Care (20 credits)

      Transforming Integrated Palliative and End of Life Care enhances your skills and knowledge in understanding the signs, trajectories and impact of advanced progressive disease. The focus of the module is on symptom assessment and management, care planning, future care planning, and communication skills. You will learn how to recognise when individuals are approaching the end of life, discussing prognosis, involving the individual in shared decision-making about their care, and managing their transition to a positive palliative care approach. Attention will also be paid to the importance of ethics related to living the last months of life and spiritual assessment and care. Additionally, support for carers and those who have been bereaved will be highlighted.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HEA4219Transforming End of Life Trajectories (20 credits)

      Transforming End of Life Trajectories enhances your skills and knowledge in understanding the similarities and differences in trajectories and impact of advanced progressive illness in malignant and non-malignant disease. The module focuses specifically on different individual disease trajectories, for example frailty, dementia and organ failure (including heart, renal and respiratory) and sudden unexpected death, while also considering the impact of multiple comorbidities, frailty and dementia. Some end-of-life trajectories result in unresolved symptoms and hidden psychological distress because neither the approach towards dying nor symptoms are recognised. This module will introduce you to the holistic care needed to provide effective care for this group of patients and their families.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      You will select a 20 credit optional module, negotiated with the programme leader, chosen from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine’s CPD portfolio. You may wish to consider HEA4252 Transforming End of Life Communication and Spiritual Care.

      HEA4252Transforming End of Life Communication and Spiritual Care (20 credits)

      Transforming End of Life Communication and Spiritual Care explores the psychology of spirituality, the individual meaning of life, and the impact of positive emotion for individuals. The module addresses the recognition and differentiation of the causes of distress – physical, psychological, emotional, social, spiritual, religious and cultural – as observed by health, social and pastoral workers. You will investigate the parallel possible outcomes of stress-related illness and stress-related growth as responses to irreversible and unresolvable distressing situations and consider the ways in which health, social and pastoral workers can affect and impact these outcomes. Reviewing the tools and narrative for enquiring about spiritual distress, the module will focus on the challenges to such assessment, consider how to plan for spiritual care in a health care setting, and explore the similarities and differences of spiritual needs for those with and without religious and health beliefs. The need for good communication is a key focus of the module and you will learn how to recognise facilitative skills and blocking behaviours and consider the importance of cue-based and person-centred conversations and the value of silence.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      For more information about each module, including the dates and times of module sessions, please visit


      You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.

      All successful applicants will have an academic meeting prior to the commencement of the programme where the programme structure will be explained to enable you to gain a greater understanding of module order, course content and assessment requirements.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

      Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      The normal minimum requirement is a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a health or social care related subject. Other subjects may be considered subject to a successful interview. You must be currently working in a health care setting.

      If you have a minimum of five years’ experience working within health and social care, you may be able to access the programme without a degree, subject to a successful interview, if you are able to demonstrate evidence of relevant continuous professional development.

      Recognition of Prior Learning

      Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

      Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      Upon successful completion of the programme, you will have the skills and knowledge required to provide effective support to patients, their families and other health professionals in managing end-of-life care.

      The course is designed to enhance your employability through developing your critical care skills and leadership qualities and encouraging you to explore new ways of working within health and social settings.

      You will also be expected to demonstrate knowledge across disciplines, being both attuned to cultural diversity and aware of your professional responsibilities and limitations.


      Tuition Fees

      If you are a UK student joining the programme in academic years 2021/22 or 2022/23, the cost of each module will be:

      • HEA4197 Transforming Integrated and Palliative End of Life Care (20 credits) – £880;
      • HEA4219 Transforming End of Life Trajectories (20 credits) – £880;
      • Additional Module Selected from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine’s Professional Development Portfolio (20 credits) – £700-£750 per 20 credit module for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22. £780 per 20 credit module for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23.

      60 credits are required to complete a Postgraduate Certificate.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

      Financial Support

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters guide for your intended academic year of entry.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see for further details.


      How to Apply

      There is an online application process for this programme.

      Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

      Visit for more information about the application process.

      Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

      If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:


      Course Changes

      Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

      8th July 2020 - Revision to Tuition Fees

      The tuition fees for modules selected from the wider faculty portfolio has been amended to £680-£750 per 20-credit module for academic year 2020/21 and £700-£750 per 20-credit module for academic year 2021/22.

      6th December 2019 - Change to Entry Requirements

      There is no longer a requirement to have DBS Enhanced Disclosure to join this programme.

      Covid-19 - Integrated Palliative & End of Life Care Essential Information

      Integrated Palliative & End of Life Care Course Statement

      A weekly session will take place in a virtual classroom.

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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