PGCert Integrated Palliative and 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: September 2020, February 2021, September 2021, February 2022
    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.

    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

    Tuition fees for studying on this Postgraduate Certificate are currently charged on a modular basis.

    If you are a UK or EU student joining the programme in academic year 2020/21, 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 CPD Portfolio (20 credits) – £680-£750 per 20 credit module.

    If you are a UK or EU student joining the programme in academic year 2021/22, 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 CPD Portfolio (20 credits) – £700-£750 per 20 credit module.

    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 and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2020/21, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at


    How to Apply

    Apply directly to Edge Hill University.

    Download the Health and Social Care Professional Development pathway application form and notes for guidance (pdf).

    Visit to access the relevant application form and to find out more 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:

    • Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine Student Recruitment and Marketing Support Team
    • Tel: 01695 657249
    • Email:

    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.