GradCert Palliative Care

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 30)

The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary programme designed to enhance your existing knowledge and skills in caring for patients with life limiting illness. The programme will enable you to become a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team providing palliative care and further enhance the care provided to patients in your current area of practice who have a range of complex symptoms that need impeccable assessment and management.

How will I benefit?
On successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. The programme is recognised nationally and is a highly regarded qualification for health care professionals caring for patients with life limiting illness who require palliative care.

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This course is aimed at advancing the health care professionals' repertoire of knowledge and skills for professional practice in the care of persons with life limiting illness.

The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care programme is an academic based programme designed for students to deepen their knowledge and expertise in palliative care.  The programme is based upon an andragogical approach to learning. Students are considered autonomous, self­-directed learners. Lecturers and preceptors are facilitators of goal directed knowledge acquisition. Learning is based upon building the competencies necessary within the scope of practice of public health nurses in the Irish environment. Students are co­-directors of knowledge development where lifelong learning is fundamental to best practice. A problem based approach using reflective practice allows for instruction relevant to individual practice. The programme employs other educational theories such as the Cognitive Flexibility Theory which focuses on restructuring knowledge to adapt to multi­dimensional situations, which is context dependent and students are encouraged to develop their own representations of information in order to properly learn. Building on from this, students are facilitated to actively use reflective practice as a learning tool.  Theoretical learning takes place in the university and in the education facilities of our clinical partners

The Graduate Certificate Palliative Care course aims to build upon and advance the repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional values, in order to promote competence and confidence in the practitioner’s work. The course aims to prepare individuals to enhance the care provided to patients and their families facing physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems associated with life limiting illness.

  • Be an independent learner, recognising the value of lifelong learning and demonstrating an ability to use critical questioning, reflection and decision making to build on their personal and professional scholarship throughout their career.
  • Critically analyse and apply research findings. Demonstrate the application and integration of best practice informed by national and international research in order to advance palliative care practice and health care delivery
  • Use technology effectively to enhance personal and professional development and practice, contributing to his/her learning, and the delivery of safe, evidence based healthcare
  • Contribute to the collaborative work of the interdisciplinary palliative care team in meeting the physical, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual needs of the individual living with life limiting illness and their families.
  • Promote interdisciplinary collaboration to further develop knowledge, skills and competence to deliver a holistic approach to palliative care.
  • Strengthen and advance competence and expertise in palliative care practice through the use of enhanced knowledge, reflection, communication skills and research-based evidence practice across the lifespan.

View All Modules Here

This is a one (academic) year programme, broken down into two trimesters. Assessments are varied (assignments/ MCQ/case studies) and occur at intervals throughout and at the end of the trimesters.

Autumn Trimester NMHS42370 Pall Care,Phil,Concept 10.00

Autumn Trimester NMHS42540 Palliative Approaches Symp Mgt 10.00

Spring Trimester NMHS42820 Psychosoc & Spiritual Issues 10.00

How will I learn?

  • All modules are offered using a Blended Learning Approach utilising a range of teaching methods including lectures, workshops and seminars 
  • Learning is facilitated by a multidisciplinary teaching team with particular emphasis on assisting students in applying theory to practice

GradCert Palliative Care (X733) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5560
nonEU    fee per year - € 14550

***Fees are subject to change


If the fees for your programme are being paid by a third party (full or partial), please ensure your funding organisation/sponsor/hospital contacts Please note this is not a student facing email address.

Student Queries:

If you have any queries about your fees, please contact the Student Desk:

Application Fee:

Please note that all applicants are required to pay the €60 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.

More information about fees is available on the UCD website at the link below:

  • Have a Graduate Diploma/Masters Degree (NQAI Level 9) in a health related discipline

  • Nurse applicants must be registered on the live register maintained by An Bord Altranais

  • Other health care professionals must be registered with a recognised professional body


Specific requirements:

  • All applicants must have a minimum of two years post-registration experience

  • Applicants must have exposure to either Level 2 or Level 3 Palliative Care, as indicated in the Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care (2001), for the duration of the course for a minimum of 75 hours per month.

  • Non-clinicians need to demonstrate the application of their discipline to palliative care practice

  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of research in practice is desirable

  • Evidence of recent study is desirable


Documents Required

  • Transcript(s) including date and grading of degree award (non UCD Graduates only) & notarised English translations where relevant

  • A current photocopy of NMBI registration

  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Personal Page of Passport

  • Professional Reference Form(original form)

  • Signed Declaration Form from employer (original form)

  • Completed Clinical Competence Assessor Nomination Form signed by the nominee

  • Evidence of proficiency in English language (applicants whose first language is not English)

The following entry routes are available:

Grad Cert Palliative Care PT (X733)
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Does this programme have an official conferring ceremony?

Please note there is no online or in-person conferring ceremony for this programme. Your parchment will be posted to you by UCD Conferring.