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Palliative Care

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Palliative Care Award Graduate Certificate


Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care

Course Code


Course Abbreviation

GradCert in Palliative Care

Partner Faculty

Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science (MDHS), School of Health Sciences


The Centre for Palliative Care (CPC) has a state-wide role in palliative care education, with a focus on ensuring education is multidisciplinary and delivered by experts in their field who may be drawn from multiple institutions around Victoria as appropriate. The goals for CPC in regard to palliative care education are to:

  • Increase general understanding and skill in palliative care through education and training of the general health workforce

  • Develop future leaders in palliative care through programs designed to increase the number of palliative care specialists, and through facilitating opportunities for networking, peer support and leadership development.

As part of its strategy to offer education in palliative care, CPC recognised the need to develop a university accredited postgraduate training program in palliative care, which would be the industry standard for working in specialist palliative care and open to all disciplines as well as interstate participants. CPC partnered with the University of Melbourne to develop and deliver 'The Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care'.

Course Description

The 'Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care' is a formal award of the University of Melbourne comprising 50 points of training at Masters level, delivered as four standard 12.5 point subjects requiring 4 days of face to face teaching each.

The course aims to be the industry standard for working in specialist palliative care and is delivered by experts in their fields, drawn from multiple institutions around Victoria. The course explores the core concepts related to palliative care, including symptom management, communication skills, and evidence based practice, non-malignant palliative illnesses, psychosocial issues, the role of the family caregiver and approaches to bereavement.

Delivery Mode

A combination of face to face and online delivery, with a strong clinical focus. A delivery format of four four-day subjects offered intensively in two day blocks throughout the year has been established to enable accessibility for regional and interstate health professionals.

Who Should Apply

The training is targeted at health professionals (all disciplines) who are required to provide palliative care in their work setting. This includes health professionals from the following disciplines: nursing, medicine, social work, family support worker, occupational therapy, pastoral care, speech therapy, music therapy, art therapy, physiotherapy, and hospital chaplaincy.


  • NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative Care

  • NURS90047 Adult Palliative Care

  • NURS90065 Paediatric Palliative Care

  • NURS90073 Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement

  • NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects in Palliative Care

NOTE: Subject will only run if minimum number of participants is met. Please contact School of Melbourne Custom Programs for further details +61 3 8344 8849.


Each subject is formally assessed to meet the requirements of University accreditation. Assessment is designed to be practical and clinically relevant for healthcare professionals and includes clinical mentorship for some subjects.

Please refer to handbook for more information.

Additional Information

Nurses who complete a graduate certificate related to their area of work are entitled to a qualification allowance, which is calculated at 4.0% of the Base Rate. Registered nurses may be eligible to gain 50 credit points of advanced standing toward the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice

Academic and Teaching Team

Professor Peter Hudson , Director, Centre for Palliative Care AND Professor of Palliative Care Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom

Associate Professor Mark Boughey , Centre for Palliative Care and Director, Palliative Medicine St Vincent's (Melbourne)

Ms Karen Quinn, Co-Ordinator Education & Project Officer for Victorian Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Collaborative , Centre for Palliative Care

Mr Chris Hall , Director, Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

Dr Jenny Hynson, Consultant Paediatrician, Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program The Royal Children's Hospital

Melissa Heywood, Liaison Nurse/Manager , Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program The Royal Children's Hospital (Melbourne)

Dr Di Clifton, Psychiatrist, Psycho-Oncologist, St Vincent's Melbourne

Where relevant, experts from other institutions and services are also involved in the delivery of the programs.

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in medicine, nursing, an allied health profession, science or social science which is recognised by the University as evidence of adequate preparation for the course

Plus documented evidence of at least two year's full-time relevant professional work experience in a medical, scientific or allied health environment. Potential students will be responsible for providing palliative care within their current workplace.

Applicants are required to satisfy the University's English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required

Course Fees

Fees in 2016 are $10,800 ($2,700 per subject). Fees are subject to an annual increase.

Fee Inclusions

Fees include tuition, course materials and access to on-line resources & catering (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea) during intensive delivery of subjects.

As enrolled students of the University of Melbourne, students have access to a range of facilities and amenities provided by the University of Melbourne.


Fee-Help is a loan from the Australian Government to cover tuition fees and is available to Australian Citizens only.


Semester 2, 2016

NURS90047 Adult Palliative Care

Family Centred Palliative Care 9 AM - 5 PM 16 September 2016

*Compulsory face-to-face modules for doctors and nurses

NURS90065 Paediatric Palliative Care

This subject will not be scheduled in 2016 but will be offered again in 2017

NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care

Dates for 2017 will be available shortly


Semester 1, 2017

NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative Care

Dates for 2017 will be available shortly

NURS90073 Conremporary Approaches to Bereavement

Dates for 2017 will be available shortly

NOTE: Subject will only run if minimum number of participants is met. Please contact School of Melbourne Custom Programs for further details +61 3 9035 8668.

Delivery Venue

Graduate House

220 Leicester St, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia, 3053

Online Learning System - SOLE

Once you have enrolled you will be issued with a Student Online Learning Environment (SOLE) user name and password so you can access all course materials and activities as well as being able to interact with other students using this platform e.g. participating in discussion forums.

Application Process

Graduate Certificate applications are managed by the Award Programs Team, according to the policies and procedures of the University of Melbourne.

Applications Close

Applications for 2017 courses will open in October 2016

Related Award Courses

Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care

Related non-award courses and subjects

Fundamentals of Palliative Care

Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement

Adult Palliative Care

Paediatric Palliative Care

Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care

*Note that places on the above short courses are limited. Priority for place is given to award students. Please contact School of Melbourne Custom Programs for further details +61 3 8344 8849

Psycho-Oncology Workshops


Program Coordinator - Anne Houston

Phone - +61 3 9035 8668
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Hawthorn Office

Postal Address: Locked Bag 12, Hawthorn, VIC 3122

Street Address: 442 Auburn Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Parkville Office

Postal Address: The University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia

Street Address: 205-211 Grattan Street, Carlton VIC 3053


Phone: +61 3 9810 3322

Fax: +61 3 9810 3315