This multidisciplinary, practice-focused, online distance learning MSc in Palliative Care welcomes UK, EU and international applicants who want to study palliative care at an advanced level. The course is open to a wide range of practitioners including nurses, social workers, doctors and therapists. It is designed to develop your ability to respond effectively to people with life-threatening illnesses and palliative care needs and to help their families. You will become a confident and knowledgeable practitioner, with a range of critical skills and abilities, who will be able to lead and develop palliative care services wherever your practice is based, responding to local cultural, professional and economic factors.
The programme aims to enable you to develop an advanced level of theoretical and professional understanding of palliative care, within the context of its development as a global speciality. It achieves this through a critical exploration of the principles of palliative care and other relevant theoretical models, the evidence base for practice, and social, cultural and policy studies.
You may exit the course with a PGCert (three modules), a PGDip (six modules) or an MSc (nine modules). MSc students will complete a triple dissertation module.
The following three single modules are compulsory for all palliative care students on the postgraduate course and they comprise the PGCert:
Death and Dying: Global Perspectives
Psychosocial Palliative Care
Advanced Symptom Management
Students taking the PGDip will also take the following single modules:
Advanced Research Design
Mastering Professional Practice
Each module centres on guided online learning activities and self-directed study along the module themes. This involves a mixture of learning activities on each module, including: text-based learning activities; podcasts, which can be downloaded and listened to at a time of your choosing; online seminar presentations; online tutorials; and chatroom activity, enabling you and other students to engage with each other as an online learning community. As the aim is to recruit students from diverse International settings, the opportunity to explore student interaction in the virtual environment will be optimised. We encourage the use of critical reflection as a personal and interpersonal learning process.
Assessment methods differ from module to module, but typically include a mixture of online project work, reflective logs and essays.
Oxford is a well-known centre of educational excellence, and there are also world-class centres for the delivery of Palliative Care, for example, Sobell House Hospice and Helen and Douglas House, pioneering centres for the care of children and young adults. We have involved local experts in the development and delivery of this course. If you are able to visit the UK during your course of study, there may also be opportunities to visit these specialist centres.
As palliative care is often a point of transition from cancer care, the course team has close links with the MSc in Cancer Studies and the research team led by Professor Eila Watson, the HRH Prince Sultan Chair in Cancer Care. This expertise and the links maintained with colleagues and researchers in palliative care ensure that the reality of practice and the development of practice through research are firmly embedded within the curriculum.
Assessment plays a key role in ensuring that you develop and demonstrate the required knowledge and skills to successfully complete your programme. In your module Moodle page, specific details will be given regarding the deadlines for assessment and when you can expect feedback on your formative and summative work.
The types of assessment used within your programme are varied and chosen because of their appropriateness for individual module and programme learning outcomes and content, the academic standard expected and the different styles of learning that students exhibit. Assessments are used to give you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge as well as the critical and reflective analysis required for professional practice.
International Student Requirements:
If your first language is not English, you must demonstrate that your level of English is appropriate for study at postgraduate level. This means you must have an IELTS score of 6.5-7.0 overall, or a qualification at an equivalent level.