What will I study?


Delivered by experts in their fields drawn from multiple institutions around Victoria, this course will introduce you to the theoretical knowledge and advances that underpin palliative care management, and equip you to put this knowledge into practice.

As well as the core subject Fundamentals of Palliative Care, you will undertake three additional subjects, covering areas such as:

  • Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement, which considers the bereavement needs of special populations, and explores a range of individual, group and family techniques and intervention strategies.
  • Paediatric Palliative Care, which explores symptom management, psychosocial and ethical issues for palliative children and their families.
  • Ethics in Clinical Practice, which builds upon Fundamentals of Palliative by enhancing students’ understanding of ethical theories, principles, and frameworks, deepening students’ understanding of the common ethical issues relevant to daily clinical practice with a focus on issues relevant to providing care to those at the end of life.
  • Adult Palliative Care, which explores pain assessment and management, symptom assessment and management, care in the non-malignant context plus family centred palliative care and cultural issues.
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care, which explores the psychological, psychiatric, social, cultural, spiritual and existential experiences of patients and families dealing with life-threatening illness.

    The subject Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care is not available in 2020.

Course structure

As a formal award of the University of Melbourne, the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care offers 50 points of training at graduate level, delivered as four standard 12.5 point subjects. All remaining 2020 subjects have been transitioned into an online learning format. Students are required to complete the four subjects within a two year period.


Students should expect to commit 170 hours per 12.5 credit point subject, which includes class time attendance, relevant literature searching and reading and preparation of assignments.

Note: The communications experiential component for Fundamentals of Palliative Care is planned for October 30th 2020 at Graduate House.

Teaching dates (2020)

Fundamentals of Palliative Care
Day one Thursday 13 February 2020
Day two Friday 14 February 2020
Day one Thursday 16 April 2020
Day two Friday 17 April 2020
Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement
Day one Thursday 20 February 2020
Day two Friday 21 February 2020
Day three Thursday 16 April 2020
Day four Friday 17 April 2020
Adult Palliative Care
Day one: Pain Thursday 16 July 2020
Day two: Symptoms Friday 17 July 2020
Day three: Non-malignant Thursday 10 September 2020
Day four: FCPC Friday 11 September 2020
Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care
Day one Not available in 2020
Day two Not available in 2020
Day three Not available in 2020
Day four Not available in 2020
Clinical Ethics
Day one Wednesday 7 October 2020
Day two Friday 9 October 2020
Day three Wednesday 14 October 2020
Day four Friday 16 October 2020
Paediatric Palliative Care
Day one (online) Tuesday 14 July 2020
Day two (online) Monday 27 July 2020
Day three (online) Tuesday 18 August 2020
Day four (online) Monday 7 September 2020
Day five Thursday 17 September 2020
Day six Friday 18 September 2020

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