Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care

Where will this take me?


Over the twelve years since the course was introduced, over 200 students have successfully graduated and put their knowledge into practice providing care for patients in various fields. Graduates have included nurses, social workers, family support workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, art therapists, physiotherapists and hospital chaplains.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary palliative care practice
  • Critique and use evidence-based practice in the clinical setting.
  • Analyse and evaluate the evidence for a range of physical symptoms in adult populations
  • Examine the role of a multidisciplinary team in meeting the needs of a patient and family with a life limiting illness and enhanced their ability to transmit solutions to the team
  • Identify psychosocial issues as they relate to palliative care including distinguishing between different forms of psychological and psychiatric disorders
  • Identify the impact of loss and bereavement both for themselves and for the provision of services to patients as practitioners


"My motivation to get into nursing was when my father got injured in the Vietnam War. He always talked about the nurses who worked in the field. I just thought it was a great job, because you could help people when they need it. That’s why I kept telling myself to go and study to become a nurse. I chose to specialise in palliative care because I believe that people who live in care should be supported to enjoy life.

Being a nurse is a privilege, because we are the ones people turn to. We don't just focus on their physical issues, we look after the resident psychologically as well. Working in palliative care is actually not always sad. We have fun. We look after each other. We look after the residents physically and mentally.

To me, the key quality to become a nurse is to have commitment. You need to love people, to want to give. The thing that you will take is love, from your resident or patient — and you will have that a lot of that, believe me.

I decided to study because I needed more knowledge, more experience to better support my residents. I recommend anyone to come and study at the University of Melbourne. The best takeaway that I have from this course was learning from the experiences of others - either from teachers or from my classmates.

Overall, what I love about palliative nursing is feeling that I’m doing something very important for the people who need it. It’s the type of job a robot can’t replace."

- Duangchan