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Course content

The MPH in Palliative Care Research is designed for students wishing to pursue a service or academic career in palliative care. It will provide you with an excellent understanding of both research and public health issues, thus increasing your career opportunities.

Why study Palliative Care Research at Dundee?

Dundee is ideally placed to deliver the MPH in Palliative Care. The Division of Population Health Sciences has several internationally recognised research programmes, with associated academic and research staff, and the Division also houses the renowned Health Informatics Centre (HIC) which provides researchers access to anonymised record-linked data. This includes routinely collected NHS patient datasets for the whole population.

The MPH degree has been run successfully in Dundee for over 25 years and our past students now contribute to the global public health workforce. Building on this success, we are ideally placed to offer a new exit - in palliative care research - from the core MPH. The MPH Palliative Care Research presents an opportunity to integrate public health with quality palliative care research and the clinical palliative care services. This provides a rich learning environment for prospective students.

Research led supervision

The Co-Director of the course, Dr Deans Buchanan, was recently appointed Consultant in Palliative Medicine. The Tayside Palliative Care Service is well placed to support excellence in research and in research training. The varied clinical settings throughout Tayside provide an excellent basis for research projects. Clinicians from within the palliative care service will supervise dissertations and include: Dr Rosie Conway, Dr Claire Douglas, Dr Fiona McFatter, Dr Martin Leiper and Dr Alison Morrison. In addition, Dr Bridget Johnston, Reader in Palliative Care (School of Nursing and Midwifery) will also contribute to the teaching and supervision of students.

Aims of the Programme

This course will provide you with:

* The necessary skills and expertise to enable you to undertake well designed research and interpret research data.
* The requisite communication skills and understanding of the importance of such communication.

Teaching & Assessment

This course is based in the School of Medicine. The MPH in Palliative Care Research degree course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis, or 24 months on a part time basis.

How you will be taught

A variety of teaching methods will be used including traditional lectures; tutorials; discussion sessions; self directed learning including the use of internet based resources; and supervised research.

The MPH programme of studies provides teaching within a supportive environment and students are encouraged to contact lecturers to raise specific questions.

What you will study

Semester 1:
Epidemiology (15 SCQF credits)
Introduction to Clinical Statistics (15 SCQF credits)
Palliative care: Foundations and research part 1 (7 SCQF credits)

Semester 2, part 1
Research methods (15 SCQF credits)
Applied Statistics with Routine Health Datasets (15 SCQF credits)
Palliative care: Foundations and research part 2 (3 SCQF credits)

Semester 2, part 2
Spatial Epidemiology (5 SCQF credits) OR Data Visualization (5 SCQF credits)
Systematic reviews (5 SCQF credits)

The purpose of the dissertation is to enable students to write a dissertation which utilises all of the knowledge and expertise that they have acquired during the taught component of the course.

How you will be assessed

Performance is monitored by formal examinations and continuous assessment. Formative assessment is delivered through group and individual feedback during the tutorials, discussion sessions and on coursework. Summative assessment is based on assignments and examinations. Examinations are marked by two independent members of the School who are blinded to student identity. Guidelines for markers are provided. The dissertations are also double marked.


An MPH (Palliative Care Research) will enhance the employability of professionals interested in palliative care research.

For Specialty Trainees in Palliative Medicine this will add distinct skills sets and an essential understanding of both research and public health issues. Such qualifications will open job opportunities in academic medicine and at policy development levels. This course is compatible with the Palliative Medicine Curriculum and dissertation projects could be undertaken in candidates own localities.

Non-medical staff (including nursing staff) will benefit from the same skill set and enhanced ability to enter academic palliative care. Multi-professional learning is encouraged and dissertation projects can be tailored to specific backgrounds.

Visit the MPH Palliative Care Research page on the University of Dundee website for more details!





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