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Course content

Our Palliative Care course will give you the skills to evaluate evidence to improve care, and to conduct research to inform clinical practice and service development. You can study this as an MSc, PG Diploma or PG Certificate. Whichever you choose, you will have world-class teaching at the cutting edge of the field. 

Key benefits

  • Our course has a national and international reputation which attracts students from all over the world. 
  • Strongly focused on evidence and on understanding how to conduct research in palliative care and related areas. 
  • Our teaching staff are key academics, practitioners and policy-makers in the field. Lecturers visit us from across the world.
  • Course based at the Cicely Saunders Institute, a WHO Collaborating Centre for palliative care and rehabilitation that is at the heart of national and international research and academic-clinical collaborations.


Developed by King's Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine and St Christopher's Hospice the course will give you the skills you need to evaluate research and evidence in issues of palliative care to inform your clinical practice and your service development. 

Our primary aim is to improve your ability, competence and confidence to care for patients with advanced disease, and for their families. This requires you to be able to critically evaluate evidence of the effectiveness, appropriateness and acceptability of existing interventions and services, both medical and psychosocial.

This course is multi-disciplinary and multi-professional. You will learn alongside palliative care professionals from across the world and from all disciplines at the Cicely Saunders Institute, the first purpose-built centre for palliative care. We have students from a wide range of disciplines and professions including doctors, chaplains, nurses, social workers and physiotherapists.

You will develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the many clinical, social, psychosocial, and ethical issues which surround palliative care, and how to assess and deal with them.

Course format and assessment


You will learn from academics who are working at the cutting edge of palliative care, allowing you to develop your knowledge with the latest thinking and research.


We will assess you through a combination of coursework and exams, allowing you to develop different skills and working styles.

If you are an MSc student, you will write 15,000 words for your Research Study Project.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.

Career prospects

Many of our graduates have gone on to become leaders in their field, to make significant contributions to patient and family care and to influence palliative care policy locally, nationally and internationally. Many have used this course to progress their careers from specialist training registrars in palliative medicine to challenging and exciting consultant posts in hospital, hospice and community settings, and a growing number of clinical nurse specialists are now nurse consultants. Increasing numbers go on to conduct PhDs in palliative care related areas and the course has given to some exciting opportunities to conduct high quality research which has successfully been disseminated at scientific meetings or high quality, peer-reviewed journals.

Visit the Palliative Care - MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert page on the King’s College London website for more details!




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