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Specialist Certificate

The Melbourne University accredited postgraduate Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care is the industry standard for health professionals in all disciplines working in specialist palliative care throughout Australia. The course explores the core concepts of palliative care including practice standards, symptom management, communication skills, evidence-based practice, non-cancer contexts, psychosocial issues, bereavement care, and care and support for carers.


The Specialist Certificate can be used for credit into more substantial postgraduate courses, such as Masters. Alternatively, some of its subjects can be completed as short course options.

For the full certificate, participants must complete 25 points of training at Masters level, delivered as two standard 12.5 point subjects, which each require four days of face-to-face teaching. 

All students must complete the Fundamentals of Palliative Care before choosing an additional subject from Adult Palliative Care, Paediatric Palliative Care, Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement, or Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care.

Download the 2017 Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care brochure.

Academic Prize

Each year, the student who achieves the overall highest academic grade for the Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care is awarded the $1,000 Order of Malta Academic Prize. The Order of Malta in Australia is part of a 900-year-old organisation that has been a passionate advocate for palliative care provision and for improving the quality of care provided to patients and families confronted by life-limited illness.

The current (2015) award holder is Sonya Camilleri, a Clinical Nurse Consultant who works at The Royal Children's Hospital under the Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program

Click here to download a list of past recipients. 


2017 Course Dates

Semester 1 & 2

Evidence-based Palliative Care - Online Module

Compulsory for both the Specialist and Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care. All students must complete the online module with the first subject in which they enrol.

NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative Care

Palliative Care: The Essentials
9 & 10 February 2017 

Therapeutic Communication Skills in Palliative Care*
4 & 5 May 2017

*Please note that attendance at the communications workshops is compulsory for all students.

NURS90073 Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement

Historical & Theoretical Perspectives on Bereavement
23 February 2017

Developmental Perspectives on Bereavement
24 February 2017

Clinical Interventions
26 April 2017

Self-Care and Ethical Issues in Bereavement Care
27 April 2017

NURS90047 Adult Palliative Care

Pain Assessment & Management in Palliative Care
20 July 2017 

Symptom Management in Adult Palliative Care
21 July 2017

Palliative Care in Non-Cancer Contexts
7 September 2017 

Family Centred Palliative Care and Cultural Issues
8 September 2017

NURS90065 Paediatric Palliative Care

Illnesses Encountered in Paediatric Palliative Care
20 July 2017

Symptom Management in Paediatric Palliative Care
21 July 2017

Psychosocial and Spiritual Aspects in Paediatric Palliative Care
7 September 2017

Ethics in Paediatric Palliative Care
8 September 2017

NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care

Identification and Assessment of Psychological and Psychiatric Disorders
24 August 2017

Management of Psychiatric and Psychological Disorders
25 August 2017

Special Needs and High-Risk Populations
28 August 2017

Supporting Health Care Professionals Caring for Palliative Care Patients and Families Experiencing Psychosocial Distress
29 August 2017


For queries about the Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care or any of our other short courses, please email 
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