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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 2018 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 (2016) award holder is Jeanette Lacey:


Click here to download a list of past recipients. 

2019 Course Dates - Melbourne Campus

Semester 1 & 2

Evidence-based Palliative Care - Online Module

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

NURS90046 Fundamentals of Palliative Care

Palliative Care: The Essentials
7 & 8 February 2019

Therapeutic Communication Skills in Palliative Care*
18 & 19 March 2019

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

NURS90073 Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement

Historical & Theoretical Perspectives on Bereavement
21 February 2019

Developmental Perspectives on Bereavement
22 February 2019

Clinical Interventions
16 May 2019

Self-Care and Ethical Issues in Bereavement Care
17 May 2019

NURS90047 Adult Palliative Care

Pain Assessment & Management in Palliative Care
18 July 2019

Symptom Management in Adult Palliative Care
19 July 2019

Palliative Care in a Non-Malignant Context
2 September 2019

Family Centred Palliative Care and Cultural Issues
3 September 2019

NURS90118 Ethics in Clinical Practice

Clinical Ethics - the Basics
8 August 2019

"Doing" Ethics
9 August 2019

Communicating Ethically
12 August 2019

Incorporating Ethics into Your Daily Practice
13 August 2019

 NURS90074 Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care

Identification and Assessment of Distress
15 August 2019

Management of Distress
16 August 2019

Management of Imminent Death and Complex Cases
19 August 2019

Special and At Risk Populations Working with Other Professionals
20 August 2019


For course fees, queries about the Specialist or Graduate Certificates in Palliative Care, or any of our other short courses, please email 

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