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Year of Entry 2020/21

Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care

Distance learning Radiotherapy and oncology

Enrich your practice in supportive, palliative and end of life care with this versatile and flexible postgraduate distance learning course.

Everything you need to know...

What is the fee? Home/EU: £8,240 for the course
How long will I study? 3 Years
When do I start? September 2020
January 2021

University of the Year for Teaching Quality, The Sunday Times Good Univeristy Guide 2020

Course summary

  • Develop your knowledge and clinical practice in supportive, palliative and end of life care.
  • Develop as a generalist or specialist practitioner in your clinical setting.
  • Gain an in depth understanding of the key factors impacting on end of life decision making.
  • Become autonomous practitioner, improving your research, leadership skills and ability to implement service developments.

On this course, you'll study flexibly around your existing commitments in practice, and apply your knowledge to your role. You'll work collaboratively in researching management strategies for end-of-life care, while studying independently towards a deeper understanding of care.

Graduate view
Alexia Azzopardi

'The course increased my understanding of key topics surrounding supportive and palliative care. I learned how to apply this knowledge in order to improve my clinical practice. I now feel more confident in my role as a health care professional.'

Alexia Azzopardi, MSc Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care, 2018 graduate

How you learn

Your lecturer's view

Watch course leader Heather Drury-Smith talk about this course.

This course offers the adaptability that you need to study and work effectively. With the support of supervisors, academics and staff, you'll work towards a deeper understanding of your field.

You'll consider how better to treat, support and care for patients and their families, how to evaluate practice from a philosophical/ethical perspective and how to support decision making at end of life. Topic areas include collaborative working, symptom management, loss, grief and bereavement and research methods for practice.

You learn through

  • distance learning through our online learning environment
  • group work and collaborative learning
  • independent research
  • final dissertation/research project

Course leaders and tutors

No photo of Heather Drury-Smith found
Heather Drury-Smith
Senior Lecturer in Radiotherapy and Oncology

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Radiotherapy and Oncology department

Applied learning

Live projects

The learning, teaching and assessment strategies used reflect current practice in interprofessional working in supportive and palliative care, promoting a collaborative approach. Various professionals contribute to the teaching on the course from a variety of backgrounds and clinical settings.

Work placements

You'll apply your learning to your clinical workplace, gaining an expert understanding of palliative and end of life care and its aims. Your day-to-day practice experience will help you to adopt a holistic approach to symptom management - allowing you to focus on psychological, spritual and social support for the patient and their family.

Future careers

We support and develop your potential to progress your career, either in your current organisation or with a new employer. With our advice, you can pursue areas of specialist interest and take modules relevant to your future career.

Graduates from this course gain the skills and knowledge to work in senior nursing and other specialist supportive, palliative and end of life care roles, including

  • Macmillan information and support radiographer
  • hospice inpatient nurse manager
  • lead nurse or consultant nurse
  • clinical specialist practitioner, such as physiotherapist, occupational therapist, social worker or speech and language therapist working in supportive and palliative care.

Where will I study?

You study at your own location by distance learning

Equipment and facilities

On this course you work with

  • the Blackboard e-learning system

Entry requirements

All students

Academic Qualifications

Normally, applicants will hold a first degree or professional qualification which is recognised in the UK in a related health care subject. Examples of a first degree in a relevant subject include Nursing, Therapeutic Radiography or Physiotherapy etc.

Other formally certified qualifications

Equivalent, international academic and/or professional qualifications will be accepted. Applicants will be considered on other relevant evidence which may include for example documented evidence of recent CPD activity, innovative practice, practice leadership, service development, research projects and/or publications. Such evidence must be clearly described in any application. Applicants are usually required to provide at least one reference evidencing their capability for postgraduate study.

Level of English language capability

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6 in each skill area.

Relevant work or work-related experience

Applicants must usually have 12 months full time (or equivalent part time) experience and normally be working in a professional role in a related field of health and wellbeing and must have contact with palliative care patients.

Applicants will need access to a reliable internet connection to support engagement and have sound IT skills.

Additional information for EU/International students

This course is not open to international students who require a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK. If you are an international applicant but do not require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, contact our Admissions Team to find out whether you’re eligible to apply.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

Modules studied may differ depending on when you start your course.

Year 1

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Collaborative Working In Symptom Management Credits: 30 Assessment: Coursework
Module: End Of Life Decision Making Credits: 30 Assessment: Coursework

Year 2

Compulsory modules
Module Credits
Module: Loss, Grief And Bereavement Credits: 15
Module: Researching For Practice (Distance Learning) Credits: 15
Elective modules
Module Credits
Module: Advanced Communication In Supportive Care Credits: 30
Module: Evaluating Service Improvement Credits: 15
Module: Evidencing Your Cpd Credits: 30
Module: Evidencing Your Cpd Credits: 15
Module: Non-Medical Prescribing Credits: 30
Module: Planning Service Improvement Credits: 15
Module: Psychology Of Cancer Care Credits: 30

Final year

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Dissertation 60 Credits Credits: 60 Assessment: Coursework

Fees and funding

Home/EU students

Our tuition fee for UK/EU students starting full-time study in 2020/21 is £8,240 for the course. For distance learning study the fee will be calculated pro-rata each year based on the number of credits studied (£690 for 15 credits or £1,375 for 30 credits).

† If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Radiotherapy and oncology courses (PDF)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.

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How do I apply?

Complete an application form to apply for this course.

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