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Palliative Care MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert

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Our Palliative Care programmes 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 programme 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.
  • Programme 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.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT or two years PT, January to December. Next entry January 2018.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake Approximately 25-30 FT/ PT.

Course leaders

Dr Jonathan Koffman,,

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine



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Course detail


Our programmes were developed by the King's College London Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine and St Christopher's Hospice together. We 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 programme 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.

Further literature

Further literature

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.


Study time

15-credit module

150 face-to-face taught or self-directed learning hours.

30-credit module

300 face-to-face taught or self-directed learning hours.

Research Study Project (MSc students only)

600 hours of self-directed learning.


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.


Year 1

Required Modules

If you are an MSc student, you will take a total of 180 credits.

If you are a PG Dip student, you will take a total of 120 credits.

If you are a PG Cert student, you will take a total of 60 credits.

If you are an MSc student or a PG Dip student, you must take all of these modules. If you are a PG Cert student, you will choose two of these modules.

If you are an MSc student you must also take…


Optional Modules

If you are an MSc student or a PG Dip student, you will choose two modules from the list of options below. If you are a PG Cert student, you will choose one.

For part-time students: with the exception of Research Methods and Statistics in Palliative Care, which you will take in your first year, you may choose which year you will take each module. If you are an MSc student, you must take your Research Study Project in your second year.

We regularly review our modules to make sure our programmes are as up-to-date, innovative and relevant as possible. The modules we offer may therefore change. We suggest that you check the course finder for updates:

Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

A degree in medicine, nursing or dentistry or a 2:1 degree in life sciences or social sciences from a UK or overseas university. You must also have experience of working in palliative care or an associated area, eg clinical or social care research.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal

We interview candidates, usually with two members of the department, to discuss your palliative care experience, reasons for wanting to join the programme, and your research interests.  We are happy to interview overseas applicants via telephone or Skype.

Please note: The programme runs from January to December.

Personal statement and supporting information

A personal statement and full transcripts are required.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications for January 2018 entry is 31st October 2017 for non-EU (Overseas) nationals and 1st December 2017 for UK/EU nationals.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £9,450 p.a. (2017/18)* (MSc); £6,300 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGDip); £3,150 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGCert)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,800 p.a. (2017/18)* (MSc); £15,200 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGDip); £7,600 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGCert)
  • Part time UK fees: £4,725 p.a. (2017/18)* (MSc); £3,150 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGDip); £1,575 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGCert)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,400 p.a. (2017/18)* (MSc); £7,600 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGDip); £3,800 p.a. (2017/18)* (PGCert)

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

We are aware that many former students have become experts in their field making notable contributions to patient and family care and influencing palliative care policy locally, nationally and internationally. Specifically, many former specialist training registrars in palliative medicine have progressed their careers to assume challenging and exciting consultant posts in hospital, hospice and community settings. This is also true for a growing number of clinical nurse specialists who are now nurse consultants. Increasing numbers of former students have gone on to successfully conduct PhDs in palliative care related areas. Further, the course has provided many students with exciting opportunities to conduct high quality research which has successfully been disseminated at scientific meetings or high quality peer-reviewed journals.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

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Page last modified on 16 May 2017.