The Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care in Aged Care is a 36-unit program offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The course articulates with the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care and the Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care and the sequentially developed topics allow progression through the awards.

Students who hold the graduate certificate or graduate diploma receive credit for topics towards the Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care. The program can be undertaken full-time in two semesters or equivalent part-time. 

Admission requirements

Applicants who do not hold the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care in Aged Care or Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution with not less than two years professional experience in the health sector. The Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

Course aims

The Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care in Aged Care is a coursework award that aims to provide an opportunity for individuals from any professional background who are working in health related areas to deepen their knowledge base in palliative care in ageing populations within a global context.

The course is designed to enable practitioners from around the world to select a series of topics built on core material that will assist them to address particular needs within their practice and employment.

The course aims to bring people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to work together in appraisal, assessment and problem-solving required of a multi-disciplinary/multi-professional team in this area. The course also aims to develop independent critical thinkers who will be able to contribute to the development of the practice of Palliative Care in Aged Care.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • articulate the core course concepts of contemporary gerontology and palliative care (eg. healthy ageing and dying, life-course, generativity, loss and grief, interdisciplinary practice, ageist stereotyping)
  • critically appraise research, ethics and professional literature in the area of palliative care and aged care
  • critically discuss issues and recent developments related to providing end of life health care services to the ageing population
  • critique their own learning style and identify goals and strategies in order to foster a deep approach to learning and the development of life long learning skills in palliative care in aged care.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care in Aged Care, a student must complete 36 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

Except with the permission of the Faculty Board:

The course must be completed full-time within two consecutive semesters or part-time within six consecutive semesters.  A lesser period may be set for students granted credit for previous studies.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in 18 units or more, or the award of a grade of Fail (F) in the same topic on more than one occasion, may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purposes of the University''s Policy on Student Progress.

Not all topics are necessarily available in a given year.

Core - Year 1 topics

22.5 units comprising

 AGES8020  Introduction to Social Gerontology  (4.5 units)
 AGES9026  Design and Ethics in Research with Vulnerable Populations (4.5 units)
 PALL8430  Communication at the End of Life A  (4.5 units)
 PALL8432  Understanding Literature for Evidence-Based Practice  (4.5 units)
 PALL8436  Palliative Care in Aged Care Settings  (4.5 units)

Elective - Year 1 topics

plus 13.5 units of elective topics selected from the list below:

 AGES8021  Introduction to Clinical Gerontology  (4.5 units)
 AGES8022  Psychological Dimensions of Ageing  (4.5 units)
 AGES8023  Healthy Ageing (Mental Health)  (4.5 units)
 AGES8024  Medication and Ageing  (4.5 units)
 AGES8025  Best Practice in Dementia Care  (4.5 units)
 AGES8028  Leadership to Support Person-centred Dementia Care (4.5 units)
 MMED8904  Health Sciences Research Methods  (4.5 units)*
 NURS9218  Approaches to Research Design  (4.5 units)*
 PALL8431  Communication at the End of Life B  (4.5 units)
 PALL8434  Oncology for Palliative Care  (4.5 units)
 PALL8435  Issues in Care of the Spirit in Palliative Care  (4.5 units)
 PALL8437  Palliative Clinical Management A  (4.5 units)
 PALL8438  Palliative Clinical Management B  (4.5 units)
 PALL8439  Suffering, Futility and Ethics in Palliative Care  (4.5 units)
 PALL8440  Palliative Care for Indigenous Populations  (4.5 units)
 PALL8441  Understanding Cancer  (4.5 units)
 PPHR9711  Ageing of Populations - Causes and Consequences  (4.5 units)

*For those students who are considering continuing onto the Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care: The research project for the Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care requires an understanding and use of research methodology.  If this has not been covered in previous study, then students should consult with the Course Coordinator to select the appropriate research topic as 4.5 units from the elective topics.  Research topics to select from include MMED8904 Health Sciences Research Methods (4.5 units) or NURS9218 Approaches to Research Design (4.5 units)