The Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care is a 54-unit program which comprises 36 units of coursework and an 18-unit project. This course is offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The course articulates with the Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care in Aged Care. The sequentially developed topics allow progression through the awards. Students who hold a graduate certificate or graduate diploma receive credit for topics already taken.

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold an approved degree or an equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution and have not less than two years'' clinical involvement in palliative care or aged care or in a related field.

Or one of the following:

However, the Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

Credit may be given, on application, for comparable prior studies.

Course aims

The Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care aims to provide an opportunity for individuals from any professional background who are working in palliative care or aged care to deepen and extend their knowledge based in palliative care in aged care in a global context.

The course is designed to enable practitioners to select a series of topics built on core materials that will assist them to address particular needs within their discipline and clinical setting. In addition, the course aims to develop independent critical thinkers who will be able to contribute to the appraisal, assessment and problem-solving required of a multidisciplinary/multi-professional team.

The course aims to provide students with opportunities to begin to develop as researchers who are able to communicate research evidence to professional communities.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this 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 palliative care theory, research, ethics and the professional literature, further extending the students’ knowledge and skills in this area
  • critically discuss issues and recent developments related to providing end of life health care services to the ageing population
  • develop and complete a piece of independent research which adds to the existing body of knowledge in the area of palliative care in aged care
  • develop the skills to publish with the peer reviewed literature and communicate research evidence to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • develop and implement the skills for a deep and life long approach to learning within the context of palliative and aged care.

Program of study

To qualify for the Master of Palliative Care in Aged Care, a student must complete 54 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the program of study below.

Except with permission of the Faculty Board the program must be completed full-time within four consecutive semesters or part-time within ten consecutive semesters. A lesser period may be set for students granted credit for previous studies.

The award of a grade of Fail (F) in 9 units or more may constitute prima facie evidence of unsatisfactory progress for the purpose of the University’s Policy on Student Progress.

Core Year 1 & 2 topics

40.5 units comprising:

 AGES8020  Introduction to Social Gerontology  (4.5 units)
 AGES9026 Design and Ethics in Research with Vulnerable Populations (4.5 units)
 PALL9417  Independent Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice  (18 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)

## or PALL9417A Independent Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice A (9 units) and
       PALL9417B Independent Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice B (9 units)

plus 13.5 units of option topics from the list below.

Option - Year 1 & 2 topics

 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) Stream B students only
 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)

* The research project requires an understanding and use of research methodology. If this has not been covered in previous study, the student should consult with their Course Coordinator to select either MMED8904 Health Sciences Research Methods (4.5 units) or NURS9218 Approaches to Research Design (4.5 units) as an option topic.