Themes in Palliative Care MED5602

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to the central concepts and philosophy of palliative care. Students will explore the history, origins and definitions of palliative care and reflect on how this influences clinical practice.


Lectures weekly, tutorials, reflective practice and forum discussion.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words approx.) - 70%

Presentation - 30%

Course Aims

The course aims to critically describe the elements of palliative care that make it distinct within healthcare. The course material will give a critical account of the underlying philosophy of palliative care in terms of an approach to the practice of medicine, nursing and other health disciplines. Within this students will br introduced to concepts relating to the global and health inequalities associated with provision of palliative care both in their clinical practice setting and elsewhere.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Appraise the sources of the history of palliative care and critically analyse the development of palliative care to its current state  

■ Analyse and critique the philosophy of palliative care across different societies and communities 

■ Appraise and critique the various definitions available and judge these against existing models of palliative care (reflecting on their own work and workplace)

■ Discuss and critically evaluate the challenges for the delivery of palliative care in the light of geographic, cultural and societal differences across global healthcare settings  

■ Establish reasons for inequity in provision of palliative care  

■ Critically reflect on own emotions relating to care of those with life-threatening illnesses and develop habits and strategies to maintain healthy working, self-care and support for colleagues 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.