Palliative Care


Palliative care, a rapidly growing specialty, focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with advanced and life challenging disease and embraces the essential elements and principles of patient-centred, holistic care. Palliative care education that enables students to develop the attitudes and knowledge to care for patients and families who are living with advanced and life challenging illness is the priority of the education team who have developed the postgraduate palliative care courses. A parallel focus of the courses also recognises 'self-care' as an important component of interdisciplinary teamwork in caring for people in life challenging and end-of-life illness.

Palliative Care is a named specialisation in the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences, or courses may be taken as a pathway in the Advanced Nursing specialisation.

Areas of study

The postgraduate palliative care courses cover a wide spectrum of topics crucial to caring for people with advanced, life challenging and end-of-life illness in daily and specialist practice.

You can study Palliative Care in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Topics covered include: the philosophy of holistic management of care, ethics in end-of-life decision making, societal attitudes to death and dying, cultural issues in end-of-life care, assessment and management of symptoms, spirituality, loss, grief and bereavement and many more topics particular to palliative care.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study in palliative care gives you not only an advanced theoretical understanding but also the practical skills to become a role model and leader in palliative care and the care of the dying in Aotearoa New Zealand. They are the foundation to further study at masters or PhD level and, with increasing demands for specialist practitioners and the professionalisation of nurses, a pre-requisite for your successful career in this field.

More information

Courses in this subject area are offered in both a distance and flexible learning format through the School of Population Health.

Find your pathway in Population Health