School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in End of Life Care

The BSc (Hons) Professional Development in End of Life Care offers an innovative approach to gaining specialist and advanced knowledge ‘tailor built’ for those working in end of life care. As a health and social care professional, you will be supported to enhance your knowledge, skills and competencies to support others to provide a high standard of end of life care in a range of settings.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.#firstchoiceforhealth
Key features
  • Undertake a programme reflecting the latest NICE guidelines and addressing the challenges faced by healthcare professionals working in end of life care environments.
  • Gain the specialist skills required to provide high-quality, tailored care responsive to the individual needs and preferences of patients in their last days and their families.
  • Explore pain and symptom management from both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions and learn more about the main sources of psychological distress in patients who have entered the palliative care stage.
  • Understand the common manifestations of ‘normal’ grief and therapeutic interventions in the facilitation of grief work in clinical practice. 
  • Learn from end of life practitioners with our academic partnership modules – very specific work related modules developed and delivered in partnership with local healthcare providers.
  • Forge inter-professional relationships and learn to work more effectively across professional and organisational boundaries to enhance the care you give.
  • Develop confidence, competence and emotional resilience to consistently exercise personal responsibility and professional accountability for decision making and the provision of high-quality safe care.
  • Flexibly designed programme enabling you to ‘step on and step off’ over a five-year period in response to service need and professional circumstances.
Course details
  • Year 1

  • This programme offers the awards of BSc / BSc (Hons), Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma. 
    BSc– to achieve a BSc you will need to earn 80 credits by undertaking two 20 credit core modules and up to two optional modules adding up to 40 credits.
    BSc (Hons)– to achieve a BSc (Hons) you will need to earn 120 credits by undertaking four core modules - three 20 credit modules and one 40 credit module - and one optional 20 credit module.
    Students who have previously obtained a health related degree at 2:2 or above are eligible to access the programme via the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma route – please see panel below for further details.
    The modules ‘HEAD354 – Facilitating patient centred care and choice through advanced communication skills’ and ‘HEAD361 – Independent study’ are only core modules for students who wish to achieve the BSc (Hons) Professional Development in End of Life Care.
    For further information on the modules that make up this programme please visit the BSc (Hons)/ BSc Professional Development modules
    Examples of optional modules (not exhaustive)
    HEAD304 – Supporting people in loss, grief and bereavement – enhanced practice
    HEAB350 – Supportive and palliative care and end of life care – enhanced practice

    Core modules

    • Facilitating Patient Centred Care and Choice through Advanced Communication Skills (HEAD354)

      This module offers practical communication skills enabling a range of practitioners to engage patients in difficult conversations, to facilitate advance care planning for those at end of life or with complex long term conditions who need to discuss future care options. It enables practitioners to ensure their practice continues to be evidenced based, promoting ongoing conversations with the patient and family/carers.

    • Independent Study (HEAD361)

      This module extends knowledge of primary and secondary research and develops critical appraisal skills. Students construct an integrative literature review of a practice focused research topic.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in End of Life Care programme specification_6161

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.
Entry requirements
To be eligible for the BSc or BSc (Hons) programme you will need to be either a registered health and social care professional or a health and social care worker in possession of previous study at level 5 (foundation degree /diploma of higher education). You will also need to be working in an environment in which end of life care needs are delivered.
If you wish to undertake the graduate certificate and graduate diploma award pathways you must already hold an honours degree at 2:2 or above in a health or health related subject as well as working in an environment in which end of life care needs are delivered.
If you wish to undertake any clinical skills modules as part of your programme you will need to be working in an environment where you can meet the learning outcomes.
Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice – minimum overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 6.5 average with a minimum 5.5 in each category.
Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and faculty procedures.
Extended entry requirements
Fees, costs and funding
The fee for this programme is dependent on the modules undertaken. Please see the relevant module web pages for further information.
How to apply
When to apply
Applications for this programme can usually be made throughout the year. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.
Apply for this programme
To apply for this programme please complete the application form and return via email to:
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case if you are an overseas student may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.
Support is also available from our International Office if you are an overseas student applying to the University.
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Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

If you have previously obtained a health related honours degree at 2:2 or above, you are eligible to access the course via the graduate certificate/diploma route:
Graduate Certificate Professional Development in End of Life Care – 60 credits at degree level
Graduate Diploma Professional Development in End of Life Care – 120 credits at degree level 
Students seeking to achieve either qualification will be required to achieve the specified number of credits by choosing from a range of pathway specific modules.
Please contact the Professional Development Unit at for further information.
Postgraduate students

Opportunities for postgraduate study in nursing

Be at the forefront of changes to the traditional ways of working and become a Clinical Practitioner (CP) with our MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner).

You’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose, treat and manage patients who present with undifferentiated and undiagnosed conditions, across all sectors of healthcare.

Certain clinicians can also exit as a non-medical prescriber, i.e. nurses, pharmacists and optometrists can become independent and/or supplementary prescribers, whilst radiographers, physiotherapists and podiatrists can become supplementary prescribers.

Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner)