University of Technology Sydney

C07131v1 Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care

Award(s): Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care (GradDipPallCare)
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 48
Course EFTSL: 1
Location: City campus


This course offers a mid-year intake for local students.

All subjects in the course are delivered by distance (online).

This course is not offered to international students.

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Articulation with UTS courses
Other information


The Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care is designed for registered health professionals with substantial clinical, policy or educational health experience who are looking to extend their palliative care capabilities to become future palliative care experts in their field.

This course delivers sustainable, high-quality interdisciplinary education, developed and delivered in collaboration with leading contemporary experts in the field. Each of the eight subjects comprises a mix of theory, evidence-based and clinical practice, and can be completed in part-time mode. Subjects include a range of current healthcare contexts (including complex communication, social justice, law and ethics, and public health) so students can practise safely and proficiently to provide person-centred health care and contribute to quality outcomes for those in their care.

The course prepares students for advanced practice as registered health professionals with skills in palliative care clinical performance capabilities, and critical decision-making and leadership skills.

This diploma has strong links to industry and is firmly grounded in contemporary and best evidence-based, person-centred healthcare practices. The course closely integrates theory and practice-based learning and assessment in a combination of online learning, classroom, state-of-the-art simulation laboratories and authentic clinical settings. Guest presenters include industry-based health practitioners and other experts from a range of clinical settings to ensure that knowledge and skills are evidence-based and clearly reflect advanced practice as it is today. Presenters adopt a range of teaching and learning strategies to enhance the student experience, such as participatory online and real-time learning activities, communities of practice, media resources, podcasts and case-based scenarios. These course features ensure that graduates are practice-ready, able to work in dynamic and changeable healthcare environments, and prepared to make significant contributions to positive patient outcomes.

Course aims

The overall aim of the course is to prepare graduates to become palliative care clinical leaders.

Career options

The course is ideally suited to health professionals who envisage a future in palliative care and are committed to driving international, national and local palliative carer reforms designed to improve patients' and families' end-of-life care experiences. The interdisciplinary course is nested with the Master of Palliative Care (C04365) and equips health professionals with the necessary clinical capabilities to assess and manage within their scope of practice palliative care patients' and families' complex needs. Bringing together the nursing, medical and allied health disciplines, this course focuses on the effective management of interdisciplinary care in the context of prescribing and referral practices, diagnostic investigations and developing comprehensive treatment plans.

Career options include working in palliative care policy at a state or national level, and providing palliative care in a variety of clinical areas such as emergency, critical care, surgical and medical specialties, community-based care, mental health, specialist palliative care, paediatrics, aged care, chronic disease management and primary health care.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.0 Work creatively to optimise the provision of person-centred care
1.1 Prioritise participation and empowerment of people and their families/carers to have a central role in their care
2.0 Communicate effectively and appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations
2.1 Communicate capably to support optimal palliative care practice, research, policy and education outcomes
2.2 Develop effectiveness and sensitivity when communicating with diverse populations
3.0 Prioritise inter-professional collaborative practice to ensure the highest quality palliative care for all
3.1 Explore models based on principles of collaboration, openness, respect, empowerment, and shared decision-making
3.2 Participate in and evaluate inter-professional collaborative opportunities
4.0 Provide effective, creative and responsive leadership that promotes optimal palliative care
4.1 Contribute to programs or projects that aim optimise palliative care
4.2 Explore equitable, high-quality, safe palliative care across diverse populations
5.0 Create adaptive professionals who continuously analyse, critique and reflect on their role
5.1 Provides critical analyses and evaluation to transform evidence to influence knowledge and practice professional standards
5.2 Demonstrate autonomy, expert judgement and legal and ethical accountability to promote safe, effective and evidence-based solutions
5.3 Apply technical capabilities and critical thinking to design research and evaluation processes to improve outcomes
6.0 Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness
6.1 Demonstrate respect and value for world view differences and in particular Australian Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing
6.3 Critically reflect upon the impact of previous colonisation practices and current political practices and their pervasive discourse on Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

Applicants must have:

  • Current registration in Australia as a health professional. Registration will be confirmed via the National Register of Practitioners.
  • Concurrent employment or access to the clinical area of study, and one year post registration clinical experience.

Registered health professionals who do not meet the admission criteria for a threshold offer – such as applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree but have recent relevant work experience – may be considered eligible. Applicants must present evidence of a capacity to undertake tertiary study via submission of a CV, which should include details of completion of hospital or college certificates and professional or staff development. The Faculty reviews and determines if the applicant is eligible based on evidence of prior learning and demonstrated capability.

The English proficiency requirement for local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64 with a writing score of 50; or C1A/C2P: 176-184 with a writing score of 169.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

Course duration and attendance

This course is offered on a two-year, part-time basis.

Course structure

Students must complete 48 credit points made up of 36 credit points of core subjects and 12 credit points of electives offered by UTS: Health.

Course completion requirements

STM91273 Palliative Care Level 1 18cp
STM91272 Palliative Care Level 2 18cp
Select 12 credit points of options: 12cp
CBK91756 Electives12cp 
Total 48cp

Course program

The following example shows a typical part-time program.

Autumn commencing
Year 1
Autumn session
96801 Communicating and Collaborating for Optimal Person Centred Care   6cp
96802 Delivering Best Palliative Care Any Place Every Time   6cp
Spring session
96803 Complex Symptom Management   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
CBK91756 Electives 12cp  
Year 2
Autumn session
96804 Immersive Palliative Care Futures   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
CBK91756 Electives 12cp  
Spring session
96805 Ethical, Legal and Moral Dilemmas of Palliative Care   6cp
96806 Translating Evidence into Change   6cp

Articulation with UTS courses

This course is part of an articulated program made up of the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care (C11268), the Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care, and the Master of Palliative Care (C04365).

Other information

Further information is available from:

UTS Student Centre
telephone 1300 ask UTS (1300 275 887)
or +61 2 9514 1222
UTS: Health

Michelle DiGiacomo,
Course coordinator

Palliative Care Programs: