What Will You Study
Education in palliative care is valued across Europe and also internationally, particularly in resource poor countries. This PhD is the first doctoral programme to be offered globally, and the first to support the education of palliative care professionals - generating knowledge that’s relevant and applicable to their working contexts.
Our prestigious Division of Health Research is home to the International Observatory on End of Life Care and to a number of staff who are internationally recognised experts in this field of study. The PhD in Palliative Care is your chance to work with these world-leading academics on the production of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge development within your area of professional practice.
Combining innovative distance learning and an annual Academy held at the University, this part-time, flexible degree will help you to gain an understanding of the development of end of life services and movements in different settings and cultures around the world; the models of care that have been adopted; and the issues involved in assessing the impact of these – individually, socially and societally.
Run over 4-5 years (minimum 4 years), your Doctorate begins with a five-day Induction Academy at the University. Each of the subsequent academic years start with an optional three-day Academy. The rest of the course is delivered via e-learning.
Throughout your studies, we will support you as you enhance your leadership skills and effectiveness, and develop advanced skills in research design, practice and dissemination. You’ll foster critical approaches to the review of evidence and improve your written and oral presentation skills.
Years one and two provide you with training in research and the theory and practice relating to end of life care. Your specialist module in Year one is Palliative Care, which is studied alongside the Philosophy of Research, and, Research Design. In Year two, you will undertake the following modules: Systematic Reviews; Data Analysis; and Advanced Research Planning.
Years three to four/five see you undertake a research project in Palliative Care, which will conclude with the submission of your 35,000 word thesis. The project will be supervised from the University but undertaken in your own location or workplace. Supervisions can be via telephone, e-mail or Skype, depending on preference. Face-to-face meetings with your supervisors will take place during the annual Academy.
You will participate in lectures, workshops, group discussions and individual activities during each Academy, while our distance learning approach combines live and interactive lectures, elements to be worked through autonomously, webinars and online collaboration, and group work.
You will benefit from being part of a UK and internationally-based peer group of health workers, including those involved in: the delivery of clinical services, including managers and clinicians; those working in policy development relating to palliative care in government departments, NGOs, and private foundations; those responsible for educational programmes in hospices, colleges and universities; and those involved in palliative care research and development. Like you, your fellow students will share an interest in becoming tomorrow’s leaders in palliative care and will be undertaking formal study at the same time as they are working.
All students have access to a Hub space that facilitates interaction with your cohort and with other programmes, creating a virtual information space that’s also sociable. An academic tutor and then two research supervisors will provide you with support for each step of your PhD. They will also encourage you to attend external workshops and conferences (using University funds, where available, to support this).