PhD in Palliative Care

Study for a PhD by blended learning

The aim of the course is to equip people working in palliative, hospice and end of life care to undertake advanced study within their chosen field, including clinical work, education, research, management, policy and advocacy.

The objectives of the course are:

  • To promote the development of advanced practice in palliative care service organisation and delivery
  • To create leaders in palliative care
  • To enhance scholarship skills
  • To foster critical approaches to evidence review and knowledge management
  • To develop advanced skills in research design, practice and dissemination
  • To acquire a critical understanding of policy issues affecting service development in specific settings

Who should apply?

This PhD course will appeal to a wide range of people working in hospice, palliative care and end of life care:

  • Clinicians
  • Managers
  • Educators
  • Policy makers
  • Researchers

It is not restricted to any one professional group or discipline, and is intended to be international in focus, appealing to people working in a variety of settings such as:

  • Health Care
  • Social Care
  • Hospices
  • Charities
  • Foundations
  • Non Government Organisations

Entry Requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements are:

  • A good first degree (minimum 2:1) and/or a Masters.
  • Relevant experience of working within the palliative care.
  • If English is not your first language an overall IELTS score of at least 6.5 is required (a minimum of 5.5 must be achieved in each separate skill: writing, reading, listening and speaking). Alternative qualifications are accepted.

Applicants must also include with their application:

  • Two references from individuals able to comment on the applicant's suitability for study at a PhD level (it is recommended that at least one should be from an academic);
  • A 500 word research proposal which should include an introduction to the study topic, research questions and the methods that may be used. (We recognise that these ideas are likely to change)
  • A personal statement giving a clear indication of their motivation for pursuing a PhD in Palliative Care
  • A CV

Course Duration

Commencing in June, the minimum is 4 years and the maximum is 7 years.


Applications to the PhD in Palliative Care can be made via the University's online applications system.


You can download a copy of the PhD in Palliative Care flyer by clicking the link below:

PhD in Palliative Care flyer


Division of Health scholarships

Useful information on funding sources can be found at Find a PhD and Lancaster Financial Awards


For further information, please contact:

Dr Sarah Brearley

Tel: +44 (0)1524 592574

International Observatory on End of Life Care
Division of Health Research
Bowland Tower East
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YT
United Kingdom

Praise for our Summer Academy

"The research summer academy was an intensive, stimulating, exhausting and yet exhilarating experience"
Martina O'Reilly, Quality & Research Co-Ordinator, Limerick

"Overall I found the week challenging, extremely informative and an excellent theoretical foundation to build my PhD project"
Loreena Hill, Cardiac Liaison Nurse with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Both Martina and Loreena above were awarded bursaries by All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) to attend our Summer Academy in April 2012.

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