Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Postgraduate > Taught Masters Courses > M.Sc. in Palliative Care

Master in Science in Palliative Care

Key Facts

Course Code: DPTNM-PCAR-1P09

Duration: 2 years part-time

Next Intake: September annually

Closing date for applications: 31 July

Location: 24 D'Olier Street

Fees: Further information on course fees can be found at Academic Registry.


The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to facilitate students to develop a comprehensive academic and evidence-based approach to their practice, to critically explore and critique palliative care service provision. It is run in partnership with St. Francis Hospice, Dublin, with design and delivery input from the TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery; TCD School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the TCD Discipline of Occupational Therapy. The course is open to a wide range of professionals.

Structure & Delivery

Year One

Commences with a full week in September and thereafter one or two days per week for the remainder of the academic year.

Year Two

Attendance at workshops throughout the academic year.

During Year One of the course, students undertake a total of 104 hours of supernumerary clinical placements in various care settings relevant to the speciality of palliative care. They may be required to attend additional teaching sessions or clinical placements at associated service provider sites as well as at the student’s practice base clinical site. A blended learning approach is utilised in the delivery of theoretical content which includes lectures, group discussions and self-directed learning. Content for some modules are delivered completely online. The assessment process is a combination of written and practical assignments.

Course Content

Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Practice

Year One

Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Care

Year One

and a choice between one of the two following modules:

Master in Science in Palliative Care

Year One

and a choice between one of the two following modules:

Year Two

Clinical Placement

Practice is an integral component to the MSc Palliative Care course and as such, students are required to engage in critical analysis of their practice in relation to applying the principles and philosophy of palliative care. Students engaging in this course will concurrently be providing care to persons with Palliative Care needs and their families, at their usual (or base) clinical site. In addition, and in order to expand on students' knowledge and experience in Palliative Care, a minimum of one hundred and four hours of supernumerary clinical placements will be established with the co-operation of clinical sites within and beyond St Francis Hospice services. The difference in client caseload that each site offers will further enhance the richness of clinical exposure for the student and challenge their ability to adapt their clinical skills to match a variety of client groups. These placements will take place across a variety of clinical placement sites throughout the first year of the programme. Students undertaking the Clinical Module are required to be Garda vetted by Trinity College, Dublin.

Clinical Allocations

Clinical Skills Centre

Entry Requirement

The criteria for admission are that the candidate must

  • Have a minimum of one year’s clinical experience in palliative care practice (level one; level two or level 3) within the last two years
  • For the duration of the course, candidates must be employed in Ireland in an area where the principles of palliative care are operationalised when caring for individuals with life limiting conditions, and their families
  • Hold an honours degree in a health professional or related subject area, or otherwise satisfy the selection panel that they have the ability to complete and benefit from the course
  • Nurses or midwives undertaking this course must be currently registered on the appropriate division of the live register held by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
  • Students on courses with clinical or other professional placements may be required to undergo Garda vetting procedures prior to commencing placements, by Trinity College

Documentation required to complete application

  • 2 Academic reference
  • Copies of academic transcripts from completed educational courses
  • Copies of official awards (parchment) from completed educational courses

Flexibility in Progression from P.Grad.Cert. and P.Grad.Dip. to M.Sc.

All students register on the M. Sc. programme in the first instance.

Upon successful completion of three specialist modules, each of 10 ECTS credits, totalling 30 ECTS credits, students may opt to be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate (P.Grad.Cert.*) or may progress further on the Master (M.Sc.) programme.

Upon successful completion of six modules, each of 10 ECTS credits, totalling 60 ECTS credits, students may opt to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (P.Grad.Dip.) or may progress further on the Master (M.Sc.) programme.

Students who are eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma may progress to undertake a M.Sc. within four years of first entering the programme.


All applicants to the School of Nursing and Midwifery whose first language is not English or who have not been educated through the medium of English must present one of the following qualifications in the English language:

  • IELTS: Grade 6.5 overall with a minimum of grade of 6 in each category
  • TOEFL: 88 internet-based, 570 paper-based, 230 computer-based. The test taken here should be TOEFL IBT
  • University of Cambridge: 
    Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2) 
    Advanced Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE Academic: a minimum score of 63 to be eligible (with no section score below 59)
  • An award certificate with a minimum II.1 overall score from Trinity's Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching's Pre-sessional Pathway Programme
  • Duolingo English Test: minimum overall score of 110/160, dated since January 2020

The Pre-Master’s Pathway Programme is an academic English course for international students with conditional offers for postgraduate study at Trinity. Passing the programme means you meet Trinity’s English language requirement and can progress to your postgraduate course without retaking IELTS or any other exam. Click here for Pre-Master’s Pathway Programme.

Please also note that existing IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and PET scores up to three years old (rather than two) will be accepted for 2020/21 applications in light of test centre closures.

For further details on these English Language Proficiency Tests, please contact the appropriate organisation directly.