The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care

The MSc in Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care is an inter-professional programme for healthcare practitioners who wish to develop their practice and leadership in cancer, palliative or end of life care.

Our goal is to produce clinical leaders who will be the drivers for change; providing expert care, developing those you work with and influencing the shape of care to make services better for patients. Both your clinical abilities and your leadership qualities will be greatly enhanced as a result of this course. We also expect your higher level performance to become the standard by which your junior colleagues judge themselves.

This MSc option is very flexible, with students able to complete the course over one year full time, and up to five years part time.

Introducing your course


The MSc Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care is designed to enhance the quality of care and services provided to those with or surviving cancer and other life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, and those at the end of life, by enabling emerging and established clinical leaders to critically champion compassionate and informed care, provide quality services and create learning environments for staff that will enable them to strive for excellence.

This programme will enable you to develop the qualities required for clinical leadership and advanced practice in cancer, palliative and end of life care. These are the qualities needed by ‘practice leaders …who are firmly grounded in direct care provision or clinical work with patients, families and populations … constantly working to improve the quality of services and patient care’ (DH, 2010:7). They include clinical acumen (the ability to lead and manage complex care), clinical interpretation (the ability to interpret policy and research, and design and lead clinical services fit for purpose), and clinical relationships (the ability to develop others and foster excellence).


Patient hand with IV line present


Level: 7

Duration: One year full time; two to five years part time

The programme is designed to help you: refine expertise in your selected specialty; proactively respond to the changing health and social care climate; design and lead services that provide excellence; engage in national and international networks; and nurture and inspire others. The programme has been mapped to the attributes of advanced level practice outlined by government bodies in the United Kingdom (Department of Health 2010, National Health Service Scotland 2008). UK professionals who may need to demonstrate their advanced level attributes to registration bodies will be able to do so through the completion of this programme.

The key features of this programme are:

  • This programme can be undertaken by any registered health or social care practitioner working with people of any age with cancer, other life limiting or life-threatening illnesses and those with palliative and end of life care needs.
  • The interdisciplinary community that this creates provides a rich learning environment fostered by educational approaches that encourage discussion and debate.
  • You can expect to experience seminars and symposiums, leadership skills rehearsals, master-classes and to receive academic and personal support and research coaching.
  • The programme is designed to have impact in your workplace, and therefore the assignments of the core modules are negotiated by you with the module lead to meet both your workplace and professional development needs.
  • You will also be a member of an internationally renowned research group.
View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You can apply to register to undertake this MSc degree online

In addition to registering for the degree, many courses will also require you to separately register for your chosen individual modules of study each year once dates are published. Please discuss this with the programme leader. Applicants may be required to attend an interview.  Applications are welcome from international students.

Programme Leader: Kay Townsend 023 8059 7911

Programme Structure

The programme consists of five modules and a dissertation: two speciality core modules; two student selected core modules; an e-learning research module; a dissertation.


For the award of Master of Science Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care (90 ECTS) you must have successfully completed:


• Specialist Practice in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care (15 ECTS)

• Leading policy and service design in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care (15 ECTS)

• A student selected (optional) module (10 ECTS).

• A negotiated student selected (optional) module agreed with the programme lead that develops your clinical leadership expertise in one of these three areas (10 ECTS):

1. Clinical acumen (the ability to lead and manage complex care). Examples include:

 Advancing Practice in Critical Care

 Contemporary Advances in Cardiology

 Decision Making for Advanced Clinical Practice

 Independent and Supplementary Prescribing Part 2: Prescribing in Practice


2. Clinical interpretation (the ability to interpret policy and research and design and lead clinical services fit for purpose). Examples include:

 Applied Qualitative Research Methods

 Applied Quantitative Research Methods

 Collaborative Working for Community Capacity

 Decision Making (The Essence of Decision Making)

 People, Politics, Practice: Contextualising Health Care Research


3. Clinical relationships (the ability to develop others and foster excellence). Examples include:

 Learning and Teaching in Health and Social Care

 Principles of Coaching: Improving Workforce Performance

• e-Research Methods (10 ECTS)

• Dissertation (30 ECTS)


Key Facts

A programme for practitioners of any discipline caring for individuals of any age with cancer, or who have palliative and end of life care needs as a consequence of any illness or life-threatening event.

Commonwealth Scholarship promotion

There are a limited number of scholarships available for this course.  More information about the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Awards 2016/17 and how to apply can be found on their website

End of life care education

Dr Sue Duke and students talk about end of life care education

More about out research

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

The normal entry requirements for the Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End of Life Care Masters degree courses are:

  • A first degree (2:2 Hons or above) or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education. Admission to the programme will take account of applicants’ clinical experience and expertise as well as academic credit.
  • A current professional registration with relevant professional/statutory body or equivalent.
  • Current employment in a clinical service providing care to adults or young people or children with cancer, or palliative care (as a consequence of any illness) or end of life care needs
  • A satisfactory reference and evidence of support from your manager or evidence of relevant professional expertise.
  • Overall IELTS of 6.5 or above with no less than a 6.0 in each component.

Premasters programme

The Masters with Integrated Preparatory Study is available to help international students to prepare and successfully complete this masters programme.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

The core modules of the MSc in clinical leadership in cancer, palliative and end of life care are designed to enable you to progressively develop your leadership ability. Three core themes are integrated within the core modules – leading and managing complex care, interpreting policy and research, and the development of others.  These are explored with respect to your practice, the service in which you work, and your ability to develop others and to engage in national and international agendas.

Two optional modules will be selected from the choices available across the University, appropriate to your practice. To see a full list of individual modules, please follow the link below.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile. You will be expected to submit two hard copies of assessed course work. This work needs to be word processed. The University provides access to IT resources and printing but you will be expected to pay for printing costs, any visual reproductions and any binding of work required.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from most good book sellers. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentIT: The programme utilises information technology to support your learning, e.g. a web based learning environment, emails and hyperlinks to online resources. The University has over 1,700 workstations with high-speed internet access, so you do not need to purchase your own, but if you do use your own device there is free WiFi access across campus and software free to download such as Endnote which manages references.
Printing and copyingYou will be expected to submit two hard copies of assessed course work. This work needs to be word processed. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
OtherTravel: You will be expected to manage your own transport and associated costs, such as car parking charges, associated with attending study days and any observational visits undertaken for the work-based component of the programme. Accommodation: You will be expected to manage your own accommodation and associated costs if needed to attend the programme. The University of Southampton Accommodation website offers information and guidance about accommodation in both private rented and halls of residence. A list of local bed and breakfast accommodation is also available.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

University of Southampton

University of Southampton Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, the Faculty of Health...Find out more

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