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The University of Southampton

NQCG3153 Palliative and End of Life Care for people with life threatening illness.

Module Overview

In recent years there have been significant improvements in the palliative and end of life care provided to people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. However, evidence points to the need for continuing efforts to enhance the care and support provided by health and social care professionals (DH 2010a, Godwin 2010; Holloway and Smith 2010a; 2011). The proposed module, Palliative and End of Life Care for people with life threatening illness is designed to prepare practitioners to meet this challenge. The programme is relevant to practitioners of any discipline working with people (and those close to them), of any age with any condition that has resulted in a need for palliative and end of life care. Students will be provided with the opportunity to develop their skills in relation to applied ethics and decision making, assessment and communication with patients and (those close to them). The module will encourage students to reflect on their experience and expand their understanding using a research and inquiry-based approach

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the experience of patients and families facing life threatening illness.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and understanding of the emotional responses to life-threatening illness of patients, family and self.
  • Critically analyse and reflect upon the contribution of knowledge to palliative and end of life care.
  • Evaluate the implications of your learning in relation to your practice
  • Critically discuss ways in which your learning needs will inform your future practice and be disseminated to others.


• Grief and loss over the life span development – children, adults and older people – will include theories of loss, attachment and meaning etc. • Communication skills, including breaking bad news, appropriate challenging, dealing with anger, denial, collusion and inter-professional working. • Working with families / family theory. • Nature of malignant and non-malignant disease. • Holistic care in relation to pain and symptom assessment and management. • Key policies e.g. NHS End of Life Care Programme (DH2006) • Concepts of a ‘good death’ including multicultural aspects. • Dying trajectories. • Ethical decision-making at the end of life, including patient centred perspectives e.g. advanced directives. • Spiritual care e.g. concepts of spiritual health and ‘disease’. • Maintaining personal and professional boundaries. • After death care e.g. last offices, tissue donation, unified DNR form.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching and learning methods are designed explore your clinical experienceso that you can integrate theory and research in the provision of quality care for people with palliative and end of life care needs. Learning methods in this module will include group discussions, group activities, problem solving,and individual learning - through reading, reviewing literature, homework, literature searching and utilisation of databases to retrieve information, reflection Inquiry based learning will be the foundation used to support your learning - through critical reflection of your practice you will identify the personal, cultural, professional, political and social drivers underpinning your practice.

Guided independent study219
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

End of Life Care Core Skills Education and Training Framework.

End of Life Care Strategy. Department of Health (2010) End of Life Care Strategy. London: DH.

One Chance to Get it Right: Improving people’s experience of care in last few days and hours of life.

Rolfe G. Jasper M. and Freshwater D (2010). Critical reflection in practice generating knowledge for care.. 

Matzo M, Sherman DW, eds. (2015). Palliative Care Nursing: Quality Care to the End of Life. 

Cherny N, Fallon M, Kaasa S, Portenoy RK, and Currow DC (Eds) (2015). Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 

Chan R and Webster J (2010). End-of Life care pathways for improving outcomes in caring for the dying. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. ,Issue 1 .


Assessment Strategy

The module provides students with early feedback in response to a formative assignment during the module taught time, and before the submission of the summative assignment. The forms of assessment have been designed to develop your skills of academic, critical reflection


Critical discussion


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Reflection  (3300 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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