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Many o​pportunities exist for learning about palliative care. Traditional methods such as diplomas, degrees, local courses, journals and books are widely available and easily accessible. For some people, though, open learning or self directed study might be the best option due to flexibility and cost. This page will provide you with some useful information and links. 

Open (or flexible) learning encompasses different kinds of learning and delivery from the traditional classroom style. It uses physical resources of some kind to enable students to develop their own knowledge and skills in their own time, at their own pace and, usually, at a place of their choosing. It offers you the opportunity for life long learning or professional development by being completely flexible so that you can choose a package to best suit your individual learning needs.

Open learning includes distance learning, e-learning and blended learning. 

E-learning describes the use of any information and communication technology to support and enhance teaching, learning and assessment. It uses a wide range of resources and materials e.g graphics, sound animation or multimedia to enhance the learning environment. There is currently a number of different sites relevant to palliative care. These are increasing all the time and any new sites will be added to this page as soon as possible. I hope you find a site which is useful to you and your preferred method. Good Luck!


E-Learning for End of Life Care

  • Launched in January 2010
  • Developed by e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) & Association for Palliative Medicine (APM).
  • Learning sessions have been written and peer reviewed by clinicians, other health and social care experts and practitioners.
  • Approx. 130 e-learning sessions available

CLICK HERE for Poster and link


New for nurses Post graduate Certificate, Diploma & MSc in Palliative Care by distance learning. Whatever your professional background and wherever you are in the world, you can now gain qualifications from Cardiff University - a centre of academic and clinical excellence. These qualifications have been specifically designed to meet the varying needs of busy palliative care practitioners working in different clinical settings. They are:

  • interprofessional
  • immediately clinically applicable
  • Modular including symptom control, advanced communciation skills with optional paediatric module
  • delivered by e-learning
  • culturally sensitive
  • based on reflective learning

Each course starts in September with a 2 day residential teaching block.

For further information please feel free to ring Julie Rowlands Course Tutor on 02920 196111 or visit the website on is an open learning site dedicated to the provision of free education that aims to enhance the understanding and the skills of health professionals and others concerned with the care of cancer patients.

The open learning site offers:


·              authoritative content written by expert health professionals;

·              a range of tests to allow learners to assess themselves on their understanding of course material;

·              links to, and information about, other valuable resources;

·              a constantly-updated series of frequently-asked questions and answers and a glossary of definitions of key terms;

·              the opportunity to send questions to course experts.


Current courses are:

Cancer Care for Children and Young People

Cancer of the Oesophagus

Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)

Hypercalcaemia in Malignant Disease

Introduction to Palliative Care Nursing

Introduction to Stoma Care

Management of Skin Tunnelled CVCs

Neuroendocrine Tumours

Pain 1 - TheNature of Pain and Suffering

Pain 2 - The Assessment of Pain

Paind 3 - The Managemet of Pain

Peripheral Intravenous Cannulation

PICCS and PICC Chemotherapy

Renal Cancer

Wound Management in Cancer and Palliative Care


Current Learning in Palliative Care:  CLIP

Helping others to learn about caring for people with advanced disease has always been a fundamental part of effective palliative care. The aim of CLIP is to provide resources for professionals, carers and teams with the knowledge and skills needed in their daily work. The CLIP worksheets grew from the idea of a "coffee update". The principle was to develop flexible learning materials hich could be used at coffee time, but also be used in a variety of settings. Helping others to learn about caring for people with advanced disease has always been a fundamental part of effective palliative care. The aim is to resource existing professionals, carers and teams with the knowledge and skills needed in their daily work. CLIP Index


Open University Death and Dying self-directed teaching.
This module explores many aspects on death and dying. How have medicine and the funeral industry changed the ways in which society handles death and dying? Are death and dying still taboo subjects? To what extent has the work of the hospice movement reduced the fear of death? How has palliative care  changed the experience of those involved?  K260 Death and Dying    Short Course  KG001 Improving end of life care

Mckinley Syringe Driver e learning is a password protected site where palliative care professionals meet online to share elements of practice, expertise and ideas. The site provides essential, comprehensive and independent information for health professionals about the use of drugs in palliative care. The site includes a bulletin board and newsletter for those who register.

NEC: Understanding Grief and Loss - self-directed teaching
National Extension College courses are specifically designed in a format that allows you to study at your own pace, in your own time, wherever you wish. 'Understanding loss and grief' is a course of self directed study which provides guidance and advice for anyone whose work brings them into contact with the bereaved, and is particularly suitable for those working in a caring profession. It is also for those wishing to gain accreditation in this specialised field of care.

Offering support to someone who is suffering from loss or bereavement is a tremendous challenge, both personally and professionally.  It will also enable you to gain a qualification in this specialised area, the NCFE Partnership Award in Understanding Loss and Grief Level 3/4.

No previous training or qualifications are required for this course. 

Being told that you have an illness can be confusing and frightening, and finding reliable information can be frustrating. Click on to see a wide variety of personal experiences of health and illness. You can watch, listen to or read the interviews, find reliable information on treatment choices and where to find support. The site covers cancer, heart disease, neurological conditions amongst others.

Palliative Medicine Handbook

On-line Edition

by Ian N Back

Consultant in Palliative Medicine
Holme Tower Marie Curie Centre, Penarth, Wales, UK
Pontypridd & Rhondda NHS Trust, Wales, UK

Important Note
The author has, as far as it is possible, taken care to ensure that the information given in this text is accurate and up to date. However, readers are strongly advised to confirm that the information, especially with regards to drug usage, complies with the latest legislation and standards of practice. The author does not accept responsibility or legal liability for any errors in the text, or for the misuse or misapplication of material in this work. To follow the link 
click here

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF):

Do you recognise pain in someone with a learning difficulty and dementia? A set of resources to help care staff, GPs and carers to recognise and treat pain in people who have a learning difficulty and dementia are available by accessing the link below


Advance Care Planning

This site aims to increase awareness of Advance Care Planning along with tools, techniques and articles about it. It's has been commissioned by The Department of Health and Social Care Institute of Excellence.