We have some new dates available for selected modules. Please only apply if your funding is confirmed.

The Royal Marsden School

Palliative Care and Symptom Management



Delivery method


Length of module

This online module is run over 12 weeks and consists of 5 half day live ‘virtual’ tutorials which require attendance, and 5 half days of independent online working. There is also group work activities to be completed.

Academic credits and level

15 credits at level 6 or 7

Entry requirements

Applicants should currently be caring for people with a life limiting condition

Course summary

Students will explore the philosophy of palliative care and symptom management and apply this knowledge to their care of patients living with a life-limiting condition in a range of health and social care settings. 

This module is recommended for health and social care practitioners from any care setting working with individuals with a palliative condition. It will provide students with the knowledge and skills required to support and care for patients, maintaining their quality of life through holistic assessment, optimal symptom management, supportive communication, and multidisciplinary team working.

 I thoroughly enjoyed the days in the school: the group dynamics were great and well-facilitated by the module leader, who encouraged group participation. It was really interesting hearing other students’ experiences. 

This module is in association with:


Key topics

  • Palliative care in non-malignant and malignant conditions
  • Symptom assessment and management: Pain/ Breathlessness/ Nausea and vomiting/ Constipation/ Depression/ Palliative care emergencies 
  • Difficult conversations e.g. advanced care planning 
  • Psychological, spiritual and social issues 
  • Ethical dilemmas

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module at Level 6 you should be able to demonstrate achievement of the following learning outcomes:

  • Critically discuss the philosophy of palliative care and relate this to own clinical practice
  • Critically discuss the professional and ethical issues inherent in the provision of palliative care to individuals with advanced disease
  • Critically analyse the principles of symptom management to enhance patients’ quality of life
  • Critically evaluate the importance of communication skills in the delivery of care to individuals with advanced disease
  • Critically discuss the political, social, and strategic influences on palliative care services

On successful completion of the module at Level 7 you should be able to demonstrate achievement of the following learning outcomes:

  • Critically analyse the concept of palliative care in the context of its’ broad philosophy and how this relates to your own practice and environment
  • Critically analyse the issues related to palliative care provision, synthesising the ethical and professional core values into the analysis of care provision in advanced disease
  • Critically evaluate the literature base in relation to the identification, implementation, and evaluation of symptom management in advanced disease
  • Critically evaluate how communication skills impact the palliative care of individuals affected by the advanced disease, synthesising the contribution of theory to practice
  • Critically evaluate the political, social and strategic influences that impact on palliative care services


Dates will be added for new applications as they become available. Please check back regularly for updates.


Level 6: 2,000 word essay
Level 7: 3,000 word essay

Student support

Tutorials with the module leader or personal tutor are available if students require additional help with the planning and writing of their assignments. Email and telephone support are also available from the module leader/personal tutor.

The Royal Marsden School uses an online environment called Moodle which students must access during their studies to support and enhance our courses. The site provides resources and communication tools. All students will be provided with a username and password to access module specific sections as well as general learning support such as study skills and library resources. Students also have access to the David Adams Library and Electronic Resource Centre. 

To get the best from the live video-conferencing sessions and enable you to participate fully you should have access to a computer or laptop with a camera and microphone. If you have any concerns or need help, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Related pathways

We anticipate high demand for this module and will only process fully completed applications with funding confirmation. Please do not apply if you do not have funding confirmed.

This course is currently unavailable.