Skip to content

Specialisation in palliative care (40 ECT)

Palliative care specialists assist terminally ill clients and patients, whose numbers are set to increase in health and social care as the population ages and chronic long-term illnesses become more common.  The specialisation programme equips you with the competencies required in specialist level (B/C) or core level (A) duties in palliative care.

The programme has been jointly designed by 18 universities of applied sciences: Diaconia, Karelia, Laurea, Savonia, HAMK, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Xamk, LAB, Lapland, Oulu, Saimaa, Satakunta, Seinäjoki, Tampere, Turku, Metropolia and Yrkeshögskolan Novia. The UAS institutions also collaborate in the delivery of the programme.

Who is it for?

The specialisation in palliative care is a multidisciplinary programme designed for individuals who have completed a higher education degree in health and social care or a comparable predecessor certification and have the required skills and knowledge and the motivation to develop their palliative care competencies. In addition, the programme can be offered to candidates who can otherwise demonstrate prerequisites and competencies as determined by the UAS.

Applicants are required to have work experience in health and social care duties. Previous experience of palliative care is beneficial.


The credit load of the programme is 30 ECTS, which corresponds to 810 hours of study.


The programme cost is €1,500 (0% VAT) which can be paid in one or two instalments.


The programme consists of three common core modules and one elective module:

  • Module 1: Client-centred palliative care process (6 ECTS)
  • Module 2: Symptom control and caring for a dying patient (10 ECTS)
  • Module 3: Psychosocial support, interaction and teamwork (9 ECTS)
  • Module 4: Elective studies (5 ECTS)


  • You will be able to demonstrate evidence-based, broad-based and advanced multidisciplinary clinical knowledge and skills in palliative care delivered in a client- and family-centred service process.
  • You will be able to perform duties of palliative care and rehabilitation in various settings and as part of multidisciplinary networks.
  • You will have a good command of client- and family-centred counselling methods and tools and be able to apply them in evolving settings.
  • You will possess good interaction skills with clients and their loved ones and be able to provide psychosocial support.
  • You will be able to evaluate and develop your own and your workplace community’s practice and competencies from an evidence-based approach.
  • You will be able to participate in the development and renewal of palliative care practices and client- and family-centred service processes at the regional and national levels.


The programme will be delivered in multimodal form and include both contact sessions and online study. The programme can be completed alongside your work.

The studies will be planned and implemented in cooperation with workplace organisations. The learning assignments are focused on the development of palliative care and personal expertise.


The programme started on 19 August 2020 and ends on 28 May 2021. The contact teaching days are scheduled as follows (subject to change):

Module 1:

  • Week 34: Tue 18 August 2020 and Wed 19 August 2020
  • Week 40: Tue 29 September 2020

Module 2:

  • Week 40: Wed 30 September 2020
  • Week 45: Tue 3 November 2020 and Wed 4 November 2020
  • Week 50: Wed 9 December 2020

Module 3:

  • Week 4: Monday 25 January 2021 and Tuesday 26 January 2021
  • Week 19: Tue 11 May 2021 and Wed 12 May 2021

Module 4:

  • Webinar, instruction on the development assignment 10 December 2020
  • Webinar, instruction on the development assignment 17 February 2021
  • ERKO symposium 13 April 2021 (Laurea, DIAK, Metropolia)


Contact sessions are organised in Helsinki.


Applications to the programme have now closed. Details of the next implementation will be released at a later date.

RPL application pathway

The programme is also open to applications via the RPL (recognition of prior learning) pathway. In the RPL process, the applicant describes and demonstrates their competencies relative to the curriculum of the Palliative Care specialisation programme. The applicant should describe their prior learning from previous specialisation programmes offered by UAS institutions (specialisation studies in palliative and end-of-life care, 30 ECTS (EQF/NQF 6), apprentice-based continuing studies in palliative care (30 ECTS, EQF/NQF 6) or at least 30 ECTS credits’ worth of Master-level higher education studies relating to palliative care (EQF/NQF Level 7)) and identify contents that are not covered by their prior specialisation studies.

In addition, the applicant should describe the types of workplaces they have worked in since the completion of prior learning.

The application should include a written statement of competencies and employment and educational certificates. UAS-level studies (EQF Level 6) completed within the past five years can be taken into consideration. Applicants who meet the criteria for the RPL pathway complete a work-based professional development module (5 ECTS), which includes a national exam.  In this case, the programme cost is €300.