Program Overview

Palliative care professionals provide essential support to patients and their families with a focus on improving quality of life for people living with a serious, sometimes critical illness. Fanshawe's Palliative Care graduate studies program provides students with the training required to support the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of patients who are experiencing a transition in health care.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
30 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 May
2025 January
2025 May
2023 September
2024 January

Your Learning Experience

This one-year (two semester) Palliative Care graduate certificate program is designed for international students who are graduates of community studies and healthcare programs and are interested in working with palliative individuals. In this program, students will enhance their foundational knowledge, learn practical skills and engage in exercises that will benefit not only the student’s professional practice but also the palliative individual.

Using state-of-the-art experiential options, graduates will combine the elements of this graduate program with their own educational foundation to provide a more comprehensive, compassionate, holistic approach to enhance the quality of life for palliative individuals and their family. This program will be delivered primarily face-to-face.  

Note: This program will be delivered in Toronto for international students only through the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC).

Learning Outcomes
  1.  Advocate for the dignity, self-worth and independence of the palliative individual, their family and significant others to enhance quality of life and meet their needs.
  2. Reflect on one’s own feelings and values in the areas of loss and bereavement and to plan for self care.
  3. Collaborate as part of an interdisciplinary team in palliative care within the scope of one’s own profession to provide integrated, inclusive and holistic care
  4. Communicate with compassion while adapting to the needs of the palliative individual, their family and significant others in a variety of situations
  5. Practice stress management skills using reflective practice to prioritize self-care and support the care team, the palliative individual and their family
  6. Develop, implement, document and re-assess a plan of care for a palliative individual in consultation with the interprofessional team members.



Admission Requirements

- Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, Degree, or equivalent in a health or community service discipline;


- An acceptable combination of related work experience and post-secondary education as judged by the College*

NOTE: *Applicants may be required to submit a resume and cover letter that includes details of work experience.
International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
IELTS Academic Overall score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0 in any of the four bands
CAEL Overall score of 70 with no score less than 60 in any of the four bands
PTE Academic 59
Cambridge English Overall score of 176 with no language skill less than 169
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 9, 75% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall score of 120, with no score lower than 105


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, Degree, or equivalent in a health or community service discipline.
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

This is an intensive program that deals with the very sensitive stage of life where individuals and families/supports are dealing with emotions and plans around the death and dying of a loved one. Prospective students should be prepared to manage and reflect on their own experiences, beliefs and values around the care of loved ones in the final stages of life. Self care is an important part of this program, as it is in Palliative Care.
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:

1. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
2. Achievement of the Admission Requirements


Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
HLTH-6052Cornerstone of Palliative Care3
This course will present the student with the foundations and principles of palliative care. Identification, recognition, and management of palliative symptoms will be taught through theory and class group work. The most common major diseases that require palliation will be examined and the impact their disease progression has on the palliative care process will be explored. Students will learn the cornerstones of palliative care, self-reflection, assessments, documentation tools relevant to their practice and the language used in practice to build understanding of palliative care.
COMM-6048Communication & Relationships in PC3
Effective communication is essential to all aspects of care. Students will develop skills, strategies, and techniques of communication, to practice in an effective, empathetic professional manner with the palliative person, their family, and the care team. Students will explore strategies to overcome communication challenges. Through theory, group work, students will enhance the proficiency of communication within their disciplines and with the individuals personally involved in the dynamic journey of palliative care.
HLTH-6053Comprehensive Palliative Care3
Treating the "whole" person through addressing the emotional, social, cultural, spiritual, and physical needs of the palliative individual. Students will explore trauma informed knowledge to enhance their holistic care for the palliative individual, their family. Students will learn and explore these concepts through theory, group work, case studies and apply them to support the planning of care for the palliative individual. Students will learn to evaluate planning of care, along with interdisciplinary team collaboration, how to apply the transitional changes and challenges experienced by the palliative individual to the development of new care planning. Students will explore strategies to manage stresses, both physical and emotional, into practice to maintain the dignity and holistic approach that support the dynamic journey of palliative care.
SOSC-6004Diversity in Palliative Care3
Diverse cultural ideals regarding death, dying and grief will be explored. Students will develop a better understanding and awareness of palliation as it applies to cultural diversity, the differing ages of those requiring palliative care and its effects on our multicultural society. Critical thinking skills will be practiced through case studies and group work encompassing the importance of respect, reflection, application of cultural diversity in planning care and practicing as part of an interdisciplinary care team. Understanding of culture and diversity will assist in assessing the challenges and benefits of holistic care, not only for the palliative individual but also their family and care givers.
SOSC-6005Awareness of Death & Dying3
Grief and death are part of life. Personal experience influences how that is perceived. Students will explore the physiological, psychological, social aspects of death, dying, bereavement and its effects on the palliative individual and their family. Students will learn the differences in grief and bereavement of an expected death and an unexpected death. Students will learn the evolving roles they have in developing and supporting the individuals and family as they transition through the palliative journey. Through self-reflection, class work and theory, students will explore how culture, spirituality, diversity in ages of palliative individuals influence the palliative care experience for all involved including the care provider. Students will learn strategies for self-care and processing the palliative experience.
SOCI-6019Palliative Care Across the Lifespan3
Palliative care is dynamic in nature. Students will explore palliative care as it applies to the palliative individual dependent on their stage of life, from pediatric to geriatric. This course will explore how to assess, communicate, collaborate, and tailor the deliver care and support to the palliative individual based on their age. Students will examine their roles in therapeutic relationships based on the stage of life and the anticipated responses to death of the palliative individual they are caring for. Students will learn and incorporate strategies of coping for health care professionals, the palliative individual, and families into their practice.
EDUC-6046Communicative Success in PC 12
This course is designed to support student success in Level 1 of the Palliative Care graduate certificate program. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition and mastery of Palliative care specific terminology, academic research skills, critical thinking, and effective interprofessional communication skills, both oral and written.
RSCH-6026Research Essentials2
Introduction to Research Essentials provides the foundational knowledge and skills for students to enhance their research literacy proficiency. This course will prepare students with the theory and skills required for direct application toward successful completion of the Capstone Research Project associated with Level 2. This course encourages a culture of evidence informed decision making to be used throughout their professional career. Key course components include an introduction to research ethics and design, practical methods to search for and evaluate credible literary sources, as well as basic skills for critiquing and reviewing the literature. Student roles and responsibilities with a community partner organization will be examined in preparation for the Capstone Research Project in Level 2. Students will have an opportunity to develop a timely and realistic research project proposal related to a relevant issue in Palliative Care.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


International Costs
Total Cost of Program


International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.