Health Sciences - College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice (Palliative Care)

Palliative CarePalliative care has emerged as a speciality that incorporates inter professional health care provision for people who are living with and dying from active, progressive diseases or conditions that are not responsive to curative treatment. Palliative care embraces the physical, social, emotional and spiritual elements of well being (tinana, whanau, hinengaro and wairua) and embraces a person’s quality of life while they are dying. This field involves people throughout the life span from children through to the elderly and continues on to support the bereaved family/whanau.

In addition to the courses required for the endorsement at the PGDip level, the Masters of Professional Practice (Palliative Care) incudes HLTH463 Whanau and Community Health and HLTH464 Research Approaches for Health which gives you additional depth for your practice.

If you are a current health practitioner in New Zealand you may be entitled to Health Workforce NZ Funding. Please contact your local DHB for application details.

This specialist endorsement starts in February (Semester 1). This degree normally takes 3 semesters full time or 6 semesters part time. 

For specific information about courses, when you get to the general course page, please click on the red link for the course occurrence.

The table below is a suggested pathway for this programme. Please note there are further optional courses available from Schedule C: All courses for the Degree of Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice. Please check course availability.


Semester 1, Year 1

Semester 2, Year 1

Semester 1, Year 2

Required courses
150 pts

HLTH448 The Foundation of Palliative Care
(30 pts)

HLTH450 Palliative Care: Advanced Theory and Practice
(30 pts)
HLTH463 Whanau and Community Health
(30 pts)
  HLTH449 Praxis in Hospice Palliative Care
(30 pts)

HLTH464 Research Approaches for Health
(30 pts)

30 pts from the schedule
(Normally one per semester)

HLTH401 Health and Health Systems
(30 pts)



HLTH430 Motivating Behaviour Change I
(30 pts)


HLTH442 Special Topic: Research related to Complementary and Alternative Medicine/Integrated Medicine (CAM/IM) (30 pts)    

HLTH460 Critical Appraisal in Health Research
(30 pts)


COUN679 Solution Focused Theory and Skills (30 pts)    
COUN671 Counselling and Psychology: Theories and Skills (30 pts)  

Part-time students would usually complete one or two courses per semester to total 30 points.

Full-time students would usually complete two to four courses per semester to total 60 points.

Please refer to individual course webpages for further details regarding course dates, workshops and other attendance requirements.