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End of Life Health Care Ethics

University College Cork - profile


  • Cork


  • Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

Attendance options

  • Part time

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  • PAC

Qualification Letters


Enrolment and Start Dates Comment

Next Intake: 8th September 2014

Application Date

Application for this programme is on-line at

Closing Dates for Taught Postgraduate Programmes
Some of our postgraduate programmes have a specific closing date which is outlined in the online prospectus entry for the specific programme.

For all other taught programmes, offers will be made in rounds with the following closing dates for completed applications in 2014.

January 15th 2014 Offers made by January 29th 2014
March 1st 2014 Offers made by March 15th 2014
May 1st 2014 Offers made by May 15th 2014
July 1st 2014 Offers made by July 15th 2014

Please note that, with the above closing dates, all relevant documentation, including transcripts must be received by the closing date. All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

There is no closing date for research programmes but applicants are advised to submit their application at least two months ahead of their proposed start date. There are four official start dates – September, January, April and July.

PAC Application Information

How to Apply Online
1.Go to PAC website:

2.Create PAC Login Account (first time users only) – Applicants who are first time users need to create an account before making an application. Go to the login section on the top of the screen and click on the Register link. Enter your email address, password and contact details and click submit

3.Click on Apply

4.Irish/ EU Applications - select option: EU Taught Programmes
Non-EU Applicants- select Option: Non-EU Taught Programmes

5.Confirm you have read both the Application Instructions and Terms and Conditions and click on the start application button

Page 1 – You will be asked to input biographical information, your PPS number, UCC student no (if applicable) and click on Continue at the bottom of the screen and select your course codes. You may choose up to 3 taught programmes. You can choose to save your application at this point, or continue.

Page 2 – You will be asked to fill in details of Higher Education Qualifications you have completed or are currently completing. Please note that transcripts of all Non-UCC qualifications and results to date for current studies will need to be submitted to PAC. (Applicants in their final year of a degree programme should indicate that their final results are pending)

Page 3 – You will be asked to review and verify the information submitted

Page 4 - This is the fee payment section. You will be expected to pay a non-refundable application fee payment of €50. This payment may be made by Credit Card (MasterCard/Visa) or Debit Card (Laser). It is also possible to pay by Bank Draft or by Bank Transfer though payments by these methods are subject to an additional administration charge of €5.

Page 5 – This is the application receipt page where you will be given your PAC number.

How to Check Your Application Status:
Once an online application has been completed, applicants should check their application status regularly for updates and final selection decisions as follow:
◾Go to PAC website:
◾Go to the Login section
◾Enter username (email address) and password
◾Go to the MY ACCOUNT section
◾To view current application status: Click on 'Status'

The "My Account" facility will hold information on updates on your application and the final decision on your application.

Application Weblink


2 years part-time.

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, group discussions, seminars, and workshops. You will also identify and critically discuss challenging cases drawn from clinical practice, engage in debates and participate in simulated court proceedings. You are required to have internet access for online learning and discussion boards where appropriate.

Course Fee

Costs: 2014/2015 Irish/EU Fee €4,000.

Link to Course Fee

Financial Support

For funding and grant information please see:

Entry Requirements

(a) Candidates for the MSc (End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics) must satisfy the following:
◾ normally hold an Honours primary degree (minimum of a Second Class Honours Grade I) in a relevant subject (e.g. nursing, medicine, pharmacy, clinical therapies, philosophy, law, theology, social sciences) OR in any discipline and either possess a postgraduate qualification in a relevant field or show evidence of at least two years' work experience in a relevant field.
◾ applicants with a Second Class Honours Grade 2 will also be considered on a case by case basis.

(b) Applicants will be judged on academic credentials, previous experience and their personal statement.

Note: In exceptional circumstances, applicants without a primary degree may be recommended for entry to the programme after a review of their individual qualifications and experience by the course committee. These applicants may be required to attend an interview and their admission will be subject to the approval of the College of Medicine and Health Executive Committee.

If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of proficiency in English obtaining a minimum score of 7 in the International English Language Testing System. Further information on English Language Requirements can be found at


Who Teaches This Course
Staff from the College of Medicine and Health and the Department of Philosophy as well as invited clinical, ethical and legal experts with national and international expertise in the field of healthcare, ethics and law.

Course Content

UCC will be introducing semesterised courses in 2014/15 which may result in some changes to the curriculum. Information on any changes will be updated here in Spring 2014.

The MSc in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics is a unique ground-breaking multidisciplinary course that will enable you to identify, research and critically evaluate the ethical, professional, legal and philosophical underpinnings of end-of-life decisions and care in hospital and healthcare settings. It will normally be undertaken part-time over a two-year period. The course is primarily intended for health professionals (e.g. registered nurses, doctors, consultants, directors of nursing, pharmacists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists); allied professionals (e.g. hospital and nursing home administrators, social workers, chaplains, psychologists, members of clinical and research ethics committees); solicitors; theologians, counsellors; journalists and members of the general public with a keen interest in the subject area.

Unique Aspects of the Course
Described in the New York Times as the world's first MSc in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics, this is a unique and ground-breaking multidisciplinary course that will enable you to identify, research and critically evaluate the ethical, professional, legal and philosophical underpinnings of end-of-life decisions and care in hospital and healthcare settings. The idea for this timely and pioneering course emerged out of a national project undertaken by University College Cork, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Subjects Taught

You will complete modules to the value of 90 credits in total; 45 credits in Part 1 and 45 credits in Part 2.

PART 1 (Year 1):
Introduction to End-of-Life Decision-making (5 credits)
The Ethics of Cure and Care (10 credits)
End-of-Life Decision-making and the Role of Legal Rights (10 credits)
The Philosophy of Death and Dying (10 credits)Ethical Controversies in End-of-Life Care (10 Credits)

PART 2 (Year 2):
Ethical Governance (5 Credits)
Dissertation (30 Credits)
Philosophical and Empirical Research Methodologies (10 credits)

Assessment Method

For further details on the assessment of this course contact:
Dr. Joan McCarthy Lecturer,
Healthcare Ethics School of Nursing and Midwifery Brookfield Health Sciences Complex,
University College Cork Cork Ireland
Tel: (021) 490 1452

Careers or Further Progression

Skills and Careers Information
On completion of the course, you will be able to:
◾ apply greater insights into the ethical, professional, legal and philosophical underpinnings of end-of-life decision-making in Ireland and abroad
◾ bring comprehensive and well-assimilated knowledge and critical skills to ethically challenging situations that arise in relation to death and dying in professional and personal life
◾ act as innovators, leaders and facilitators in healthcare ethics and contribute to practice development and best practice.

Further Enquiries

Sheila Hedderman,
Senior Executive Assistant,
Tel: +353(0)21 4901560/1555/2159

Course Web Page