BNurs Mental Health Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Palliative and End of Life Care

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS23122
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is a year 2 ‘discovery unit’ available to all students as a choice from a menu of options. Based on the ethos of the European Association for Palliative Care core competencies for both adult and child (EAPC 2013) the unit provides an overview of the complexities of palliative care and end of life care and an immersive introduction to the role of the multi-professional team. Using case studies, students will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge on the complexities faced by those living with a life limiting illness.


This unit aims to:

  • Facilitate student’s understanding of the importance of team working and effective communication in the context of supportive and palliative care across a range of settings, and the role the nurse plays in this context.
  • Develop student’s appreciation and understanding of ‘The Palliative Care Approach’.
  • Use a relationship – centred approach to learning to develop student’s understanding of the experiences of individuals living with a life-limiting illness, and the experiences of their family, carers and the multi- professional team.

Learning outcomes

Each learning outcome is linked to the NMC (2018) Standards of Proficiency platforms. These outcomes are also met within the core part of the programme.

Teaching and learning methods

This unit is part of a menu of options (Discovery Units) available to all students on this programme. It is important to note that the overall BNurs 2019 programme design ensures that students have the opportunity to meet the proficiencies aligned to the learning outcomes for this unit elsewhere in the programme. Therefore students who choose other available options will not miss out on the opportunity to achieve the programme learning outcomes that align to this unit. The intended learning outcomes for this unit have been developed to align directly to a number of NMC (2018) standards of proficiency in order to support student’s choice to further develop these proficiencies.  

The aims and learning outcomes for this unit focus on the following 3 central themes:

a) a patient/carer focused approach to the impact of life limiting illness 

b) effective team working and communication

c) the role of the nurse within the team in the provision of palliative care

These themes links to the core competencies for education in palliative care (EAPC 2013)

The teaching and learning methods used include the use of the flipped classroom and subsequent group workshops that are based on case studies. The patient centred case studies guide students to explore these themes and to develop insight into the experiences of the patient, carers, and professional teams involved in the case. This approach facilitates team working and allows students consider their own identities as developing practitioners.


The unit is assessed via an individual vlog that explores the role of the nurse as part of a multi-disciplinary team in palliative care which directly aligns to the aims and learning outcomes.

This experience aims to challenge student perceptions and attitudes about palliative care and facilitate development of their communication skills.


Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate understanding of the value of interdisciplinary team work and care co-ordination in all care settings where palliative care is delivered (1.11, 1.18, 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 4.2, 4.9, 5.10, 6.9, 7.1, 7.6, 7.9, 7.10)
  • Demonstrate application of the core aspects of supportive and palliative care in a range of care settings (1.14, 3.11, 3.13, 3.12, 4.1, 4.9, 7.6, 7.9, 7.10)
  • Demonstrate understanding of the impact of life-limiting illness on the patient and their family including their social, psychological, educational and spiritual needs (3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 4.1, 4.2, 4.9. 6.9, 7.8)
  • Identify the need to enhance physical comfort throughout the disease trajectory for the individual living with a life-limiting illness (3.12, 4.1, 4.2, 4.8, 6.9, 7.6, 7.8)
  • Identify the need to assess and respond to the short-term and long-term needs of family/carers (1.3, 4.2, 3.11, 3.13, 3.14, 4.1, 4.9, 6.9, 7.1, 7.8, 7.9, 7.10)
  • Acknowledge the challenges of ethical decision making in the context of supportive and palliative care (1.2, 1.12, 3.7, 3.11, 3.12, 4.9, 5.10)

Intellectual skills

  • Consider their own identity as developing practitioners, challenging their perception, attitude and knowledge about supportive and palliative care (3.12)
  • Consider their ability to work collaboratively to solve a practice based problem (3.13, 3.14, 4.2)

Practical skills

  • Comprehend their ability to work as part of a team (3.13, 3.14, 4.2)
  • Employ developing communication skills in the delivery of a presentation (2.9, 2.10)

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Comprehend their own personal attitudes and beliefs related to supportive and palliative care (3.11, 3.12)

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Oral assessment/presentation 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback in class during interactive seminars and online discussion platforms.

Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.


Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 19
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 79

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michaela Barnard Unit coordinator

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