Certificate in End-of-Life Care

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate in End-of-Life Care

The Open University

Certificate in End-of-Life Care

People are living longer, healthier lives – but our ageing society poses particular challenges for everyone involved in giving and receiving care. This certificate explores the issues around death, dying, bereavement and dementia. Designed for anyone working in health and social care, especially the care of people with life-limiting conditions, it emphasises the reality of end-of-life care and changes that can improve it.

Key features of the course

  • Case studies enable you to see and hear from people living with dementia and from dying people and their carers
  • Considers the social and ethical contexts of death and dying, end-of-life care and bereavement
  • Explores the incidence and pathology of dementia, ethical dilemmas, and how we care for people with dementia
  • Study as a standalone course, or count credits towards a qualification such as an honours degree.

Educational aims

This certificate aims to:

  • enhance your knowledge and skills of the condition of dementia
  • develop the skills and tools with which to analyse cultures of care
  • improve your understanding of complex decisions at the end of life
  • develop your skills of reflection on practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Tutors will provide support throughout your study. They are recruited both for their skills in distance learning and their knowledge in the fields of palliative care and dementia. Many will also be experienced or working in relevant practice fields.

Through the use of written and audio/visual case studies, you will use analytic models to evaluate and discuss how practice can be improved. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your own practice and develop your skills in module activities. The end-of-module assessments (EMAs) will provide opportunities to integrate your understanding of the ethical dimensions of end-of-life care and how this can impact on practice.

There will be a range of formative and summative assessments that will require you to apply these skills, including specific elements of assignments that assess information literacy skills.

You are given a range of theoretical tools with which to analyse practice and a diverse range of examples in different media forms of case studies with which to reflect on practice. Assessment of these skills will be equally accessible if you are not working in a health and social care setting.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £2,632 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 2 years
  • Full time – 1 years
  • Time limit – 4 years

Career relevance

This certificate gives people who have professional contact with people with dementia or those who are dying or have been bereaved with an understanding of the issues and challenges that are inherent in their care. It is designed for anyone working, or with an interest in, health and social care – especially the care of people with life-limiting conditions. It will be particularly relevant to paid or unpaid carers; NHS staff (either in the acute sector or community); care workers in the voluntary sector; and hospice workers.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. You will however need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 4 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Buckingham, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Duration 1 - 4 years
Price Contact school