UCC Postgraduate courses

End of Life Healthcare Ethics

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    End of Life Healthcare Ethics

  • Code

    CKX32 Part-time

  • College

    Medicine and Health

  • Duration

    2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2019

    €4,000 (Year 1); €1,700 (Year 2)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2019

    Not currently open to Non EU applicants

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Not on offer 2019/2020

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Programme not on offer for 2018/2019

  • Start Date

    Not on offer 2019/2020

Course Outline

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.  For further information please see EndofLifeHealthCareEthicsBrochure2015 (3,810kB)

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)


Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Below please find information in relation to a scholarship which is available for this programme

EndofLifeHealthCareEthicsScholarship2015 (119kB)

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

Course Practicalities

In Part 1, you are expected to attend college for lectures, tutorials and seminars for the last Monday and Tuesday of each month (September 2014-May 2015) and for one block-week: March, 2015).

In Part 2, you are expected to attend college for the last Monday and Tuesday of each month (September 2015 – December 2015). On successful completion of a dissertation, to be submitted in July 2016, you will be awarded an MSc in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics.

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.

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, all take part in teaching this course.

Why Choose This 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. For details see http://www.hospicefriendlyhospitals.net/ethics

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.


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 http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/postgrad/how/

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €4,000 (Year 1); €1,700 (Year 2).

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for part time course is half the full time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

The Non-EU fee for this course is Not currently open to Non EU applicants.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. Please note that you will be asked to fill in a supplementary information form as part of the applications process for this programme. This form is available to view here Supplementaryquestionsckx32 (81kB).

The closing date for non-EU applications is Programme not on offer for 2018/2019

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact