UCC CPD courses

Introduction to End-of-Life Decision Making MH6099

Course Fact File
DurationAttendance on 3 days
Teaching ModePart-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
Fees€400 See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing DateClosed for applications

School of Nursing & Midwifery,  Brookfield Health Sciences Complex.

Start DateClosed for applications


MH6099 prepares students to think critically about the ethical, professional and legal issues and challenges that arise in relation to death and dying in hospital and healthcare settings. It describes a range of different approaches to moral challenges (e.g. respecting patient autonomy, breaking bad news) and distinguishes between ethics and other perspectives such as religion and the law.

The module is primarily intended for health professionals (e.g. registered nurses, doctors, pharmacists, therapists); allied professionals (e.g. hospital and nursing home administrators, social workers, chaplains); solicitors and theologians and members of the general public with a keen interest in the subject area.

The module explains the defining features of traditional and contemporary ethical theories – utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, principlism – and the application of ethical theory to end-of-life situations in healthcare practice. It considers what it means to ‘do the right thing’ and be a certain kind of person.

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Explain major ethical theories and moral concepts.
  • Identify the ethically and legally salient features of clinical scenarios drawn from practice.
  • Evaluate the role of healthcare ethics in clinical practice.
  • Distinguish between theoretical and empirical approaches to healthcare ethics.
  • Consider their own values in relation to the values of others and to the literature discussed on the course.
  • Analyse arguments and identify assumptions and common mistakes in reasoning.
  • Identify and discuss moral considerations encountered in clinical practice.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Teaching methods include Lectures, Group Discussion, On-line Learning and Self-directed learning.

The module is 5 credits of a 90 credit MSc in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics, a multidisciplinary programme that is offered on a part-time basis over 2 years (with exit routes for a Certificate in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics [30 credits] and a Postgraduate Diploma in End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics [60 credits]).



Assessment: Total Marks: 100 -a written assignment (1 x 1,500 word case analysis).


Applicants accepted on the course would normally be expected to hold an Honours primary degree, postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject (e.g. nursing, medicine, pharmacy, clinical therapies, philosophy, law, theology, social sciences) and/or relevant experience.

Applicants should normally hold a 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.

Applicants who are under 23 years of age must satisfy the minimum entry requirements as for the Degrees in Nursing, as set out here

Admission to the module(s) will be subject to internal university approval processes on the recommendation of the Head of School.

Applicants for Nursing and Midwifery CPD modules whose main language is not English and who do not hold an up-to-date IELTS certificate showing the requisite Academic Board approved CM&H scores must demonstrate evidence of appropriate work experience within an English language environment for at least the previous 2 years.

These modules will not necessarily run unless minimum recruitment targets of 10 students are achieved. Students will be encouraged to take one or two modules per annum to a maximum of 15 credits.



Fees and Costs

The fee for this module is €400. There is also a €35 application fee. 

How To Apply

Closed for applications