Frequently asked questions



Aims and Target Group

What are the aims of the European Palliative Care Academy?
The overall aim of the European Palliative Care Academy is to enhance Palliative Care in Europe by contributing to closing the gap in further education. The aim of the course is to support future leaders to develop the necessary skills, abilities and expertise to advance palliative care across Europe and to address future challenges in the field. For more Information on the aims of the course, please click here.
Who can apply?
For a detailed description of the criteria please see Requirements.

Course Contents and Certificate

What kind of final certificate will I receive upon completion of the course? Will the course be accredited?
Upon successful completion of the programme, the academic degree Master of Science (M. Sc.) is awarded. The program has been accredited by FIBAA. It has a modular structure and is assessed with ECTS credits.
How is the course structured? What are the contents of the course?
The curriculum consists of nine interdisciplinary modules: Professionalisation module; Change Leadership (Module 2-3); Evidence-based leadership; Leadership for Practice; Leadership in Teams; Advocacy for Leadership and the Master thesis. In addition to these modules that are taught face-to-face, the course participants will do an observational week at a European palliative care institution of their choice and work on a personal project.   The five course weeks are as follows: Spring 2023: Beginning of the course: 1st Week, Cologne (Germany) Autumn 2023: 2nd Week, Barcelona (Spain) Spring 2024: 3rd Week, Dublin (Ireland) Summer 2024: 4th Week, Gdansk (Poland) Autumn 2024: 5th Week, Brasov (Romania) until March 2025: Master Thesis For the exact dates please see our timeline.
What are the learning objectives?
Taking into account the requirements and changes in the professional world and the interdisciplinary references, teaching and studies provide students with the necessary subject-specific knowledge, skills and methods in accordance with the degree programme in such a way that they are enabled to carry out scientific or artistic work, to apply scientific knowledge and methods in professional practice, to critically classify scientific knowledge and to act responsibly. For more information on the learning objectives, click here.

Personal Project

Where should the project be implemented?
Ideally, the project will be implemented in the country of residence of the applicant. In exceptional cases, the project can be implemented in a different country under the following conditions:
  • The applicant has strong ties to the place where the project is going to be implemented (i.e. home country, former work place).
  • The project implementation at a place where he/she is not resident is feasible (for example sufficient time for implementation can be provided).
  • The resources for project implementation are secured.
What is meant by “realisation of a personal project”?
During the programme, participants will be asked to work on a personal project in the field of palliative and hospice care. They will be responsible for developing the project concept and are expected to implement the first practical steps during the master programme. The project should be innovative, feasible and affect positive change in the PC institution and/or the field of PC in the student’s home region. It can cover any area of PC (i.e. service development, organisational development, advocacy, education, research). The projects should adhere to the ethics and philosophy of the PC and hospice movement. Students must carry out their project in a relevant institution and involve partners already known to them. For more information and examples of personal projects from the 2015-17 course, click here.
Are there restrictions in the choice of topics?
The projects have to be in harmony with the ethics and philosophy of palliative care and the hospice movement.
How concrete and advanced should the project idea be for the application?
The project idea needs to be presented with the application and convince the selection committee that the applicant is the right person to implement the project. Questions on your project that you will be asked in the application include the following:
  • The project title plus short description incl. steps/activities and timeframe
  • Vision or anticipation of expected outcome and benefits
  • Who is involved in the project? Who is supporting the project?
  • What do you think can realistically be achieved? Where do you expect challenges?
  • Have you secured the resources needed in the project (personal time, human resources, financial)?
Is there a guideline for planning the project?
The SMART-Criteria provide an orientation by supporting the development of feasible goals within your project. The SMART-Criteria are:
  • Specific: the goal of the project has to be well defined, in order that a mutual understanding by everyone that has a basic knowledge of the project is reached.
  • Measureable: the formulation of the goal includes the criteria that will be measured to evaluate the project’s success.
  • Accepted: the project leader is able to run the project, in terms of power, finance, content and ethical issues.
  • Realistic: based on the current knowledge the project is manageable and can be conducted successfully.
  • Time-bound: the project goal should be grounded with a time frame.
Example: The project’s aim is to set up the first nationwide palliative care hotline by 1st January 2021. The hotline will provide information and counselling support to individuals with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. It should be free of charge. Therefore, sufficient funding will have to be gained. A public relation’s concept will be created, the phone number will be known by spreading it through the media (number of media response/articles). The team members will be trained. The facilities will be secured.

Observation Week

What do I need to consider when selecting the institution for observation?
The institution you select should be a best practice institution in the field of your personal project. In order to select the best institution for you, please have a look at the following criteria as a help.
  • Local Mentor: The local mentor is an important part of the project week. Make sure that when you have an institution in mind that you check whether there is an employee available who is able take on this local mentor role.
  • Project relevance: Possibly the most important aspect in the selection of an institution for your Observation Week is to ensure that you take your personal project into account. It would be greatly beneficial for you to select an institution that is relevant to your personal project. This would support the development of your project and hopefully ensure its success. Please also take into account what you wish to achieve during your Observation Week concerning your personal project and whether your selected institute is the best place to achieve this.
  • Personal goals and lessons to learn: It would also be of value to consider your own personal goals for the Observation Week as well as the lessons you would like to learn. Select an institution that you think would best fulfil these personal aims.
  • Letter of intent: Please formulate these aspects in a “Letter of Intent” (half page) and reflect them afterwards in your Observation Week report.
Are there any recommendations for planning the observation week?
You are responsible for organising the observation week. Support can be provided by the Coordinating Office (Dr Christine Kuch, Prof. Raymond Voltz). It is highly recommended to have an alternative institution in mind, in case your first choice cannot be realised. Please prepare a “letter of intent” (which should outline why you have chosen this specific institution and what you wish to learn there as well as a brief outline of your project) and a formal “letter of acceptance” in which the institution confirms that you carry out your Observation Week with them, that they have organised the necessary tutor for you and finally that they recognise your aims for the week.
Do I have to submit a formal statement from the receiving institution prior to the observation week?
Yes, you have to hand in a “letter of acceptance” from your receiving institution, in which your aims for the observation week are recognised and the support of a tutor at the institution is promised.
When do I need to realise the observation week?
The institution should be decided on by the 2nd course week of the master programme. The Observation Week has to be completed by no later than the end of December (3rd semester).

Application and Selection Procedure

Where can I find the application form?
You find all the necessary information including the application form here. Applications need to be written in English and will be accepted via e-mail ( only. Applications sent by post or in another language cannot be considered.
What data and documents are needed for the application?
  • You need to provide the following data: general information, professional experience, educational background, english language proficiency, motivation, project idea, information about your institution of observation
  • You need to add the following documents: curriculum vitae, certificates on educational background, statement of intent from your employer and letter of reference from your employer (additionaly you can also add a letter of reference from a local resource person/ mentor), English proficiency certificate of at least CEFR level B2 or equivalent.
Who will select the course participants?
The number of study places in the Master's degree programme is set at a maximum of 30. Applicants who fulfil the admission requirements will be admitted. If the number of applicants entitled to admission exceeds the number of available study places, the date of receipt of the application decides on the ranking of admissions. In the event of equal ranking, the order of admission shall be decided by lot.
When do I get the final notification?
Final notifications will be sent out to applicants by the end of July 2019. Applicants who cannot be admitted at the end of the selection procedure will receive a rejection by e-mail to the e-mail address given in the application form.
Is a language certificate required?
Proof of knowledge of the English language at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages must be attached if the study applicant has neither acquired the higher education entrance qualification nor the first professional qualification in English.

Costs & Finances

How can I apply for a scholarship or travel grant?
Scholarships and travel grants covering participants' costs (including course fees) are available on request, notably for participants from Eastern European countries. In the application form you are asked to specify the costs you can cover yourself as well as the amount you seek to be subsidised. All decisions concerning applications for a scholarship and / or travel grant will be made on a case-by-case basis. We also strongly encourage participants to actively seek alternative funding possibilities, for example through their employer or a sponsor. Some possible examples can be found here.
Who is funding the European Palliative Care Academy?
The European Palliative Care Academy is funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a major German charitable foundation associated with a private company. For further information please see
Which costs am I expected to cover?
Participants will be expected to cover their own travel, accommodation and personal expenses as well as the course fee. The course fee is 2000€ for low income European countries, 3000€ for high income European countries and 6000€ for non-European countries. A limited number of grants for subsidising course fee and travel costs are available on request, especially for participants from European lower income countries.
What is the course fee?
The Robert Bosch Stiftung has provided funding for the development and running of the program which makes it possible to provide a highly subsidised course. However, participants are expected to pay a course fee as a contribution towards teaching staff, administration costs and teaching materials.The course fee is 2000€ for low income European countries, 3000€ for high income European countries and 6000€ for non-European countries.

Further Questions

Would I need to give up my work?
No, you do not need to give up your work to attend to the leadership course. However you will need to attend four 5-day long taught modules and an observational week- this will of course require permission from your employer. You also need to commit sufficient time to pre-modular work and any course work as is required.
Who is the contact person for any issues?
Coordinating Office, University Hospital of Cologne, Centre for Palliative Medicine, Mr. Gerrit Frerich, 50924 Cologne, Germany. Phone: +49/ 221/ 478-972 51   Fax: +49/ 221/ 478-875 97