Module Descriptions

Professionalisation module

In this module, 50 ECTS can be credited in advance through professional work experience. The basis for this is at least three years full time professional experience in palliative care or related fields. An application for recognition of professional experience must be fulfilled for the admission committee. For credit, students are expected to submit a report on their work experience and to attend a personal interview. The requirements can be found here:

Change Leadership

(including Personal Project and Observation Week)

The Change Leadership module aims to describe and appraise comprehensive, detailed, specialist methods to plan, implement and evaluate a project. Besides classical project management tools like defining goals, setting milestones, estimating and steering necessary resources (qualification, time, money, etc.), documentation and controlling tools, high emphasis within this module is placed on agile methods like specific communication structures and tools, facilitation etc. Thus, the module provides students with specialist knowledge and understanding to conduct sustainable projects. The acquisition of the different methods of agile and classical project management allows students to develop and deliver high quality PC in their respective home countries and with doing so, affect positive change both nationally and internationally.

The Change Leadership module contains a) the personal project module to ensure the practical application of the project management knowledge, b) time to conduct a personal project and c) the Observation Week for refining this project. The project should require a personal effort of 200 hours.

Evidence-Based Leadership

This module aims to apply research knowledge towards implementing change in multidisciplinary PC clinical practice. Critical thinking is encouraged through a debate on the levels of evidence considered best to inform practice. From this perspective, we develop and apply specialised knowledge on the complex nature of PC to evaluate “best” evidence in specific complex situations. This promotes the leadership competence for reflecting on appropriate research questions and designs targeted to PC. We distinguish both quantitative and qualitative methodologies for data collection, analysis, evaluation and implementation through interactive knowledge exchange. Specialised knowledge that can discriminate objective versus subjective methods and interpret the quality of methods is achieved through critical appraisal. These concepts are applied through examples covering cross-cultural influences on, or barriers to, research questions and designs to answer what influences PC development according to the individual, situation, setting, culture, or organisation. Overall, the aim is to promote leaders that apply and extend the evidence base to solve current and future problems for PC at local, national and international levels.

Leadership for Practice

Leadership is critical to achieving positive outcomes for those in receipt of PC. The evolving nature of PC and its delivery have prompted consideration of how a more effective and efficient PC service can be delivered. This module focuses on developing leadership for practice, providing students with an opportunity to develop their competence in leadership. To capture the essence of leadership in PC and speak to the actions and practices of leadership, a blended learning approach is utilised and supported by a facilitated workshop, readings and reflection to enable further development of leadership for practice. The module also focusses on the personal development of the students in order to further enhance their leadership skills.

Leadership in Teams

This module focuses on the importance of effective teamwork. Prior to the sessions week, students learn the theory of teamwork and its broad aspects in palliative setting in pre-modular assignments. Within the sessions, the focus lies on the practical application of these theories and experience exchange regarding leadership in teams.

The sessions focus on teambuilding and team development, effective diversity management (in terms of different cultures as well as different professions), motivation, and communication in PC teams. Students learn the stages of team building and development as well as how to adjust different leadership approaches to different circumstances and team situations. They also gain leadership competencies in adaptive motivation and increasing team effectiveness. Therefore, they learn effective and sensitive communication skills. Challenges in PC are also covered in the sessions, for example ethical issues, interprofessional cooperation, cooperation within the team and within broader contexts (e. g. volunteers or social units), working in an open space, and integrating PC in a broader network. Another focus lies on extending good practice of the palliative approach towards patients (with dignity) to find inspiration how to apply it to team members – as a way of raising co-workers’ wellbeing, sense of appreciation and burnout prevention. 

Advocacy in Leadership

The 5th week of the programme is entirely dedicated to Advocacy and empowers students with knowledge and skill that enable them to become active leaders of change in the PC field in their local and national environment. The first sessions focus on defining the advocacy concept and on stating its important place in the students’ role as leaders. The following sessions combine theoretical aspects of the advocacy cycle and advocacy techniques, with practical exercises in which students work on the advocacy aspects of their projects. The sessions present specialized, theoretical knowledge on each advocacy stage (analyse situations, identify problem, set advocacy aim and objectives, analyse laws and policies, identify targets and build alliances, develop an advocacy message and implement an action plan). Several sessions are dedicated to building specific skills needed in the advocacy process, such as organizing and preparing face-to-face meetings, analysing laws and policies and writing position papers, working with the media and producing press releases or carrying out media interviews, using social media as a means to advance advocacy messages to various audiences.

Personal Development

The aim through out the course is to allow participants to grow as authentic leaders by developing self-awareness concerning their own strengths and weaknesses, the role of members in the team and leadership styles. The transformational leadership theory is used as theoretical framework for the module. The module starts by clarifying the concept of leadership in order to create a common understanding, following which participants explore their preferences according to Myers Briggs typology inventory (MBTI) and critically reflect on how these preferences impact their daily practice. Participants are then guided through the 5 stages of the leadership journey and the appropriate practices. SWOT–Analysis is introduced as a tool useful for analysing both personal and organisational Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Leading teams is part of the day to day role of a leader and participants have to understand and appreciate the role that each team member plays. In order to handle difficult issues in the team and also to work with other organisations, leaders need to develop negotiation and conflict resolution skills. Enhancing presentation skills is part of the learning process during this module. The final sessions look at participants’ awareness of their own leadership style. Reflection on their leadership journey during the 1.5 year course is also incorporated into the last session.