Professional Specialisation Education

Education not leading to a qualification, 30 ECTS

Non-degree-awarding education

  • Education
  • Curricula
  • Implementations

Key learning outcomes

The purpose of the Palliative Care Specialist Education is to strengthen the participant's expertise as an expert in clinical care or rehabilitation in the client- and family-oriented service process of palliative care as well as in evidence-based practice and development. The reference framework for national qualifications and other competences has been utilized in defining the level of competence objectives in education (HE 204/2016). Palliative care specialist education is positioned at EQF / NQF level 6.

Once you have achieved the learning objectives of Palliative Care Specialist Education, you will master the evidence-based, comprehensive, and advanced multidisciplinary clinical knowledge and skills required for palliative care expertise in a client- and family-driven service process. You will be able to act as an expert in palliative care and rehabilitation in different palliative care environments and multi-professional networks. You master customer- and family-oriented counseling methods and tools and are able to apply them in renewable environments of palliative and hospice care. You manage good interaction skills with clients and their families and are able to provide psychosocial support. You can evaluate and develop your own and your work community's skills and activities based on evidence. You participate in the regional and national development and reform of palliative care practices and customer- and family-oriented service processes.

Education content and professional growth and know-how

The scope of the specialization education is 30 ECTS credits, which means a student workload of 810 hours. The structure of the education includes three modules common to all, as well as one free-choice entity, which deepens his or her own expertise.

Module 1: The client-centered process of palliative care
Module 2: Symptomatic treatment and treatment of the dying patient
Module 3: Psycho-social support, interaction and teamwork
Module 4: Developing Expertise

Development evaluation and competence demonstration
The student's expertise is demonstrated in accordance with the assessment criteria established on the basis of the learning objectives. Competence is assessed in education on the principle of developmental assessment. The student, the peer or the supervising teacher have a dialogue about the student's competence and its development in relation to the learning objectives. The development of the student's competence is assessed using various assessment methods.

1. Learning diary: The student keeps a learning diary about the contents of the studies during the education. In the learning diary, the student reflects on the contents of the studies and the development of his or her own competence. At the end of the studies, the student receives feedback from his / her diary from the teacher.

2. Learning tasks: The development of competence is supported by the learning tasks of the study courses. With the help of learning tasks, the student deepens his or her own palliative care knowledge and skills. The assignments are connected to the student's own work community and the learning outcomes. The starting point for learning tasks can be a work-related clinical question or a situation for which the student seeks a solution using various information seeking methods. The contact days complement the solution of the problem by utilizing expert lectures and the expertise and support of peer learners. The teacher guides the student in the integration of theory and practice by supporting reflection.

3. Development of expertise, evidence-based presentation: During the education, the student produces an output related to the development of his / her own work community and makes a presentation for the symposium of the study module using evidence-based information seeking. In the multi-professional symposium, the student receives feedback and evaluation from student colleagues, supervising teachers and representatives of working life about their presentation. Task evaluation is qualitative evaluation: Satisfactory / Good / Very Good.

4. National final exam: At the end of the studies, the student completes a national final exam, which is common to all. Assessment: Passed / failed.

The assignments assess the special expertise in palliative care needed in working life, ie the ability to build together knowledge, skills, experience, values ​​and social networks. The assessment uses general evidence assessment criteria based on NQF / EQF level 6. In addition, detailed criteria based on competence descriptions are used in each task.

University of Applied Sciences issues a certificate of professional specialization education, which shows the competencies completed by the student.The University of Applied Sciences providing the professional specialization education issues a certificate to each person who has successfully completed their studies. No separate certificates will be issued for installments.

Flexible studies

The implementation of the curriculum starts with the identification and recognition of the competence acquired by the student and the planning of studification. At the beginning of the studies, the student draws up a personal learning plan (PLP), in which the student describes his or her own competence needs and the multidisciplinary competence development needs required for his or her job. Development competence is combined with the development of both working life and the care pathway in the area, which increases the competence of both the student and his or her work community, as well as regional cooperation and networking.

The development of competence during the professional specialisation education is supported throughout the study period by versatile and systematic guidance services and a personal learning plan (PLP) based on continuous, developmental assessment. Supervision is implemented in accordance with the Principles of Study Guidance approved by the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences' Board of Studies.

The starting point for learning and teaching during the professional specialisation education is the degree rules and pedagogical and ethical principles of the JAMK. The starting point of the teaching methods is learner orientation, emphasizing the students' own activity and reflexivity in learning. Interaction and cooperation between peer learners is possible both in contact learning days and in the e-learning environment.

The professional specialisation education is carried out during about a one year as a multidisciplinary study, which includes 12 contact learning days, independent sudy, peer group work, assignments and e-learning. If a student interrupts his / her studies, he / she must notify the education provider in writing. In order to receive the certificate, the student must participate in the contact learning days and complete the assigned tasks so that he or she achieves the learning objectives.

If the student already has competence corresponding to the contents and goals of the professional specialisation education, the student can demonstrate his or her prior learning and thus direct his or her learning to those areas of expertise in which he or she does not have sufficient competence. Competence is identified and recognized in accordance with the principles of identification and recognition of competence at Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences in relation to the competence objectives and contents defined in the professional specialisation education. Practices for the identification and recognition of competence have been agreed in a nationwide network and are dealt in JAMK University of Applied Sciences.

Working life oriented learning

The development of the student's work community is closely linked to the development of the student's competence. The professional spesialisation education implemented as blended learning enables the student to connect various learning tasks to the development of the work community and the development challenges arising from it. Development competence is combined with the development of both working life and the healthcare pathways in the area, which increases the competence of both the student and his or her work community, as well as regional cooperation and networking.

Career opportunities and employment

Those who have completed professional spesialisation education work in their work communities and for the various units of their own operating environment as experts in palliative care as well as competence coaches, forming a functioning network with other experts.


The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (2019) recommends the organization of palliative care in four stages (baseline, A-level, B-level and C-level). At special levels B and C, will be provided demanding palliative care, so special skills are needed in the work communities at these levels. A palliative care nurse working at primary and A level also needs special skills that are available through professional spesialisation education.

Further studies

Competencies in palliative care achieved in professional spesialisation programme can be approved through recognition of prior learning (RPL) process as part of the master level (NQF/EQF7) studies of the Advanced Nursing Practice in Palliative Care and other master level studies in accordance with the degree regulations of the JAMK University of Applied Sciences.

Education planning

The planning of education and the preparation of the curriculum have been implemented in a nationwide network of universities of applied sciencies. Agreeing on competence objectives harmonises professional spesialisation programme organized by different universities of applied sciences and acts as a quality assurance of professional spesialisation programme. The general competence objectives for professional spesialisation programme are defined by a Government decree (1438/2014). In addition, the opinions of representatives of working life have been requested on the curriculum.

The working life equivalence of the Palliative Care Specialist professional spesialisation programme is monitored and ensured in co-operation with working life and business actors through interviews, surveys and discussions. Actors are involved in the planning of professional spesialisation programme in close cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Palliative Care Association and the European Palliative Care Association. These factors ensure that the content of education remains at the regional, national and international levels required by changes in the field.

In professional spesialisation programme in palliative care, learning tasks include learning methods that support co-operation between working life and work communities, as well as assessment. The participating universities of applied sciences are committed to working together to develop education in the future. Implementing universities of applied sciences undertake to collect feedback from participants and working life. Feedback from working partners, study participants, teachers and training units is collected during and after the education.

Contact Information

Irmeli Matilainen
Senior Lecturer
School of Health and Social Studies, Health Care
+358 400 976 756