We endeavor to offer student placements wherever we have the capacity to do so.

We work in partnership with local higher education providers to offer formal placements to a range of student nurses, paramedics, social workers and nursing associate trainees.

Short-term shadowing / observational placements

We receive many applications for placements and requests for experience in the hospice; the number of opportunities we can offer is limited. In order to help with this and ensure we can still provide an insight into what we do, we now offer three open days throughout the year.

Find out more and book your place at an open day

Formal clinical placements for nurses and medical students

For formal placements for student nurses, nursing associate trainees and paramedics please contact your placement co-ordinator at Canterbury Christ Church University. Medical student placements are organised via St George's and King's College. With limited opportunities at our hospices, our commitment for these placements is with Christ Church and St George's and we are only able to offer limited opportunities for placements with other universities. Students are also welcome to attend one of our open days, training courses or a Best Practice Forum.

Placements in a different area of clinical practice

For a placement shadowing a member of our social work or occupational therapy team, please contact the lead for that team to check availability and arrange:

Sophie Van Walwyk, Senior Manager for Psychosocial and Bereavement Services

Justine Robinson, Lead Occupational Therapist

Training in palliative care

For health professionals who would like to gain a deeper understanding and increase their knowledge of palliative care, we offer a six-week training programme twice a year in the principles and practice of end-of-life care; once during the autumn/winter for registered staff and once during the spring/summer for non-registered staff. This course is taught by a range of experienced hospice staff from across the multidisciplinary team and covers topics such as:

  • Philosophy and principles of end of life care;
  • Communication skills and advance care planning;
  • Diversity in end of life care;
  • Psychosocial care, spirituality and bereavement;
  • Management and control of symptoms;
  • Ethics and caring for people in the last days of life.

Find out more and book your place on a course

Best Practice Forum

For health and social care professionals looking to increase their knowledge in palliative care and understand more about what Pilgrims can offer, we run the Best Practice Forum as a regular free event hosted at each of our hospice sites.

Find out more and book your place on a Best Practice Forum

Under 18s and college students

We don't currently offer student placements for under 18s. However, we do offer some volunteering opportunities at each of our sites for 16 – 18 year-olds who are looking to pursue a career in medicine, which can give an invaluable experience and insight into what we do. We also offer the chance for young volunteers to shadow one of our doctors in return for the time they have given in volunteering. For more information about how you can get involved in this scheme, please email jeff.southon@pilgrimshospices.org.

If you have any queries, please email our Education team at education@pilgrimshospices.org.


Our courses and training for local health and social care professionals facilitate education around end-of-life care. Book your place on a course today.

We also host community events throughout the year for the general public, aiming to open up the conversation about death and dying; with film screenings, poetry readings and Death Cafes, there’s something for everyone. Check out our latest upcoming events.