In the past, palliative care education in the United Kingdom has tended to be patchy and ad hoc, rather that systematic and comprehensive. Recently the picture has begun to change, and this paper identifies and discusses three areas where developments are occurring. Firstly, educational provision has become more comprehensive and systematic, so that the needs of staff in all care settings and at all levels of practice and experience are now being addressed. Secondly, palliative nursing curricula that draw on research into the problems of nurses working with dying patients and the dimensions of the supportive role are now being developed. Thirdly, a number of initiatives are underway to assure the quality of palliative care education. Two of those initiatives concern the preparation, support and evaluation of educational roles and the development of educational research programmes.