What you will study
Designed for anyone who has an interest in death, dying and bereavement, this module explores how understandings about death and dying are shaped by time, place and culture, and it will introduce you to approaches and perspectives from across the world. The module focuses on the academic study of death, dying and bereavement. Some learners find the reflective elements helpful in the context of bereavement, however, the course is not designed to therapeutically support people through their own grief.
The learning materials will encourage you to consider how different social approaches to death, dying and grief impact on the way that end-of-life care and bereavement support are provided. You'll be introduced to cutting-edge research and seminal works in this field and have opportunities to engage with powerful real-life case studies. The module addresses important contemporary concerns, while also enabling you to think critically about ethical dilemmas and complex questions of diversity, difference and (in)equality in the provision of end-of-life care.
The module is designed around three key blocks of study, each comprising five learning guides:
Block 1: In the first block, you'll be introduced to the social context of death and dying, exploring what shapes our attitudes towards death and how individual and societal views about death impact upon end-of-life care. You will consider key concepts in the field such as ‘a good death’ while thinking about the role that science and medicine has played in contemporary practices around death and dying.
Block 2: You will look in more detail at the policy context for end-of-life care, and consider how this translates in day-to-day practice. You'll explore how difficult ethical decisions about people’s treatment and support are made, while engaging with hotly debated topics such as Assisted Dying. You will also learn about the importance of communication in end-of-life care, and consider how practice in this field can be improved.
Block 3: In the final block, you'll consider individual experiences of grief, as well as social and cultural responses towards those who are bereaved. The learning guides will enable you to explore and challenge traditional theories of grief and their applicability to contemporary experiences of grief and bereavement. You will also consider how individuals choose to remember those who have died through memorialisation rituals and practices.
Throughout this module you will work with a rich array of audio and visual materials designed to get you thinking and to build your understanding and skills. You will be encouraged and supported to bring together core themes and ideas in a way that is relevant to you and your specific interests. You will be taught quickly and simply how to use ICT to access, analyse and communicate current issues, as well as going online to communicate with other students.
The module will also support you to develop your personal reflection skills - something we believe is vital for anyone working or studying in this field. You will be introduced to models of reflective thinking to support your learning journey on the module, and you will be encouraged to keep a note of your reflections in a personalised study diary.
You will learn
Through studying the module you will not only learn about key concepts in the field of death, dying and bereavement, but you will also develop important academic, employability and reflective skills that will be transferable beyond the module. This module also presents a range of material that will be highly relevant and applicable to different practice settings.
The module materials, assessment, and learning outcomes of this module map onto Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the End of Life Care Core Skills Education and Training Framework (Health Education England, Skills for Health, and Skill for Care 2017) and the informed and skilled levels of the Palliative and End of Life Care Framework (NHS Education for Scotland 2018). This module is suitable for those who want an awareness about end of life care as well as outlining the skills and knowledge for health and social care professionals about providing end of life care.