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Course Description

Graveyard shrouded in mist

An examination of theory, research, and issues in the psychology of death and dying. Emphasis is upon the cognitive operations used to process information about death and the influence of death constructs in daily life. Topics include the development of death concepts throughout the life-span, death anxiety in society, the needs of the dying person, the psychology of grieving, and unexpected losses such as deaths by suicide or miscarriage.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

1. Describe current theory and research in the psychology of death and dying;

2. Discuss the implications of the way in which we construct the meaning of death for individuals and society, as well as the role that death plays in the lives of            individuals and society; and

3. Identify and evaluate your own attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about the meaning of death.

Course Topics

  • Unit 01: Death in Context
  • Unit 02: The Death System
  • Unit 03: Dying
  • Unit 04: Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Unit 05: End-of-Life Issues and Decisions
  • Unit 06: Suicide
  • Unit 07: Violent Death
  • Unit 08: Euthanasia, Assisted Death, Abortion, and The Right to Die
  • Unit 09: Children and Death
  • Unit 10: Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning
  • Unit 11: The Funeral Process
  • Unit 12: Caregiving, Death Education and Good Death

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 1 of FRHD*2270, PSYC*2310, PSYC*2740, or PSYC*2450


Assessment Item Weight
Discussion Posts 20%
Reflection Paper  20%
Quizzes (6 x 5%) 30%

Group Project

  • Assignment Grade (25%)
  • PEAR Assessment (5%)
Total 100%

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

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Section Title
The Psychology of Death and Dying
May 11, 2023 to August 04, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Reading List / Textbook

Note for students:

The online version of the text is available through the University of Guelph Library:

Access to the eBook is limited to a certain number of users at a time; if all copies are in use, please try again later.

Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Mandatory) Death, Society, and Human Experience by Robert J. Kastenbaum and Christopher M. Moreman © 2018 Routledge 12th edition ISBN 9781138292406
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