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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

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


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