Loss & Bereavement

Bereavement and loss

Course details

RCSI, in association with the Irish Hospice Foundation, runs two accredited Level 9 MSc programmes focusing on loss and bereavement: MSc in Loss & Bereavement and MSc in Loss & Bereavement (Clinical Practice).

These programmes aim to equip clinical practitioners and managers to promote and provide a range of appropriate supports in their communities, workplaces and professional practices, with a focus on impacting health, social and community systems and ultimately, enhancing the quality of life.

Both programmes are rooted in contemporary scientific research and designed against a policy and professional regulation backdrop.

Applications for the MSc Loss & Bereavement are invited from representatives of a wide range of professional disciplines whose work or volunteering roles involve the provision or organisation of bereavement support in the community, health or other areas.

MSc Loss & Bereavement brochure PDF | 4193.7 KB

Year 1

Classes for Year 1 are held online on one Saturday, with a two-day block of lectures in the classroom the following week. The programme will run from 9.15am to 5:30pm, September to May.

Module Title Credits
 1 Loss, grief and bereavement models through the lifespan 10
 2 Counselling in loss and bereavement 10
 3b Organisational staff support and self-care (MSc Loss & Bereavement only) 10
 4 Loss, death and bereavement in society 10
 5 Research appraisal 5
 6b Range of loss and non-finite loss (MSc Loss & Bereavement only) 5
 7 Policy and management in bereavement care 10

Year 2

In Year 2, you will complete a dissertation. Classes are held in two-day blocks once a month (Mondays and Tuesdays) and run from September to May.

Module Title Credits
8 Dissertation 30

Please contact Antoinette Stanbridge if you have specific queries about the course content.

Download the document below to find dates for modules.

Please note: These dates are approximate and are subject to change.

MSc in Loss & Bereavement timetable PDF | 49.6 KB

Year 1

In Year 1, this programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Critically debate and contribute to theoretical understanding and knowledge about loss and grief across the life-cycle and grief support structures relating to health, community and work organisations and in the voluntary sector.
  • Evaluate different contemporary perspectives on death, dying and loss in society – including social history, cultural issues, cause and circumstance of death, death education, loss through the life cycle, family bereavement, cultural issues, gender issues, research and ethical issues.
  • Critically appraise, apply and design bereavement research, audit and evaluation.
  • Critique, select and utilise advanced bereavement therapeutic skills as part of professional practice.
  • Develop and utilise advanced bereavement therapeutic skills as part of professional practice.
  • Analyse the organisation of bereavement support and formulate strategic and systematic developments in bereavement care in different settings.
  • Design models for self-care and staff support in environments where people are consistently working with, or meeting, death and bereavement.
  • Manage and evaluate changes in work practices relative to an area of bereavement care.
  • Reflect on personal development and growth through the educational experience.
  • Display an integrated value and evidence-based approach to the support of bereaved people. 

Year 2

In Year 2, we aim to engender and demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  • Design an evidence-driven, ethical action research/change management proposal with respect to an aspect of bereavement care.
  • Implement an action research/change project, analysing process and outcome changes in bereavement care.
  • Demonstrate project management skills.
  • Demonstrate presentation skills.
  • Act as a leader in developing bereavement care.