(image: Thanatology @ King's)

What is Thanatology?

King’s University College is currently the only university in North America to offer the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Thanatology. This unique program gives students several degree options such as a major or a minor in Thanatology with the option of combining majoring in a complementary subject (ie. Childhood and Social Institutions, Social Justice and Peace Studies or Psychology). Many of our courses are available on-line, and our program incorporates various teaching modalities including in-class instruction, blended learning and experiential learning.

  • The program and certificate offers a wide variety of courses including an overview of bereavement and grief, ethical issues, palliative care, suicide, children and death, spiritual and philosophical issues, change and transition, popular culture, grief and trauma, and diversity and social justice. In addition, the undergraduate program offers a practicum course which includes a 45-hour field placement, and a grief counselling course which involves experiential learning of basic counselling skills.
  • For information on courses, testimonies, faculty, career options, and contact information - view our brochure
  • The program allows for several degree options, and many of our courses are available online. Our program incorporates a variety of teaching methods, including in-class instruction, blended learning and experiential learning.
  • The introductory Thanatology course is Survey of Thanatology (2200), and is taken during the student’s second year. Further course offerings depend on whether the student is completing a Major or a Minor in Thanatology Studies.
  • Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, may pursue the Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement concurrently with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Courses for the Certificate taken concurrently with a Thanatology module may count for both.
For a program checklist for both the Major and Minor, click here.

King’s at Western is not typically an online university, therefore this option is limited to students who meet specific criteria. Students may be eligible for this option if they meet the following conditions:

  • May only be enrolled in part-time studies (maximum 3.0 credits in the Fall/Winter term).
  • Must live beyond easy commuting distance from King’s (100 km), and provide satisfactory explanation of reasons that might prevent attending courses on campus.
  • Must be registered at Year 2 level or above (a student with 4.0 or more transfer credits, or with a completed first degree will be eligible; students straight from high school, or mature students with no prior university credits are NOT eligible).
  • Currently, the only available on-line degree pathway at King's is a Thanatology degree.
  • If adding an additional module at Western, must take responsibility for covering the courses towards that module.
  • Must request, and be granted by the Associate Dean, a special permission to waive the standard King's course registration (residency) requirement. This request will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
  • Must have a minimum of 5.0 credits from King’s to graduate. Where possible, must take any available Distance non-Thanatology offerings at King’s when they are offered here.
  • Students with no previous university experience are encouraged to contact Distance Studies at Main Campus for completion of their first 4.0 credits.

Students interested in this option are encouraged to contact an Admission Officer to determine eligibility before applying. Please contact us via email at kings@uwo.ca

Many of the courses in this program will be offered online or in mixed-methods (online and in-class) teaching models

  • An innovative Certificate program offering professionals and lay persons an opportunity to explore cultural, social, and personal aspects of loss, death, dying, and grief.
  • The opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in providing support for those who experience significant losses, individuals who are terminally ill, and those who experience grief, and to examine relevant legal, ethical, and social issues.
  • The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of loss and grief, with an focus on effective support and collaboration with community-based services. 

To apply, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Review all of our admission requirements
  2. Prepare your official transcripts from all institutions attended
  3. Prepare full course descriptions from universities you have previously attended
  4. Submit your application through the OUAC website. For your convenience you may use the following King's program code:
    • EKO (Social Science), Subject of Interest: Thanatology
  • If you are currently registered at King’s/Western, you may indicate the Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement on your Intent to Register submission during the Intent to Register period (February 1st to March 30th). Please feel free to contact Lois Mansfield at Lois.Mansfield@kings.uwo.ca if you have any questions regarding this process.
  • If you have never attended King’s or Western before, please feel free to use our King’s internal application system.
    • You will require a username:  Thancert
    • You will require a password:  kings
    • Please specify EKO (Social Science) as your program choice
  • Beginning September 2016: Certificate must be completed within a 5 year time frame
  • The Certificate Program can be completed in one academic year if you take a full time course load (5.0 courses). 
  • Due to other committments, many of our students prefer to complete their studies on a part-time basis. 

To qualify for the Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement Studies, students must achieve an overall average of 65% in the following 5.0 courses:

  • 2.5 courses: Thanatology 2200, 2230A/B, 2231A/B, 3360A/B.
  • 2.0 courses from: Thanatology 2602A/B, 2605A/B, 3601A/B, 3603A/B, 3606A/B.
  • 0.5 course from: Thanatology 2232A/B, 2233A/B, 2234A/B, 2235A/B, 3320A/B, 3321A/B, 3322A/B, 3323A/B, 3355A/B, Sociology 2245.
  • If you are not a current King's/Western student, applications must be submitted through King’s internal application system, no later than June 1st.
  • If you are a current King's/Western student, please contact Lois Mansfield at lois.mansfield@kings.uwo.ca
  • The Certificate in Loss, Grief, and Bereavement Studies replaces the former Certificate in Grief and Bereavement Studies/Palliative Care offered through Western's Centre for Continuing Studies
  • Students who were previously enroled through Western's Centre for Continuing Studies may complete their certificate at King's. The Program will now be administered through King’s University College and not through Western’s Centre for Continuing Studies. Please contact Lois Mansfield for further information on completing your certificate program. 

A Post-Degree Module is a Major or Minor module that is completed after graduation. Recognition will be given on the transcript for Post-Degree modules. A second degree is not conferred. After graduation with an undergraduate degree, students may complete additional Major and/or Minor modules(s) without completing a second degree. Students must consult the Dean’s Office of the Faculty in which the module is offered to request permission to register in a Post-Degree module. Permission may be denied if there is significant overlap with courses completed within the first degree. A Post-Degree module must be in a different subject area, not included in the undergraduate degree.

Students must complete the total number of courses required for this additional module with an average on these courses of at least 60%. Courses successfully completed during the first degree that are considered “extra” courses by the Faculty offering the first degree may be considered for use towards the Post-Degree module, at the discretion of the Faculty offering the Post-Degree module. All courses required for the Post-Degree module must be completed through the course offerings of Western University. Completion of Post-Degree modules will be recognized only by a notation on the student’s transcript.

Click here to access the Western Academic Calendar degree structure.

The Major in Thanatology requires completion of six (6) Thanatology courses: See checklist

Any individual may apply for admission, subject to prerequisites and general admission requirements, i.e. completion of secondary education and admission to King's University College. Applications will be submitted through King’s internal application system. Background in a clinical area or an educational program related to the Certificate focus would be an asset. Application deadline is June 1. Enrolment in the Certificate requires students currently registered in an undergraduate program, to have a cumulative average of 65%.

5.0 courses:

  • 2.5 courses: Thanatology 2200, 2230A/B, 2231A/B, 3360A/B.
  • 2.0 courses from the following: Thanatology 2602A/B, 2605A/B, 3601A/B, 3603A/B, 3606A/B, 3607A/B.
    • Dates for weekend workshops for 2016/2017 academic year:
      • Than 2602B - *Required weekend workshop January 21 & 22
      • Than 2605A - *Required weekend workshop October 22 & 23
      • Than 3607A - *Required weekend workshop October 15 & 16
  • 0.5 course from the following: Thanatology 2232A/B, 2233A/B, 2234A/B, 2235A/B, 3320A/B, 3321A/B, 3322A/B, 3323A/B, 3355A/B, Sociology 2245.
  • If you have never attended King’s or Western before, please feel free to use our King’s internal application system.
    • You will require a username:  Thancert
    • You will require a password:  kings
    • Please use program code EKO (Social Science) when applying

If you wish to pursue further studies in the area of Thanatology, either by adding a Post-Degree module or the Certificate in Loss, Grief, and Bereavement, please contact Lois Mansfield at Lois.Mansfield@kings.uwo.ca

If you have previously completed a degree, and would like to determine your eligibility for either the Post Degree Module, or the Certificate program, please refer to the information below.

  • If you wish to complete your Thanatology courses via on-line/distance studies only, and if you do not reside within 100km proximity to the King’s campus, you will likely be encouraged to pursue the Post Degree Module. Students who are enrolled in the Post Degree Module follow the Major in Thanatology checklist, allowing for more course options, and the opportunity for practicum courses.
  • The Certificate program encompasses both on-line and in-person teaching instruction. Students enrolled in the Certificate program complete the majority of their course work on-line, but are required to attend mandatory weekend workshops in London, Ontario. If you are unable to attend the mandatory workshop sessions, you will be encouraged to enroll in the Post Degree Module.

Post-Degree Module

A Major or Minor module which is completed after graduation. Recognition will be given on the transcript for Post-Degree modules. A second degree is not conferred.

POST-DEGREE MODULES

After graduation with an undergraduate degree, students may complete additional Major and/or Minor modules(s) without completing a second degree. Students must consult the Dean’s Office of the Faculty in which the module is offered to request permission to register in a Post-Degree module. Permission may be denied if there is significant overlap with courses completed within the first degree.A Post-Degree module must be in a different subject area, not included in the undergraduate degree.

Students must complete the total number of courses required for this additional module with an average on these courses of at least 60%. Courses successfully completed during the first degree that are considered “extra” courses by the Faculty offering the first degree may be considered for use towards the Post-Degree module, at the discretion of the Faculty offering the Post-Degree module. All courses required for the Post-Degree module must be completed through the course offerings of Western University. Completion of Post-Degree modules will be recognized only by a notation on the student’s transcript.

To view the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree structure, please click here

If you are a current Western/King's student, please contact Lois Mansfield at Lois.Mansfield@kings.uwo.ca for detailed course information required to complete the Certificate or Post Degree Module

If you have previously completed a degree, and would like to determine your eligibility for either the Post Degree Module, or the Certificate program, please refer to the information below:

If you wish to complete your Thanatology courses via on-line/distance studies only, and if you do not reside within 100km proximity to the King’s campus, you will likely be encouraged to pursue the Post Degree Module. Students who are enrolled in the Post Degree Module follow the Major in Thanatology checklist, allowing for more course options, and the opportunity for practicum courses.

The Certificate program encompasses both on-line and in-person teaching instruction. Students enrolled in the Certificate program complete the majority of their course work on-line, but are required to attend mandatory weekend workshops in London, Ontario. If you are unable to attend the mandatory workshop sessions, you will be encouraged to enroll in the Post Degree Module.

  1. To complete a 3 or 4 year degree
    You must be admissible to King’s: see admission Requirements
  2. To complete a Post Degree Module
    You must present a final official copy of your university transcript that indicates that your degree has been conferred.
  3. To complete a Certificate program
    You must be admissible to King’s: see admission Requirements

The program offers a wide variety of courses including an overview of bereavement and grief, ethical issues, palliative care, suicide, children and death, spiritual and philosophical issues, change and transition, popular culture, grief and trauma, and diversity and social justice. In addition, the program offers a practicum course which involves experiential learning of basic counselling skills.

  • Social Work
  • Nursing
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Pastoral Counselling
  • Education
  • Hospice and Palliative Care

Cost per course

2015 Cost per half course $688.99* (subject to change year to year)

Download fee schedule


Start dates

  • May 9 – Spring/Summer term begins
  • September 8 – Fall/Winter term begins

Apply Now

Faculty Profile

Dr. Eunice Gorman
Dr. Eunice Gorman Thanatology

Eunice has worked in the area of oncology, palliative care, bereavement, professional caregiver support and chronic illness as a clinician, teacher, researcher, administrator, and speaker throughout her career. Her current research interests include:end of life care, hope, chronic sorrow, loss across the lifespan, interprofessional education, legacy leaving, bereavement support groups, professional caregiver stress in palliative care and bereavement.


Download Brochure Campus Visits Viewbook


Testimonial