Professional Degree courses in Dentistry, Education, Law, Medicine and Theology (MTS, MDiv)
Courses offered by Continuing Studies
Graduate Studies courses
* These courses are equivalent to pre-university introductory courses and may be counted for credit in the student's record, unless these courses were taken in a preliminary year. They may not be counted toward essay or breadth requirements, or used to meet modular admission requirements unless it is explicitly stated in the Senate-approved outline of the module.
1.0 course not designated as an essay course
0.5 course offered in first term
0.5 course offered in second term
0.5 course offered in first and/or second term
1.0 essay course
0.5 essay course offered in first term
0.5 essay course offered in second term
0.5 essay course offered in first and/or second term
1.0 accelerated course (8 weeks)
1.0 accelerated course (6 weeks)
0.5 graduate course offered in summer term (May - August)
0.25 course offered within a regular session
0.25 course offered in other than a regular session
1.0 accelerated course (full course offered in one term)
0.5 course offered in other than a regular session
0.5 essay course offered in other than a regular session
A course that must be successfully completed prior to registration for credit in the desired course.
A course that must be taken concurrently with (or prior to registration in) the desired course.
Courses that overlap sufficiently in course content that both cannot be taken for credit.
Many courses at Western have a significant writing component. To recognize student achievement, a number of such courses have been designated as essay courses and will be identified on the student's record (E essay full course; F/G/Z essay half-course).
A first year course that is listed by a department offering a module as a requirement for admission to the module. For admission to an Honours Specialization module or Double Major modules in an Honours Bachelor degree, at least 3.0 courses will be considered principal courses.
An interdisciplinary overview of major themes and attitudes regarding death, loss, grief, and bereavement. Topics include the Death System, personal death awareness, ethical issues, end of life care, supporting grieving individuals, funeral practices, and cultural issues in the field.
This course will explore recent research in Thanatology to familiarize students with the methodology utilized and to critically analyze research from an informed standpoint. Students will examine quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods designs, become familiar with measures that have been developed, and also explore current trends and controversies in Thanatology research.
Recent trends toward keeping people at home in their last days have increased the demand for people who are trained in supporting the dying and their loved ones. This course will investigate the roles of a death doula and examine communication, legacy work, vigils, rituals, activities performed at the bedside.
An interdisciplinary overview of current trends, practices, and issues in the field of Thanatology. Topics include the children’s responses to loss and grief, death in popular culture, sexuality in Thanatology-related contexts, diversity in Thanatology, suicide, and professional issues.
Interdisciplinary overview of palliative care philosophy and its implementation. Topics include response to terminal/chronic illness, distinction between palliative care and traditional medical models, pain and symptom control, the team approach, site of care, communication issues, and psychological and spiritual needs of dying patients and their families.
A study of bereavement and grief, with a review of topics such as attachment theory, the normal course of grief, current research and trends in bereavement theory and interventions, factors influencing the grief response, and specific types of loss and specific populations and grief.
An examination of children's understanding of death, the dying child, children and funerals, specific ages and interventions for the grieving child, the family system and death, and death and trauma in children.
A study of suicide with emphasis on North American culture. Topics will include the epidemiology of suicide and current research on suicide, suicide across the life span, theories about suicide, suicide prevention, intervention, and grief after a suicide.
Exploration of adjustment to change, transition, and loss from the perspective of bereavement theory and research. Concepts relevant to losses which are not associated with death, but which are associated with grief and adjustment issues, such as aging, chronic illness, adoption, relationship dissolution, and immigration will be explored.
Exploration of how portrayals of social norms for death, dying and bereavement are presented in popular culture and how these portrayals reflect and affect social policy, social norms, and contemporary thinking about death-related issues. Death-related themes will be examined in film media, contemporary writing, television and mass-media markets, music, art, and the internet.
A survey of beliefs about death and dying as articulated in the world’s major religious and spiritual traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Indigenous and African spiritualties. Topics include beliefs about the afterlife and ritual practices.
Combining thanatology and disability studies, this course explores grief and loss in the context of cognitive impairment. Participants will learn how people labelled with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities rarely have access to grief awareness and support, unpack the reasons for exclusion, and explore emerging strategies aimed at resolving the gap.
This course will address relevant issues and skills for both professionals and non-professionals, who wish to be better able to communicate with others who are seriously ill, dying or bereaved. Experiential focus on specific aspects of communication and skill-building with emphasis on end of life care and bereavement.
Antirequisite(s): the former Grief and Bereavement Studies 6002 (Western Continuing Studies).
Extra Information: 3 hours, 8 weeks online with a required weekend workshop (9AM to 4 PM both days), plus one exam day TBA.
A study of existing literature and expressive arts (film, visual arts, music, etc.) related to loss and grief will be integrated with student observations, accounts of related life experiences, and personal creations.
Antirequisite(s): the former Grief and Bereavement Studies 6005 (Western Continuing Studies).
Extra Information: 3 hours, 8 weeks online, mixed methods format, with a required weekend workshop (9 AM to 4 PM both days), plus one exam day TBA.
Overview of various philosophical, spiritual, and religious understandings of death. Topics will include the search for meaning, philosophical and existential understandings of death, socialization and culture in value formation, suffering, hope, and transcendence as they apply to death, dying, and bereavement.
Designed to integrate current research in bereavement with appropriate counselling interventions for various types of losses, and with various populations. Topics include an overview of various counselling theories, review of bereavement theories and research, interventions with grieving families, complicated and traumatic grief, and self-care for professional caregivers.
Exploration of how access to resources, oppression, economic factors, culture, and ethnicity affects aspects of death, dying, and grief. Students will be encouraged to evaluate social influences, explore various aspects of cultural competence, and develop an appreciation of diversity in the context of Thanatology-related themes.
An exploration of the intersection between grief, loss, and trauma in a variety of contexts. Theories of grief and trauma intervention will be applied to the role of first responders, death notification, traumatic response teams, unique features of sudden loss, and implications for treatment of survivors in various populations, as well as professional caregiver issues.
This course will examine mystical experiences before, at the moment of, and after death. Topics will include precognition, dreams, near death experiences, out of body experiences, signs from deceased loved ones, past life memories, after death communication, immortality of the soul, and current religious, scientific, and neurological explanations.
This course will investigate the field of dark tourism and will consider motivations, ethical issues, degrees of darkness, economics, cultural sites of great importance, and how these places inform and instruct us in our understandings of death, grief, and national and international histories, those disputed and those currently being disrupted.
This course explores the use of public grief, mourning, and commemoration in social justice struggles around the world. The course begins with an interdisciplinary overview of theories of grief before exploring examples of grief activism that have emerged in response to state violence, disappearances, femicide, and war, among other topics.
This course will be introduced to enhance students’ awareness and use of theoretical and methodological approaches to qualitative research, as well as the selection and application of appropriate data collection and analysis methods, including traditional, feminist, and arts-based approaches.
Overview of ethical issues pertinent to end of life and bereavement aftercare. Exploration of various theoretical frameworks and specific relevant topics such as euthanasia, assisted suicide, informed choice and decision-making capacity, patient rights, research ethics, medical futility, resource allocation, and quality of life issues.
Students will be exposed to various care providers in the community that work with individuals and families facing death and experiencing grief after a loss. Focus will be on integration of theoretical knowledge with clinical application. Students with a clinical focus and background will be given priority.
An exploration of current trends in theory and practice relevant to response to acute, traumatic events. Both current research and clinical implications related to crisis response and the impact of traumatic loss will be covered.
Antirequisite(s): the former Grief and Bereavement Studies 6001 (Western Continuing Studies).
Extra Information: 3 hours; 8 weeks online, mixed methods format, with a required weekend workshop (9 AM to 4 PM both days), plus one exam day TBA.
An exploration of the role that grief support groups play in facilitating healing after significant loss events, including the distinction between different types of groups and their appropriate use for given contexts.
Antirequisite(s): the former Grief and Bereavement Studies 6003 (Western Continuing Studies).
An exploration of the specialized care involved in loss, death, and grief, including complexities in care models, politics and structural issues, and challenges to the provision of compassionate care in thanatology-related contexts.
Antirequisite(s): the former Grief and Bereavement Studies 6006 (Western Continuing Studies).
Students will have an opportunity to become familiar with critical theory concepts as they relate to Thanatology. Students will examine the underpinnings of critical theory, and explore topics such as social class structure, social and political institutions, and social policy relevant to Thanatology.
Pre-or Corequisite(s):Thanatology 3322F/G or written permission from the Thanatology
This course will build on knowledge developed in the former Thanatology 4401F/G, allowing students the opportunity to develop their own design and methodology in a Thanatology related context, and gain experience in the implementation of a research design, along with the reporting and documentation of findings.
Prerequisite(s): The former Thanatology 4401F/G and registration in year three or four of an Honours Double Major in Thanatology.