Loss & Bereavement

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

These programmes aim to equip 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.

Learning Outcomes

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 support and counselling skills in the context of loss and grief

• 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.

• Design, implement and analyse an evidence-driven, ethical action research/change management proposal with respect to an aspect of bereavement care.

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.

Entry requirements

To apply for this programme you must possess a Level 8 degree in a relevant area or equivalent demonstrated through a defined recognition of prior learning (RPL) process. Through RPL you will be required to demonstrate significant professional experience in social/healthcare in a loss/bereavement-related area or as a bereavement support volunteer; completion of CPD and other training relevant to loss and bereavement; evidence of personal insight into loss history.

•An academic transcript will be requested when a place is offered. An academic transcript lists your complete academic history – programmes attended, a breakdown of marks/grades achieved, the degree awarded, your overall grade and conferring date.

•International degrees' equivalency are to be verified using this service.

If you are a prospective students applying for the MSc Loss & Bereavement for whom English is not your native language you may need to arrange a test to confirm proficiency in English.

Subjects taught

Year 1

In Year 1 classes are held in three-day blocks once a month (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) from 9.15am to 5:30pm. The programme runs from September to June in Year 1.

Module title Credits

Module 1: Loss, Grief and Bereavement Models through the Lifespan 10

Module 2: Counselling in Loss and Bereavement 10

Module 3B: Organisational Staff Support and Self-care 10

Module 4: Loss, Death and Bereavement in Society 10

Module 5: Research Appraisal 5

Module 6B: Range of Loss and Non-finite Loss 5

Module 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 October to June.

Module title Credits

Module 8-9: Dissertation 30

Please contact Orla Keegan if you have specific queries about the course content.


2 years part-time


Year 1: €5,000
•Year 2: €5,000

Please note
•Your annual fees include an IHF supplement of €50 for display, photocopying and printing of downloaded electronic material.

•Once you have been offered and accepted a place on the programme, a €500 deposit will be requested to secure your place.

Post Course Info

Your future

Participants on this programme come from a range of professions and sectors across Ireland and the UK.

We aim to work with you to develop a new and informed approach to how bereavement care is provided in the settings in which you work.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider