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Loss & Bereavement Counselling

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 (Counselling) are invited from qualified, accredited psychotherapists and counsellors whose clinical work involves therapeutic support of bereaved people.

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.

• Develop and utilise advanced bereavement counselling skills as part of professional counselling practice.

• 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 counselling/psychotherapy accreditation through a national body and a Level 8 degree in relevant area (or equivalent as demonstrated through RPL). Through RPL you will be required to demonstrate formal training in counselling/psychotherapy; significant professional experience in loss/bereavement-related work; evidence of personal insight into loss and bereavement.

•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 Opens in new window using this service Naric Ireland

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


2 years part-time

Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

Please contact Jennifer Leech, Education Administrator at the Irish Hospice Foundation, if you have any queries.

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 3A: Applied Bereavement Practice – Preparing the Self to Work with Loss 10

Module 4: Loss, Death and Bereavement in Society 10

Module 5: Research Appraisal 5

Module 6A: Advanced Counselling and Practitioner Self 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.

Course fee

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.

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