Research course

Death, Dying and Bereavement

Open University · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus either a masters degree or research methods training at masters level (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

Death, dying and bereavement has been one of the Faculty of Health & Social Care’s major research and teaching themes for over twenty years. The work in this area ranges from dying through to death and bereavement in all age groups – before birth and at the end of a long life. End-of-life care is a key strand of research and teaching, and includes the underpinning philosophy, care planning and delivery; cultural diversity in death, dying and bereavement; and reproductive loss (abortion, miscarriage and stillbirth). Ethics at the end of life and the development of professional competencies are key aspects of this challenging area. Other research has focused on people whose job it is to deal with deceased people, such as hospital staff and undertakers.

Current/recent research projects
  • Living with advanced cancer in China: a study of older people and their families’ experiences of end-of-life care
  • The role of the hospice volunteer
  • Recovery following bereavement
  • The sexuality, relationships and reproductive choices of people with life-limited conditions
Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Reproductive loss (to include abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death) End-of-life care across the lifecourse Cultural diversity in death, dying and bereavement Ethnographic work on death, dying and bereavement Post mortem care Bereavement care

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
part time
72 months
full time
36 months


distance learning
variable months
part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Dr Lindsay O'Dell