Taught course

Death, Religion and Culture

University of Winchester · Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Entry requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree or professional experience in the area of study.

The course is great for anyone with an interest in exploring death as a subject area, and how religion and culture affect perceptions of death, dying and bereavement. No previous knowledge of religion or death studies is required although some summer reading would help students prepare.

Months of entry


Course content

  • Examine historical and current approaches to death and dying
  • Understand bereavement rituals in different cultural and religious contexts
  • Useful preparation for a range of careers serving the dying and bereaved

Death, Religion and Culture at Winchester is a distance learning course that explores the universal reality of death. You examine the ways in which death and dying are understood differently by various cultures and religious traditions, and how those understandings are played out in rituals of death, dying and bereavement.

The programme attracts a diverse range of students including funeral directors, clergy from a variety of traditions, teachers, nurses and those preparing for a research degree, as well as a range of people who are simply fascinated by the subject. This dynamic group ensures that your debates and discussions are lively and informed by a breadth of interests and experiences.

Modules include Death and Pastoral Care in Global Religions, The Act and Art of Eulogy, Visiting the Dead: From Graveyards to Dark Tourism, Is Death a Good Thing? You also complete a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words on a relevant topic of your choice.

The programme is taught by a team of highly qualified and enthusiastic staff who include internationally renowned scholars. You take part in structured discussion and debate through electronic forums, and are provided with guided course readings and access to the digital resources held in the University library in order to complete assessments. A visit to a local crematorium, cemetery, mortuary and/or funeral home is an essential aspect of the course.

Graduates of the course pursue a range of careers including bereavement counselling, work in funeral homes, teaching and church ministries.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course enquiries
+44 (0) 1962 841515