Contemporary Approaches to Bereavement

Subject NURS90073 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 24-Feb-2016 to 05-May-2016
Assessment Period End 27-May-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 09-Mar-2016
Census Date 18-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 22-Apr-2016

A combination of face to face and online delivery, with a strong clinical focus. A delivery format of four four-day subjects offered intensively in two day blocks throughout the year has been established to enable accessibility for regional and interstate health professionals.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 32 hours ( 2x2 day workshops )
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours per 12.5 credit point subject.


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in either GC-PALLC or GC-PALCARE. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

To complete the requirements for the Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care, students must have completed ‘Fundamentals of Palliative Care’ prior to undertaking ‘Contemporary approaches to bereavement care’.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:


Ms Karen Quinn


School of Melbourne Custom Programs
Award Programs Team

Program Coordinator - Gemma Hughes

Phone - +61 3 9810 3253


Subject Overview:

This subject will examine a range of theoretical and clinical approaches to bereavement intervention. Drawing on contemporary theory and evidence-based practice the subject will consider the bereavement needs of special populations and will explore a range of individual, group and family techniques and intervention strategies. Topics to be covered include:

Day 1. Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on bereavement

  • Historical developments in grief theory and practice
  • Recent developments in grief theory and practice
  • Attachment theory

Day 2. Developmental Perspectives

  • Child bereavement
  • Adolescent bereavement
  • Older adult bereavement

Day 3 Clinical Interventions

  • Complicated grief and managing intense emotions
  • Grief and loss in the family system
  • Bereavement risk assessment and referral
  • Rituals, symbols and creative expressions of grief

Day 4 Self care and ethical issues in bereavement care

  • Ethics and bereavement interventions
  • Self care strategies for the practitioner
Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the subject, students will be able to:

  • Recognise and understand the process of loss and bereavement and the impact this has on patients and their families, and on themselves as service providers
  • Describe a range of grief and bereavement theories as they relate to the palliative care setting
  • Have an understanding of what constitutes good bereavement practices taking into account diversity in age, culture, general and sexual orientation
  • 2000 word essay (40%) due 3 weeks after the end of intensive delivery
  • 3000 word essay (60%) due 8 weeks after the end of intensive delivery
Prescribed Texts:

Selected readings will be made available to students via SOLE.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students will be recognised for their skill and knowledge related to bereavement, and acknowledged as a resource within their services

Students will complement their existing communication skills

Students will be considered as leaders in their field.

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care
Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care

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