What is Thanatology?
The Thanatology program offers a wide variety of courses including an overview of bereavement and grief, ethical issues, palliative care, suicide, children and death, spiritual and philosophical issues, change and transition, popular culture, grief and trauma, and diversity and social justice. In addition, the undergraduate program offers a practicum course which includes a 45-hour field placement, and a grief counselling course which involves experiential learning of basic counselling skills.
King’s University College is currently the only university in North America to offer the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Thanatology. This unique program gives students several degree options in Thanatology with the option of combining a major or minor in a complementary subject (i.e., Childhood and Youth Studies, Social Justice and Peace Studies or Psychology). Our program further incorporates various teaching modalities including in-class instruction, blended learning and experiential learning. Although many of our courses are available through distance studies (online), it is not possible to complete an entire undergraduate degree from King's University College at Western University via distance studies/online learning.
What can I do with a Thanatology degree?
The Thanatology program at King’s offers 3 degree options:
- Undergraduate Degree in Thanatology at King’s
- Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement*
- Post-Degree Module**
*The Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement can only be completed alongside an undergraduate degree program at King's
**You must have a completed undergraduate degree to enroll in the Post-Degree Module
The program allows for several degree options, and many of our courses are available online. Our program incorporates a variety of teaching methods, including in-class instruction, blended learning and experiential learning.
The introductory Thanatology course is Introduction to Thanatology (1025A/B), and is taken during the student’s first year. Further course offerings depend on whether the student is completing an Honours Specialization, Major or a Minor in Thanatology Studies.
Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, may pursue the Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement concurrently with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Courses for the Certificate taken concurrently with a Thanatology module may count for both.
An innovative Certificate program offering professionals and lay persons an opportunity to explore cultural, social, and personal aspects of loss, death, dying, and grief.
The opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in providing support for those who experience significant losses, individuals who are terminally ill, and those who experience grief, and to examine relevant legal, ethical, and social issues.The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of loss and grief, with a focus on effective support and collaboration with community-based services.
** can only be completed alongside an undergraduate degree program at King's
A Post-Degree Module is a Major or Minor module that is completed after graduation. It requires completion of 6.0 Thanatology courses for the major and 4.0 courses for the minor. Recognition will be given on the transcript for Post-Degree modules. A second degree is not conferred. After graduation with an undergraduate degree, students may complete additional Major and/or Minor modules(s) without completing a second degree. Students must complete the total number of courses required for this additional module with an average on these courses of at least 60%.
3 or 4-year Undergraduate Degree in Thanatology
Review all of our admission requirements
Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement Studies
If you are currently registered at King’s/Western, you may indicate the Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement on your Intent to Register submission during the Intent to Register period (February 1st to March 30th). Please feel free to contact Jessica Sommers (Jessica.Sommers@kings.uwo.ca) if you have any questions regarding this process.
You must present a final official copy of your university transcript that indicates that your degree has been conferred. Students must have already completed Intro to Thanatology 1025 A/B.
Undergraduate Degree in Thanatology
Students can apply to an undergraduate degree in Thanatology through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC): https://www.ouac.on.ca/
Please use code EKO (Social Science) when applying
Certificate in Loss, Grief and Bereavement Studies
Applications will not be accepted at this time for students who are not currently enrolled at King’s/Western. Current students can contact the Academic Dean’s Office to complete the Intent to Register to enroll in the Certificate.
Post Degree Module
You will be required to provide all academic transcripts to gain admission to King's. Please mail official copies to our office:
266 Epworth Avenue
London, ON N6A 2M3
3 or 4 year degree in Thanatology
Please refer to program checklists and program module requirements here: https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/thanatology/programs-offered/
Please refer to our tuition fees page here for up-to-date information: https://www.kings.uwo.ca/current-students/money-matters/fees-and-responsibilities/schedules/
The post-degree module (major) is made up of 6.0 courses and the post-degree module (minor) is made up of 4.0 courses. Program module requirements can be found here: https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/thanatology/programs-offered/
Please refer to our tuition fees page here for up-to-date fee information: https://www.kings.uwo.ca/current-students/money-matters/fees-and-responsibilities/schedules/
King’s Thanatology students have gone onto further education or into these careers:
- Child Life Specialist MA at McMaster (Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care)
- Social Work BSW, MSW
- Bible College
- Priesthood, seminary
- Funeral Director program at Humber College (embalming or non-embalming option)
- Play therapy
- Art therapy
- MA in Thanatology (US)
- Centre for Death and Society MA (UK)
- eHealth (McMaster)
- Gender Studies and Feminist Research (McMaster)
- Medical school
- Grief counselor
- Volunteer manager
- Bereavement coordinator
- Autism Behaviour /Developmental Service Worker
- Child and Youth Worker
- Early Childhood Education
- Mindfulness studies
- Store owner, businessperson, self-employment
- Retirement home management
- Rehab – occupational therapist (OT), physiotherapist (PT), speech language pathologist (SLP), audiologist
- Complementary therapies
- Massage therapist
- Master of Counselling Psychology
- Teacher’s college
- Addictions / mental health counselor
- Technical development: instructional designer, game developer, IT work
- Police, community liaison officer
- Clinical trials work/researcher
- Death doula
- Community worker with specific populations
- Sales related to funeral industry, cemeteries
- Family Relations & Applied Nutrition
- Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies
Government positions often pay for further education or have excellent on-the-job training:
- Ministry of Health
- Public Service
- Canadian Armed Forces
- Security Intelligence
- Border Services
- Defence and Public Safety