Diploma in Bereavement & Grief Studies


Diploma in Bereavement & Grief Studies

Course Details

Full Course name:
Diploma in Bereavement & Grief Studies

Course Dates

Next course commencing:
27 January 2020

10 weeks, evenings from 6.30 to 9.30 pm

Course Fee

Classroom-based €995 (or €1,095 instalments)
Online course €895 (or €995  instalments)
Non-EU: €1,295

For anyone whose job brings them into contact with individuals grieving after the death of someone close

This course aims to provide students with a clear understanding of the process of grieving after a bereavement. It adopts a lifespan developmental approach to trauma, death and grief by exploring the impact of death from childhood right through to adulthood. Students will be given a theoretical framework for understanding the impact of death on individuals, and why some individual’s journey through grief can become more problematic (complicated grief). The course will provide students with an insight into the differences between normal grief and traumatic grief reactions. Various therapeutic interventions will be discussed using empirical research and evidence-based practice. This course is suitable for; social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs, nurses, Gardai, emergency responders, teachers, and anyone whose job brings them into contact with individuals grieving after the death of someone close. For existing practitioners, this programme will provide a basis for developing skills used in responding to grieving clients.

1. Introduction to the course; attachment theory, separation anxiety, pathways to loss in childhood. Brief introduction to theories of: Bowlby, Worden, Kubler-Ross, Stroebe and Schut, Bowen, Klass, Shapiro
2. Theories and models of grief I; exploring stage and task models of grief, dual process model,
3. Theories and models of grief II; continuing bonds, meaning making and benefit finding
4. Grief typology; anticipatory grief, normal grief, complicated grief, traumatic grief
5. Death of a spouse, parent, or child; impact of death depending on the relationship to deceased
6. Children and grief; developmental grief reactions, talking to children about death, and suicide
7. Trauma; traumatic deaths e.g. suicide, murder, recognizing traumatic reactions in adults and children, PTSD, secondary trauma, inter-generational trauma
8. Working therapeutically with grief and trauma; providing bereavement support, tools to help the bereaved, effective therapeutic interventions, promoting resilience. Evidence grounded approaches to treatment and outcomes
9. Legal and justice systems. Importance of rituals and memorialising; inquests, criminal justice system. The importance of rituals and remembering the dead person
10. Self-care; compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma – how to recognize and manage.

Nicola MitchellNicola Mitchell has over 20 years’ experience of working with children, adolescents and adults as a professionally qualified social worker, accredited psychotherapist, and psychologist. She received her Bachelor’s degree in social studies (BSS, CQSW) from Trinity College Dublin in 1994. Since then she has worked as a child protection social worker, and also as a medical social worker in a children’s hospital working primarily with children and families with life limiting or life threatening illnesses. She is an accredited counsellor and psychotherapist (MIACP) and has worked as a bereavement counsellor for children and adolescents for over a decade with a national children’s charity. Nicola also has a H Dip in Psychology (UCD) and a MSc in Applied Psychology (TCD). She works from a psychodynamic perspective but also incorporates aspects of CBT in her therapeutic interventions. She is currently working as a student counsellor with third level students, as well as a bereavement counsellor with families bereaved by suicide.

A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding of the Diploma. A fail grade will result in a Certificate of Attendance for the course but without the Diploma being awarded.

Students must attend at least 80% of classes to graduate with either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance unless a serious and verifiable reason for further absence is provided. If completing the course online, attendance and participation is tracked through Moodle.

The assignment/project must be handed in on the due date unless a sound reason for lateness is provided. In such instances, an extension may be awarded at the discretion of the lecturer.

  • Why City Colleges?
    • Courses for students who are passionate about their subject, delivered by leaders in their field.
    • Live lectures which are also streamed live on Moodle and recorded for review
    • City centre location in South Great George’s Street, convenient for bus, LUAS, DART
    • Study rooms and library in our City Centre and Dundrum locations
    • Limited class size
    • Parking