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The science of Thanatology studies various aspects of death. It examines the physical changes that precede death, as well as those that occur post-mortem. This field also examines the psychological issues that accompany death and dying. The word itself is of Greek origin and comes from the personification of death in Greek mythology, Thanatos, and the suffix “logia,” meaning “to speak.” 

Supporting individuals and families facing the loss of a loved one requires dedication, compassion, empathy and a deep understanding of the psychological, spiritual, social and cultural elements that impact death and bereavement.

The Master of Thanatology has an interdisciplinary focus and offers a combination of theory, research and practical skills that can be used in a wide range of occupations and organizations. 

Students of a Master’s degree in Thanatology examine the interplay between the physical, psychological, interpersonal and spiritual needs of the living and the dying across the lifespan.

The Master’s degree in Thanatology is designed to prepare students for a career providing care for people facing end-of-life issues and bereavement. There are universities and institutes that offer this Master’s program free of charge or with scholarship or student loan options.

The objective of a Free Master’s Degree in Thanatology is to educate students from diverse backgrounds in the fundamental concepts, knowledge, research, techniques and skills of thanatology.

In order to prepare them for employment in a wide variety of thanatology-related positions and prepare them to contribute to the discipline of thanatology academically and professionally.

What is a Master Degree in Thanatology ?

A Master in Thanatology prepares students for employment in organizations that focus on providing care for individuals and families facing end-of-life care, bereavement issues, suicide and more. 

Thanatology addresses grief and loss for varied populations, including children, parents, military and veterans. Students in this program will recognize and articulate the fundamental assumptions, core ideas, and dominant critiques of contemporary thanatology theory and practice.

Students in this program will demonstrate competence in the application of evidence-based thanatology best practices in needs assessment and supportive services.

The Master of Thanatology focuses on helping individuals and families coping with end of life, death, loss and bereavement, including bereavement following natural death or traumatic death, in diverse cultural contexts and across the lifespan.

Students in this program will design and implement educational programs on death, the dying process, end-of-life decision making, and bereavement issues for communities and professional audiences.

They will also analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the relationship between religious and spiritual belief systems and the reaction to and coping with death, and incorporate these elements appropriately into service delivery.

Program, Subjects and Content of the Master Degree in Thanatology

These are some of the topics that may be included in the programmatic content of a Master’s degree in Thanatology:

  • Fundamentals of thanatology
  • Theory and practice of bereavement
  • Cultural perspectives in thanatology
  • Research methods in thanatology
  • Applied ethics and the end of life
  • Cornerstone of applied thanatology
  • Death in the lives of children and adolescents
  • Understanding suicide
  • Grief after a traumatic death
  • Children, adolescents and suicide
  • Bereavement program development
  • Suicide prevention and postvention
  • Palliative and hospice care
  • Spiritual formation and thanatology
  • Death and the literary imagination

How Long Does the Master Degree in Thanatology Take ?

A Master’s degree in Thanatology lasts from 1 to 2 years full-time. Time will depend on factors such as the country of origin, the institution or university that offers the Master’s program, the study plan, mode of delivery of the program, schedules, whether it is taken partially or completely, among others.

Where can I Work with the Master’s Degree in Thanatology ?

Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue careers in churches, funeral homes, hospices, hospitals and non-profit organizations. Some of the most common job titles are:

  • Funeral director
  • Family Caregiver
  • Hospital workers
  • Hospice volunteers
  • Spiritual and ministerial professionals
  • Counseling and mental health professionals
  • Nursing home and long-term care professionals

Countries and Cities Where You Can Study the Master Degree in Thanatology for Free by Obtaining a Scholarship

  • United States
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

Institutes, Centers and Universities Where the Master of Science in Thanatology is Possibly Taught for Free, Through Scholarships

Master of Science in Thanatology

  • Marian University
  • Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Master of Science in Bereavement and Bereavement

  • Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland.

Master’s degree in mental health and wellness with an emphasis on grief and bereavement.

  • Grand Canyon University
  • Online.

Master’s Degree in Loss, Grief and Trauma Counseling

  • Flinders University
  • Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Master of Arts in Thanatology

  • King’s College University
  • Ontario, Canada.

M.A. in Death, Religion and Culture

  • The University of Winchester
  • Winchester, England, United Kingdom.

Master Degree in Thanatology Referential Prices

The prices of the Master in Thanatology can be varied. The prices of these Masters are between $4,800 and $36,200 per year. In some cases it can have a higher cost. The cost of this Master’s degree will vary according to the country where it is given, the institution or university that gives the Master’s degree, the modality, the duration and the materials provided during the study, among other factors.

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