• Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 6 months
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The Improving End-of-Life Care programme offered by The Open University UK  covers different understandings of and support for ‘a good death’, effective communication, grief and bereavement and ethics in end-of-life care. Written assuming no prior knowledge, the online learning guides support you in building your understanding of end-of-life care by working step-by-step through audio and video accounts from practice and written case studies, as well as accessible discussions of up-to-date research and theory.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the personal, institutional and societal factors shaping the experience of the end of life for both service users and those around them.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the character of, and the nature of support for ‘a good death’.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the nature of effective communication with those who are dying.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the experience of bereavement and support for those experiencing grief.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of ethical issues at the end of life.
  • Integrate different experiences of death, dying and bereavement and the associated caring practices with theoretical knowledge.
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and/or continuing professional development.
  • Critically reflect on and develop practice in order to promote the interests of dying and bereaved people including knowledge of care pathways and advanced care planning.
  • Respond ethically to the needs of dying and bereaved people including those relating to a ‘good death’ and grief.
  • Recognise and apply effective strategies for communicating with people affected by death, dying and bereavement.

This course will require around 40 hours of your time in total. The strong link between course learning and your work practice creates relevant, enduring and transferable outcomes – and the learning is far richer than more expensive one- to three-day workshops. Register online today and start tomorrow – no need to wait!

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date A student can apply at any time for this programme, there is no deadline.
  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 6 months
    • Part-time variant
    • Duration description

      The course will be open to you for a time period of between 6 and 18 months depending on your course registration date and you will be advised of the specific time limitations upon enrolment.

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
  • More information Go to the programme website

Programme Structure

Key topics are:

  • A ‘good death’: you will learn about the different understandings of what it takes to support a ‘good death’ including caring for those from other cultures. Predicting death and care pathways and frameworks are also explored.
  • Communication for end-of-life care: principles for effective communication (and reasons for failures in communication) with people who are dying and those around them are considered. You will develop an understanding of a well-established approach to communication through a series of video and audio material from practitioners and people who are dying. 
  • Grief and bereavement: looking at different theories of grief you will gain an understanding of the diverse ways in which it is experienced. Differences between people will be explored. 
  • Doing the right thing - ethics in end-of-life care: you will develop an applied understanding of core ethical principles and processes in end-of-life care.


The course focuses on person-centred practice and is highly relevant to staff working at all levels in health and social care (registered staff and non-registered support staff), those directly involved in frontline care and those who need to understand the sensitivities and demands of end-of-life care and the importance of communication in this challenging area of work. 

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

  • There are no entry requirements. For each course you can register and begin at any time during the life of the course. You can study at your own pace. 

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    185 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 185 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 6 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Improving End-of-Life Care
Visit programme website


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