We only get one chance to have our dying wishes met, which is why it’s vital to talk, plan and make arrangements for the end of life – before it’s too late. The recent Open University co-production made with BBC Ideas - Should everyone have an ‘end of life plan’? - outlines some of the key issues. Did you know death, dying and bereavement has been a major research and teaching theme at the OU for over twenty years? Find out more on our research page.
During this year's Dying Matters Awareness Week (10th-16th May 2021), we have curated a collection of free learning content from OpenLearn to open up the subject that many people still find difficult to talk about. This year’s theme is about being a good place to die - physically, emotionally, and with the right care and support.
Take a look at the FREE resources below...
Check out our NEW interactive on spiritual healing
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Are paranormal experiences real? Can being 'spiritual' help with the way you feel about death, dying and grief? This film interactive delves into spiritual healing and your views on life after death...Take part nowBeyond belief: talking to the dead
Level: 1 Introductory
Death and Dying Matters
The coronavirus pandemic has lead to many people across the globe facing bereavement and grief. We've pulled together some FREE resources to offer advice or comfort in these times.Read now ❯Coronavirus: Dealing with Death, Dying and Grief
Ever heard of advance care planning? Setting out what you’d want to happen to you if you became too unwell to make your own decisions doesn’t have to be morbid but can be incredibly helpful and give you peace of mind. Find out more in this interactive video simulation…Take part now ❯Life or Death Decisions
Explore interesting and challenging ideas around death, dying and grief. This free course, An introduction to death, dying and grief, invites you to think more deeply about death and dying and encourages you to think about it in different ways. This course will introduce you to different perspectives on death; ethical issues related to dying and end-of-life care; as well as expressions of grief. Please note that this course includes video about people talking personally about their experiences in relation to death and dying. If you have been affected by the issues in these videos, there are resources included in the course for further information and support.Learn more ❯An introduction to death, dying and grief
For many, this question may at first seem like an odd one. It may be something you have never thought about – thinking about what the end of life may be like. For others, dying may not seem like something you can ‘plan for’, preferring to presume it is down to fate. And you might be wondering why question something you might have very little control over.Read now ❯Death is inevitable: But do you need to plan for it?
This free course, Living with death and dying, explores how knowledge of and beliefs about death and encounters with death affect people's lives. It will also examine the concept of a 'good death' from an individual perspective in order to enhance the quality of dying.Learn more ❯Living with death and dying
Most people haven't heard of advance care plans or may avoid planning for end-of-life care. Dr Erica Borgstrom tells us why...Read now ❯Let’s not talk about dying: Five reasons why people avoid planning for their end-of-life care
How do you tell someone that they're dying? And how will they respond to the news? This series explores different ways of breaking bad news and looks at the impact of how the news is delivered has upon the person hearing it.Watch now ❯Breaking Bad News
Learn about death and dying
What shapes understandings of death and dying, and how does this affect the experiences of dying people, bereaved people, those who work with them, and their carers? In this module you will explore the social context of death and dying, considering the impact on end of life care and bereavement support. You'll engage with real life examples which will enable you to think critically about how practice in this area can be improved. This module is relevant to those working with dying people and their families, or anyone who wants to find out more about death, dying and bereavement.Learn more ❯Death, dying and bereavement
How do we approach death and dying at an individual level? How do we understand it within a wider social context? What are the ethical dilemmas faced by carers and dying people at the end of life? This certificate introduces a range of issues relating to death, dying and dementia care. Drawing on real case studies and acted scenarios, you’ll see and hear from people living with dementia, and from dying people and their carers. You’ll learn how people manage grief (including following sudden and mass death); and explore the social context of death and dying, end-of-life care, bereavement, and ethics. You’ll also explore the incidence and pathology of dementia and its impact on the person with dementia; how people are cared for at home and in care settings; and the ethical dilemmas associated with dementia. Throughout your studies, the emphasis is on the reality of end-of-life care and what changes can improve that care.Learn more ❯Certificate in End-of-Life Care
In the fast-changing world of today’s care sector, professionals at all levels need to be proactive and flexible in order to succeed. This degree in health and social care provides a sound and critical understanding of policy, theory and practice, and will help you to develop as an independent and reflective learner. By the end of the degree course you’ll be able to evaluate your own and others’ roles in the context of policy developments; evaluate emerging strategic solutions; and recognise and value diversity and difference. You’ll understand how ethical, legal, social, economic and political factors influence the provision and development of services; and gain the essential critical and analytical skills needed to engage in the development of evidence-based practice. You will also examine the context and processes of change in yourself, in groups and in services, including new ways of working across agencies and professional boundaries.Learn more ❯BA/BSc (Honours) Health and Social Care