Global Challenges at the End of Life DUMF2066

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

A critical appraisal of global challenges relating to death, dying, and end of life care, taking into account major social, cultural and demographic factors and related policy issues. Topics covered include cross-cultural similarities and differences in defining a 'good death', community palliative care projects, assisted dying and death education in schools.


Three hours per week, divided between lecture and seminar formats

Requirements of Entry

A grade D or higher in at least one level 1 MA Health & Social Policy core or recommended course.

Excluded Courses





Coursework: essay assignment (2,000 words) (50%)

Short answer test: (15%)

Examination: (35%)

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

To foster a critical understanding of the global significance of death, dying and end of life care and to examine how the provision of care at the end of life is subject to shifting social, cultural and policy influences - thereby developing skills in global policy analysis and evidence synthesis. The complex nature of end of life care which involves physical, social, psychological and spiritual dimensions - will also enable students to develop confidence, resilience and perseverance in their approach to tackling demanding problems.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Explain and analyse the global dimensions of death, dying, and care at the end of life.

2. Critically assess the competing claims that are made about what constitutes an appropriate or beneficial intervention at the end of someone's life.

3. Evaluate different models of end of life care and make comparisons across resource settings globally.

4. Assess the quality of available evidence and the strengths and weakness of current research relating to end of life care in the global context.

5. Apply relevant ethical and legal frameworks to end of life issues in specific jurisdictions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.