PUB HLTH 6021 - Nature of Grief

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This course aims to provide an experiential, theoretical and evidence based framework for understanding the nature and characteristics of grief, and its potential to affect any dimension of the individual: physical, emotional, psychological, social, behavioural and spiritual. In addition, it will provide key frameworks for students to work with grief presentations in the therapeutic context as well as examining their own grief experience.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 6021
    Course Nature of Grief
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PUB HLTH 5005
    Restrictions Available to MCounsPsych, GDipCounsPsych, GCertCounsPsych students only or with approval of Program Coordinator
    Course Description This course aims to provide an experiential, theoretical and evidence based framework for understanding the nature and characteristics of grief, and its potential to affect any dimension of the individual: physical, emotional, psychological, social, behavioural and spiritual. In addition, it will provide key frameworks for students to work with grief presentations in the therapeutic context as well as examining their own grief experience.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Ann Ibrahim

    Course Coordinator: Ann Ibrahim
    Lecturer, School of Public Health
    Phone:08 8313 4999
    Level 9, AHMS Building, North Terrace.

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Timetable details are located on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes


    Articulate and reflect on personal grief history clarifying both personal and professional implications


    Critically appraise current grief and loss theories with application to client scenarios


    3. Differentiate the broad scope of loss and associated grief across a spectrum of clients and contexts


    Recognise cultural differences in the expression of grief


    Demonstrate capacity to work with a client presenting with loss and grief


    Identify where referral to other professionals would be necessary in the context of loss and grief.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Worden, J.W. (2009). Grief counselling and grief therapy (4th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

    Recommended Resources
    A range of relevant readings will be made available on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    3.3.1 MyUni
    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework program have access to a Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. This course is available on MyUni at Please check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to your study in the course. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site:

    Discussion Board – Users can post discussion items and reply to other posts. Note: If you would like to have a specific Discussion Board Forum created, please send your request to

    Send Email – This feature enables users to send email to fellow students. Group Pages – Groups enable Users to collaborate with each other. Groups usually consist of a smaller group of Users in a course or organisation, such as study groups or project groups. From a Group Page, users may send email, exchange files, enter discussion forums or enter collaboration sessions.

    Note: Only members of a particular Group can access the Group communication features (discussion forums, email, etc.). If you would like to have a specific Group Page created, please send your request to For example, Group Pages can be created to include students living in the same geographical area or students working for the same organisation.

    Please note that you also have access to individual MyUni sites for EACH course you are enrolled in. Please check the sites regularly as they may contain important announcements that are relevant to your study in the course.

    3.3.2 Access Adelaide
    Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows you to access and, in some cases, amend your records. It can be found at: You can log into Access Adelaide to view: your enrolment details for any term, your academic results, your unofficial academic transcript, your personal details, the fees, charges and payments on your University account, your exam schedule, your graduation eligibility details.

    As a student you can: change your address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as well), change your password,  set a password clue to help you remember your password.

    3.3.3 Student email
    It is important that you set up your student email and check it regularly. Information from your course coordinator and student administration will be sent to you at your University of Adelaide email address. It is your responsibility to check your email. You will need your student number located on your student card to log in.

    3.3.4 Computers
    Where can I use a computer in the University? Computing facilities are provided to students by the University, and there are
    several suites of computers available, including at the Barr Smith Library andin Hub Central. The University web site has a list of computer labs at:

    3.3.5 Internet access
    The University provides a free dial-up service to students without the need for a commercial ISP account. This service is available at the cost of a local call to students residing within Adelaide (please refer to your telecommunications provider for confirmation of call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates ( ). Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The learning and teaching methods in this course will employ a range of techniques to allow for understanding, integration and application of the content presented. Sessions will contain a mix of small group discussion, role play, reflection and other workshop activities as well as didactic material to introduce theoretical, practical and reflective components. It is expected that by creating an environment that promotes the practice of individual responsibility as essential for students in managing their own and others learning, it will also complement the expectations that current professional-based workplaces adopt. Students are encouraged to share their own knowledge and experiences, in a respectful manner, to enhance each other’s learning processes.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course comprises 12 weekly workshop sessions. Sessions will employ a range of techniques to facilitate integration and understanding of the content presented. In addition to lecture content, a range of workshop, discussion-based practices and group presentations will be employed.

    Essential readings will be set every week, and it is expected that students will have read and engaged with these before each session. If you do not do the essential reading/s, you may find it difficult to follow and contribute to both group discussions and practice sessions. In addition, assessment work will require engagement with these weekly readings.

    The workload set for this course is made up as follows:
    • Face to Face lectures and practicals: 3 hours / week
    • Core/background readings: 5 hours / week
    • Preparation of assignments: 4 hours / week
    Learning Activities Summary



    Course overview and introduction to Nature of Grief

    Course overview
    What is grief, loss, and mourning?
    Historical and Australian context of grief and loss

    Grief and Loss Theory Part 1 (Worden)

    Understanding loss through an attachment lens
    The Tasks of Mourning

    Grief and Loss Theory Part 2 (Worden)

    The Mediators of Mourning
    Responding to uncomplicated grief

    Group Presentations Week 1

    Assessment 1:
    Disenfranchised Grief & Loss - Group Presentations

    Group Presentations Week 2

    Assessment 1:
    Disenfranchised Grief & Loss - Group Presentations

    Alternative models of grief

    Attig's 'Relearning the World' and other models

    Specific Grief Issues

    Neimeyer's 'Meaning Reconstruction' and other models

    Grief in specific populations 1

    Aboriginal & Torrens Strait Islander stories of grief & loss

    Grief in specific populations 2

    Perinatal & Palliative Care grief and loss

    Grief in specific populations 3

    Child & Adolescent grief and loss

    Complicated mourning

    Understanding and recognising complicated mourning; knowing when to refer

    Continuing bonds
    Summary & reflection

    Understanding new perspectives on continuing bonds
    Summary of key learning and personal reflections

    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment task

    Assessment type


    Learning Outcomes

    Group Presentation



    2, 3, 4 & 6





    Reflective Paper








    To pass this course, students are expected to attend and actively participate in all sessions.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    In groups of 3-4 you are required to prepare and present a 15 minute presentation on a specific area of disenfranchised grief and loss. A handout for class members is to be provided and a 750 word summary is to be submitted online on the day of the presentation. Topics and further guidelines will be provided on MyUni.


    Worden’s grief theory and one other grief theory are to be applied to a case study from a movie. Further details and movie options will be provided on MyUni.

    2,000 words


    Throughout this course you are to keep a journal containing 8 - 12 entries. Your journal should contain a mix of commentary on things that have impacted you throughout the semester and should include reflections on weekly class presentations, your own journey of loss and grief, other stories, readings, media or creative forms that have impacted you. At the completion of the course, write a 1,000 word precis drawing together your key learning and growth from your journal.


    In accordance with both university policy and the group norms identified in class.

    Word limits
    You are advised to comply with word limits for written assignments, however a 10% leeway on either side is acceptable. Each assignment must include the word-count at the end of the document and in the cover sheet.

    Assignment cover sheet
    Assignments are to be submitted with an attached Assignment Cover Sheet (available on MyUni), which is to be signed and dated by the student before submission. The lecturer can refuse assignments that do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    Referencing of assignments
    It is essential that you reference all written work accurately and consistently. We ask that use the American Psychological Society
    Referencing Format (APA 6) and information regarding this system can be found at: or more detailed information can be found at: EndNote bibliographic software is a very useful tool for managing your references and it is provided free of charge through the university. Information about EndNote can be found at:

    Be aware that marks will be deducted for incorrect referencing in all assignments.

    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.   Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.  Supporting documentation must be  provided at the time a student requests an extension.  Without documentation, extensions will not be granted. Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a  medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a  letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of  compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to
    verify the  student’s situation.  The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact  on the student.  Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted.  If an assignment that is 2  days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.  

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination  period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.

    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process  <>. Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance. This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result. Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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