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Funeral and Allied Health Services

Funeral and Allied Health Services

Build the essential skills and knowledge you need for two career paths – Funeral Directing and Embalming.

Program Image
Start Date:
2 Years
+Locations & Availability

September 2019
Campus/Location DeliveryIn-class – Complete your program through courses that are held at a campus.

Online – All program courses are delivered online.

Blended – Complete your program through a combination of online and in-class courses (some courses are delivered 100% online). In-class courses are held at a campus.

Collaborative – program is delivered virtually on campus
Online Full time • Online Waitlist

Program Overview

Get the knowledge and skills you need to work as a funeral director and/or embalmer. Although you may choose to pursue only one of these avenues as a career, you benefit from having a solid understanding of each.

The most effective funeral directors are "people persons" who are open-minded, compassionate, non-judgmental and responsive communicators. In this career, you meet bereaved people who rely upon your support, good organizational skills and knowledge of the products and services available to them when making funeral arrangements.

Embalmers are interested in anatomy, chemistry and science. In this program, you acquire the skill and confidence to work efficiently. You learn the importance of teamwork and become familiar with the technical language and medical terminology used by health professionals.

No matter the career path you choose, you must be organized, ethical, open-minded, eager to embrace teamwork and free to work long and flexible hours. Throughout the program, you focus on classroom learning with some practical experience. Most of your hands-on skills will be developed during the apprenticeship that follows.

Admission Requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • A valid Class 5 driver's licence.
  • Applicants who have not obtained an apprenticeship with a funeral home prior to beginning the program will be required to take part in a Work/Volunteer Observation Experience. Participation in a funeral home observation period under a licensed funeral director is required. Before applicants approach a funeral home to set up the Work/Volunteer Observation Experience, NSCC Admissions will provide the required documentation.
  • Applicants who have obtained an apprenticeship with a funeral home prior to beginning the program are required to submit a letter of recommendation from the funeral home in support of the application to NSCC Admissions. This letter should outline the applicant's work experience and participation at the funeral home and confirm that the applicant will serve his or her apprenticeship with that funeral home. Apprentices must be registered with their provincial licensing board.

Program Requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact the student's ability to complete program requirements and proceed through to graduation. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Health & Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of first aid/CPR. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health & Human Services Program Requirements.
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.

Choose NSCC

  • Benefit from our program experience, faculty knowledge of the industry and flexible learning options.
  • Develop skills that respond to industry needs. The Funeral and Allied Health Services program enjoys close contact with Atlantic Canada's funeral service industry. It is responsive to industry's needs and demands and, as such, gives you the best possible chance of securing fulfilling employment in the field.
  • All theory courses are delivered online. Practical work experience is gained, for the most part, at the funeral homes where students are apprenticed.
  • Continue your studies at university. This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more.

Employment Opportunities

  • Licensing examination(s) are required to work in this field. Licensing examinations may include both a written examination and a practical examination. For more information on provincial licensing requirements, contact your respective Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
  • Most graduates choose to work as funeral directors and embalmers, but employment options are many.
  • Graduates work as pathologist's assistants, morgue attendants, funeral planners and funeral service educators.
  • Graduates are also hired by hospital and university laboratories, crematoria, answering services for funeral homes and businesses specializing in cemetery management, funeral stationery, removal services and the manufacture of embalming chemicals, caskets and monuments.

Other Info

  • Alternate Intake – This program is not offered each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • Applicants are not required to secure an apprenticeship prior to admission, however by the end of the first semester, proof of an apprenticeship with a funeral home in Atlantic Canada is required.
  • This program is divided into six semesters, delivered online, over a period of two years, while students meet the apprenticeship requirements for licensing as embalmers and funeral directors. Apprenticeship training is a full-time commitment, providing students with opportunities to apply theory in the funeral home. Graduates meet the apprenticeship requirements for licensing as embalmers and funeral directors.
  • In Atlantic Canada, licensed funeral directors and licensed embalmers work as Funeral and Allied Health Services professionals, many holding both licences. The Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors administers the issuing of licences and governs the course of instruction. Applicants from Newfoundland and Labrador are advised to check with their Provincial Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors about apprenticeship registration eligibility.
  • During work/volunteer observation experience and while participating in practicums, students will be expected to wear clothing appropriate to the profession. Students will be required to sign an agreement on ethical conduct and confidentiality.

Courses May Include

Course descriptions
Code Course
ANAP 1002   Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health
BIOL 1000   Microbiology
COMM 1205   Communications - Workplace Foundations
FUSV 1000   Funeral Rites and Rituals
FUSV 1001   Funeral Service Law and Ethics
FUSV 1002   Psychosocial Aspects of Death and Dying
FUSV 1004   Embalming Theory
FUSV 1018   Pathology
FUSV 1060   Theoretical Applications I
FUSV 1070   Theoretical Applications II
FUSV 1080   Theoretical Applications III
FUSV 1100   Introduction to Funeral Services
FUSV 1101   Medical Terminology
FUSV 1103   Restorative Art
FUSV 2000   World Religions: Western Traditions
FUSV 2001   Legal Aspects of Death: Advanced Planning and Aftercare
FUSV 2002   Issues in Grief and Bereavement for Funeral Service
FUSV 2018   Mortuary Pathology
FUSV 2044   Embalming Challenges and Restorative Procedures
FUSV 2060   Theoretical Applications IV
FUSV 2070   Theoretical Applications V
FUSV 2080   Theoretical Applications VI
FUSV 2100   Funeral Service Business Practices
FUSV 2203   Emerging Trends in Funeral Service
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act

Additional Graduation Requirements

Immunization form Completion
Portfolio Development
Standard First Aid, CPR Level C

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3

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