Funeral Service Diploma

Funeral Service Diploma

The Funeral Service Diploma prepares you to be licensed as a Funeral Director and as an Embalmer.

If you are interest in applying, please visit "Programs Offered" and select "Occupational Diplomas & Certificates" to check on the status of the application period.


Complete 19 courses (1,832 hours) through full-time or part-time studies.  Most courses are delivered online.

Full-time students can complete the Diploma in as little as 12 months.

As a part-time student, you can choose to take as many or as few courses per semester as fits your schedule.  Part-time students have up to 6 years to complete the program. 

Step by Step Registration Guide:
  1. Look up courses via MyMRU> Register & Pay> Look up Courses
  2. Search by term (e.g.  Fall 2017 CREDIT or Winter 2018 CREDIT) and then Submit
  3. Select the subject:  e.g. Funeral Service and then Course Search. Tip: You can choose multiple subjects by holding CTRL while selecting each subject.
  4. Find the course name and number (e.g. XFDC 10001) and click on View Sections.  All of the scheduled sections in the term will display.  If there is a tutorial or laboratory connected to the lecture, there will be a note. 
  5. Select your courses for the semester and Submit.


Program Planning Guide
Please see the attached guide to help you with your Program Planning:
Program Planning Guide - Funeral Service Diploma
Practicum and Work Experience information for your program. 

Course Descriptions

48 hours, online
This course will provide an introduction to funeral directing, including the history of funeral service, the role and profession of the funeral director and laws and regulations governing the profession. The roles of the Medical Examiner, police, and health care facility will be examined and the requirements of a first call situation and body transfer will be studied.
15 hours, online
Begin to develop a personal philosophy for conflict resolution as you explore the benefits mediation and negotiation in a variety of settings. Assess your ability to communicate effectively and discover your personal style of handling conflict. Recognize the importance of separating the people from the problem and begin to apply conflict management processes.


48 hours, online
This course examines the social and psychological aspects of death and dying, such as historical and cross-cultural variability in death attitudes, spirituality, the dying process, ethical issues such as euthanasia and suicide, bereavement, burial practices and death perceptions across the life-span.
64 hours, online
This course provides a systematic survey of the structure of the human body. Topics include cells and tissues of the body, plus the anatomy of the skeletal, articular, muscular, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, circulatory, nervous, integumentary and endocrine systems.
48 hours, online
Embalming Theory I will include the study of health and safety issues including infectious agents, the chain of infection, disinfection, exposure and follow-up requirements. The death process, ante-mortem and post-mortem changes will be studied. The embalming process and procedures will be studied including the use of chemicals and hazardous waste.
86 hours, practicum
Students participate in instructor-led embalming labs within Calgary funeral homes. Students residing outside of Calgary complete course at an Intensive Institute.

48 hours, online
This course will examine contemporary funeral practices and traditions related to a variety of religions and cultures. Various protocols for military and government funerals will be studied as well as the requirements for individuals with special needs. Funeral arrangements from first call through post-funeral follow-up will be studied in detail.
48 hours, online
This course explores effective business communication. Students will learn to write more effectively according to the seven C?s; clearly, completely, concisely, concretely, courteously, considerately and correctly. Appropriate formats for business letters, emails, reports and presentations are examined. Use of digital communication and social media will be explored.
15 hours, online
Begin to examine the concepts of negotiating with integrity and consider their application in the business community. Identify key skills and processes which assist in effective negotiations and consider key elements in preparing to negotiate. Be introduced to the 4-Stage model of negotiation: interests, options, agreements and alternatives.
48 hours, online
Students will be introduced to fundamental chemical principals, the importance of water to life, the basis of organic chemistry and biochemistry. Chemical changes that occur after death will be examined and the effects of thanatochemistry introduced.
48 hours, online
Embalming Theory II will build on the principles of Embalming Theory I examining the specific situations including effects of long term illness and trauma on the body, autopsy, and the decomposition process. Skills such as suturing and care of body fluids will be studied.

16 hours, online
Restorative Art I will begin the study of facial reconstruction and restoration. Facial and cranial proportions and suturing skills as related to facial reconstruction will be studied. The use of various chemicals, art materials and art instruments will be examined in relation to preparation of the deceased for viewing.

32 hours, online
The funeral service is studied in detail including preparation, roles and responsibilities of various staff, cortege and graveyard services. Aftercare services for bereaved families will be discussed including wills, estates and application for benefits. Special topics inherent to the industry such as cremation, pre-need sales, self-care, conducting complex funerals and disaster management will also be studied.
48 hours, online
This course introduces students to the key elements of strategic business operations including leadership, organizational culture, human resources and image. Various components of a business plan including management, financing, customers, marketing, legal structures and financial projections will be highlighted.
32 hours, online
This course will provide a framework to review and understand the laws and regulations that govern the daily work of a funeral service professional in preparation for licensing exams. Current trends and issues in funeral service will be explored.
48 hours, online
This course will introduce students to the world of microbiology and infectious disease. Review potential risks associated with the embalming process: explore the determinants of disease and infection, disease prevention, disease processes, sterilization processes, specific modes of action of antibiotics and chemical anti-microbials and the function of the human immune system and other defenses. Select organisms will also be examined for their role in human disease.
20 hours, lecture
Building on principles studied in Restorative Art I, this course emphasizes the restructuring of various facial features for cosmetic purposes. Special skills involving the use of wax modeling, tissue building and bleaching techniques will be included. Students residing outside of Calgary complete course at an Intensive Institute
320 hours, office campus
Students will practice the funeral directing skills they have learned throughout the program in a 320-hour employment or volunteer experience. Students are responsible for securing a placement within a licensed funeral home and may be required to relocate.
800 hours, off campus
This paid supervised employment experience is professional in nature and transitions students into increased responsibility within a funeral home. Develop professional interaction and communication skills while applying laws and regulations. Students are responsible for securing employment within a licensed funeral home and employer support to document 25 funeral arrangement conferences.

Program Outcomes

  • Plan, arrange and direct funeral ceremonies.
  • Be considerate of and respond to various religious and cultural traditions associated with death.
  • Interpret and apply various acts and regulations which govern the funeral service profession in Alberta.
  • Communicate and work effectively with families, government, health and legal agencies.
  • Practice the companioning aspect of caregiving.
  • Demonstrate reconstruction and restorative art techniques.
  • Complete the embalming process with appropriate infection control procedures.
  • Document the arterial injection embalming of up to 50 individual cases through an embalming log.

Contact us

For more information about this program:
403.440.6867 or 1.866.616.3606
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB T3E 6K6