Compassion at Work

Subject code HSW705
Lecturer Dr Nadine Levy
Delivery mode Online, self-directed
Duration 10 weeks
Next start date Visit timetable

Subject Overview

Compassion is identified as a priority area for improvement in health care. Explicit training in compassion is now required within health care settings which are becoming increasingly complex and fast paced. This subject examines the implications of compassion in health care for individuals, organisations and society. It draws from the growing field of Compassion Science, which suggests that compassion is central to positive outcomes in health care. This subject examines physiological, psychological, philosophical and sociological evidence, which proposes a positive correlation between compassionate health care enhanced by contemplative practice and staff and clients’ quality of life. Compassion science evidence on the impact of compassion in health care settings is used to prepare students to cultures of compassion at work which are understood to contribute to lower absenteeism, employee burnout, higher job satisfaction, commitment and accountability. This subject is grounded in a strength based, resilience building approach, while offering both applied and theoretical experience of compassion for personal and professional development in health care.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion, the links between them and the relevance of these skills in health care.
  2. Critically synthesise experience of contemplative practice and theoretical engagement with compassion science to evaluate the use of contemplative practices in compassion development.
  3. Critically analyse contemplative science findings related to physiological, psychological and sociological outcomes of compassion.
  4. Critically evaluate the place of compassion in self- and community-development within health care, and potential impacts of compassionate individuals and institutions in society.
  5. Ability to engage and critique benefits, ethical implications, challenges and practical applications of compassionate cultures in health care.



  • Assessment 1, Part 1: Reflective journal entry (10%, due week 2)
  • Assessment 1, Part 2: Reflective journal entry (10%, due week 4)
  • Assessment 1, Part 3: Essay addressing reflective journal entries (25%, due week 6)
  • Assessment 2: Case study on compassion in action (50%, due week 10)


Offering a high degree of flexibility, our courses can be studied online or on campus, full or part-time. Our courses are designed for health and wellness professionals, counsellors, educators, and other leaders who are balancing a work schedule and already have an undergraduate degree. Enrol now or at a time that suits you.