The over-arching aim of this course is to support health and social care professionals to develop an enhanced and applied knowledge base of the health and wellbeing of the older person and their service provision.
Critical literature has been amassed which shows that current standards of care often fail to deliver good quality care for the older person, therefore the need to improve the care and experience of the older person in health and social care have become significant policy drivers in the UK and beyond. To address policy requirements it is widely recognised that professionals require knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver standards, act as positive role models and develop leadership capacity with older people.
The important values that inform this course reflect the growing priorities that have been identified which support the need to provide an improved and more responsive level of care for older people. Furthermore it is important that new roles need to be developed within health and social care, career pathways mapped out, and leadership in this area strengthened.
This course will provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills to support the course aims. Specialist modules ensure students gain insight into the complexities of caring for older people enabling them to act as change agents, facilitating improvements in aspects of that care. Knowledge development and experience will be achieved through critical engagement with both the academic content and practice experience, directly related to the care of the older person.
The student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts, policies and practices that influence delivery of health and social care for the older person
- Critically apply new knowledge and skills to support collaborative working with other professionals that enables practice improvement in older persons care
- Evaluate models of practice development and service delivery in all settings where the older person lives or is cared for
- Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues that arise in practice
- Plan and execute a significant practice project which focuses on improvement of care for the older person
- Demonstrate attributes of personal organisation, planning and evaluation skills that support effective academic and clinical work
- Demonstrate development of attributes and skills commensurate with clinical leadership that will contribute to the delivery of high quality care for older people
Candidates should hold a degree or degree equivalent from a university or college recognised by the University of Stirling. A professional qualification plus relevant experience may be accepted as equivalent. Selection follows consideration of written application, professional references and an informal discussion with the Course Director. The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health – in line with the University – operate a system for inclusion of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) and APEL (Recognition of Prior Experiential learning).
There are different funding options available depending on the route of entry into the course:
- Route 1. Year 1 fees and a SAAS bursary may be paid for practitioners who qualified in 2012 or 2013 wishing to undertake a PG Dip with the option to continue in a self-funded capacity in Year 2 for the MSc.
- Routes 1 or 2 Self-funded or some competitive funding options are available, including postgraduate scholarship places which offer a flexible route of study – scholarship information
- HWOP01 and HWOP02 are available as CPD modules – funding support may be available for example through NHS Boards
Details of tuition fees within the University are found at:
Modes of study
The course utilises a blended approach to learning. Blackboard Collaborate™ is used as a platform for synchronised e-learning. Module content will be supported by Web-based materials including podcasts. Campus days will be facilitated by face to face contact using video-conferencing / connective technologies / SKYPE where appropriate for distant students.
Course start date
September and February
Structure and content
The MSc in Health and Wellbeing of the Older Person (HWOP) contains three core modules each focused on older person care, plus two additional specialist modules. The 15-week modules are at SCQF level 11.
- Exploring the complexities of caring for the older person (30 credits) (HWOP01)
This module encourages students to challenge societal beliefs, care practices and the value placed upon the older person.
- Anticipating and enhancing the health and wellbeing of the person with dementia in practice settings (30 credits) (HWOP02)
This module offers students the opportunity to meet the strategic health priorities around the older person with dementia that impact on the patient and carer experience and their outcomes.
- Action research in healthcare practice (60 credits) (HWOP03)
This module spans three semesters. An action research project offers students the opportunity to engage with the strategic health priorities around the older person within the workplace setting and meaningfully contribute to care delivery.
- Partnership in care for managing long-term conditions (30 credits) (ADPP06)
This module provides the student with the opportunity to develop in depth knowledge and skills required to meet the many challenges involved in working with people with a long term condition and their carers/families.
- Quality improvement projects in health and social care (30 credits) (ADPP12)
This module offers the opportunity for those already engaged in quality improvement (QI) work to consolidate their learning and practice, but also offers a development opportunity for those relatively new to QI.
Delivery and assessment
The course utilises a blended approach to learning. Blackboard Collaborate™ is used as a platform for synchronised e-learning. Module content will be supported by web-based materials including podcasts. Campus days will be facilitated by face to face contact using video-conferencing/connective technologies/SKYPE where appropriate for distant students.
The course assessment strategy will centre on student acquisition of the necessary theoretical knowledge and access to expert practice required to meet the learning outcomes. The student will be encouraged to participate in a reflective and critical review of their knowledge and practice through engagement with online materials, case studies and project report.
Reading lists are made available on commencement of each module.
- Exploring the complexities of caring for the older person (HWOP01)
- Anticipating and enhancing the health and wellbeing of the person with dementia in practice settings (HWOP02)
- Action research in healthcare practice (HWOP03)
- Partnership in care for managing long-term conditions (ADPP06)
- Quality improvement projects in health and social care (ADPP12)
Dr Annetta Smith
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 20 percent of the School’s research was described as ‘World-leading’ and a further 65 percent as of ‘International Signiﬁcance’, placing the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health ﬁrmly as a leading provider of nursing and midwifery education in Scotland and one of the top ten in the UK.
The course has been developed in partnership with NHS Boards and Third Sector. Course delivery will continue to strengthen academic and health and social care partnerships.
I have broadened my knowledge and understanding of care of the older person as well as skills in anticipating the health and well-being of my patients in the community. It has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the differences between the normal ageing process and dementias, and the importance of involving family members and carers in care planning and decision making.
Distance and self-directed learning has allowed me to manage my own time, support and guidance from my tutors have been excellent as have all the learning resources made available.
There is a dominant clinical focus within the programme recognising the need for integration of health and social care, and research has taken on a whole new exciting meaning of engaging, responding and contributing to improve care for the older person.
Completing this programme will help to enhance my career path in nursing older people and contribute to exciting opportunities to open new ones.
Rebecca Matthews, MSc student
The opportunity to study at Masters Level on a topic that is so current and benefits patients is exciting. The programme encourages you as a practitioner to extend your knowledge and review clinical practice to improve healthcare outcomes for the older person.
Lesley Murray, MSc student
Not only an incentive to research and keep up to date with contemporary issues within the health and social care context, but a good opportunity to further career prospects.
Freya Conway, MSc Student
- Dr Leah Macaden
- Elaine Dibden
- Julia Scott
- Sandra Menzies
This course facilitates the development of expert knowledge in care of the older person and helps prepare health and social care professionals to deliver the specialist knowledge and skills required to support their work.
All modules are related to NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF).