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MSc Dementia Studies (Online)

Draw from our unrivalled expertise in dementia care and expand your knowledge with our flexible online Masters degree in Dementia Studies.

Dementia Studies (Online)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September or January
  • Duration MSc part-time: 36 months
  • Mode of study Online, Part-time, Stand-alone modules

With the number of people living with dementia across the world expected to double in the next 20 years, this innovative e-learning course has been developed to provide you with an in-depth, research-based knowledge of dementia and approaches to dementia care. It’s designed for professionals already working in the field and carers/volunteers who are supporting people with dementia. Our online course can be studied from anywhere in the world. 

The course is run by a team of academic experts whose research has helped to shape dementia care policy worldwide. You’ll learn about the latest theories, innovations and best practice in dementia care – as well as gaining an overview of policy drivers and initiatives, and a grounding in academic and research skills. Our course also benefits from an advisory group of people with dementia, who support course development.

During your studies, you’ll become part of an international online community of fellow students and academics committed to improving dementia practice and the experience of people living with the condition. With a student and alumni group that to date encompasses students from Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, you will engage with a diverse range of professionals who are committed to improving the experiences of people living with dementia across varied regional contexts.

The course encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary and critical learning. It’s  dedicated to creating leaders of change in dementia care.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    The course has been developed to provide you with an in-depth, research-based knowledge of dementia. This includes theory, innovative and best practice, policy drivers and initiatives, and a grounding in academic and research skills. You will:

    • develop an advanced understanding of multidisciplinary perspectives about dementia and approaches to dementia care
    • address critical issues in dementia care and service delivery
    • encourage improved collaboration across areas of care
    • compare and contrast national and international research
    • identify and debate current practice developments
    • develop critical thinking to promote reflective practice
    • develop knowledge and skills of social research processes
  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    The University of Stirling is home to the Dementia Services Development Centre – an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia.

    Our Dementia Studies (Online) course is delivered by expert staff from the Faculty of Social Sciences. 80 percent of the Faculty’s research was classed as world leading or internationally excellent during the last UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). Our team of experts advise governments and academic institutions in the UK, Europe, China and Australia on dementia-related issues, and provide training and consultancy for the private, voluntary and statutory sectors.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

    You must be a professional currently working in a relevant field or a carer/volunteer with experience of supporting individuals with dementia.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with 56 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Our Dementia Studies (Online) course features nine individual modules, and three possible qualifications – an MSc, Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert). This modular structure extends across all three years of the programme (there is no final year dissertation) and will develop your academic skills at postgraduate level, including research approaches and methods.

To earn your MSc, you’ll need to complete all nine modules, while you can attain a PgDip by studying six modules, or the PgCert by studying three modules.

Each semester starts with an optional one-day introductory session at the University. For international students, or those unable to attend the introductory session in person, we record lecture podcasts and run an online introductory session.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    Apart from an introductory session, all teaching uses text and web-based distance-learning materials. Flexibility is offered through regular provision of one-to-one and group tutorials, recognising that some students work shifts or are in different time zones. Our online learning allows you to interact and get support from your tutors, as well as providing access to the course materials and much of the reading material required. Special emphasis is placed on a collaborative and problem-solving approach to learning and on encouraging reflective practice.

    You’ll require access to a computer with an internet connection.

  • Assessment

    All modules are assessed through coursework such as essays, evaluation reports, research proposals and literature reviews.

  • Classroom hours

    Each module on our Dementia Studies course consists of 200 hours study. 

  • Course director
  • Key staff

    Dr Jane Robertson (Course Director) brings significant experience in research and evaluation connected with improving services and support for people with dementia and their families. Her central goal is contributing to knowledge and innovation to improve the well-being of older people, people living with dementia and their carers through co-produced research. With an interest in creative innovation to develop meaningful outcomes and social engagement in community and care settings, Jane has expertise investigating quality of life, psychosocial interventions and service user perspectives.

    Dr Grant Gibson is a Lecturer in Dementia Studies and has been an academic researcher in the fields of dementia care and chronic illnesses in old age for over 12 years. Over this period he has worked on projects evaluating satisfaction with memory services among people with dementia and their carers, the design and implementation of assistive technology for people with dementia, and the provision of health and social care services for people with dementia and their carers in primary care. Grant also has experience of carrying out research with people with Parkinson's disease.

    Dr Louise McCabe (Chief Examiner) has worked in the field of dementia studies in both practice and academia for over twenty years, starting her career as a care worker in residential homes for older people. Louise has been at the University since 2000 and has built a significant portfolio of ageing and dementia research with a focus on the potential of services to improve the lives of families with dementia including user-focused evaluations and cross-national studies of ageing and dementia care services in the UK, Europe and India.

    Dr Richard Ward is a Senior Lecturer in Dementia Studies. He is a registered social worker with a background in older people's services and has specialised in dementia care. As a researcher Richard's work emphasises participatory approaches aimed at supporting people living with dementia to make a meaningful contribution to research. His current research interests lie particularly in the area of dementia, place and space.

  • Fees and costs
    2019/20 fees

    Home/EU students

    Overseas students

    Cost for each 20-credit module



    Total cost for PGCert (3 modules)



    Total cost for PGDip (6 modules)

    (£2,130 for each year of study)

    (£3,600 for each year of study)

    Total cost for MSc (9 modules)

    (£2,130 for each year of study) 

    (£3,600 for each year of study) 

    2020/21 fees

    Home/EU students

    Overseas students

    Cost for each 20-credit module



    Total cost for PGCert (3 modules)



    Total cost for PGDip (6 modules)

    (£2,160 for each year of study)

    (£3,750 for each year of study)

    Total cost for MSc (9 modules)

    (£2,160 for each year of study) 

    (£3,750 for each year of study) 

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every module you enrol on. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    For more information on courses invoiced on a modular fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

This course is for experienced professionals from all relevant disciplines and enables you to study while continuing to work in your existing post. Some of our graduates have moved to specialised posts, while others have secured a promotion, undertaken further research or become involved in training.

  • Advance your career prospects by growing your expertise in the area of health and social care
  • Fit your studies around your current job commitments
  • Put everything you’re learning straight to work in a professional setting
  • Testimonial quotes

    The depth and breadth of the course has introduced me to the wider understanding of the complex debates, challenges as well as the innovative developments in the subject which in turn has enabled me to develop and improve our own dementia care and support services.

    Geoffrey Cox, Managing Director, Southern Healthcare (Wessex) Ltd

  • Employability skills

    Throughout your studies you’ll gain transferable skills that enable you to impart knowledge to colleagues and other students, transfer awareness and implement action in the community, and provide training to family members and carers. The course enhances employability within the broad field of dementia care and equips you to move to more specialised and promoted posts within health and social care settings.

  • Companies we work with

    Because everyone on the course is working within the dementia field, you’ll automatically find yourself engaging with a wide range of organisations across statutory, private and not-for-profit sectors in different countries within the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Claudia Salgado
The Masters degree only helped me realise how much more there is to know and discover. Through technology, great professors and tutors, group discussions and challenging assignments, I was able to discover a whole new world of knowledge.
Claudia Salgado
Canada MSc Dementia Studies
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Anupama Gadicherla
Stirling had the best-designed course, covering compelling subjects that I knew would help increase my knowledge.
Anupama Gadicherla
India MSc Dementia Studies
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Graeme Hendry
The Dementia Studies course at Stirling – with its world-renowned reputation, great facilities and location – was perfect for me. It allowed me to keep my day job, while gaining the knowledge I required to be able to converse with other professionals involved in care for older people, and to gain a fuller understanding of what life is like for people living with dementia.
Graeme Hendry
MSc Dementia Studies
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