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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

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 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. 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.

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • 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.

  • 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 skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 with minimum of 169 in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 169 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

    More information on our English language requirements

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Our Dementia Studies (Online) course features nine individual modules, and three possible qualifications – an MSc, Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert). 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 a 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 module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2019/20 on this course of study.

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 Richard Ward (Course Director) is a registered social worker who has worked in the field of dementia for the last twenty years. He is currently leading an NIHR-ESRC study investigating the role of neighbourhoods in the lives of people affected by dementia.

    Dr Louise McCabe has worked in the field of dementia studies in both practice and academia for over fifteen years, starting her career as a care worker in residential homes for older people.

    Dr Jane Robertson’s research interests centre on health, well-being and quality of life in older age, with a focus on experiences of living with dementia, caring and service development in dementia care. She has been involved in dementia studies research and education at Stirling for over ten years.

    Dr Grant Gibson has been an academic researcher in the fields of dementia care and chronic illnesses in old age for over 12 years. He also has experience of carrying out research with people with Parkinson's disease.

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)

    Fee status2019/20

    Home/EU Students

    £710 per 20 credit module

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    £1,200 per 20 credit module

    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Home/EU Students

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,000 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan SchemeWelsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £10,280 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

  • Scholarships and funding
    Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

    This course is currently approved for Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

    Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

    Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are available to candidates from developing Commonwealth countries, for part-time Master’s study by distance learning on selected courses offered by UK universities. Eligible Courses include MSc Dementia Studies Online.

    Other sources of funding

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • 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.

I now have a wider knowledge and skill in the field of dementia, this has encouraged me to challenge existing thoughts and beliefs around dementia
Gordon Alexander
Scotland MSc Dementia Studies
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It was a splendid learning experience being among people from diverse background and education
Nilanjana Maulik
India MSc Dementia Studies
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