With the number of people living with dementia across the world expected to double in the next 20 years, this innovative online 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
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 module 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 2017/18 on this course of study.
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.
All modules are assessed through coursework such as essays, evaluation reports, research proposals and literature reviews.
Each module on our Dementia Studies course consists of 200 hours study.
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 shown are per year (fees are different for each course)
£700 per 20 credit module
Overseas (Non-EU) Students
£1,150 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.
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 Scheme, Welsh 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.
This course is currently approved for Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.
We can offer a limited number of scholarships to partially fund postgraduate learning about dementia. For more information on the Stirling Dementia Fund Scholarship please contact DempPG@stir.ac.uk.
Alzheimer Scotland and the University Alumni fund are funding a number of scholarships to assist with the fees for studying on the MSc Dementia Studies for students in their first, second or third year of study.
Students opting to undertake the MSc or PgDip Dementia Studies (i.e. 2 or 3 years of study) can apply for funding of £1,000. Students opting to undertake the PgCert Dementia Studies may apply for funding of £500*.
*Any students who can provide evidence of financial hardship may be granted up to £1000 in funding for the PgCert.
You must meet the standard course criteria and have a university degree in a relevant field or equivalent qualification. Evidence of extensive practice experience and previous study will also be considered.
Please note: Scholarships funded by Alzheimer Scotland are available to students in Scotland only.
In addition, a smaller number of scholarships supported by the Alumni fund are available to students applying from outside of Scotland.
In order to apply for either scholarship, please send a covering letter/email (and evidence of financial hardship, if relevant) indicating your interest in applying for the scholarship, to our programme support adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 22 August 2018.
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. That’s why we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities available.
To explore our scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.
If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.
If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.
EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support. .
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.
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
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.
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.