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Course details

MSc in Dementia (Online)

Also available as a PGDip and a PGCert

Three start dates per year: January, May and September

Next course start date: 25 September 2023

Next welcome week: 18 September 2023

Duration: two years (part-time)

Format: online, with optional face-to-face events

Total fees: MSc - £10,300; PGDip - £6,900; PGCert - £3,450 (payment by instalment and funding options available)

Additional costs: due to the nature of the subject, and copyright restrictions placed on institutional libraries by some publishers, students will need to purchase some core texts.

Support with your application: Contact our course adviser team today for application advice.


Why this MSc in Dementia?

Dementia is a condition which is taking centre stage in all our lives but continues to be understood primarily as one of deficit and dysfunction.

Taking a person-centred approach, informed by experiences of people with dementia, their families and supporters, this multi-disciplinary masters degree critically challenges common perceptions of dementia as a diagnosis solely of loss and despair.

Taught by experts and focusing on a human rights approach, you will learn how to maintain the wellbeing and dignity of people living with dementia, while promoting the philosophy and practice of living, as well as possible, with dementia.

Our Dying Well with Dementia module was developed in collaboration with end of life specialists from Dove House Hospice in Hull, to give you practical insights into how people with life-limiting illnesses are cared for in the community.

Apply your learning to your current profession to create a positive impact within the field of dementia today.

What you learn

Designed to give you a critical understanding of dementia, this course will provide you with a deep insight into the experience of those living with dementia and their families. You will develop new critical thinking, giving you practical tools and mindset to lead positive change. 

  • Study the effects of social exclusion, the relevance of participation and diversity. Critically challenge taken for granted models of care in order to promote a holistic, relationship-centred approach
  • Explore biological, psychological and sociological frameworks which seek to explain the experience of dementia and develop a multi-disciplinary research perspective
  • Create care plans focusing on the human rights and specific needs of people with dementia and put your new knowledge to practical use in real life situations
  • Discover and share global perspectives which underpin the diagnosis with your peers online. Join a network of likeminded professionals shaping change around the world.


Hear from Emma Wolverson (Programme Founder) and Liz Price (Programme Founder and Director) about what sets this masters degree apart:


HubSpot Video

Course modules

This course takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to the study of dementia. Providing you with a relationship-centred insight, it focuses on experience, quality of care and how to live and die well with dementia. 

You study the following compulsory modules.

Dementia: Critical Starting Points (30 credits) Grey

A critical approach to historical and contemporary understandings of dementia. Throughout this module you will explore the multi-disciplinary frameworks and discourses which seek to explain the experience of dementia.

Living Well with Dementia (30 credits) Grey

Develop strategies and plans to create meaningful activities which support life enhancement and wellness. You will also develop a critical understanding of what it means to ‘live well’.

Systems and Ecologies (30 credits) Grey

This module takes account of the wider social systems and ecologies which can both support and undermine the experience of living well with dementia. It will provide you with a systems-based appreciation of the experience of living well with dementia. The module examines the relationships of people diagnosed with the condition exploring interactions and perceptions of family, care-givers, community and society in general. You will focus on methods and approaches which enable partnerships and collaboration within wider social systems.

Dying Well with Dementia (30 credits) Grey

Gain an understanding of palliative and supportive care in dementia. This module has been developed in collaboration with end of life care specialists from Dove House Hospice in Hull.

Find out more about Dove House in our short video:

HubSpot Video

Dove House Hospice is a charity providing excellent care for people in the local community with life limiting illnesses. They are specialists in palliative care, which is the total care of patients whose illness is no longer curable and for whom the goal must be quality of life. The patient - not the illness - is the focus of Dove House’s care.

Topics covered during this module include defining a palliative care approach, relationship centered care, comfort care at the end of life, and loss and bereavement. At the end of the module, students will understand the legal and ethical issues, advanced care planning and the professional interventions which mitigate for and against a good death in the context of dementia.

Dissertation (60 credits) Grey

Your dissertation (15,000 words) will help you to develop arguments which demonstrate alternative perspectives, challenge common perception and pave the way for new areas of enquiry in the dementia field.

Alternative programmes Grey

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) and Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Dementia for applicants who may not feel ready to commit to a full Masters.

The PgCert is made up of two of the 30-credit modules outlined above – ‘Dementia: Critical Starting Points’ and another of your choice. The PgDip requires completion of all four 30-credit modules.

Students undertaking the PgCert or PgDip can choose to transfer onto the full MSc should they wish to do so, following the successful completion of their studies. Get in touch with our Course Adviser team on +44 (0)1482 235569 for more information.

Got a question about studying with us?

Our course advisers are happy to help.


Watch our latest online Q&A

How you're assessed

All assessment for the course is based on coursework and submitted online. There are no exams.

Your performance on the course will be assessed through a range of methods including

  • ongoing tutor and peer feedback
  • practical work, including group projects and discussion forums

You’ll also be asked to complete a variety of written assessments such as

  • Writing your own person-centred care plan
  • A 1500-word review of a book written by a person living with dementia or a carer
  • Creating a resource directory of your local end of life (EoL) support services for families of people with dementia
  • Designing a 6-week course for carers of people living with dementia. You’ll plan out the aims of the group, consider who you’ll invite, outline what you would cover in the 6 weeks, and think about potential barriers to attendance, advertising and evaluation of the group

Get more detailed information on the course assessment method page:


"The course has helped me help my patients. I plan to use this experience in influencing other clinicians in the NHS."

Dr Megha Samuel, NHS Consultant and MSc student


What are the entry requirements?

  • A minimum 2.2 Honours degree or international equivalent in a related subject (such as nursing, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, or similar)

  • If you don’t have a 2.2 Honours degree or international equivalent in a related subject, equivalent professional qualifications/personal experience (such as a Diploma in Nursing) may be considered, along with a portfolio of evidence and a 1,000 word essay to support your application. Please contact our Course Advisers on +44 (0)1482 235569 for more information.

  • CV including a current professional or voluntary role which requires regular direct contact with people with dementia

  • A personal statement of around 300-500 words. Click here for details of what should be included

  • One professional or academic reference

  • An IELTS 6.0 score (with minimum 5.5 in each skill) if your first language isn't English (or other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull).

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please get in touch with our friendly course adviser team for advice:


"The modules help me translate theory into practice in a more productive way."

Notis Paraskevopoulos, Co-founder of a theatre company working with people with dementia and MSc student


Face-to-face events

As an MSc Dementia student you'll have the opportunity to attend face-to-face events. Sessions can include talks from academics and influential people in the industry and group discussions. They're a great opportunity to network and meet peers and tutors in person. 

Our latest students met with local charity, the Ladies in Red, who sing for people with dementia in care homes, as well as best-selling dementia author Wendy Mitchell. Find out more:



Read the transcript for this video Grey


Liz Price: Offering the opportunity for the students to come together in real life, as it were, just gives that extra, extra sparkle to what we offer, really. Local people have been incredibly generous about offering their time to come and meet our students and to explain a little bit about what they do.

Emma Wolverson: Today we had the Ladies in Red who are a local charity who sing with people with dementia in care homes. We had our very own online tutor, Ellie, come and talk about her work with the sensory trust and the photo book project.

Liz: We had Wendy Mitchell come in to talk to our students. So she's, as you probably know, the best selling author of two books at the moment on living with dementia. We've also had in today Jessica Leithley and two of the volunteers from the reading rooms projects in Hull. And that's where people use text to initiate conversations with people living with dementia. And they did they did a session with our students.

Georgina Webb: So the event has been really good to kind of meet the lecturers, the other students on the course just to network and discuss in more detail things that we've learnt about so far. It's provoked kind of ideas to think about for the dissertation that I'd not really thought about before. And then even study going on afterwards, that considering PhD and things like that.

Ladies in Red singing: You beautiful doll you great big beautiful doll, if you ever leave me...

Career prospects

Successful completion of this distance learning degree offers health, social work and social care professionals the potential to specialise in the field of dementia. We are also keen to help develop specialist knowledge and skills in people who currently volunteer in the field.

Gaining an insight into care provision and policy-making, from an explicitly ethical and human-rights perspective, will equip you with the knowledge you need to lead positive change and improve existing services for those living with dementia in your community.


"I'm able to apply my learning to my practice. It gives me the confidence to be vocal and push for change."

Janine Lane, Specialist Dementia Nurse and MSc student


How you'll study

Our MSc in Dementia is a part-time, online course designed to give you the flexibility to study around your work and personal commitments.

You’ll need to set aside approximately 20 hours a week for your studies, but this will allow you to achieve your master’s in two years while continuing to build your career.

Alongside a weekly webinar that’s recorded and available to watch at a time to suit you, you’ll also need to set aside time for reading, joining in discussion forums, completing learning activities and working on module assessments. You can choose the times to study that work for you.

Our sample timetable can give you an idea of what a week on our MSc in Dementia could look like. It shows how a nurse, working three 12-hour shifts a week and juggling childcare with their partner, could schedule studying around their other responsibilities.

Keep in mind that every student’s circumstances are different and there’s no right or wrong way to fit studying for your master’s into your life.


If you have any questions about studying online and how it can fit in with your current commitments, call our friendly Course Adviser team on +44 (0)1482 235569. They’ll be more than happy to help. 

Teaching team

Our staff hold a rich array of both academic and industry experience to support your learning goals. With their expertise, you’ll be able to explore a range of topics within the field with a new level of depth and insight. 

Dr Emma Wolverson

Programme Founder
A clinical psychologist specialising in working with people living with dementia and their families, Emma's clinical work has spanned the dementia care pathway from early assessment and diagnosis to end of life care. Her research is aimed at supporting people with dementia to live well by promoting wellbeing, reducing stigma and improving care. You can read Emma's powerful response to The Alzheimer's Society report about COVID-19 and dementia care.

Dr Liz Price

Programme Founder and Director
A specialist social worker for people living with dementia, Liz worked for many years with people living with enduring mental health problems. Both her teaching and research focus is on developing creative approaches to mental and physical wellbeing.

Ellie Robinson-Carter

Online Tutor
Ellie is a Creative Dementia Practitioner and Researcher, working with people living with dementia and their carers to empower and support them to realise what's still possible when given the opportunity. Through designing bespoke projects, she also specialises in working with intergenerational groups and, in particular, how this can benefit those living with dementia and their carers. In addition, Ellie works as Project Officer on the Creative Spaces project at Sensory Trust where she manages 8 dementia-friendly nature-based groups.

Caroline Wolverson

Online Tutor
Until 2018 Caroline worked as a senior lecturer in occupational therapy and health and social care at York St John University. She's passionate about people with dementia receiving person-centred care and being able to continue to participate in and contribute to their communities. She has a particular interest in supporting staff in care homes to enable people with dementia to achieve wellbeing through purposeful activity.

Our dementia advisory board

Made up of people living with dementia and family carers
The board have worked with the academic team to create this person-centred course. They have helped determine what's taught, appear in videos to support various lessons, and have co-written lectures. Throughout the modules, the advisory board share insights into what life's like for people with dementia and their carers, including the importance of social interaction and how they maintain both physical and mental health.

Dementia care research at Hull

MSc in Dementia students will benefit from the University of Hull’s ongoing contributions to applied dementia care research, as well as its commitment to translating that research into practical solutions to the everyday problems faced by people living with dementia.

The University of Hull’s longstanding research programme has received significant external funding over the last two decades. Researchers at Hull have conducted collaborative studies with universities across the UK, several NHS and social care organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and INTERDEM – an influential multidisciplinary dementia care research group founded in Hull.

£1.2 million in government funding is currently helping researchers at Hull and other UK universities to develop a new programme of personalised, online support for people with dementia currently living in care homes, to help solve problems of reduced social interaction during COVID-19.

The University of Hull is also pioneering work in the field of palliative care, which aims to help those with life-limiting illnesses live as well as possible, and to die with dignity. The Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre brings together researchers, health and social care professionals, patients, families, and members of the public to help find and provide high-quality palliative care.

This focus on the patient, not the illness, and the commitment to helping people live and die with dignity is reflected throughout the online MSc in Dementia. Dove House Hospice, who helped develop our Dying Well with Dementia module, are one of the Palliative Care Research Centre’s local partners.

Ready to apply?

Our step-by-step application process is easy to follow.


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