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Course details

MSc in Dementia (Online)

Also available as a PGDip and a PGCert

Mode: 100% online (with optional events)
Length two years (part-time)
Total course fees: 

MSc - £10,600; PGDip - £6,900; PGCert - £3,450

(instalments available)

Start dates:  January, May and September
Next welcome week:  20 May 2024 
Next start date:  28 May 2024
Application deadline:  13 May 2024

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.

What sets this course apart?

Emma Wolverson (Programme Founder) and Liz Price (Programme Founder and Director) discuss the programme and its benefits:

What sets this course apart?

Emma Wolverson (Programme Founder) and Liz Price (Programme Founder and Director) discuss the programme and its benefits:

Read video transcript Grey

Hello. I'm Emma. And I'm Liz. We're the Programme Directors for the MSC in Dementia. And we've sat down together today to tell you a little bit more about the programme. We're really proud aren't we? With the programme that created and really excited to tell people a bit more about it.

So together we've designed this MSc programme to give you critical understanding of dementia and to give you insight into the lived experience of people with dementia.

The course we hope will help you challenge contemporary thinking about dementia and give you new ways of thinking about how you can apply your new learning to working in the field of dementia care. The course is delivered a hundred percent online, which is great because it gives you the flexibility to fit your studies around your work and personal commitment which is great if you're a busy health and social care professional, but you also get the teaching excellence and career enhancing opportunities from the University of Hull.

If you're a healthcare or social work professional, perhaps you work in physiotherapy, occupational therapy or nursing too, then we think this course will enable you to develop as we've said new ways of thinking about dementia.

We're also keen for this course to appeal to people who volunteer with people with dementia at the moment, but who are also keen to make dementia care their future career.

The range of professionals that we're hoping will be attracted to the course we think will make this course a really multidisciplinary learning environment. So we also hope that this course will appeal to end of life care and specialist palliative care workers who have an interest in dementia, perhaps people that work in hospices.

We know that dementia is the leading cause of death in the developed world and so we really need to enhance our skills in delivering good quality end of life care for people with dementia and their families.

And so we've designed a module called Dying Well with Dementia along with end of life care specialists to really look at this area.

So one of the things we've thought really hard about in designing the course is assignments, isn't it? And I know it's something that health and social care professionals can worry a bit about coming back to education and dreaded essays and assignments and things. Absolutely. So what we've done is create assignments that are not standard essays.

So for example, we've asked students to write an online blog -- Mhmm. -- which perhaps thinks about resources for people with dementia. And we've even asked people to write their own care plan for when they get dementia. So this is is is creative ways of thinking about assessment.

I guess one of the standard things that we have our students to do those to write the dissertation. Mhmm. But our thinking how I think was that we felt it would offer students an opportunity to think differently about dementia. To bring new ways of thinking about dementia into their work or even to think about the applied context as well and how what they do in the workplace, then translates into into what they write.

Really thinking about how that big piece of work in the dissertation can change the way we think about dementia, but change it but the way we work in dementia as well. And it might give them some ideas for going forwards and dementia research themselves. Absolutely. Yeah.

Yeah. Dementia is our greatest public health challenge and we need strong and innovative leaders in this field and I think that this programme will help people to develop services and shape the future of dementia care. Absolutely. I mean, the course is designed to help students become independent thinkers. Think about new ways of conceptualizing dementia.

And I guess what we've written into this programme is a whole values based foundation, which will help students build on the current skills and the current knowledge. And what what sits right at the heart of what we've done is effectively the human rights of people with dementia. That's what we're keen to to stress in the program and that's what we want students to think about.

Human rights and their own values and how they impact on their on their future practice.

I think one of the other things about this course is the leadership potential it's gonna give to people and helping them to think about how we enhance service, how we improve care for people with dementia, but also for their families. Yeah.

With the University of Hull Online, you don't only get the excellence in teaching and learning that our university is renowned for. You also get to schedule your studies around your own time. And through our dedicated learning platform, you'll also have access to a whole range of support and online activities that will be able to complement your learning.

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:

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 (12,000 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.


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:


Megha Samuel

"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 251 819 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:


Notis Paraskevopoulos

"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:

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 video transcript 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.


Janine Lane

"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 251 819. 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.
Liz Price

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

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 Manager on the Creative Spaces project at Sensory Trust where she manages 9 dementia-friendly nature-based groups.
Rosie Dunn

Rosie Dunn

Online Tutor

Rosie, a Psychologist and Health Researcher since 2012, specialises in dementia and ageing. With a background in the NHS and a role at the University of Hull since 2016, she contributes to high-profile dementia research and teaches nursing students. Find out more about Rosie

Catherine Wood_Dementia tutor

Catherine Wood

Online Tutor
Catherine is a Registered Nurse and for most of her career has worked with people at the end-of-life in a hospice setting. Catherine’s interest in dementia developed whilst at the hospice.
Dementia advisory board

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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