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Advanced Dementia Studies

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

Start date

Suitable for applications.

This course is designed with a lot of scope to identify our own projects and areas of interest, so that each module is individualised to our own learning needs and place of work. Sarah, MSc Advanced Dementia Studies

Entry requirements

Candidates should have a first degree with 2:2 or above in a relevant subject area, an equivalent professional NVQ Level 6 award, or a relevant postgraduate qualification..

However, if you have had any prior experience of successful study at undergraduate or postgraduate level you may apply, providing evidence such as certificates and transcripts.  The programme team will make a decision based the overall quality of your application.

If you are applying for an award and you do not have a first degree or equivalent, you may be asked to complete a portfolio of evidence to support your application for which you will need to achieve a mark of at least 60%.  If this is the case, please ensure you apply in a timely manner as this will need to be approved before you can start the course.

Additional entry requirements

Practice entry requirements

You must already have a work role, or voluntary placement, which regularly brings you into contact with people who have dementia. The minimum contact requirement is 2 hours a week during the academic year (September to June). This contact must be regular, direct and ongoing throughout your studies.  It is not enough merely to work in an environment or service that provides dementia care; you must have regular opportunities to interact with a range of people who have dementia in the course of your day-to-day employment or voluntary role.  It will be your responsibility to ensure that this contact is maintained if your employer or work role changes during the course of your studies.

You must also have access to a computer with Internet connection and be prepared to spend on average 15 hours a week on your studies.

Due to the applied nature of the teaching and learning activities on the programme and its direct implications on practice, for example through seeking stakeholder involvement and opinion in projects, and appraising, planning and evaluating practice development initiatives, applicants will be required to seek approval for studying within their work or voluntary setting from a manager prior to commencing the course.

English language requirements

Students for whom English is not a first language must have IELTS 6.5 with no sub-tests less than 5.5 or equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, and you have a UKVI approved IELTS, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details. For further information on English Language requirements please see the dedicated international entry requirements page.

Learning and assessment

This distance learning part-time programme is delivered through digitally enhanced learning and teaching methods, including real-time tutorials, inter-professional discussion groups, practice-based exercises, directed and self-directed study.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Our VLE is a system called Canvas. You will use Canvas to access the course materials, participate in interactive exercises and online discussion groups, attend real-time tutorials and get feedback on your coursework.

The course is designed to make your study as versatile as possible. You can access the course material anytime and anywhere with good internet access, from your PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Learning materials

Learning materials consist of:

An interactive study guide for each module

  • Online supplementary resources including podcasts, videos and readings
  • Online real-time tutorials
  • Online discussion groups and opportunity for networking with peers
  • A study planner for each module including key dates and timeline for completing the module activities

The interactive study guide provides:

  • An overview explaining the aims of the module
  • The learning outcomes students are expected to achieve
  • Guidance for the on-line exercises
  • Details of assignments
  • Details of readings

Each module will include a: i) formative assessment (i.e. tutor feedback on written work in progress); this work is not graded and you are able to make changes your tutor recommends before you submit your final assignments; ii) summative assessment (i.e. final); this will be by means of one or two pieces of work for each module which are graded and count towards your final mark for the award. There will be a variety of types of assessment that include case studies, written reports on practice-based work and critical reflections on evidence.

Frequently asked questions

What can I do with a qualification in Dementia Studies?

A Dementia Studies award may be a good career development move for you if you are already working in the dementia field and wish to specialise in this area of practice. Expectations are increasing about the quality of care people with dementia should receive. This means that there will be many opportunities for you to progress in your career having studied successfully at this advanced level. Many of our students receive promotions or are successful in applying for new posts. The postgraduate programmes in Dementia Studies do not, however, lead to a professional qualification or registration.

What if I am still studying?

If you are still enrolled on another undergraduate or postgraduate course when you apply and do not yet have your final grades, we may be able to make you a conditional offer based on marks to date or predicted grades. It is important to be aware that this offer will only be confirmed if your final marks meet our entry criteria.

Do I need to be working with people who have dementia?

It is vital that you meet the practice requirement of having regular, direct, ongoing contact with people with dementia. This may be in the context of paid employment or a voluntary placement, and needs to be for a minimum of two hours a week for the duration of your studies. It is important to be aware that by direct contact we mean sustained, one-to-one interaction with people who have dementia, not merely being in an environment where dementia care or services are provided.

You will not be able to complete the coursework assignments without this kind of personal contact with people who have dementia, and it must already be in place when you start the course. By accepting your place on the course you are confirming that this contact requirement will be met.

How will you decide whether to offer me a place?

There is no interview process. The decision will be made on the basis of your application form, which can be completed online. It is important that you complete the application as fully as possible, ensuring that you use the full word count for the personal statement which asks about your previous experience and reasons for wanting to study on the programme.

We will use your personal statement to make a decision about your writing ability as well as your motivation to study. The form may be returned to you by the Admissions team without being passed to the programme leader if it is not completed in sufficient detail. We may contact you by email or phone to discuss aspects of your application.

Do I need to come to the University in order to study?

Induction and enrolment are completed online. There is no attendance at the University for this programme.

Can I choose which dementia-related subjects I study?

You can choose to study Year 1 and Year 2 modules as standalone modules.

If you wish to obtain a PGCert in Dementia Studies you will need to complete Year 1 modules.

If you wish to obtain a PGDip in Advanced Dementia Studies you will need to complete Year 1 and 2 modules.

If you undertake the full three-year Master's programme, you will complete a dissertation in the final year under individual supervision from a member of the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies This involves implementing a small scale change project in your workplace.

In each module you will have the opportunity to develop and follow up areas of specialist personal interest related to dementia studies.

How long will it take me to get an award?

The course is part-time, but still involves a time commitment of at least 15 hours a week during the academic year (September to June). A Postgraduate Certificate in Dementia Care can be completed in one academic year, a Postgraduate Diploma in two years, and the full MSc Advanced Dementia Studies takes three years to complete.

Can I study at my own pace?

The course is designed to be as flexible as possible. For example, you can start by completing a single 30-credit module between September and February as a ‘taster’, if you wish to do, so before deciding whether to continue in the following academic year.

It is not possible to spread the study period for any module over a whole academic year. Extensions of time for submitting assignments are, however, available if there is evidence that you need more time, e.g. own or family illness, bereavement, personal problems or change of employment. If you need to take a break from study for similar reasons which are ongoing for a longer period, this can be arranged. You may not, however, take more than five years in total to complete any award in Dementia Studies.

Study support

Our comprehensive support services will help you to achieve your full potential – both academically and personally. 

We provide all you need to make the very best of your time with us, and successfully progress through your studies and on into the world of graduate employment. 

Our support services include: 

  • Disability services 
  • Counselling services 
  • MyBradford student support centres 
  • The Students’ Union 
  • Chaplaincy and faith advisers 
  • An on-campus nursery 
  • Halls wardens

You will be assigned:

  • a Programme Leader, who will be able to answer any questions related to the course
  • a Personal Academic Tutor, who will offer one-to-one advice and support you in your studies and with any other issues you may have

You will receive the same level of support as our students on campus. All of the services and support we offer will be available to you.

Our Academic Skills Advice Service will work with you to develop your academic, interpersonal and transferable skills.


The University of Bradford has been providing accredited programmes in Dementia Studies since 2001, and has a long history of cutting-edge research related to person-centred dementia care and innovative methodologies for researching and developing practice in health and social care for people with dementia.

All teaching on the programme is research-informed and delivered by an academic team who are actively involved in relevant fields of dementia research.  Members of the course team have completed research projects and studies using film, music, photography, narrative, conversation analysis and other participatory methods to enhance understanding of the experience of dementia.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.