MSc Dementia Studies

The MSc Dementia Studies is the only masters' degree in South Wales that specialises in dementia. The MSc Dementia Studies was developed by people living with dementia, family carers, health, social and allied health professionals.

The MSc Dementia Studies course is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and aptitude to work with people living with dementia and their carers. This masters degree is for anyone working with people with dementia and their carers in either a professional or volunteering capacity.

Studying this MSc Dementia Studies course will enable you to provide effective care for people living with dementia and their carers. 

2020/21 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

The course is two years part-time or one year full-time and comprises of six modules.
The first three modules provide a grounding in dementia through a critical analysis of current issues, research approaches and an exploration of what it is like for people living with dementia.



In the first year, you will study the following modules:

Current Issues in Dementia Practice

The aims of this module are to enhance greater understanding of current issues and professional development in the field of dementia practice. It will also enable students to develop and extend existing knowledge and skill base around contemporary advances in the support of a person affected by dementia and identified carers.

Research Methods

The aims of this module are to provide a comprehensive grounding in research paradigms and methods. It will also critically consider the relationship between the research context, research question, methods and knowledge development.

Living with Dementia

The aims of this module are to critically explore the lived experience of dementia from diagnosis to end of life care and death. The module will also critically reflect on the biopsychosocial, spiritual and political factors influencing the lived experience of dementia



The second year critically examines how care should be delivered to improve the health and well-being of people living with dementia and their carers. During this year, you will study the following modules:

Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues in Dementia Practice

The aims of this module are to enable the student to analyse contemporary professional, legal and ethical issues in dementia practice. It will also enable the student to develop and extend knowledge and skills base around relevant professional, legal and ethical issues in the care and support of a person affected by dementia and their carers.

Complexities in Dementia Practice: Interventions and Helping Approaches in Dementia

The aims of this module are to enable students to develop a thorough knowledge and critical understanding of a range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions and helping approaches to work effectively with people living with dementia and their carers. The module will equip students when working with people living with dementia when faced with complexity and change.

Practice Project

This module aims to enable the student to critically explore a key issue identified through their own experience and practice, developing on knowledge and skills acquired through concurrent modules, and making recommendations based on critical evaluation of literature and the student’s own experience


The course is designed to have three exit points:

PGCert - Current issues in Dementia Practice plus one other module in Year One

PGDip - All modules except the Practice Project

MSc - All six modules


The MSc Dementia is an intensive course which is delivered over two years (part-time) or one year (full-time).

The modules vary in the ways they are taught – some are taught weekly (eg Current Issues in Dementia Practice), some have a mixture of taught and online learning (eg Research Methods), whereas some have monthly sessions (eg Practice Project). The student can expect to be in university at least one day a week for the duration of the academic year.

However, it is expected that student will be studying independently for the duration of the course – either through directed online tasks and activities or through independent study for their various assignments.

Taught sessions will be delivered by academics, clinicians and service users. The course is designed so that learning can also occur through the students themselves (via in class discussions and group work). For each module, students will be given the contact details of both the module manager and an allocated academic supervisor.

They will also have the contact details of the course leader at the outset of their studies.

This university prides itself on supporting students and there are various support systems in place which any of the students can access (details are listed in the course handbook and readily available from module managers/course leader).


The majority of the modules on this course are assessed by written assignments and presentations relating to the students specific area of practice or interest. There will be a variety of assessments including case studies, literature reviews, research proposals, practice-based project and presentation which give the opportunity of applying the learning to the students specific area of interests and practice.


The University of South Wales has excellent facilities to support student learning.

Students will have access to the Learning Resource Centre which has books and journals (both hard copies and electronic versions).

There is also a designated librarian for the faculty with a wealth of experience in supporting students with the resources available. Students will also have access to a state-of-the-art simulation centre which recreates both inpatient and community care settings.


Throughout the course, students will be taught by academics, clinicians and service users (people living with dementia and carers). 

The MSc Dementia course team consists of the following: 

Darren Prince (course leader) 
Karyn Davies
Owain Jones
Carolyn Wallace

Applicants must have at least one year experience of working with people living with dementia and be currently working with this client group for the duration of this course.  This can be in a professional capacity (eg nurse working on a dementia care ward) or personal capacity (eg caring for a person living with dementia).  In order to study this course you will need to meet the educational requirements for a masters’ level course.  This means that you will have attained at least a 2:1 at degree level and have a good level of English (that is, IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent).  Recognition of accredited prior learning will also be considered for those wishing to undertake this course (please contact the course leader). 

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

The MSc Dementia has been co-produced by people living with dementia, carers, health and social care professionals, and people from the third sector (eg Alzheimer’s Society).

It has also incorporated recent government frameworks in order to ensure that students completing this course are able to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and aptitude required for working with people living with dementia and their carers in a variety of settings.   

The MSc Dementia will be useful for those seeking future roles within management (as a masters’ level degree is often a requirement for leadership positions within organisations such as the NHS) or research (as this course may provide opportunities for progression onto postgraduate research degrees such as MPhil/PhD).