Structure and Content
Each module commences with a one- or two-day introductory session at the University and requires 200 hours’ study over a 15-week period. All students must complete a core introductory module before progressing. For students who advance to the MSc there are a further two core modules: Research Design and Methods and the dissertation. Optional modules are not offered every semester.
- An Exploration of the Experiences of People with Dementia: Biomedical, Psychological, Gerontological and Sociological Perspectives: This module examines key theoretical frameworks and aims to develop a critical understanding of a range of specialised theories, principles and concepts that inform responses to people with dementia.
- Assessment and Management of Dementia Care: This module addresses issues around diagnosis, population profiles and the assessment process and care management. It provides new insight into different models of assessment with emphasis on a person-centred approach, and analyses the inclusivity of current planning systems.
- Approaches to Working with People with Dementia; Communication; the Arts; Life History, Reminiscence and the Environment: This module examines creative approaches to working with people with dementia, and the importance of communication as a way of enhancing user involvement in day-to-day life, autonomy, individuality and service provision.
- Experiences of the Carers of People with Dementia: This module provides a detailed understanding of who carers are, their needs and experiences. Challenges to caring for people with dementia are critically examined and discussed.
- End of Life Care for People with Dementia: This module explores the history and current context of end of life care for people with dementia as well as considering quality of life up to the point of death and the appropriateness of palliative care models for dementia care.
- Education and Support for Dementia Care Workers: This module explores the basis of education and training approaches for dementia care workers. It also considers wider support needs of dementia care workers such as staff supervision.
- Evaluating Dementia Care: This module is concerned with approaches and methods for evaluating dementia care, including the involvement of people with dementia in evaluations of their own care.
- Design, Technology and Care: This module develops critical understanding of the application of assistive technology and design in developing and maintaining the quality of life for people with dementia. It explores design principles for people with disability or dementia and will help students develop an understanding of barrier-free homes and the use of assistive technology. Particular emphasis will be placed on the exploration of ethical principles and dilemmas surrounding the use of technology in the care and support of people with dementia.
- Neglected Issues in Dementia Care: Younger Onset Dementia, Learning Disabilities and Alcohol: This module explores several issues that have, until recently, been relatively neglected within policy, practice, and literature on dementia. These issues are: younger onset dementia, people with learning disabilities and dementia and alcohol-related brain damage. The challenges of providing care to these groups and the current responses to them are explored within this module.
Research Design and Methods: This module introduces key theoretical concepts in social research. It examines research epistemology, methodology and methods, and ethical considerations. This will be an online module shared with other DASS postgraduate courses and supplemented by material particularly relevant to researching the person with dementia.
This module is taken by students progressing to the MSc, prior to undertaking the dissertation module.
- MSc Dissertation: Students undertaking the MSc complete an independent piece of research in a substantive area of their choice.
Delivery and Assessment
Apart from an introductory residential, all teaching uses text and web-based distance learning materials. The specially designed interactive website enables student interaction and tutorial support. Supplementary reading/video extracts may be included on a CD-Rom. Special emphasis will be placed on a collaborative and problem-solving approach to learning and on encouraging reflective practice.
This programme has enabled students to develop practice within their existing posts, while some previous students have moved to more specialised or promoted posts. It has also encouraged past students to continue with research. Other students have become involved in training initiatives.