Person-Centred Dementia Studies

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies has been designed specifically for current or potential future managers or leaders of dementia services in health and social care organisations, charities or businesses. Effective leadership in person-centred care is fundamental for the ability of an organisation to deliver services that work for people living with dementia. This course will provide you with evidence-based practical interventions to expand your knowledge and skills in order to provide exemplary dementia care.

The course provides a developmental route for health and social care professionals to improve the quality of their services. It aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills and resources to enable them to reach their full potential as skilled care givers, managers and leaders. The course content will reflect the requirements of the Dementia Training Standards Framework and will meet all of the Tier 3 leadership learning outcomes.

Key features

  • A flexible, multidisciplinary, student-centred route to postgraduate achievement, taught in a supportive online learning environment.
  • An opportunity to critically reflect on your own practice and role in the field of dementia care.
  • A chance to challenge your own values and attitudes and develop new ways of thinking in a supportive environment.
  • A stimulating environment where you can gain the confidence to feel you can shape future dementia care by challenging and enhancing current practice and approaches.
  • An opportunity to complete a series of modules which develop critical reflection, originality, critique and synthesis to inform evidence-based practice.
  • A critical appreciation of the varying perspectives and values of health and social care professionals, service users, carers and cultures.
  • A learning environment based on the values of academic freedom, ethical awareness and critical appraisal.

What will you study?

From 2020/21 the full Postgraduate Certificate course will run as follows –

You can choose to register and complete individual modules on a standalone basis or multiple modules required to achieve the 60 credits you need to gain the Postgraduate Certificate.

This course is offered on a part time basis, students can choose to complete 15 or 30 credits per semester, if module choices permit this. Students are encouraged to consider the workload should they select to undertake 30 credits per semester. View the available modules:

Semester one:

The mandatory module, Person-Centred Leadership: the VIPS Approach (15 credits) will run annually in semester one from September 2020/21. It does not have to be the first module completed, but does have to be completed to achieve the award.

Supporting People Living with Advanced Dementia (15 credits) and Enabling Environments for People Living with Dementia (15 credits) will run for the first time in semester one of 2020/21 and run annually thereafter.

Semester two:

Engagement and Empowerment in Dementia Studies (15 credits) and Dementia in the Family Context (15 credits) will run for the first time in semester two of 2020/21 and run annually thereafter.

Expert Practice in Delivering Person Centred Dementia Care (30 credits) will run annually across two semesters starting in semester two and continuing in semester one of the following academic year; that is, the module will be completed in a calendar year.

The course is delivered online via Blackboard, the University’s online teaching and learning environment. As a student, you will engage with online lectures, videos, research literature and discussions to facilitate your independent study.

This course provides regular interactive learning opportunities via seminars in a virtual classroom (scheduled live communication) and engagement with students and tutors via unscheduled discussion forums (no timing requirement).

The programme lead is available for contact throughout the course. Contact with university tutors will be facilitated via email, dedicated module discussion forums and video chat.

Some modules may have specific practice-based components that can be carried out in the student’s workplace or an equivalent appropriate setting.


Synchronous contact – Scheduled/planned

There will be live tutorials and other live activities using the online learning environment.  For a 15 credit online module, a normal pattern of scheduled contact time will be around 1 hour per fortnight over 12 weeks, therefore 6 hours per 15 credit module, although additional sessions may be added if a tutor identifies a need. Scheduled online seminar classes are likely to be held in the evening to accommodate student work schedules.

Asynchronous contact – Unscheduled

Students are expected to participate fully in the programme of study, engage actively with learning opportunities including any scheduled sessions.  Students will be expected to spend 2 hours per week in unscheduled contact over 12 weeks, therefore 24 hours per 15 credit module, through activities, chat rooms and discussion boards which will be flexible. This will allow students to have access to a range of material and learning resources which they can access at a time convenient to them, but remains a means of sustaining contact with tutors.


In addition to the directed online study, scheduled exercises and virtual seminars within the online learning environment, you are expected to undertake around 7-8 hours of personal self-study per week per 15 credit module.  Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects and undertaking online research.

You will also be required to prepare coursework assignments and presentations. Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Up to 2 years part time.

The online learning environment will be available for the duration of the semester and will be available one week before a module commences. Dates for scheduled seminars will be made available in advance of the course commencing.

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics, professional practitioners with health and care sector experience, demonstrators and technical officers.

Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Teaching is informed by up-to-date research and consultancy.

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles at on the Association for Dementia Studies staff page.

Both formative and summative assessment will be utilised across the course.  Both types of assessment are relevant to students achieving the learning outcomes.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment provides students with structure in their study to guide them through content and skill development as well as enable instructors and tutors to support their learning experience.

A wide variety of formative assessment will be used in the course to assist students to identify their learning needs as well as build on their strengths and provide instructors with opportunities to individualise support through individualised feedback.

While formative assessment does not carry a grade contributing to the final grade for any given module, it is essential for student learning and effective student support.

Summative assessment

Summative assessment is designed to evaluate student achievement in relation to the learning outcomes of individual modules (and in turn, contribute to overall course learning outcomes) and all summative assessment contributes to the final grade.

You will receive feedback on summative assessments within 20 working days of submission date.

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.


Entry requirements

Applicants will require current experience of working with or supporting people with dementia, either through employment, regular voluntary work or caring.


  • An honours degree at 2:2 level or above


  • Qualifications and experience considered to be equivalent to the above. All students applying via this route will be assessed and where necessary interviewed by the Course Lead.

The Association for Dementia Studies

The Association for Dementia Studies is a multi-professional university research centre with many years of experience in the field of person-centred dementia care and support. We make a cutting edge contribution to developing evidence-based practical ways of working with people living with dementia, their families, friends and carers that enable them to live well. We draw on and contribute to the international evidence base for person-centred dementia care. Using this evidence, we deliver education programmes that empower people to provide skilled, competent and compassionate care.

Our work influences policy change at a local, national and international level and changes practice on the front line. Our research informs practice and policy for people living with dementia, their families, and the professionals who support them. We work in partnership with organisations across the public, private and third sectors.


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