Key features of our Distance Learning Courses

This week we get some insights from Professor Dawn Brooker on our distance learning courses…

Why at a Postgraduate level?

Helping people develop their expertise in supporting people to live well with dementia is our passion. The potential to improve evidence-based practice by putting great tools into the hands of those who can really make a difference to people’s lives, is huge. Time and time again, the people who make the most impact are those in leadership roles. We pitched this course at a postgraduate level as we believe this is the most appropriate level for developing reflective and creative leadership qualities.  However, we also know that many people are capable of working at this level, but they might not already have a degree. Indeed, some of our best dementia leaders have been in this position. We have put provision in place for those who think this course fits their needs, but who don’t have a degree. During the admission process, we ask potential students to provide some pre-course writing and evidence to make sure that they can work at this level. Also, for those people for whom English is a second language, we ask for evidence that they can cope with writing at this level (IELTS 6.5).

Teaching materials

We have spent a great deal of time and care in designing an online course, which is fit for purpose. We recognise that some people are sceptical about on-line courses being able to deliver the skills and competencies necessary in person centred care and support. All the online learning is designed to be interesting and engaging. There are regular opportunities to come together in structured online tutorial groups facilitated by the leader of the course. Students engage with online lectures, videos, research literature and discussions to facilitate their independent study. The regular interactive learning opportunities in the virtual classroom, the engagement with other students and tutors is designed to ensure students have the experience of being at university without having to leave home.

Evidence based

The content of course is grounded largely in research that we have been directly engaged with at the Association for Dementia Studies. Students benefit from courses that are designed and constantly updated by academics who are leaders in their specialism in Dementia Studies. This course enables us to put the tools developed by this research into the hands of practitioners and professionals who can use them. Using this evidence, we deliver education programmes that empower professional staff to provide skilled, competent and compassionate care.

Diversity of participants

We want to support people to ask great questions, to see their way through complexity, to deliver care and support fit for people living with dementia in the 21st century. The course is open to graduates of any discipline. We know that in order to create new ways of working we need people who can bring a diversity of perspectives to bear on dementia studies. Many candidates have a clinical or social care qualification, but we also want to attract people from business, the arts, sport and culture backgrounds. By sharing the learning and solutions to common challenges together, we can all learn so much more quickly than just learning alongside others where diversity of experience is limited.

In conclusion

We have built a great course that the first cohort of students have really enjoyed! Our watchwords in developing this course have been evidence-based practice and teaching excellence. It’s designed to be flexible and to fit around the needs of busy people. Students can study at their own pace but be confident that they are learning together with other students and academic leaders that share their passion.

To find out more about our Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Award please visit our website, or feel free to get in touch with us at

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow


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