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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Ageing and Dementia Studies

BSMS > Postgraduate > Ageing and Dementia Studies

Ageing and Dementia Studies

Key facts 

MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 3 years

Eligible applicants: UK, international

Due to visa restrictions, international students requiring a student visa (including EU/EEA who require a student visa) are eligible to apply for BSMS full-time Masters courses only. Part-time Masters courses, all PGDip and all PGCert courses are open to UK and Irish students and international students (including EU/EEA) who have an alternative visa/immigration permission to stay in the UK (such as settled/pre-settled status, Tier 2/work visa, indefinite leave to remain etc). 

Location: University of Brighton, Falmer campus

Course Principal: Prof Naji Tabet

Read Prof Naji Tabet's profile here >

Course Leader: Dr Dorina Cadar

Read Dr Dorina Cadar's profile here >

Course Co-Ordinator: Claire Martin 

Read Claire Martin's profile here >

General enquiries: 

This course is jointly validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Applications for 2025/26 entry will open soon.

apply for the ageing and dementia studies course here >



Get in touch

For an informal and friendly chat about the course options, please contact Dr Dorina Cadar at

Dementia students in a seminar

Key areas of study

  • Frontiers in ageing and dementia
  • Assessment and treatment of dementia
  • Psychological and social perspectives on ageing and dementia
  • Frailty and Elderly Medicine
  • Research methods and critical appraisal

Course overview

A carer with a mask on and an elderly woman smiling with an arm around her shoulder

Ageing and dementia are critical areas of study and healthcare, addressing the complex needs of an increasingly ageing global population. There are more than 800,000 people with dementia in the UK and 44 million worldwide, posing a major challenge for treatment and care.

The Ageing and Dementia Course is aimed at a diverse group of professionals and students who are interested in gaining advanced knowledge and skills in this critical field. The program is particularly suited for:

1. Healthcare Professionals

    • Doctors: General practitioners, neurologists, geriatricians, and psychiatrists who wish to specialise in the care of older adults and those with dementia.
    • Nurses: Those working in memory clinics, geriatrics, neurology, and community health who want to advance their expertise in dementia care.
    • Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Speech Therapists: Professionals aiming to enhance their skills in managing age-related conditions and dementia.

2. Medical Graduates in Related Fields

    • Recent graduates with degrees in medicine, nursing, psychology, biology, social work, or related disciplines who are looking to specialize further.

3. Psychologists and Psychiatrists

    • Professionals focusing on mental health who are interested in specialising in the psychological aspects of ageing and dementia.

4. Researchers and Academics

    • Those pursuing research in gerontology, neurology, or public health, aiming to contribute to the scientific understanding of ageing and dementia.

5. Pharmacists and Pharmacologists

    • Professionals interested in the pharmacological treatment of dementia and age-related diseases

6. Public Health Professionals and Policy Makers

    • Individuals involved in developing health policies and programs for ageing populations and dementia care.

7. Social Workers and Care Home Managers

    • Individuals involved in the social care sector who want to improve their understanding of dementia and ageing to provide better support and services.

8. Family Caregivers and Advocates

    • Although less common, some programs may also appeal to family caregivers or advocates who wish to gain a deeper understanding of dementia and ageing to better support their loved ones and communities.

The MSc in Ageing and Dementia program is designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and qualifications needed to excel in medical and research careers and make a significant impact in the field of ageing and dementia.

The course comprises a unique set of educational initiatives designed to enable healthcare professionals and researchers to better understand the ageing process and aetiology of dementia, as well as its clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment. The course also offers competency skills to improve the quality of life for people with dementia by building expertise in generating and delivering better care. It provides a comprehensive and holistic theoretical and practical framework for understanding the ageing process and dementia enabling a broad understanding of the impact of ageing and dementia on the individual and society. Clinical knowledge is blended with developing skills in communication for health and social care, research and leadership learning.


Why us?

Two older men in conversation

Prospective students should consider choosing an MSc in Ageing and Dementia at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) for several compelling reasons:

  1. Expert Faculty and Innovative Research
    BSMS boasts a distinguished faculty with extensive expertise in ageing, dementia, and related fields. Students benefit from learning directly from leading researchers and healthcare practitioners who are at the forefront of innovation and discovery. This access to cutting-edge research and thought leadership enriches the academic experience and provides insights into the latest advancements in ageing, dementia care and gerontology.
  2. Comprehensive and Multidisciplinary Curriculum
    The MSc program offers a robust and interdisciplinary curriculum that covers a wide range of topics, including the biological, psychological, social, and ethical aspects of ageing and dementia. This comprehensive approach ensures that students gain a holistic understanding of the subject, equipping them with the knowledge needed to address complex challenges in real-world settings.
  3. State-of-the-Art Facilities
    BSMS provides access to state-of-the-art facilities, including advanced neuroanatomy laboratories, simulation, and neuroimaging centers, as well as clinical training environments. These resources enable students to engage in hands-on learning and practical training, which are essential for developing clinical skills and conducting impactful research.
  4. Strong Clinical and Research Partnerships
    BSMS has established strong partnerships with local hospitals, healthcare providers, research institutions, and community organisations. We are partnered with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey & Sussex (ARC KSS) applied health & care research. These collaborations offer students unique opportunities for clinical placements, internships, and research projects, enhancing their practical experience and professional network.
  5. Focus on Career Development
    The MSc program at BSMS places a strong emphasis on career development, offering personalised support and guidance to help students achieve their professional goals. This includes career advice, workshops, networking events, and connections with clinical, pharmaceutical and industry partners. Graduates are well-prepared to pursue careers in healthcare, academia, research, policymaking, and beyond.
  6. Supportive Learning Environment
    BSMS is known for its supportive and inclusive learning environment, which fosters collaboration, mentorship, and personal growth. Small class sizes and a close-knit academic community ensure that students receive individual attention and support from faculty and peers.
  7. Reputation and Accreditation
    BSMS is a highly regarded institution within the UK and internationally, known for its excellence in medical education and research. An MSc from BSMS in partnership with Brighton and Sussex Universities is a prestigious qualification that is recognised and respected by employers and academic institutions worldwide.
  8. Location and Campus Life
    Located in the vibrant and diverse city of Brighton, BSMS offers a stimulating and enriching campus life. Brighton is known for its cultural scene, beautiful coastline, and welcoming atmosphere, providing a dynamic environment for both academic and personal growth.

By choosing an MSc in Ageing and Dementia at BSMS, students join a leading institution committed to advancing knowledge and improving care for ageing populations and those affected by dementia. The program’s blend of academic rigour, practical experience, and career support positions graduates for success in this vital and rewarding field.


What our students say

A close up headshot of Orla Phipps, a Dementia MSc student

"As a full-time caregiver for my grandmother who had Alzheimer's, I felt a deep need to understand dementia better and to advocate for those affected by it. Throughout my time caring for my grandmother, I made educational TikToks sharing my journey as a caregiver. Through my posts, I shared our experiences, spread awareness, and became a passionate advocate for dementia, working with charities and various media channels. My journey led me to the MSc in Dementia Studies at BSMS, a decision that has profoundly impacted my life and career. Since enrolling in the MSc Dementia Studies programme, I have been offered a PhD studentship in social care policy, a testament to the incredible education and support I received at BSMS. The course is comprehensive, insightful and deeply engaging, providing me with the knowledge and skills needed to make a tangible difference in the field of dementia care and research. The MSc Dementia Studies at BSMS is not just an academic journey; it's a pathway to making a significant impact in the lives of those affected by dementia."

Orla Phipps, MSc Dementia Studies Student

A head and shoulders image of Lauren Wonnacott, a Dementia MSc student

“This course has been really enjoyable. It has brought me up to date on the latest understanding and research into dementia and the ways in which we can best assess, diagnose, treat and support people affected by the condition. The range of topics and extremely knowledgeable and engaging lecturers have really increased my knowledge and passion of the subject. Involving people living with dementia in the teaching of some of the modules was a real highlight too.”

Lauren Wonnacott, MSc Dementia Studies Student

Course structure

Interactive lectures are delivered by academics, practitioners and advocates from the clinical frontlines of dementia and old age psychiatry.

Each module is delivered within an intensive immersive week, with ‘breaks’ between modules during which time students focus on seminars, tutorials, assignments, research and extracurricular activities. This structure also works very well for part-time, and working students.


All three modules from the following clinical module list OR two modules from the clinical module list plus one module from the PGDip professional module list.

  • Frontiers in Ageing and Dementia (20 credits) One full week in October
  • Assessment and Treatment of Dementia (20 credits) One full week in February
  • Psychological and Social Perspectives of Ageing and Dementia (20 credits) One full week in June


All three clinical modules PLUS three modules from the following clinical and professional module options:

  • Frailty and Elderly Medicine (20 credits)
  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)
  • Communication, Learning and Teaching in Health and Social Care (20 credits)
  • Leadership and Change Management in Clinical Services (20 credits)


  • Quality, Safety and Service Improvement in Clinical Services (20 credits)


  • PGCert and PGDip modules


  • Dissertation (60 credits)


Most modules are assessed by means of a 3,000-word in-depth evaluation of a topic agreed upon by the student and module leader. 

Career opportunities

A close up of a carer holding a hand of an elderly person who is holding a ball in one hand

Successful completion of the course will provide specialised knowledge and expertise which will be invaluable in improving the prospect of employment in various fields and will enhance the likelihood of career progression.

An MSc in Ageing and Dementia from BSMS equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to make significant contributions in various professional settings, addressing the growing needs of ageing populations and improving dementia care worldwide. Ultimately, students will be empowered to deliver significant improvements in the quality of services provided to older people and those living with dementia.Graduates with an MSc in Ageing and Dementia from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) can look forward to a wide range of career opportunities across various sectors. Here are some potential career paths:

  1. Healthcare and Clinical Practice
    Geriatric Specialist: Working in hospitals, clinics, or private practices, focusing on the care of older adults.
    Dementia Care Specialist: Providing specialised care and management for individuals with dementia in healthcare facilities.
    Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist: With a focus on geriatrics and dementia care, working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or community health settings.
    Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist/Speech Therapist: Specialising in services for ageing populations and those with dementia.
  2. Research and Academia
    Research Scientist: Conducting research on ageing, dementia, and related fields in academic institutions, research centers, or pharmaceutical companies.
    University Lecturer/Professor: Teaching and mentoring students in gerontology, dementia care, and related disciplines.
    Clinical Research Coordinator: Managing and coordinating clinical trials and research projects focused on ageing and dementia.
  3. Social Care and Community Services
    Social Worker: Specialising in the support and care of older adults and individuals with dementia.
    Care Home Manager: Overseeing the operations and care quality in residential facilities for older adults.
    Community Outreach Coordinator: Working with non-profits or local government agencies to support ageing populations and dementia awareness initiatives.
  4. Public Health and Policy
    Public Health Advisor: Developing and implementing health policies and programs focused on ageing and dementia at local, national, or international levels.
    Health Policy Analyst: Analysing and advising on policies affecting older adults and dementia care.
    Program Manager: Leading public health initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for ageing populations.
  5. Non-Profit and Advocacy
    Advocacy Specialist: Working with organizations to promote the rights and well-being of older adults and those with dementia.
    Program Director: Managing programs and services aimed at supporting ageing populations and individuals with dementia.
    Grant Writer/Fundraiser: Securing funding for non-profits focused on ageing and dementia research or services.
  6. Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries
    Medical Science Liaison: Serving as a bridge between the pharmaceutical company and the medical community, focusing on products related to ageing and dementia.
    Clinical Trials Manager: Overseeing the design and implementation of clinical trials for new treatments for dementia and age-related conditions.
    Regulatory Affairs Specialist: Ensuring compliance with regulations for products and therapies related to ageing and dementia.
  7. Consulting and Private Sector
    Healthcare Consultant: Advising healthcare organisations on best practices for dementia care and services for ageing populations.
    Ageing Services Consultant: Providing expertise to businesses and government agencies on services and products for older adults.
    Dementia Care Trainer: Conducting training programs for healthcare professionals and caregivers on dementia care best practices.
  8. Technology and Innovation
    Health Tech Developer: Working with companies developing technologies aimed at improving the lives of older adults and those with dementia.
    Ageing and Dementia Specialist: Advising tech companies on user-friendly designs and solutions for older adults.

Entry requirements

A degree and evidence of a capacity to study at Masters level with a substantial interest and/or experience in an area of health, psychology, sociology, or social care.


Evidence of a capacity to study at Masters level and at least two years’ work experience in anenvironment related to ageing or dementia (including lived experience).


Completion of at least three years’ basic medical science at a UK medical school (having gained at least 360 credits) with a guaranteed place to continue medical studies on completion of the MSc..

Read more about intercalating >

For international students a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required.

Fees and funding

The fees listed are the overall costs for full-time courses taken in the academic year 2025/26. Where courses are taken part-time over more than one academic year, fees are usually charged pro-rata for the modules taken during each academic year.  

With effect from 2021/22 onwards, EU nationals starting new postgraduate courses will pay international fees and will not be eligible for student funding from the UK government. However, there are exceptions to this for Irish nationals and EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. For the latest information, please see If you do not have settled status in the UK and require a work visa, then you will be fee assessed as Overseas and will therefore be subject to the International fee rate.

Find out more about 2025-26 fees and funding >


All BSMS students on Masters courses accredited jointly by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton are eligible to apply for University of Sussex postgraduate scholarships in 2025/26. 

Read more about fees and funding >


Available bursaries for applicants working for an NHS organisation within the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Please contact the Course Leader for further information and to check availability.