Skip to main content

UCC Postgraduate courses


Course Fact File
Duration1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date2 September 2024

Course Outline

Our interdisciplinary MSc in Dementia course provides healthcare professionals with the skills to expertly care for a person with dementia from diagnosis to end-of-life. We advocate a biopsychosocial approach in this course, meaning that we look at the body, mind and environment and consider how they are all connected. Our course content reflects this approach. 

The topics on this course include dementia presentations and assessments; restorative and adaptive cognitive and non-cognitive interventions; a strong focus on communication, ethical approaches and care planning; translation of evidence to clinical practice; and reflection on legislative, policy and societal influences on dementia care across health and social care settings.

This programme can be studied full-time or part-time. A range of optional modules allows a student to tailor their learning to their own setting and role and includes an optional clinical placement module. Optional independent study modules provide for skill-development opportunities, allowing a student to undertake an in-depth literature review, a supervised audit, service evaluation or a quality improvement project, or to develop a business case or implementation plan. At all times the emphasis is on the critical appraisal of research evidence, and knowledge of current policy and societal influences, and how these translate into the best possible care for the person with dementia in real-world settings.

Content Overview

Students take taught modules to the value of 60 credits incorporating approximately 300 hours of structured contact time via face-to-face, webinars, or online options. Most classes are held in two-day blocks (weekdays). Students also undertake a research dissertation (30 credits) which is submitted at the end of the calendar year.

Core Modules

Students take core modules to the value of 35 credits as follows:

  • CG6015 Understanding Cognitive Disorders and Dementia (10 credits)
  • CG6016 Advanced Issues in Dementia Care (10 credits)
  • CG6017 Clinical Practicum in Dementia (5 credits)

And either

  • EH6038 Applied Research for Gerontology and Rehabilitation (10 credits) Or
  • MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)

Elective Modules

Students take elective modules to the value of 25 credits from the following:

  • CG6002 Stroke Rehabilitation (10 credits)
  • CG6006 Falls, Mobility and Movement Disorders (10 credits)
  • CG6007 Independent Study (5 credits)*
  • CG6011 In-depth Independent Study (15 credits)*
  • CG6012 Neuromuscular Disorders (10 credits)
  • IP5001 Holistic Approach to Palliative Care (5 credits)**
  • MH6016 Advance Care Planning (5 credits)
  • NU6053 Ethics for Specialist Practice (5 credits)

*Students can take either CG6007 or CG6011 but not both.

** Can only be selected if the student has active registration or is eligible for registration with the appropriate professional healthcare registration body.

Research Module

  • CG6018 Dissertation in Dementia (30 credits)

Exemptions at the Point of Entry to the MSc Programme

  • Following successful completion of the examinations for the Postgraduate Certificate in Dementia, a student may opt to transfer to the MSc in Dementia, subject to the approval of the Programme Team, with exemptions granted for modules taken within the previous five years.
  • A student previously graduated with the Postgraduate Certificate in Dementia, within five years of completion, and subject to the approval of the Programme Team, may register for the MSc in Dementia, with exemptions granted for modules taken within the previous five years.
  • A student previously graduated with the Postgraduate Diploma in Dementia (exit award), within five years of completion, may re-register for the MSc in Dementia, subject to the approval of the Programme Team, with exemptions granted for modules taken within the previous five years.

The above options do not require a new separate application by the student. Preliminary requests should be made to the Programme Administrator, Ms Lorraine Crossan.

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): a student who has successfully completed modules for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) within the MSc in Dementia programme, and/or has completed relevant university postgraduate modules in a cognate area at a similar NFQ level (subject to the approval of the Programme Team), and who meets the entry requirements for the MSc in Dementia, can apply to register for the MSc in Dementia with exemptions granted for modules taken within the previous five years. This will require a separate by the student for the MSc.
  • Please note that part-time study is not open to non-EU candidates.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The MSc in Dementia is a blended learning programme, with some content provided online or via evening webinars, and augmented by face-to-face lectures, tutorials, workshops and case-based learning. Workshops focus on peer learning and skills practice (e.g. communication skills, capacity assessment, critical appraisal).

Students take taught modules to the value of 60 credits incorporating approximately 300 total hours of structured contact time. Most classes are held in two-day blocks during weekdays. In addition to the structured contact time, students perform approximately 900 hours of self-directed learning, submitting module assignments and reports. Students also undertake a research dissertation (30 credits) which is submitted at the end of the calendar year (full-time students) or at the end of the second academic year (part-time students). The research possibilities are broad including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies.

Why Choose This Course

I would recommend this programme to any of my nursing and allied health professional colleagues who are interested in gaining greater knowledge and expertise in dementia care...

Siobhan Cahill

MSc Dementia student

Find Out More
The highlight of the MSc for me was the support and mentorship by credible researchers to carry out a research project specific to my clinic area...

Bernadette Horgan-Edmead, Day Care Nurse Co-ordinator

Find Out More

As the population ages and dementia becomes very common, almost all Healthcare Professionals will care for people with dementia in their everyday work, and will therefore require need up-to-date dementia knowledge and skills.

This is the only dementia course to offer extensive optional modules to tailor your learning, including an optional placement module (CG6017) to experience dementia care in a range of settings, enhancing your appreciation of other service models and disciplines.

The unique optional independent study modules (CG6007 or CG6011) allow you to perform an in-depth review of a topic within or outside the course curriculum, or to plan and implement a quality improvement project, audit, or service evaluation.

The research dissertation module (CG6018) is similarly highly flexible - you are supported to develop a research idea relevant to your interests and work setting, and carefully matched with experienced supervisors (usually two per student from complementary disciplines) based on your project. Many students present their research at national and international conferences and publish it in academic journals.

The course lecturers and facilitators are clinicians and academics from several disciplines, and all are experts in dementia. The course director, Professor Suzanne Timmons was the Clinical Lead for the HSE National Dementia Office from 2017-2021. 

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research, and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff is at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between topics such as medicine, healthcare, science, leadership, and management.

Available Scholarships

At UCC we support our student community by offering scholarships and prizes to prospective and current students. Please see the Scholarships & Prizes page for more information.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

This course includes an optional clinical placement module (CG6017) where you can experience dementia care in a range of settings, including novel and innovative services, enhancing your appreciation of integrated service models and the role of other disciplines.

The Practice Education Coordinator works closely with you to develop a tailored placement timetable, with placement sessions available local to your usual place of work, or throughout Ireland and abroad, as practical for you. The student feedback on this module is that it is highly valuable for personal clinical practice and for supporting quality improvements in their own work setting.

Skills and Careers Information

In today’s competitive workforce, higher professional qualifications are an essential part of continuous professional development and career advancement. The MSc in Dementia gives Healthcare Professionals the key skills and competencies they need to confidently care for a person with dementia, of any age and in any setting. This programme is particularly suitable for those who want to assume a management and leadership position in the care of people with dementia.


Candidates must have the following:

  • An honours primary degree in a relevant health care discipline* or an equivalent academic qualification and professional experience to be approved by Programme Team;
  • Ideally, candidates should have at least one year's practical experience in their area of qualification post-registration;
  • In some exceptional circumstances, candidates, by virtue of their training and experience may, at the discretion of the Programme Team, be deemed suitable for entry to the programme under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Such candidates may be requested to undergo an interview.

*A relevant health care discipline includes but is not limited to medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, speech and hearing science, audiology, physiotherapy, psychology, and social studies.

Garda Vetting

Students or applicants in receipt of an offer, on this programme will be subject to Garda Vetting. Students will be prohibited from engaging in a relevant work placement unless the vetting process has been cleared. Click here to view UCC's Student Garda Vetting Policy.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements for all applicants

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences along with your current occupation as this information will support your application.

Additional information required will include the following:

  • Please enter details of professional or voluntary positions held.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please detail your research interest(s).
  • Please add the name and email addresses of two referees.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact