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Dementia: Causes, Treatment and Research (Mental Health) MSc

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The new Dementia MSc is offered jointly by the UCL Division of Psychiatry and Institute of Neurology and tackles one of the biggest global health problems facing society today. It provides research-oriented and cutting-edge training in the study of dementia and its scientific basis, led by international leaders in the science and practice of dementia. Two specialised pathways, in mental health and in neuroscience, are offered.

About this degree

The mental health pathway focuses on equipping students with advanced knowledge of the prevention, detection and management of the dementias using epidemiological, psychosocial and clinical trial approaches, and is aimed at graduates wishing to explore or begin a research career in dementia. More information about the neuroscience pathway is also available.

Compulsory modules

  • Current Research in Dementia (15 credits)
  • Advanced Treatment and Management of Dementia (15 credits)
  • Core Principles of Mental Health Research (30 credits)
  • Clinical Neuroscience of Neurodegenerative Diseases (15 credits)
  • Clinical Mental Health (30 credits - core for students who do not have either research or clinical experience in the field of dementia)

Optional modules

  • Optional modules have either a neuroscience, research methods, or quality improvement in health care component and are the following:
  • Statistical Methods in Mental Health (15 credits)
  • Practical Neuroscience of Dementia (15 credits, Institute of Neurology)
  • Higher Functions of the Brain (15 credits, Institute of Neurology)
  • Epidemiological and Social Methods in Mental Health (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Biological Research in Mental Health (15 credits)
  • Quality Improvement in Health Care (15 credits, UCL Medical School)


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a report of up to 8,000 words, presented as a paper ready to submit to a medical, psychiatric or dementia-specialist journal.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered though a combination of lecture/seminar series and practical interactive workshops, with supportive online learning material. Assessment methods include two unseen examinations, coursework including designing questionnaires and protocols and analysing data in dementia research, writing a critical literature review, giving talks and presentations, and a final report in the format of a journal paper.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Previous Dementia MSc-level graduates of the Division have had a strong track record of publishing papers based on their dementia research projects in peer reviewed journals, and have secured PhD scholarships (both at national and international level); academic/research posts undertaking research in dementia; or further training in clinical psychology. For clinicians, the course allows them to participate fully in collaborative studies and begin their research career as independent investigators in dementia research.


This unique and exciting programme will equip graduates with advanced knowledge of the prevention and treatment of dementia, and strong practical research skills in order to undertake doctoral research in the field. They will acquire in-depth understanding of the current status and direction of research for the treatment and care of people with dementia and their families, providing them with a strong foundation for doctoral studies, and applications for nationally funded fellowships and national and international PhD scholarships. They will complete original research in their specific field of interest, learning about dementia research directly from experts working in clinical and research areas in dementia.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL has exceptional research strength in dementia, from laboratory to the community, including genetics, neuroscience of neurodegeneration, prevention and treatment. Students will be taught by leading international dementia researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields; more details are available at UCL Dementia Strategy. Optional modules give students access to other renowned departments at UCL e.g. the UCL Institute of Neurology, and the UCL Medical School.

The programme is strongly focused on active student participation, encouraging learning through participating in research and enquiry and developing the practical skills needed to embark on a research career in dementia. The wide range of research interests within our division and the UCL Institute of Neurology allows us to offer a programme that integrates biological and psychological approaches of dementia.

Students will be offered opportunities to get involved in the work of internationally significant research groups in dementia in a stimulating, friendly and supportive environment.

Department: Division of Psychiatry


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

Who can apply?

The programme is designed for graduates in psychology (or other related disciplines), or medical trainees who wish to pursue a career in dementia research. Mental health practitioners (i.e. those with a background in nursing, occupational therapy, or social work), are invited to apply if they have a specific interest in dementia research.

Application deadlines

27 June 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

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What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Dementia: Causes Treatment and Research (Mental Health) at graduate level?
  • why you want to study this programme at UCL?
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme and which modules particularly interest you
  • how your academic and professional background and skills equip you to meet the demands of this challenging programme
  • where would you like to go professionally with your degree?

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Visit the Dementia: Causes, Treatment and Research (Mental Health) MSc page on the University College London website for more details!