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Health and Wellbeing of the Older Person [MSc, PGDip, PGCert]

Course Description


In 2010, an estimated 524 million people were aged 65 or older—8 percent of the world’s population. By 2050, this number is expected to nearly triple to about 1.5 billion, representing 16 percent of the world’s population. Provision of effective health and social care systems and associated professionals are key to supporting the increased and evolving requirements to support older people within society. Critical evidence has been amassed which shows that current standards of care often fail to deliver good quality care for the older person, therefore the need to improve the care and experience of the older person in health and social care have become significant policy drivers both in the UK and globally. Health and social care professionals are at the forefront of care delivery and are best placed to initiate and to drive forward innovations in care delivery. This programme provides professionals with the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver informed standards of care, to act as change agents and develop leadership capacity in the care of older people.
The important values that inform this programme reflect the growing priorities that have been identified which support the need to provide an improved and more responsive level of care for older people. Furthermore, expertise around the care of the older person will inform new roles within health and social care, support career pathways and strengthen leadership in this growing area of care.
This programme provides students with the advanced knowledge and skills to support their personal and professional development in this dynamic area of practice. Specialist modules ensure students gain insight into the complexities of caring for older people enabling them to act as change agents, facilitating improvements in care. Optional modules provide students with a platform to progress their practice and academic knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skill development will be achieved through critical engagement with both the academic content and practice experience that directly relates to the care of the older person.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Part-time, Distance learning, Online, Stand-alone modules
- Start date: September and January
- Course Director: Dr Annetta Smith

Course objectives

The student will be able to
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts, policies and practices that influence delivery of health and social care for the older person.
- Gain knowledge and expertise around specialist areas of care that is inclusive of Multimorbidity, Dementia and Pain in Older Adults.
- Critically apply new knowledge and skills to support collaborative working with other professionals that enables practice improvement in the care of older people.
- Evaluate models of practice development and service delivery in hospital, community or residential care settings.
- Develop original and creative solutions to problems and issues that arise in practice.
- Plan and execute a significant practice project which focuses on improvement of care for the older person.
- Demonstrate attributes of personal organisation, planning and evaluation skills that support effective academic and clinical work.
- Demonstrate development of attributes and skills commensurate with practice leadership that will contribute to the delivery of high quality care for older people.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Career opportunities

This programme facilitates the development of expert knowledge in care of the older person and helps prepare health and social care professionals to deliver the specialist knowledge and skills required to support their practice.
All modules are related to NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF).


This programme equips students with the knowledge and skills that they can utilise within their professional practice and workplace, including health, social care and voluntary sectors. Students will have an in-depth knowledge of health and social care needs of older people and solutions to enhance that care. They will also have the opportunity to gain a range of transferable skills relevant to their professional careers. Importantly, students will be able to act as change agents by:
- Applying skills of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues which are at the forefront of developments in the care of the older person and their care delivery.
- Developing an in-depth understanding of policy development and implementation within the student's location of practice.
- Developing original and creative responses to challenging/complex situations and make informed decisions/judgements.
- Constructing, implementing and appraising a research project and engaging in a systematic appraisal of project methods and its findings.
- Undertaking a quality improvement initiative in practice and possessing an in-depth appreciation of quality improvement processes.
- Disseminating information through a variety of media.

Industry connections

The programme provides opportunities for students to fully appreciate the collaborative and interdisciplinary dimensions and skills essential to work within the health, social care and voluntary sectors and to utilise their knowledge to progress the care of the older person. The programme is strengthened by a multi-disciplinary collaboration with clinical colleagues across National Health Service Regional Boards, Social care agencies and the voluntary sector, for example Alzheimer Scotland.

Visit the Health and Wellbeing of the Older Person [MSc, PGDip, PGCert] page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply. Current professional registration as a nurse or health/social care practitioner is recommended. If you are a student from overseas and applying with a Tier 4 student visa, campus based for full time study, we unfortunately cannot accept your application for this programme. However, students from overseas can apply for this programme part time and will be supported via distance learning.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU PG Cert £1,500, PG Dip £3,000, MSc £4,500; Overseas PG Cert £3,967, PG Dip £7,933, MSc £11,900

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