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Later Life Studies (MSc)

Course Description

Designed for health, social care and third sector professionals working with people in their later life years, this programme can also be studied online, offering flexibility for students in employment or a caring role.

About the programme

UWS will provide graduates from various disciplines with a rigorous education in the many complex health and social care issues affecting older people. It will equip professionals with an in-depth knowledge and the critical perspective necessary to plan, practice in partnership, manage and lead high-quality services and interventions for older people and people with dementia. The programme’s integrated perspective helps to challenge the sector’s next generation of leaders to make connections between the biopsychosocial aspects of later life, caring sciences, implementation sciences, service management and economics.

Campus: Online or blended learning with some attendance required at Lanarkshire Campus

[{Additional Entry Information]]
Students who have already gained credit at Level 11 may transfer this in certain circumstances; this will be considered on an individual basis.
Prior learning and prior experiential learning may also be considered for entry on an individual basis.

Your learning

The course has three parts:

- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits):
Includes an overview and introduction to the key aspects of later life, including physical, psychological, social, political, and relationship issues. Core modules are Understanding Later Life, Research in Health and Social Care, and Frailty in Later Life. You will be introduced to research at this stage.

- Postgraduate Diploma (60 credits):
The core Independent Study module is the foundation for the Masters dissertation year. Option modules currently available are Dementia Care Principles, Delivering Compassionate Care and Complexities of Pain.

- MSc (180 credits):
You will complete a supervised dissertation (worth 60 credits) in a subject relevant to adults in later life

Our Careers Adviser says

This programme will prepare experienced professionals to embrace the challenges of autonomous practice, decision-making and leadership necessary for this important sector. It is recognised that advanced and specialised knowledge is needed to support the increasingly blended and integrated roles that professionals will adopt in supporting older people.

Current students include occupational therapists, integrated discharge facilitators, care home and assistant care home managers and charge nurses.

State-of-the-art facilities

Our campuses are equipped with artificial simulated environments with contemporary healthcare technology, where you’ll learn in a realistic context, to put your knowledge into practice. The unpredictability of patient symptoms are mimicked using sophisticated software in a clinical ward setting, ranging from low to high dependency beds.

Investment in the Domus Initiative – an older adult artificial home environment – provides you with experience in caring for older people and dementia care. In a first for the Scottish university sector, we have established A Community Orientated Resource for Nursing (ACORN) where students can practice within a simulated primary care environment.

Lanarkshire and Paisley campuses also provide midwifery students with excellent learning and teaching environments with facilities and equipment that includes a birthing room with maternal simulator and a birthing pool for simulated water births.

Life-changing research

We work jointly with a range of partners, both nationally and internationally, on our research interests, and this directly informs teaching at UWS – which means that you’ll learn from the experts.

Our programmes are informed by practice and all of our academic staff are members of the School’s Institute of Healthcare Policy and
Practice. Some of our most recent initiatives include –

• the launch of a new resource, ‘Jenny’s Diary’, which will provide an invaluable tool for families and practitioners to help people with a learning disability understand their diagnosis of dementia

• the development of a new ‘Philosophy of Care’ in partnership with Broomfield Court Care Home in Glasgow, which will look at ways of enhancing the culture and care within a care setting

• we have collaborated with Ayrshire Hospice to launch the first University Hospice in Scotland to help improve the lives of people with life-limiting illness, their families, partners and carers across Ayrshire & Arran; and Ardgowan Hospice in Greenock, with it becoming a University Teaching Hospice and launching a two-year research project with the University aimed at revolutionising the way palliative
care is delivered to improve the patient journey

• the launch of Dumfries & Galloway Recovery College – the first of its kind in Scotland – which offers short courses designed to enhance self-belief, identify ambitions and encourage learning

• in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Edinburgh, the mental health team lead research into the relationship between emotional intelligence and clinical and academic performance in student nurses

• we are working with the Glasgow Improving Cancer Journey Programme to evaluate this groundbreaking intervention in cancer care in Scotland

• we have launched a new state-of-the-art microbiology lab which will form a research base in the fight against Healthcare Associated Infection

• a collaboration with a number of European partners to develop shared academic and practicebased programmes to prepare family health nurses in Europe

Visit the Later Life Studies (MSc) page on the University of the West of Scotland website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

The programme is aimed at a range of professionals with relevant experience and interest in working with older people and/or people with dementia. The programme will have particular appeal to health and social care professionals and third sector professionals. Applications are welcomed from graduates from all relevant disciplines with experience and or interest in later life care provision. Normally candidates will hold a first degree. In addition candidates should have a minimum of two years of relevant professional experience.

Course Fees

Scottish/EU Students £3,400, Rest of UK Students £3,400, International Students £11,000

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Recipient: University of the West of Scotland

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