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

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists five or six core modules (90 or 120 credits), one or two optional modules (if only five core modules are taken) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Core modules
-Current Research in Dementia (15 credits)
-Advanced Treatment and Management of Dementia (15 credits)
-Core Principles of Mental Health Research (30 credits)
-Statistical Methods in Mental Health (15 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 - students who take five core modules will select 30 further credits of optional modules. Students who take six core modules will select 15 further credits of an optional module. Optional modules have either a neuroscience, research methods, or quality improvement in health care component and are the following:
-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 (30 credits)
-Introduction to Biological Research in Mental Health (15 credits)
-Quality Improvement in Health Care (15 credits, UCL Medical School)
-Other optional modules may be selected from any available in the UCL Division of Psychiatry or elsewhere at UCL, with permission from the Programme Director

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.


This is a new programme and no information on graduate destinations is therefore available. Previous 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 moved on to academic posts and PhD studies. For clinicians, the course will allow 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. 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.

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

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a relevant subject such as psychology, related scientific or social scientific disciplines, medicine, biomedical or biological sciences. Applicants from other disciplines with considerable relevant work experience of dementia will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants with a degree in nursing, occupational health or social work with relevant work experience and an interest in dementia can also apply.

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