Care of the Elderly Postgraduate Diploma

The online Care of the Elderly Postgraduate Diploma is designed to improve the knowledge of healthcare professionals who have a clinical responsibility in elderly care. This course is subject to validation.

Course Overview

With an increasingly ageing population comes higher healthcare and social care costs, and more age-related causes of morbidity and mortality. This means that there is a fast growing need for healthcare staff to have relevant up-to-date training and knowledge within elderly care, to meet the needs of an ageing society. Our programme is specially developed for healthcare professionals looking to further their clinical knowledge within elderly care.

Students of the Postgraduate Diploma in Care of the Elderly further their knowledge through self-directed learning, tutor guided discussions and collaboration and learning with their colleagues in a multidisciplinary team. The Care of the Elderly Postgraduate Diploma is suitable for both UK and overseas graduates in medicine, nursing and allied professions, e.g. physiotherapists, dieticians etc, who work with older people.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • To provide a comprehensive, systematic and critical appraisal of issues in caring for older people to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based care and best practice.
  • To develop skills that aid career progression and leadership potential within a complex and rapidly changing delivery environment.

Course Structure

Our online Care of the Elderly Postgraduate Diploma allows you to study for just one calendar year and is a part-time, distance-learning course. The course is worth 120 credits and comprises six modules of 20 credits, each running over a period of six weeks.

Module Aims
  • This module aims to introduce the students to the concept of physiological ageing in comparison with younger adults, differences between physiology and pathology, major presentation of illness in older people and general approach to therapy.
Module Content
  • Physiology of ageing
  • Health promotion
  • Geriatric giants
  • Medicine management
  • Therapies
  • Social and legal issues: abuse, DOLs, mental health, power of attorney, safeguarding
Learning Outcomes
  1. Compare and contrast developmental and patho-physiological changes associated with ageing and critically appraise measures to enhance health and well-being in older people.
  2. Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of the context of care (e.g. financial, social, legal, ethical, environmental and political) on clinical decision making in older people.
Module Aims
  • This module aims to highlight the importance attached to the risk of falls in older people in different environments (community and institution), consequences of falls, holistic assessment of causes, the importance of the multidisciplinary team assessment, plan of prevention and management.
Module Content
  • Initial assessment and comprehensive geriatric assessment - CGA
  • Falls and fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fall and fracture prevention
  • Management of osteoporosis
  • Management of falls
Learning Outcomes
  1. Comprehensively assess the risks of falls, the measures of assessment and musculoskeletal complications, making evidence-based recommendations for the prevention and management of falls in the elderly.
  2. Incorporate contextual factors in the assessment of the risk of falls and demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach to primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, rehabilitation and long-term care.
Module Aims
  • This module aims to highlight the risk of confusion and cognitive impairment in older people in different settings, differentiating between different types and causes of confusion, acute and chronic cognitive dysfunction, and measures of assessment and management.
Module Content
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Delirium and acute confusion
  • Cognitive decline and dementia
  • Therapeutic interventions in dementia
  • Emerging approaches to the physiology and treatment of dementia
  • Depression and anxiety in the elderly
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically evaluate and selectively differentiate knowledge to between alternative presentations and causes of confusion in the elderly, in a variety of settings.
  2. Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of approaches to the assessment and management of confusion in the elderly.
  3. Critically appraise the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of dementia.
Module Aims
  • This is an introduction to age related neurological conditions and stroke. It includes approaches to assessment, management and prevention of stroke, myopathies and Parkinson’s disease together with the impact on function and quality of life in older age.
Module Content
  • TIA and Stroke
  • Stroke and TIA prevention
  • Muscle disorders
  • Parkinson’s Disease 1
  • Parkinson’s Disease 2
  • Syncope and pre-syncope
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically analyse the concept of stroke/transient ischaemic attack in older people and address its association with morbidity/mortality and impact on quality of life in old age
  2. Critically appraise the assessment and management of common neurological and muscle disorders in the elderly
  3. Selectively recommend rehabilitative approaches to minimise disability and maximise quality of life in the elderly
  4. Critically evaluate the causes and evidence based management of syncopal disorders
Module Aims
  • This module aims to highlight the importance of recognising and treating frailty together with management of continence in the elderly. This will include aetiology, models of assessment, medical and surgical management of frailty, urinary incontinence and constipation in older people.
Module Content
  • Definition and pathophysiology of frailty
  • Management and prevention of frailty: anti-ageing strategies
  • Dependency and disability
  • Change of bowel habit/function
  • Continence and medical conditions in the elderly
  • Management of incontinence
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically appraise the factors affecting the prevention, aetiology, assessment and impact of urogenital and gastrointestinal diseases in older people
  2. Critically appraise the literature regarding the pathophysiology of frailty
  3. Critically evaluate the evidence regarding the multi-disciplinary approach to the management of frailty
Module Aims
  • This module highlights issues specific to older people in terms of ethics and end-of life care. In particular it analyses issues relating to consent to treatment, quality of life and also brings to attention the complex aspects of end-of-life care.
Module Content
  • Safeguarding
  • Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act
  • Advance care planning and ethical considerations
  • End of life interventions and ethics
  • Palliative interventions and ethics
  • Withholding treatment, assisted dying and the law
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically evaluate the evidence relating to competence in the older person in relation to legal frameworks
  2. Incorporate legal, ethical and other relevant frameworks in the development of management plans to safeguard and optimise care for the older patient
  3. Critically evaluate the management of patients requiring end of life care
  4. Critically appraise the law both in the UK and internationally in relation to withholding treatment in end of life care and assisted dying

Entry Requirements

Since our courses are conducted entirely online, they are accessible to both UK and international registered healthcare professionals.

To secure your place on the course, applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree. Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account.

In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

Documents Required
  • A copy of your updated CV including your address and date of birth.
  • A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate.
  • The name and email address of someone who is able to provide a reference, this can be a work colleague, employer or former tutor.
  • A detailed personal statement explaining why you would like to undertake the course.
  • A copy of your proof of English competency (see below).

English Language Requirements

Proficiency in the English language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.

You can also contact our admissions team on [email protected] for more information on the qualifications we accept.

Teaching Methods

You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts.

Our courses are conducted entirely online through self-directed distance learning. You’ll receive guidance throughout your course with tutor-stimulated academic discussions, which are based on clinically-rich case scenarios. These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.

You will also participate in a combination of module activities that may be group and/or individual based, dependent on the module. These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your every day work and practice.

Our dedicated Student Support Team are also available to help with any problems you may face. From navigating our online platform to advising you on deadlines, our team can assist with any questions or challenges you may have along the way.

Orientation and Study Skills Week (online)

Once you have secured your place on the course you will be invited to participate in our Orientation and Study Skills week, held in the week preceding the start of the course. This will prepare you for your course and take you through how to navigate the learning platform, course format and teaching methods, the assessments for each module, research skills and good academic practise.


The Care of the Elderly course places assessments at the heart of the learning process through the employment of clinical scenarios to enhance problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. Since the scenarios act as a focus for learning and assessment, the two are intrinsically linked.

The six modules on the course have the same assessment format and for all modules, you will be assigned a dedicated expert tutor. Your tutor will then facilitate case discussions with the group, whilst monitoring, assessing and marking your work throughout.

Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to regularly login and participate in the course - ideally on a daily basis. Students are recommended to spend around two hours per day on their studies.

  • Every week students are presented with two/three clinical case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
  • Your tutor will post a number of questions and prompts to aid students in a formal discussion of each case.
  • These discussions are facilitated throughout by your tutor and are then assessed at the end of every module.

The reflective journal is used by students throughout each module to monitor personal progress. This is guided by weekly feedback from your tutor and is graded at the end of every module. The journal typically includes the following:

  • Initial expectations and reasons for taking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events, issues and learning points within current personal practice.
  • Change in every day practice due to knowledge gained on each module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

For this assessment, students will work on a group assignment and/or an individual assignment.

  • Group assignments are designed to hone skills in the multidisciplinary, holistic approach to modern treatments and patient management by requiring group participation in a single piece of work.
  • Individual assignments are designed to hone skills in academic career progression through such tasks as reviewing papers, developing scientific posters or abstracts, peer-reviewing, social media activities, patient information leaflets, and essays.
  • Students are provided with case-based problems in the form of a one-hour timed examination.
  • The exam consists of 30 'Single Best Answer' questions.
  • Students are required to complete the exam online within the set time.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for March 2022: £3,900
Total Course Fees for UK & International
Students for March 2022:

Application deadline - February 14th 2022

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Instalments Up-Front Payments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£650 £3900
1st May 2022 £650
1st July 2022 £650
1st Sept 2022 £650
1st Nov 2022 £650
1st Jan 2023 £650

Deposits are non-refundable

Early Bird Discount Deadline