Care of the Elderly MSc

The online Care of the Elderly MSc 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.

Students completing the MSc will undertake a clinically related independent project relevant to the care of the elderly, enabling students to demonstrate their knowledge through independent study.

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.

* Please note that you will not receive a certificate until after successful completion of the two years.

Course Structure

Our online Care of the Elderly MSc is undertaken over two calendar years and is a part-time, distance-learning course. The course is worth 180 credits and comprises 6 modules of 20 credits and 1 module of 60 credits.

Year One - Postgraduate Diploma

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

Year Two - MSc

Module Aims
  • To develop students’ ability to critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and/or organisational practice and develop skills in independent research, study and writing for publication.
Module Content
  • Terminology used in epidemiology and research studies such as prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negatives
  • Interpreting graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier curves, forest plots and meta-analyses
  • Calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk and number needed to treat. Statistical tests and their applications including t-tests, ANOVA and chi-square
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Fundamentals of evidence-based practice and its application into the clinical setting
  • Principles of health economics, audit and quality improvement/assurance systems
  • Establishing patient registers and the value of disease-specific registers
  • Research into educational principles for both health care practitioner and patient

The module will depend on the creation of a piece of work based upon a specific clinically related project relevant to the student’s practice. This project may comprise:

  • Literature review and appraisal of the evidence
  • Audit of practice including organisational or clinical
  • Review and implementation of evidence-based practice
  • Qualitative or quantitative research (formal research involving human subjects is not anticipated)
  • Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal
  • Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment
Learning Outcomes
  1. To develop a critical and systematic extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of the application of research methodologies, and an ability to frame a research proposal
  2. To develop a systematic extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of how to report research results in written format to an academic and/or professional audience, and to further develop the student’s capacity for critical analysis and independent thought
  3. Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements or change
  4. Incorporate knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately

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.

Please note that students must complete the Postgraduate Diploma (Year 1) before progressing onto the MSc. While many students apply directly for the MSc, alternatively, you are able to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma as a stand alone course. If you then wish to progress onto the MSc you are able to do so, or you can return at any time afterwards to complete it.

Some students may be able to gain recognised prior learning that allows them to progress immediately to the one year MSc. This will require successful completion of a similar programme at another UK university. Contact us via [email protected] to discuss this further.

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

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, dependant on the module. These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your every day work and practice.

In your second year of study, you will receive guidance and support from your tutor, but will work independently to produce your professional project.

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.

Online Induction Day

Once you have secured your place on the course, you will be invited to an Online Induction Day Webinar. This will give you the opportunity to participate in study skills workshops on Harvard Referencing, scientific and reflective writings, and levels of evidence in preparation for your studies. It is not compulsory for you to attend our Induction Day, but it is recommended as it’ll provide you with a sturdy introduction to the course.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for March 2022: £7,800
Total Course Fees for UK & International
Students for March 2022:

Please Note: These are the fees for the whole two year course.

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Instalments Up-Front Payments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£650 £650
1st May 2022 £650 £7,150
1st July 2022 £650
1st September 2022 £650
1st November 2022 £650
1st January 2023 £650
1st March 2023 £650
1st May 2023 £650
1st July 2023 £650
1st September 2023 £650
1st November 2023 £650
1st January 2024 £650

Deposits are non-refundable

Early Bird Discount Deadline