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Dementia Skills - funded programme

Short course in dementia skills, for health & social care staff who support people living with dementia


This short course is designed for health and social care staff who care or support people living with dementia and are looking to increase their confidence, understanding and ability to provide person-centered care.  The course combines two face-to-face skills focused study sessions on campus and weekly online learning activities.  Students will learn in our state-of-the art simulation facilities and be supported by our teaching team from the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy & Practice.

The course has been developed in collaboration with Scottish Care, the national voice for the independent care sector in Scotland.  Scottish Care have over 400 member organisations delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services.  This course was developed together to support specialist dementia training for professional health and social care workers working in independent care homes; further information about Scottish Care can be found at


This course will begin online on Monday 10th January. You are not required to attend campus on this date. 

Once registered, participants will be given a course timetable outlining each of the online teaching sessions.


Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at health and social care workers who have regular contact with people living with dementia.  It is suitable for those who have completed a SCQF level 7 in Social Services and Healthcare or equivalent, a PDA in Promoting Excellence at Skilled level or nurses wishing to further develop or refresh their dementia care skills.

Study Level
This course is at Level 8 (second year Bachelor's degree).

Entry requirements
Students must currently be working with people living with dementia.

Course content
This module will increase students’ understanding and skills in providing responsive high quality personalised care to people living with dementia.

This involves developing a clear understanding of a person’s abilities, values, aspirations, interests and tastes, and being open to engaging with the person effectively rather than cognitively.  This style of caring recognises the needs of the whole person and involves preserving the human rights of those affected.

The two study sessions on campus will be skills focused and use a ‘Care Empathia’ approach to support the skills, knowledge and core values needed to deliver dignified high quality fundamental care.  Simulated, experiential and reflective learning will provide an opportunity to enhance skills in supporting people to eat and drink; providing intimate personal care in a dignified way; learning a range of communication strategies; creating positive environments of care; and using positive approaches to care and support.  The aim is to promote excellent dementia care so that the wellbeing of the person living with dementia and their families are supported and they are confident in the people who care and support them.

Students will study for approximately 100 hours over the duration of the programme.  This includes the two study days, directed online learning, self-study and the completion of the portfolio.

When are the study days?

The study days will take place at the Paisley campus or at the Dumfries campus of the University of the West of Scotland. 

The dates for the study days will be:

  • Wednesday 16th February and Wednesday 16th March 2022 (Paisley campus)
  • Thursday 17th February and Thursday 17th March 2022 (Dumfries campus)

Participants are not required to attend campus outside of the above dates. All other teaching will be online. 

The assessed work will be a reflective portfolio. The teaching team will support students to create this portfolio over the duration of the course.

This programme is funded through the UWS Upskilling Fund, supporting organisations to address skills gaps in Scotland.  A registration fee of £50 is required to join the course.

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