Lancaster University
Dementia Studies PhD
Lancaster University

Key Course Facts

Course Description

The PhD in Dementia Studies gives the opportunity for individuals with an interest in dementia (either academically or professionally) to undertake advanced study within their chosen field. The course promotes applied and critical thinking around theoretical and practice-based issues related to all aspects of dementia care. This programme is offered on a part-time basis via blended learning and attracts a wide range of UK-based students and international students.

Programme overview

Taught Modules - the current taught modules (subject to change) are:

  • Dementia:

Theoretical approaches to the study of Dementia

Empirical research in this area across a range of topics including risk factors and cognitive impairment

Living with dementia

Research methods to evaluate interventions

  • Undertaking research:

Philosophy of research

Research questions, methods and choices

Qualitative and quantitative data analysis

Diverse evidence synthesis and systematic review

  • Principles of research design and ethical considerations:

The ethical consequences of different research designs and researching in different populations

Principles of research ethics

Writing a research proposal

Ethical approval and Governance procedures.

There are 180 credits of taught modules across years 1 and 2. Please note that students must achieve a minimum 60% weighted average across these taught modules in order to proceed to the research element of the PhD programme (Yr. 3 onwards).


Year 3 and onwards will be spent undertaking a research project and will conclude with the submission of a thesis (35,000 words) that makes an original contribution to knowledge within your area of professional practice and of direct relevance to it. This research project will be supervised from Lancaster University but undertaken in your own location or workplace. Supervisions will be hosted online via MS Teams, plus face-to-face meetings during the annual Autumn Academy.

It is important that students develop a research idea that is within the interests and expertise of academic staff. Before applying we recommend that you explore the Centre for Ageing Research to find out whether we have expertise that matches your area(s) of interest. Currently our academic staff have expertise in the following areas:

Understanding the needs of family and carers and planning interventions to support them

Addressing the needs of older people and improving the provision of care in residential and nursing homes and in other environments, such as hospital wards

Public education and awareness of issues in ageing

Dementia and social care

Dementia, the arts and the environment

Longitudinal data analysis to examine patterns of long-term risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementias

Inequalities and public health impacts for older people, e.g. in minority groups

Key Facts

PhD Dementia Studies is delivered by Blending Learning. Blended learning refers to the methods of interaction between students and course tutors / supervisors on a programme. Teaching and research activities are carried out through a combination of face-to-face and online interaction. The Lancaster-based academies that occur each year give you the chance to meet your programme peers and the academic team. Online interactions use our virtual learning environment and include discussion forums, collaborative digital spaces and video conferencing.

Each of the subsequent academic years start with an optional three-day Autumn Academy at Lancaster University. The remainder of the course is taught online.

Assessment is by a combination of written assignments and the submission of a thesis for examination.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 7.0
    • Graduate Degrees
    • 6.5
    • Undergraduate Degrees
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study Dementia Studies, PhD, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in a relevant subject. We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously. We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.


Average student cost of living in the UK

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of Lancaster University in top UK and global rankings.

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About Lancaster University

Lancaster University was established in 1964 and is located in the rural setting of Lancaster. The campus provides a series of amenities, including banks and a post office. Academically, all of this university’s courses and programmes are accredited and approved by MARP, ensuring that the curriculums delivered here are set at a high standard. In terms of facilities, students have access to a variety of study and recreational spaces intended to improve their wellbeing, such as Meditation and Tai Chi classes, and Woodland walks.

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Where is this programme taught

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