July 3rd, 2020

// Post-grad courses in dementia care offer greater chances of career progression, say graduatesMake the leap to higher education and gain deeper understanding and chance to affect real change

Post-grad courses in dementia care offer greater chances of career progression, say graduatesMake the leap to higher education and gain deeper understanding and chance to affect real change
01 July 2020 
 For many professionals working in the dementia care sector, the idea of embarking on a post graduate course while juggling already busy lives might seem daunting but those who have completed the process explain here why going back into education was one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.Busy mum Kate Lester completed her MSc in Dementia Studies last year and urged anyone considering a post-grad course to apply.“I decided to apply for the MSc Advanced Dementia Studies course as my life had hit a plateau. The prospect of being nearly 30, with a soon to be three-year-old son, made me realise I needed to focus on achieving a new goal. I loved my job as a dementia care coordinator, but I wanted to further my knowledge in dementia care practice.“The idea of having to give up work to go and study at University full-time was daunting. The fact the MSc Advanced Dementia Studies course was three years, part-time and distance learning was perfect. The course enabled me to gain confidence in order to not only embrace change but to be the one to make changes within an organisation.“For anyone sitting at home thinking that it’s time they did something for themselves, that they aspire to deliver person-centred care to people living with dementia, or that they just want a new challenge, my advice would be to apply.”Mother-of-two Analisa Smythe, 47, pictured, from Tewksbury, studied for her PhD over seven years while working as a research nurse in Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. Completing her PhD enabled her to apply for a position as a research matron at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.She completed her studies remotely and praised the level of support offered at the University.“I got to the stage in my career where I felt like I needed to complete a PhD. I already had a masters but this was about making the transition from following other people’s research to creating my own. It took seven years but the PhD, it was well worth it.”They are not alone – read these graduate blogs about the benefits of MSc and other post-grad courses.Now the University of Bradford is urging more healthcare professionals to consider enrolling on a post-graduate course at its Centre for Applied Dementia StudiesMurna Downs, Professor in Dementia Studies in the Faculty of Health Studies, said: “If you have an ambition to achieve something, it’s then only a matter of getting effective and tailored support. It’s not just a personal gain when you do an MSc or PhD, it’s a bonus for society and the community and your professional group because they rate the gain.”The Centre for Applied Dementia Studies is one of the UK’s leading centres for psychosocial research into living well with, and caring well for, people with dementia and their families. It has over 20 years experience of high quality pioneering research underpinned by the values of person-centred care. Its Doctoral Training Centre is one of eight specialist doctoral training centres around the country, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, as part of its investment in future research leaders.Contact us: The Centre for Applied Dementia Studies runs an MSc Advanced Dementia Studies distance learning course and welcomes potential PhD students.The Centre aims to build research capacity in dementia, creating the future leaders that dementia research needs.  FACTFILEThe Centre for Applied Dementia Studies has over 20 years of knowledge and experience in delivering dementia education and training and was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2016 for excellence in Higher and Further dementia educationIt offers part-time distance learning programmes, available to study from anywhere in the worldThe Person-Centred Care model was pioneered at the University of Bradford in the 1990s by the late Professor Tom Kitwood and is still evolving – the model is widely accepted nationally and internationally and embedded in policy such as National Institute of Clinical Excellence GuidelinesOur observational measure and practice development methodology is called Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) – since 2008, 3,616 practitioners have been trained in DCM in the UK and a further 3,189 internationally. DCM is endorsed by the National Audit OfficeThe University also involves ‘Experts by Experience’, who are people living with dementia and carersJune 30
Pictures: Analisa Smythe, post-grad from the University of Bradford and against green background: Murna Downs, Professor in Dementia Studies in the Faculty of Health Studies

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