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Ageing and Dementia Studies Professional Doctorate


Course facts

  • Name: Ageing and Dementia Studies
  • Qualification: Professional Doctorate
  • Duration: full-time 5 years; part-time 7 years

The Professional Doctorate as a distanced learning pathway with e-learning modules seeks to offer an alternative route for advanced practitioners in the UK and overseas to gain an applied doctoral-level qualification and consolidate both their learning and expertise, as well as gain new insights and theoretical perspectives. It builds on contemporary research evidence underpinning applied practice, health behaviour and health related policy in relation to dementia care from the disciplines of mental health and health and social care management.

The Professional Doctorate is aligned with contemporary UK and Wales-based policy imperatives guiding the development of dementia care and responds to the educational requirements of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and other NHS organisations in the UK. The Professional Doctorate provides a distanced learning pathway with e-learning modules and access to the Research Summer School to provide a flexible mode of learning, involving partnership with the student’s host organisation. It also provides a range of exit awards that provide opportunities for tailoring a bespoke programme of postgraduate education for clinicians and those seeking development towards the Professional Doctorate.

Main aims of the programme:

To provide students with a rigorous framework for the development and synthesis of empirical, professional and organisational knowledge linked to ageing and dementia as the basis for the development of enhanced health and social care services. 

Intended programme outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of specific issues at the forefront of theory and practice in students’ professional fields linked to ageing and dementia that enables them to critically evaluate research and provide possible alternative hypotheses.
  • A comprehensive understanding of relevant research and scholarly approaches applicable to practice and service improvement linked to ageing and dementia, with an informed knowledge of how the results of this application may improve health and social care practice and develop research ideas/policy.
  • The intellectual capability to advance practice through research and scholarly activity.

Subject-specific skills

  • Effectively articulate the concepts and the context of their professional work.
  • Select appropriate methods for advancing thinking within the context of health and social care practice and services linked to ageing and dementia.
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for planning practice and service improvement activities, monitoring implementation activity and evaluating impact linked to ageing and dementia.
  • Acquire the transferable skills and qualifications relevant to progress towards their proposed career pathway.
  • Effectively articulate the concepts and the context of their work linked to ageing and dementia.
  • Resolve complex organisational and practice issues within the context of the workplace, taking into consideration budgetary, political, strategic, ethical and social issues linked to ageing and dementia.

Cognitive (thinking) skills

  • Provide a level of critical thinking that develops and advances new ideas
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct a critical enquiry synthesising theoretical, empirical, professional and ethical perspectives.

Key skills

  • Develop transferable skills commensurate with the Research Councils' Joint Statement on Training Requirements for research students.
  • Adopt high-level skills in identifying and enhancing personal and professional leadership capacity.

‘Ageing & Dementia@Bangor’/Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC).

The research activity embedded in ‘Ageing & Dementia@Bangor’/DSDC which has a particular focus on resilience and the importance of evaluating and developing health and social care in ageing as well as dementia. In particular, it includes a representation of dementia and ageing within a family and network context. As part of the research centre there is a vibrant group of postgraduate research projects examining a wide range of areas linked to ageing and dementia, ranging from developing compassionate dementia care in healthcare practice, to exploring how best to improve discharge from hospital into care homes.  

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

Core modules: 

(Postgraduate Cert) 60 Credits

  • e-Research (20 Credits)
  • Social networks and communities for Health and Wellbeing (20 Credits)
  • Successful Ageing, Resilience and wellbeing (20 Credits)

 (Postgraduate Dip) 60 Credits

  • Creative Approaches to Ageing (20 Credits)
  • Positioning Dementia Care (e) (20 Credits)
  • Evidence for Improvement (20 Credits) 

Optional Selection (60 Credits):

  • Managing transitions and Rehabilitation (20 Credits)
  • Communication in Dementia Care (e) (20 Credits)
  • Managing complex transitions (e)(20 Credits)
  • Culturally Sensitive Care (e) (20 Credits)
  • Advancing Professional Knowledge (20 Credits)
  • Introduction to Health Economics (20 Credits)
  • Trials in complexity (20 Credits)
  • Basic Trial Design (20 Credits)
  • Applied Evaluation and review (20 Credits)

Additional Exit Award

If students wish to exit the programme rather than complete the Doctorate Professional the relevant exit award will be to complete a dissertation option: MSc in Ageing and Dementia Resilience (60 Credits)


Entry Requirements

Students will be expected to be working in a role which has the capacity to support achievement of the course aims and objectives, and to be able to demonstrate organisational support.

Admission by undergraduate degree

Successful completion of Bachelor degree (minimum 2:ii) with significant experience in health service development. Students will be expected to be working in a role which has the capacity to support achievement of the course aims and objectives, and to be able to demonstrate organisational support.

Admission by Experience: Mature student status

A candidate may be considered for acceptance provided that they have relevant work experience and have strong references and personal statement. Usually, under such circumstances, the candidate would be invited for an interview where circumstances allowed (e.g. face-to-face, Skype, telephone).

English Language Requirement 

IELTS: 6.5 (with no element below 6.5) is required.

International Students

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email


Application advice

Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.

Applying for a self-funded or externally-funded Research Degree

As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/Mphil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.

All PhD/Mphil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/Mphil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.

Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/Mphil research proposal.

At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/Mphil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.

Your research proposal

A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:

  1. Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
  2. Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
  3. Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
  4. Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.

More advice about preparing a research proposal

Applying for funded PhD studentships advertised by Bangor University

Funded PhD studentship opportunities arise frequently throughout the year, and are advertised as specific opportunities for which you must formally apply. The application process for funded PhD studentships may differ according to the academic School in which the studentship opportunity is held, so please check the relevant School’s homepage and follow the application advice therein. If you are unsure of any part of the application process, please contact the individual School for advice, or e-mail

Online applications can now be made by prospective applicants for all postgraduate taught programmes and postgraduate research programmes at the University (with the exception of the PGCE, Diploma in Occupational Therapy and DClinPsy).

Home/EU students

Apply Online here...

Apply online

  • Please read through the Guidance Notes before you begin the online application form
  • Apply online yourself through our online application system.

Home/EU students with admissions queries please contact...

Postgraduate Admissions:, telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717 or write to:

Postgraduate Admissions Office.
Academic Registry
Bangor University
Gwynedd UK
LL57 2DG

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here.  For further guidance click here

International students with admissions queries please contact...

International Education Office: or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When do I Apply?

The University will accept applications throughout the year. We would generally advise that you submit your application in enough time for you to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application.This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer (e.g. in the case of overseas students, taking an IELTS or TOEFL test to meet the English Language requirement).


Funded opportunities may be available for some students to enter this programme. Please contact the School for further information.

Further information

Contact us

Dr Sion Williams, Course Leader /


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