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Practical interventions employing arts-based activities, including music, theatre, dance and visual arts, are increasingly being employed nationally and internationally to improve mood and well-being, physical activity and cognitive processing for people with dementia. Arts-based programs have also been shown to have some capacity to enhance communication of emotions and relationships with carers. This unit will explore the evidence-based research on the benefits that can be conferred through the stimulation of sensory perception, reminiscence and subconscious movement using music, theatre and visual arts. These will be dealt with in three separate modules. Students will develop knowledge of the evidence-based literature for interventions employing music, theatre, dance and visual arts, and each module will also provide an introduction to key elements of successful program design and the range of activities that can be employed.

Summary 2021

Unit name The Arts and Dementia Care
Unit code FXA100
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Creative Arts and Media
Discipline Arts|Music|Theatre

Associate Professor Anne-Marie Forbes

Teaching staff

Level Introductory
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the nature and purposes of a range of arts-based interventions currently used in Dementia Care
  2. Analyse how arts-based interventions can contribute to well-being, mood and cognitive processing for those living with dementia
  3. Use basic research skills and critical facility in evaluation of case studies and resources
  4. Apply formal and informal communication skills and self-reflection to engage in informed debate and complete a range of writing tasks



Teaching Pattern

Fully online


Task 1: Online quizzes (3 x 10%)

Task 2: Report, research assignment (20%)

Task 3: Essay (35%)

Task 4: Discussion form contribution (15%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Hayes, J, Povey, S,The Creative Arts in Dementia Care, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011

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