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Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies

Course Introduction

Population ageing is transforming Australian and global societies. As our societies move towards having more older adults than children and younger people in the population, it is integral that our social services and infrastructures are reimagined and redesigned to support this growing demographic. This includes new workplace and career opportunities that we are only beginning to imagine. To best prepare our society and community for this significant demographic and social change, we need new interdisciplinary ways of thinking.

To meet the needs of creating a skilled workforce in ageing, the internationally recognised Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre has created the Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies; a new undergraduate degree to explore the contemporary issues relating to ageing, aged care, and dementia in Australia, and to skill a workforce for now and into the future. This specialised, comprehensive, and evidence-based degree will help you to develop your analytical, critical, and translational skills through an interdisciplinary approach which draws upon the knowledge and expertise of our recognised scholars in fields including nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, and sociology, to prepare you to deepen and develop your skills in working with and for older adults.

Duration: Bachelor Degree – 24 units
Study Load: Full-time or Part-time
Intake: February and July
Study mode: Predominantly online (with some on-campus workshops) / Australia only
Entry requirements: ATAR 65 or equivalent

Why study ageing and dementia?

As the range of careers working with an ageing population and older adults increases, so too will the demand for knowledgeable experts in ageing, aged care, and dementia. The Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies will provide you with this specialist knowledge through our evidenced-based curriculum, as well as leadership skills that will place you at the forefront of creating a more inclusive society for older adults. As such, you can be part of the change towards improving infrastructure and service delivery to best meet the needs of an ageing population. This degree will provide you with the specialised knowledge of ageing, aged care, and dementia. This makes our degree ideal for those currently working with older adults and in the aged care sector, as well as those eager to be part of an expanding industry, addressing the needs of this diverse population.

The Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies is offered primarily online, with on-campus skill building workshops introduced from the second year of the degree. It will develop skills to work collaboratively and to lead and disseminate knowledge and evidence-based practice on ageing and aged care, particularly person-centred care. You will develop leadership and management skills in navigating the trajectory of the needs of older adults and of aged care across complex health and social systems within Australia, as well as learn about evidence translation, policy, quality, and governance. You will graduate with a deep understanding of ageing and dementia, the needs of older adults, and the aged care system in Australia. This will include appreciation and awareness of the impact of the biological and social aspects of ageing across diverse community groups, and the importance of quality-of-life and fostering the rights and dignity of older adults and our ageing population.

About the course

The Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies covers contemporary issues relating to aged care and dementia in an ageing Australia. You will develop skills to work collaboratively with others, and how to in navigate the trajectory of aged care needs across complex health and social systems within Australia. You will also learn about evidence translation, policy, quality and governance. Through this course, you will develop skills to become a leader for an ageing Australia, and the needs of older adults. The degree is only available in Australia and is offered primarily online, with intensive on-campus skill-building workshops from second year.

Your Course Coordinator: Dr Peta Cook

Dr Peta Cook is a Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. She is a sociologist who focuses on the individual, social, and structural elements of ageing. As such, she is interested in how our social systems and social attitudes towards ageing and older adults influence the ageing process, as well as the acceptance and practice of discrimination. As such, Dr Cook is interested in the drivers and consequences of ageism, as well as how to make our communities more inclusive and respectful.

She has wide expertise and extensive experience in qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, observation, discourse analysis, and arts-based approaches (particularly photography). Experienced at sole and collaborative research, Dr Cook frequently works in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary teams, as well as with community groups.

Fees: Full Bachelor Degree: A$24,750 (A$8,250 per full-time year)

HECS-HELP loans are available – for further information visit: https://www.utas.edu.au/fees

Course structure

Full course structure information is available here.  You will study majors in Dementia Care and Ageing and Aged Care. From 2nd year there will be the intensive on-campus workshops for several units. They will be offered at UTAS campuses.

You can download unit structure diagram here.

Year one: Core Units

  • Introduction to Ageing, the Brain and Dementia
  • Principles of Supportive Care for People with Dementia
  • Health Services for an Ageing Population
  • Introduction to Therapeutic Approaches for Dementia
  • Social Constructs of Ageing
  • Chronicity and Multimorbidity
  • (Plus one breadth unit and one elective unit)

Year two: Core Units

  • The Neurobiology of Dementia
  • Preventative and Therapeutic Approaches in Dementia Care
  • Principles of Palliation in Dementia Care
  • Dementia Policy and Care Coordination
  • Navigating the Aged Care System
  • (Plus one breadth unit and one elective unit)

Year three: Core Units

  • Qualitative Research in Aged and Dementia Care
  • Advanced Topics in Dementia Care
  • Translating Evidence into Dementia Care
  • Dementia Friendly Societies
  • Policy and Governance in Ageing and Aged Care
  • Advanced Topics in Ageing and Aged Care
  • Leadership in Aged Care
  • Social Innovation in Ageing and Aged Care

Career outcomes

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies, you will be an emerging and contemporary leader at the forefront of a social change into how older adults are viewed, supported, and cared for in contemporary Australia.  There are numerous current and emerging careers that are important in supporting an ageing population. You could work in a variety of roles including:

  • Advocacy or advisor in ageing or aged care
  • Aged care assessor
  • Aged care educator or trainer
  • Care advisor
  • Care coordination
  • Care services
  • Case manager
  • Community care
  • Community development and support
  • Community educator or trainer
  • Facility management
  • Healthy ageing advisor
  • Policy development
  • Positive ageing support officer
  • Residential aged care
  • Services manager and support
  • Support planner
  • Support worker

Numerous careers involve directly working with older adults. Some of these include:

  • Community development officer
  • Registered nurse
  • Enrolled nurse
  • Community nurse
  • Social worker
  • Physiotherapist
  • Speech pathologist
  • Social researcher
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational therapist
  • General practitioner
  • Medical specialist
  • Pharmacist
  • Allied health practitioner

Graduates may also work in a non-direct care environment, such as assessors, case managers, trainers, or policy developers.