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Master of Dementia Program

Our Master of Dementia course provides a global perspective on the impact of dementia on individuals and societies.  It is aimed at graduates and professionals currently working within, or building their expertise in, a field related to dementia.

HECS-HELP Loans Available

Course Overview

The Master of Dementia Program provides a global perspective of this key public health area. It offers a Graduate Certificate in Dementia, a Graduate Diploma of Dementia and a Master of Dementia.

This program is aimed at graduates and professionals currently working within, or building their expertise in, a field related to dementia. The rising prevalence of dementia is creating new challenges and a pressing need for change in the way our systems and practices support people who live with dementia - equip yourself with the expertise to lead transformation, based on the latest evidence.

The courses offer a comprehensive understanding of dementia from the perspectives of individuals, families, communities, health care systems and governments, and cover the neurobiology of dementia, including pathology, biomarkers and therapeutics.

Join an international community of highly motivated professionals in our postgraduate dementia program.


Graduate Certificate in Dementia (4 units – full-time 6 months or part-time equivalent)

Graduate Diploma of Dementia (8 units – full-time 12 months or part-time equivalent)

Master of Dementia (11 units – full-time 18 months or part-time equivalent)

Study Load: Full-time or Part-time
Intake: February (full-time or part-time)
July (part-time only)
Study mode: Fully online, available for Australian and international students
Entry requirements: Any completed bachelor degree

About the program

Our postgraduate courses focus on four core disciplines: neurobiology, public health, health care systems and policy, and health and social support for living with dementia. It is fully online, and available for Australian and international students.

An international perspective threads all units with global examples and statistics, including national approaches to common problems as well as cross-cultural and indigenous people’s views and experiences. Learn about best practice dementia-healthy communities around the world and how you can implement transformative change in your workplace or personal context. Your personal perspectives will be highlighted throughout the course in assessments which link acquired knowledge to individual contexts, making the program relevant and up-to-date.

Our Master of Dementia Program offers a Graduate Certificate in Dementia, a Graduate Diploma of Dementia and a Master of Dementia. This flexible, fully online program features modular content suitable for a wide range of study approaches. It is easy to navigate and accessible across a range of devices.

"Thank you for all the support during this unit, the learning and depth of knowledge imparted has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I feel so inspired and prepared to go forth and speak out with evidence and compassion".
Leanne, Graduate Certificate student 2019

Your Course Coordinator:
Dr Kathleen Doherty

Kathleen Doherty convenes the Wicking Dementia Centre’s Translational Research group which focuses on education, care and community engagement. She is responsible for delivering the program of research which centres on our massive open online courses and growing knowledge, changing attitudes and behaviours through education and building dementia literacy. She contributes to the
education program through the Master of Dementia.


This course is Commonwealth Supported for domestic students and HECS-HELP loans are available.
International student tuition fees are payable on acceptance into the course.

Total Course Fee (international students): $ 20,410 AUD *. Course cost based on a rate of $13,450 AUD per standard, full-time year of study (100 credit points). * Please note that this is an indicative fee only.

Domestic students studying this course can be provided with a Commonwealth Supported Place, allowing for access to HECS-HELP loan. For more information please visit the StudyAssist website.

Detailed tuition fee information for domestic students is available at the Domestic Student Fees website, including additional information in relation to a compulsory Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).

Domestic students enrolled in certain postgraduate coursework programs may not be eligible for student payments through Youth Allowance and Austudy. Visit the Department of Social Services website to find out more about eligibility for Centrelink support and the list of eligible courses.

Course structure

Core domains
  • Health and Social Care in Dementia
    Explores a range of approaches aimed at supporting people living with dementia to maintain healthy lives. Critical factors in quality of life, such as assessment, intervention and therapeutics, communication, and social and care environments, are used to support a human rights-based approach to meeting the needs of people living with dementia.
  • Neurobiology of Dementia
    The function and dysfunction of the brain are examined to provide a deep understanding of the diseases which cause dementia. The roles of disease biomarkers in diagnosis and therapeutic evaluation are reviewed, along with the strengths and weaknesses of current laboratory-based and clinical research in these areas.
  • Policies and Systems in Dementia
    The needs of people with dementia are highlighted in an examination of the ways that health care systems and government policy affect health and social care provision. In particular, the ways that different policies and systems can affect the experiences of people living with dementia, and the people who care for them.
  • Public Health and Dementia
    The evidence for dementia prevention, and the rise of dementia-friendly communities, are examined in the context of public health strategy aimed at reducing dementia incidence through health education, behaviour change, awareness raising and adapting public spaces and facilities to accommodate the needs of people living with dementia.
  • Research in Dementia
    At the Graduate Diploma level, all units engage with the primary research literature in their respective fields, and a dedicated unit examines research techniques in the major domains. At the Master’s level, a major project unit allows the student to explore a topic of particular interest at greater depth.

Where it can take you

It is estimated that there were 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2015 and this number will reach 131.5 million in 2050 (Alzheimer’s Disease International).

This program will enable you to provide best practice care, advice and strategies to drive change in meeting and anticipating the needs of people living with dementia in your context.

You will possess the skills and critical faculties to identify and evaluate primary evidence, international and local practices and appropriate resources to inform your professional and personal dealings to support decision making, policy recommendations and care decisions.

Career outcomes

The Master of Dementia program provides students with an in-depth understanding of dementia and its impact on individuals, societies and governments. Graduates will possess the skills and critical faculties to identify and evaluate primary evidence, international practices and appropriate resources to inform their professional and personal dealings in meeting and anticipating the needs of people with dementia. As expectations increase around quality of care, and decision making, affecting people living with dementia, a variety of opportunities may become available for those with advanced studies in dementia. Refer to the specific units available at each exit point for further details.

We anticipate career outcomes that utilise skills around direct care and/or indirect care roles, depending on the background of Masters student. These may include:

  • Senior manager roles, coordinator roles or operational management positions for residential care or community facilities
  • Government or private roles focusing on designing and implementing policy and governance
  • Roles that lead, inform and design practice around care
  • Senior clinical roles and clinical leadership roles (for students who have a health-professional background, for example for nurses who complete the Masters program)

All students and alumni of the Master of Dementia program will be able to share their knowledge via online professional communities of practice, hosted by the Wicking Dementia Centre and available to them indefinitely after graduation.