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The University of Southampton

GERO6029 Cognition and Dementia (DL)

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to engage students in a critical debate on the conceptualisation and measurement of cognition, and on the diagnosis, treatment and policy on dementia. Thus the module will provide a critical assessment of evidence relevant to dementia, one of the most common and serious disorders in later life. The module will take an international perspective, providing an understanding of prevalence, treatment and policy on dementia in both the developed and developing world. Students will gain an understanding of the key challenges and debates in diagnosis, treatment, and policy on dementia.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are: • Distinguish between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ ageing from a cognitive perspective. • Discuss dementia and the policy response from an international perspective. • Critically evaluate evidence for best practice in dementia, using data from different countries/regions (e.g. China, India, Africa, UK, USA). • Apply theoretical approaches, e.g. from Gerontology and Psychology, to issues affecting older people with dementia and their carers.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gain written communication skills through the preparation of assessed coursework.
  • Develop critical skills in preparing an evidence review report.


The module will include online lectures covering: normal and abnormal cognitive changes in later life; the different types of dementia; how dementia alters brain physiology; theory of personhood; psychological and pharmacological therapies; how the environment can best be designed for dementia care; informal care and carer burden; policy challenges and how these are responded to around the world; and recent research priorities.

Special Features

One or two outside experts are invited to give online guest lectures on particular topics; for example, an academic from other universities researching a particular topic, an international author, a policy analyst, or a senior manager in local government or in the third sector.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is taught by means of online lectures. The lectures of the module focus on cognition and dementia. Examples from around the world, including developing countries, will be used where relevant. Learning activities include lectures, tasks and problem-solving related to the lectures and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance of each session.

Independent Study88
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Cook, A. (2008). Dementia and Well-Being: Possibilities and Challenges. Policy and Practice in Health and Social Care Series. 

Johnson, M.L. et al. (eds) (2005). Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. 

Krishnamoorthy, E.S., Prince, M.J., & Cummings, J.L. (eds) (2010). Dementia: A Global Approach. 

Woods, R. & Clare, L. (eds) (2008). Handbook of the Clinical Psychology of Ageing. 

Segal, D.L., Qualls, S.H. & Smyer, M.A. (2011). Aging and Mental Health. 

Dannefer, D. & Phillipson, C. (eds) (2013). The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology. 

Innes, A., Kelly, F., & McCabe, L. (2012). Key Issues in Evolving Dementia Care: International Theory based Policy and Practice. 

Stuart Hamilton, I. (2012). The Psychology of Ageing. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Evidence Review  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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