Preventing Dementia (May 2019) MOOC

Course Description

Preventing Dementia is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offering university-quality education about the latest research in dementia risk and protective factors. The free course provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of a global community, without requiring exams or assignments.

With the ageing of the world’s population, dementia is a major public health issue. Is it possible to modify your risk of dementia? A substantial proportion of risk is associated with advanced ageing as well as genetic risk factors, but the latest research has indicated there are modifiable risk factors which may decrease your susceptibility to dementia. The Preventing Dementia MOOC investigates the best available evidence about dementia prevention, drawing on a range of expertise from around the globe.

You will have the opportunity to engage in online discussions, and can also participate in new research in this field, to help us determine the most effective ways to help people reduce their dementia risk. At the end of the Preventing Dementia MOOC, there is also the opportunity to undertake an assessment of your individual risk.

Preventing Dementia is suited to everyone - whether you are an individual with an interest in brain health and/or dementia risk reduction, or an allied health professional, clinician, aged care service provider or health policy professional - this course is designed to be accessible and appealing to people from diverse backgrounds.

To obtain the most from this course, participants should expect to spend approximately 2 hours per week engaging with the content and completing related course activities. The 4 weeks of scheduled content is released weekly and is accessible across 6 weeks in total, with the additional 2 weeks providing time to catch up on (or review), content. After successfully completing the final quiz, participants will be eligible to download a certificate of completion.

Course Outline

Module 1 – Can Dementia Be Prevented?

  • Key concepts in dementia prevention
  • Definition of dementia and introduction to the diseases that cause dementia
  • The impact of dementia across the globe
  • The major non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors for dementia
  • The impact of genetics on dementia risk
  • How dementia risk is measured at individual and population levels

Module 2 – Dementia Risk - It's Not All in Your Head

  • Evidence supporting links between key vascular risk factors and dementia
  • The impact of physical activity and diet on dementia risk
  • The impact of smoking and alcohol on dementia risk

Module 3 – A Healthy and Active Mind

  • Evidence supporting links between key lifestyle factors and risk of dementia
  • Impact of depression on dementia risk
  • Impact of education on dementia risk
  • Concept of ‘cognitive reserve’

Module 4 – Interventions for Prevention

  • Key strategies for prevention at the individual and population level
  • Encouraging healthy behaviours
  • What you can do to reduce your risk of dementia
  • Current research initiatives in dementia prevention
People enrolled in the Preventing Dementia MOOC will have the opportunity to participate in research to help us improve the course, as well as research into developing resources and interventions to help people reduce their risk of dementia. Research participation is completely voluntary and whether you choose to participate or not will not affect your involvement in the MOOC. The research has been approved by the University of Tasmania Social Science Human Research Ethics Committee and more detailed information will be provided within the MOOC. To obtain the most from this course, participants should expect to spend approximately 2 hours per week engaging with the course content and activities for the 4 weeks of the course. The Preventing Dementia MOOC will be of interest to allied and health professionals, aged care service providers, health policy professionals and anybody with an interest in brain health and/or dementia.

If you have other questions about the Preventing Dementia MOOC, please contact us.

No, you do not need any prior level of knowledge, and we hope to provide useful information to people at a range of educational levels. As it is fully online, basic computer skills are required to complete the course. You will also need an email address to sign up for a profile at and enrol in a course. The course content is made available on a week-by-week basis. Otherwise you are free to participate at your own pace. Being unavailable for a few weeks should not be a major problem as long as you can make up the time in other weeks. Engagement into some research projects will only be possible in the first two weeks of the course. Yes, if you complete the entire course, which includes successful completion of the final quiz, you will be able to download a free certificate of completion/participation. Please note that this is an electronic certificate. In response to participant feedback, we are now offering enhanced certificate options for purchase in addition to the free certificate option. The requirements of CPD varies across professions, as well as between countries, where they may be known under other names, such as CEUs. You may have to check with your local training authority for more information.

Enrolment Dates

Enrolment opens:
Enrolment closes:

Course Dates

Course opens:
Course closes:
We acknowledge the palawa/pakana peoples of lutruwita upon whose lands the University of Tasmania stands.

Produced by the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, 2019.

© University of Tasmania, Australia.

ABN 30 764 374 782. CRICOS Provider Code 00586B.

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