Understanding Dementia (July 2018) MOOC

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

Understanding Dementia is designed to be accessible and appealing to people from diverse backgrounds, including:

  • Health professionals
  • Community and residential facility support staff
  • People in the early stages of the disease, their families and carers
  • Social scientists
  • Health policymakers
  • Individuals with a general interest in dementia

Understanding Dementia addresses the foremost issues surrounding dementia, providing avenues for discussion as well as rich global networking opportunities to engage with this major international health Issue. The course provides knowledge designed to maximise quality of life across the trajectory of dementia for people with the condition, their families and carers.

To obtain the most from this course, participants should expect to spend approximately 3 hours per week engaging with the content and completing related course activities. There are 7 weeks of scheduled content. After completing the final quizzes for all three modules of the course: 'The Brain', 'The Diseases' and 'The Person', participants will be eligible to download a certificate of completion.

Course Outline

A background on basic brain anatomy and function

The Brain

The Brain provides background content on basic nervous system anatomy and function, followed by a discussion of the diseases that cause dementia, current dementia research and future directions.

  • Nervous system anatomy
  • Anatomy with Body Central
  • Pathology of dementia
  • Future directions of dementia research
Explores the differences between dementia and normal ageing

The Diseases

The Diseases explores differences between normal ageing and dementia, risk factors, issues surrounding diagnosis, as well as medical management.

  • Difference between normal ageing and dementia
  • Risk factors for dementia
  • Domains of dementia
  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Younger onset dementia
  • Stages of dementia and focusing support
  • Medical management
The course addresses the difficulties in recognising symptoms, progression and staging of the disease and also what it is like to live with dementia

The Person

The Person addresses difficulties in recognising symptoms, living with dementia, palliation, pain, dementia friendly communities, dementia inclusive design, and non-pharmacological therapies.

  • Insidious onset of dementia
  • Living with dementia
  • Dementia palliation
  • Non-pharmacological therapies
  • Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia
  • Pain and dementia
  • Advanced dementia symptoms and management
  • Dementia friendly communities
  • Dementia inclusive design


This course is provided by the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania. To find out more about the Wicking Dementia Centre please click here.

Anybody, from carers to health professionals and anyone else interested in dementia.

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

Once course content is made available to you as you complete each section, you’re 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. It is expected that most people will need to spend around 3 hours per week of content to complete the course.

You can log on at any time within the time frame of the course. You can complete the course regardless of which time zone you are in or the time of day you wish to dedicate to your learning.

Each of the three modules will be released in sequence. Some people may finish all course materials a few weeks early, while others will spread their learning over the total period.

The requirements of CPD vary 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/regulatory authority for more information.

Yes, if you complete the course (which includes successful completion of each end-of-module quiz), you will be able to download a free certificate of completion. 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.

There is also an opportunity to gain a formal university qualification in the award-winning, fully online and flexible Dementia Care Degree Program, which will assist you in becoming a specialist in this key public health issue.

The Dementia Care Degree Program from the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania, offers you the option to increase and formalise your dementia knowledge, and offers graduation points at a Diploma (after 8 units), Associate Degree (after 16 units) and Bachelor of Dementia Care (after 24 units).

For more information and to apply please visit http://www.utas.edu.au/wicking/bdc/

For participants that have completed the Understanding Dementia MOOC, your certificate is available to download from https://mooc.utas.edu.au/awards .You will be asked to Log in. If your existing password does not allow you to log in, you may need to set a new one. Click on the ‘Forgot your password?' link on the Log in page and follow the prompts to set a new password.

Enrolment Details

Enrolment opens: 2018-05-07T09:00:00+10:00
Enrolment closes: 2018-08-06T17:00:00+10:00

Course Details

Course opens: 2018-07-10T09:00:00+10:00
Course closes: 2018-09-24T10:00:00+10:00
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