MSc Dementia Care APIMH

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Communication Through Person Centred Practice

Unit code NURS60063
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will offer students the opportunity to specifically focus upon the role of person with dementia and in the assessments that occur within dementia care.
There will be a comprehensive review of communication, its individual components, its relationship to quality of life, and how these may be affected by biological, social, psychological and physical aspects of dementia. Students will be challenged to reflect upon the effectiveness of their own communication, asked to identify barriers to communication at both personal and societal levels, and identify strategies to overcome such barriers.
There will be emphasis placed upon the principles and best practice for assessment and person centred assessment will be explored, analysed and critiqued.


  • Develop students’ critical understanding of the nature and processes of engagement and assessment with people with dementia and their significant others.
  • Critically explore the bio psycho-social and physical contexts of communication in relation to people with dementia.
  • Critically reflect on – and enhance skills in - communicating with people with dementia and with significant others and in relevant aspects of public engagement.
  • Critically consider the impact of communication, engagement and assessment on quality of life and well-being for people with dementia.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of communication processes and how the physical aspects of dementia impact upon the mechanics and processes of communication.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding as to how social and psychological factors that are inherent to the lived experience of dementia impact upon effective communication processes.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the principles which underpin the concept of person-centred assessment.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically appraise relevant communication theory and apply to the field of dementia care.
  • Critically reflect upon barriers to effective communication with and by people affected by dementia including ones own communication processes and apply sound, evidence based arguments as to how barriers may be undermined in order to bring about engagement for the purposes of assessment.
  • Critically analyse and appraise the purposes, principles, practice and implication of commonly used assessment methods.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate skills in effective and sensitive communication with people living with dementia and their significant others.
  • Demonstrate through discussion, debate and opportunities for shared learning, advanced skills in partnership working.
  • Demonstrate the ability to carry out an assessment which is sensitive to the lived experience of people with dementia from a range of social and cultural backgrounds.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communicate effectively and sensitively (verbal, non-verbal, written), develop and utilise IT skills.
  • Demonstrate research and enquiry skills by accessing and analysing literature in order to inform practice and reflect on own academic/clinical performance and utilise strategies to improve these.
  • Develop logical and systematic approaches to problem solving and work co-operatively and effectively with others as a member of a team.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 28
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Helen Pusey Unit coordinator

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