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MSc Specialist Practice Frail Older Adults for Health and Social Care

3 years School of Health and Social Care Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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This Master's is designed to meet the growing need to train more specialists in the demanding and rewarding field of elderly care. It is aimed at graduates and current practitioners looking to further develop relevant skills.

Caring for frail older people, whether it be in the health or social care sector, is highly complex and requires skilled, trained staff who have been given adequate education, training and support. Along with specialist knowledge, strong leadership is required to improve quality and reinforce the values and standards of compassionate care. Providing the education of specialist practitioners to fulfil the role of leadership in care is the fundamental aim underpinning this programme.

How You Study

The programme will consist of University-based lectures and seminars, and individual tutorials with a strong focus on work-based learning.

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study. Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend at least two - three hours in independent study. For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

How You Are Assessed

Assessments are varied and will be tailored to the content of each individual module. The overall curriculum is based on inquiry and problem-based learning. Assessment strategies include oral and written exams, participation in symposia, case studies, simulations including Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), presentations, reflective commentaries and podcasts, as well as a final project.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Interviews & Applicant Days

Shortlisted candidates may be invited to an interview where they will have the opportunity to discuss their application with a small panel formed from the University and relevant local healthcare partner organisation.

Shortlisted applicants will also be required to pass screening processes in terms of professional suitability, professional references and eligibility for funding and sponsor approval.

Entry Requirements

2:1 honours degree. Applicants applying to the programme as a professional must be currently registered with a Professional Statutory Regulatory Body (such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council).

Applicants should normally possess written employer support to undertake the programme.

Applicants should be able to provide evidence of recent academic or professional study, and may be expected to complete a successful interview before a place is offered.

*Please note – Applicants wishing to access optional modules must be aware that specific entry requirements may apply to them. You must be able to meet these requirements for individual modules. For specific details of these requirements, please contact the programme lead.

Acceptance on to this Master’s programme does not guarantee the student a place on individual modules.

All optional modules are subject to and informed by demand for individual modules and running viability.

Key Contacts

Dr Louise Brereton
01522 88 6856


Master's Level

Advanced practice for palliative care (Option)

End of life care is a diverse area of health care that covers a wide range of topics. The module will be primarily focused upon the role of the advanced clinician in the field of palliative and end of life care. This will include consideration of contemporary policy and practice within healthcare including consideration for the ethics of palliation and care. This is combined with an examination of managing patients with complex health and social needs and the role of the clinician in coordinating a multidisciplinary approach to caring for patients and their family with complex end of life care needs.

Best Interests Assessor (Option)

This module is designed to prepare professionals to carry out best interest assessments of individuals residing in local authority and Primary Care Trust premises, and who may be at risk of being deprived of their liberty. For this module there is a minimum requirement of two years’ in-post experience.

Comprehensive Assessment of the Frail Older Adult (Core)

This module aims to deliver the evidence base surrounding comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) and provides students with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required to develop care and support plans to ensure that person-centred care is central to the CGA principles.

Falls in Older People: Assessment, Prevention and Management (Option)

This module aims to provide health and social care professionals with an understanding of contemporary issues and the multifactorial nature of falls in older people, in order to inform and enrich their clinical practice. Students will be encouraged to critically evaluate their own work-based practice and environments by considering the theoretical principles of falls and reflect on how they can be applied to individual areas of practice in health and social care.

Leading Practice in Contemporary Gerontology for Health and Social Care (Core)

This module is aimed at health professionals who wish to gain a broad perspective on contemporary gerontology. It aims to equip health and social care professionals working in the field of frail older people with the knowledge and skills to meet the complex needs of older adults and to foster values-based practice in a variety of health and social care settings.

Older Adult Mental Health (Option)

This module aims to develop practitioner’s knowledge and skills to work proactively and collaboratively with the service user to manage mental ill health in older adults, within their field of professional practice. The module will focus on enabling individuals to take greater control of their care and offering opportunities for better health, through personalised care planning, increased prevention strategies and supported self-care (NHS, 2014).

Students will be expected to independently synthesise and apply their clinical skills and knowledge to the context of their own professional practice.

Prescribing Effectively (Option)

This module focuses on the critical evaluation of the ethical, legal and professional issues associated with all aspects of the prescribing role. Codes of conduct, standards of practice, professional responsibility and accountability are explored in relation to prescribing, in addition to the recognition of the importance of an up-to date knowledge of the current evidence base for practice and implications for students' own on-going professional development.

Prescribing in Context (Option)

This module encourages students to explore the implications of their own and others’ prescribing practice and to consider the health policies, processes and systems which shape and inform the wider context in which they work. The module aims to provide students with the chance to relate the conceptual frameworks and knowledge learned throughout the programme to their own practice area and clinical experience.

It is intended that the practice learning in this module will be used to provide regular opportunities to consolidate some of the concepts and ideas and through observation, evaluation of practice, discussion with colleagues and individual reflection, with the aim of developing practical skills as well as extending knowledge and critical understanding of both pharmacological principles and values associated with safe, appropriate and effective prescribing practice.

Proactive management of long term conditions (Option)

This module aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to proactively support the holistic care and treatment of individuals with long term health and social care needs, within students' own field of professional practice.

The module focuses on enabling individuals to take greater control of their care practices. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of better health and wellbeing, through personalised care planning, increased prevention strategies and supported self-care.

Students will be expected to independently synthesise and apply their clinical skills and knowledge to the context of their own professional practice.

Professional development portfolio (Option)

This module supports the practitioner to reflect upon their achievement to date and plan for their future professional development requirements and activities. The module aims to suit practitioners who wish to reflect upon and consolidate their knowledge and skills gained within the context of their own clinical practice. Students will be expected to independently synthesise and apply their clinical skills and knowledge to the context of their own professional practice.

Promoting Self-Management of Physical Ill Health (Option)

This module aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to support the older adult to manage their own health and care in a variety of settings. It will consider both the factors affecting patient independence and the health care professionals’ own role in encouraging patients to manage their own care.

Reablement (Option)

This module aims to provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills required to holistically support individuals who are in functional decline to both maintain and regain the skills for independent living in a contemporary reablement service.

The module will focus on understanding the range of personalised support services that can be provided under the banner of ‘reablement’. Students will be expected to consider outcomes from different perspectives including outcomes for the individual and the care giver, outcomes for the service provider including the cost effectiveness

Service Evaluation for Clinical Practice (Option)

This module aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to systematically evaluate an area of service delivery within your field of professional practice.

The module will provide you with the opportunity to critically examine current practices and conduct a literature review to find alternative ways of working, based on best evidence. You will then be expected to prepare a proposal for change within your service area.

Service Transformation Project for Frail Older Adult Services (Core)

This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the theory and practice of making a transformation in a clinical service, designed within frail older adult care. Values, culture, organisational imperatives and ethical issues affecting service users, their families and staff will be considered during the module.

The transformation process will include:

  • Identifying an issue or problem in clinical practice
  • Undertaking and reporting a literature review to determine best practice
  • Formulating a plan to introduce a change in practice (consideration for timescale, ethics, culture, human factors (motivation, support, resistance)
  • Proposing to undertake a transformation of a service using the local clinical governance and approval procedures in the healthcare organisation and the University ethical approval process
  • Undertaking a change project using the approved protocol and project plan
  • Evaluating and reporting on the transformation project

The contemporary issues and theoretical principles associated with the undertaking of a service transformation project in frail older adult care will be introduced during a series of sessions at the beginning of the module.

Students will be required to undertake independent study, design and deliver a review of contemporary literature associated with the topic and progress towards completing a service transformation project with support from a member of the module team and their clinical supervisor, line manager and employer.

The Consultation (Option)

This module is designed to assist students in developing a solid underpinning knowledge base in relation to pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, essential for safe, competent prescribing within their own field of expertise and clinical practice. The module investigates the main theoretical perspectives associated with effective consultation, exploring the interpersonal skills required, and promoting the concept of concordance, including shared decision-making and establishing a meaningful partnership with the service user.

Working Well with Dementia (Core)

This is an introductory module that aims to deliver a comprehensive overview of the various types of dementia. It will explore the aetiology, epidemiology, policy context, lived experience and assessment of dementia. This is designed to lay the foundation of a basic understanding of dementia upon which an exploration of interventions and ways of working with dementia can be added.

Career and Personal Development

There is a growing national demand for practitioners across the domains of health and social care to demonstrate specialist knowledge for caring for the increasing numbers of frail older adults in society.

Graduates may go on to work at in statutory, voluntary and independent sector organisations across a range of clinical specialities.

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.