Short courses


Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives

  • 2 hours per week (8 hours total)
  • 4 weeks


Creating a society that supports and includes those of us who are living with a dementia is a major challenge - and opportunity. 

This free online course will shape and enrich your perceptions of the dementias and the diverse role of the arts in all our lives.

You'll discover how the arts can create a common ground between people, and learn what we can all do to improve the quality of life and care for people living with different dementias.

Each of the four weeks will showcase current best practice, explain the limits of our current understanding, and set ambitious goals for enhancing the lives of anyone affected by one of these conditions.

This is a FutureLearn MOOC (massive open online course), created in partnership with UCL. It draws on the work of the Created Out of Mind project during its residency at the Wellcome Collection.

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at:

  • people living with a dementia and those helping to care or support someone who is
  • artists and healthcare practitioners working, or thinking about working, in the dementia and arts field
  • students, researchers and commissioners trying to understand the role of arts-based practices in dementia care

Course content

Topics covered by this course include:

  • Seeing the dementias differently through the arts and seeing the arts differently through the dementias
  • How can moments be understood, experienced and measured?
  • Creating common ground: The arts, equality and dementia
  • Language and communication: How can we change the conversation?


The course is delivered online via the FutureLearn platform. You should expect to spend two hours a week studying.

You'll read articles, watch videos, and take part in collaborative and discussion-based activities.

Certificates and assessment

This course is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and is recognised by its CPD recognition scheme.

To receive 8 CPD points and a Certificate of Achievement you'll need to pay to upgrade your access and successfully complete all assessments.

Learning outcomes

This course will help you:

  • explore the emerging landscape for dementias and the arts in which artistic and cultural interventions are now being acknowledged
  • reflect upon a variety of arts-based communication strategies that can be employed to engage with people living with dementias
  • develop a qualitative appreciation of the value of 'in the moment' experiences
  • reflect upon the worth of scientific research in bridging clinical sciences and arts-based practices to further our ability to care for people living with dementias
  • describe the value of creating common ground, and the associated importance of shared experiences, co-creativity and equality
  • investigate the role of language and communication on the perception of dementias
  • apply knowledge to model a broader understanding of the lived experiences of people living with dementias

Course team

Professor Sebastian Crutch

Professor Sebastian Crutch

Seb is Professor of Neuropsychology at the Dementia Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. He's also Director of the Created Out of Mind, a dementia and arts residency at The Hub, Wellcome Collection.

Course information last modified: 27 Jan 2023, 15:30