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Equipping students for the challenges of an ageing population

By 2021, the population of people aged 85 and over in Cornwall will double to more than 22,000, and now more students at Cornwall College than ever before will be able to gain the necessary skills to help meet this challenge.

Cornwall College is launching an innovative new university course, a Foundation Degree in Older Persons' Studies, approved by the University of Plymouth.

The first of its kind in the country, the foundation degree will include study of the physical and psychological changes that take place as we age, giving students the skills to care for older persons in a range of settings.

"This is an issue that affects thousands of us in Cornwall," says Ruth Beretta, Course Manager at Cornwall College. "This course attempts to challenge some of the negative perceptions of ageing and covers strategies which can be adopted for maintaining independence in later life."

Students can specialise in dementia and cognitive dysfunction, rehabilitation or end of life care, depending on which field they work in.

"We have been working very closely with key employers in the region including Cornwall Care, the NHS Trusts and Adult Social Care to ensure the skills our graduates gain are directly applicable in the care setting," Ruth continues.

Ruth Bardell, Education Training Development & Workforce Manager with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly NHS, is enthusiastic about the new course. "The NHS supports this excellent degree course which has given us the opportunity to support staff in their new roles and meet the future needs of patients in Cornwall."

Students will have the opportunity to earn and learn during the course, as many will remain in employment and study part-time. "We've tried to make the course as accessible as possible," explains Ruth. "Students split their time between the college and the workplace, with just one day a week spent on campus. Skills gained through work experience make up a key element so it's ideal for those already employed in the care sector."

Cornwall College is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative, which is part-funded by the Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and which has brought millions of pounds worth of investment in higher education to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"Cornwall College has a wealth of experience of working with employers to meet industry need," says John Latham, Principal of Cornwall College. "This course is another great example of a successful partnership that has helped the development of a valued new training opportunity."

Applications for the course are being taken now. More details are available online at or contact the College on 0845 22 32 567 or email

For more information please contact Lucy Thornton on 01726 226553 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Cornwall College is a partner of the CUC.


Editor's notes:

Cornwall College is the largest college in the UK with over 45,000 students.

Cornwall College has seven campuses in Cornwall, these are Camborne, St Austell, Saltash, Newquay, Duchy College Rosewarne, Duchy College Stoke Climsland and Falmouth Marine School.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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