The programme aims to provide you with:
- critical appreciation of key theoretical perspectives in gerontology and their application to the analysis of issues concerning ageing and the life course
- understanding of contemporary debates in gerontology surrounding the lives of older people, their families and societies in developed and developing countries
- the ability to evaluate policies and initiatives concerning population ageing, welfare provision and quality of life of older people, their families and carers
- competence in qualitative and quantitative research methods and their application to key research questions
- the ability to design and conduct independent research in gerontology using appropriate research methods
- preparation for a career in the field of gerontology and applied health and social sciences
Examples of dissertation topics undertaken by students on this programme in the past:
- Life satisfaction and purpose in life: An exploration into the relationship between life course factors and volunteering in retirement.
- How can the Mental Capacity Act (2005) be more effectively embedded into practice in the provision of health and social care for older people with dementia in the UK?
- Finding a way through the ‘maze’: Information and advice seeking among informal carers for older people.
- The impact of internal migration on intergenerational relationships and on the well-being of rural left-behind elders in China.
Typical entry requirements
We welcome applications from students holding, or expecting to hold, an upper second-class honours degree or higher, or equivalent.
Students without the usual entry qualifications may be admitted, with the requisite approval, on the basis of relevant work experience or professional qualifications. Mature applicants without formal qualifications but with relevant experience are also welcomed and will be considered.
For all applications, two academic references are required. Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications until we have received both references.
English language requirements
If your first language or language of education is not English, we will ask you to show evidence of fluency in the use of English. For all of our postgraduate programmes we require a level of IELTS 6.5. For details of other English language tests which we accept, please see the International students section of our website where you will find a list of approved tests.
If you require further English language tuition before commencing your programme with us, you may apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses which are run by the Centre for Language Study.
This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about
entry requirements and qualifications for your country.
Typical course content
Full-time students take three modules per semester, six in total by the end of the second semester. The dissertation is submitted by the end of September of that year.
Students on the part-time programme take two compulsory modules and one option module in each year of the studies. The dissertation is conducted in the second year and normally submitted by the end of December in year two. Please contact us for further details.
For students who already have advanced quantitative research skills, alternative modules may be offered: STAT6076 Survey Data Analysis 20 CATS (10 ECTS); or STAT6080 Modelling Multilevel Data 10 CATS (5 ECTS) plus STAT6078 Modelling Longitudinal Data 10 CATS (5 ECTS).
Students on the face-to-face programme can take up to two modules by distance learning. For more information on distance learning modules, please click here.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage
of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide
View the full list of course fees
Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are
listed for UK,
EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course
Explore funding opportunities
Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you
through your course.
Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or
your country of origin.
These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.
Costs associated with this course
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
|Stationery||You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.|
|Books||Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books. Students on the DL programme receive key textbooks as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of the programme via post.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.|
|Equipment||IT: Software licences - Licenses relating to software used in the programme (eg. SPSS, NVivo) are purchased by the University, and students can download them from the iSolutions website using their username and password.|
|Equipment||IT: Hardware - Students have access to workstations in the Hartley Library and in Computer rooms around the campus. Students may wish to purchase their own laptop/PC/tablet.
Distance Learning: PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard. Headphones are sent to the Distance Learning students via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme.|
|Printing and copying||For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays, projects and dissertations) is submitted online. However, for some modules outside Gerontology, there are some items where students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/services/follow_me_print_for_students/faq.php#594.
Distance Learning: For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays, projects and dissertations) is submitted online. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. How to Guides) via the post at the beginning of their programme, as part of their tuition fees.|
|Conference expenses ||Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any associated accommodation and travel costs (as well as any conference registration fees).|
|Other||Students on the MSc Gerontology (DL) programme who are in receipt of Commonwealth scholarships are invited to attend a 4-day Residential Course in Southampton, for which the travel, accommodation and basic subsistence costs are covered as part of their Scholarship.|
|Other||Parking: For students not residing in Southampton, paid parking is available on the University campus. Maps of the campuses can be downloaded from at:
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.