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Social Sciences: Ageing/GerontologyPart of Social SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Gerontology (Research)

Gerontology is the study of ageing at the individual and societal levels. It examines the changes humans undergo as they age, as well as the impact of growing proportions of older people on social institutions, labour markets, welfare systems and families. It investigates the relationships between generations and the interconnections between our older and younger selves. Insights are taken from social policy, demography, sociology, biology, healthcare sciences, psychology and economics. Gerontology is thus a fundamentally interdisciplinary subject which leads to a fascinating variety of careers.

Introducing your degree

How can societies harness the potential created by an ageing population for the benefit of families and individuals alike? The MSc Gerontology (Research) introduces you to the study of ageing combined with a strong emphasis on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

This programme, which is eligible for funding through the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, will equip you with critical skills in evidence production and analysis, which can contribute to a career in local or national government, or to further postgraduate studies.

Programme Overview

In addition to the standard PG Cert/PG Dip/MSc Gerontology, a specialised research pathway is offered, leading to the award MSc Gerontology (Research). This incorporates a more substantial compulsory research methods training element (amounting to 60 CATS or 30 ECTS). The MSc Gerontology (Research) specialist research pathway has received research training (RT) recognition by the ESRC, which fits well for students wishing to progress to MPhil/PhD postgraduate training.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

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

Key Facts

Examples of dissertation topics undertaken by students on this programme in the past:

  • What is the current care home funding system in England, and how could it be improved in order to make the system fairer and more sustainable? An in-depth review of the literature.
  • Are Social Pensions Effective? A Critical Review of the Literature.
  • The Role of Devised Theatrical Performance In Facilitating Public Engagement with Lived Experiences of Ageing: A Case Study.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

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 equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

The six modules taken on this research pathway are compulsory; there are no optional modules.

Students on the part-time programme take three compulsory modules in year one, and three in year two. Please contact us for more information.

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 or website).

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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