The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Ageing/GerontologyPart of Social SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning)

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. The MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme specialises in ageing and its policy implications in China, South-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and an applied understanding of policy and programme evaluation worldwide.

Introducing your degree

Understanding the challenges associated with ageing, and assessing academic and policy evidence in this area, are critical skills for employees in a range of professional environments. The MSc in Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning) introduces you to the study of ageing at a global level, and equips you with critical skills in conducting the evaluation of policies relating to older people's wellbeing.

This programme will also allow you to specialise in ageing in particular contexts such as sub-Saharan Africa, China and South-east Asia. Enrolling on the MSc in Global Ageing and Policy can open doors to a range of careers in policy-related, medical or caring professions.


The programme aims to provide you with: 

  • critical appreciation of the key theoretical perspectives within Gerontology and their application in the analysis of specific issues concerning ageing and the lifecourse
  • understanding of contemporary debates within Gerontology concerning the lives of older people, their families and society, in both developed and developing countries 
  • specialised learning of ageing and its policy implications in less developed regions of the world 
  • competence in qualitative or quantitative research methods and their application to key research questions
  • critical skills in the evaluation of policies and programmes in ageing societies
  • ability to design and conduct independent research within Gerontology using appropriate research methods
  • preparation for a career in the field of Gerontology and applied health and social sciences
View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

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

  • The impact of the challenges caused by parenting orphans and vulnerable children to the health and economy of the older people in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Quality of care provided to people living with dementia by health care workers: A case study of a psychiatric hospital.
  • A comparison of older persons social pensions schemes in sub-Saharan Africa: Impact and challenges.
  • Challenges faced while caring for older person with dementia in residential care in Nairobi, Kenya: A caregivers’ perspective.
MSc in Global Ageing

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

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.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent 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.

Year 1

Students select to study either GERO6014 or GERO6015.

Students must select to study GERO6024 or GERO6027.

In addition, students select one or more of the following, amounting to 20-40 CAT points:

GERO6011, GERO6022, GERO6023, GERO6024, GERO6027

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).

Fees & funding

Tuition 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 name.

View the full list of course fees


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.

Explore funding opportunities

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 University:

StationeryYou 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.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available electronically 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.
EquipmentSoftware Licenses- 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.
EquipmentHardware- Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to access to a 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 copyingFor all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. Module Outlines) 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 accommodation cost associated (as well as any conference registration fees).
TravelWhere students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated.
OtherAnything else not covered elsewhere- Students on the MSc Gerontology (DL) or MSc Global Ageing and Policy (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.

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

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Distance learning offers flexible learning with high quality teaching

Distance learning

Distance Learning programmes offer you the opportunity to study the su...Find out more

Share this courseFacebookGoogle+TwitterWeibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.