Social Sciences: Ageing/Gerontology

PG Dip Gerontology (Distance Learning)

The PG Diploma Gerontology (Distance Learning) offers the PG Diploma Gerontology qualification from a distance, and is designed for people who wish to study without travelling to Southampton. The programme is delivered through Blackboard, the University's virtual learning environment (VLE), where all learning resources are available and accessible at all times by students. As for the face-to-face programme, students on the PG Diploma Gerontology (DL) take six modules, which include research methods training.

Programme Overview

The aims of the programme are 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
View the programme specification document for this course

Key facts

  • Full-time: one year
    Full-time students take three modules per semester, six in total by the end of the second semester.

  • Part-time: two years
    Part-time students take three modules in year one, and three in year two.

Useful downloads

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process:

We welcome applications from students holding, or expecting to hold, a British bachelors (honours) upper second-class 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.

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


Typical course content

Students on the part-time programme take three compulsory modules in year one, and two compulsory and one optional module in year two.

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 and teaching

  • Students are expected to prepare oral presentations and to lead discussions, thereby developing their skills in written and oral presentation. Distance learning students develop these skills through a variety of interactive online resources and software programmes.
  • A variety of assessment methods are employed, which include essays, oral presentations, group work, exercises, research reports and the dissertation.
  • All programme modules have their own page on Blackboard.
  • An enhanced version of Blackboard is central to their learning experience, providing comprehensive support and guidance on how to use online resources that are key to the programme. All coursework is submitted through Blackboard.

Facilities provided to students

  • Distance learning students will be given their own university email account and access to a range of software packages and computing support via iSolutions.
  • All students (on all programmes) are provided with a personal tutor who can advise on academic and other university issues, and a dissertation tutor who provides advice and support during independent research. Distance learning students will be able to access specially prepared materials covering these areas on Blackboard.

Technical specification for the distance learning programmes

  • modern computer/laptop with Microsoft Office software package and ability to play Flash media files
  • high-speed internet connection
  • PC headset with microphone

Career Opportunities