The University of Southampton

GERO6011 Ageing Health Well-Being (DL)

Module Overview

To provide a foundation of knowledge in the area of social policy, health and well-being in later life. Students will be introduced to key issues and literature concerning the current structure and workings of the welfare state, focusing on the health and social care for older people. They will become familiar with the debates and literature on inequalities in health and the use of health care services in later life; the mixed economy of social care and the role of different providers (state, family, voluntary, private); different models of residential care; needs assessment; and partnership working. The module will examine the relative importance of different factors in the quality of life of older people and how policy can influence these.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are to: • Understand the links between the ageing process and health status, and the health implications of ageing for older people and their carers. • Evaluate critically the factors affecting the health and social care of older people. • Understand and evaluate major national initiatives in social policy for older people; in particular, assess the effectiveness of health and social care policies and initiatives for the quality of life of older people.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Summarise and critically discuss literature
  • Use written communication skills gained through the preparation of assessed coursework
  • Prepare a short PowerPoint presentation on a specific topic


The module will include online lectures on: the contemporary British welfare state focusing on the organisation, finance and delivery of health care and social care; social policy, older people and quality of life; health and well-being in later life; healthy active ageing; inequalities in health and use of health care services; different models of residential care; mixed economy of social care and the role of different providers (state, family, voluntary, private); needs assessment; partnership working; informal carers and work-life balance; the future prospects of long-term care in Britain and the developed world.

Special Features

One or two outside experts are invited to give online guest lectures on particular topics; for example, an academic from other universities researching a particular topic, an international author, a policy analyst, or a senior manager in local government or in the third sector.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module involves lectures and guest lectures from different disciplines. The lectures revolve around the themes of measuring and comparing health, and policy climates of health and social care. Learning activities include lectures, online discussion, tasks and independent study. Expectations for the module: It is expected that students will listen to all lectures in this module. BlackBoard tracking statistics allow module convenors to monitor this. In addition students should aim to read 2-3 of the recommended readings (marked with a star *) for each lecture and participate in the Discussion Board. Following this guidance will improve subject knowledge, increase ability to write well-argued and well-evidenced assignments, and facilitate achieving higher grades. Module communication: Students are welcome to contact module convenors and lecturers through the Discussion Board on Blackboard, in addition to by email. The Discussion Board will be used for communication among module convenors, lecturers, and students. Students are expected to post general questions in the Q&A folder in the Discussion Board. Module convenors will post answers via Discussion Board in order to ensure that all students receive the same level of information regarding to the module. Students are expected to subscribe to the Discussion Board and check Blackboard regularly so that the most updated information is not missed. For any questions concerning privacy, students should always send emails to module convenors. Timely module information will also be posted in the announcements section, and emailed to students. Module participation: The Discussion Board on Blackboard is an important way for students to get to know each other, and receive peer support in the distance-learning environment. Students are invited to post a self-introduction at the beginning of the semester, and to participate in regular discussions during the semester. Each week lecture-triggered discussion questions are posted in the Discussion Board for students' response. The Discussion Board is also used to post links to articles and other media items that relate to the lectures.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Focus on Older People.

Glasby, J. (2012). Understanding Health and Social Care. 

Alcock, P, Erskine, A and May, M (2012). The Student’s Companion to Social Policy. 

Marmot, M, Banks, J, Blundell, R, Lessof, C, and Nazroo, J (2003). Health, Wealth and Lifestyles of the Older Population in England. The 2002 English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. 

Davey Smith, G (ed) (2003). Health Inequalities: Life Course Approaches. 

Module resources will be available on Blackboard, such as lecture PowerPoint slides, audiorecordings of lectures, key readings, coursework details, discussion boards and wikis, references and module updates. Students will be provided with guidance to use . 


Assessment Strategy

Assessment feedback on written work is given in written and verbal format. Formative methods of assessment are used throughout the module in providing students with ongoing feedback on their progress and understanding through group discussions, and question and answer sessions on Blackboard. Summative assessments are also used, focusing on specific evidence of students’ knowledge and practice, in module essays and presentations.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 60%
Presentation  (20 minutes) 40%


Costs associated with this module

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.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


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. Textbooks: Where 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. Software 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. Hardware: Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to already have 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 in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves. Printing and Photocopying Costs: For 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. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. 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). Travel: Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. 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.

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

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