The University of Southampton
Courses

GERO6013 Researching Ageing Societies (DL)

Module Overview

Students will gain an understanding of the individual, social, economic and political implications of population ageing by examining substantive and research methods issues around ageism, discrimination and exclusion; changing family forms and diverse lifestyles; they will investigate the contributions of older people such as their social and economic participation, and caregiving in later life; and gain an appreciation of the diverse meanings and experiences of ageing over the lifecourse by examining ageing through the lenses of ethnicity, gender, socio-economic group and sexual identity, and discussing the methods, data and ethical implications of conducting empirical research on such issues.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to (i) engage students in a critical debate on the transformations, challenges and potentials that ageing societies face and to (ii) discuss the research methods, data and ethical implications involved in contemporary research of older people. Thus the module will combine critical assessment of contemporary issues relevant to ageing societies with the discussion of the application of quantitative and qualitative research methods to researching older people.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss contrasting viewpoints on key contemporary issues in ageing societies and critically evaluate the evidence for them.
  • Identify and discuss the methods, data and ethical implications of researching substantive issues concerning ageing and older people
  • Draw upon theoretical perspectives in Gerontology and apply them to real world social and economic issues impacting upon the lives of older people.
  • Locate relevant literature and published data.
  • Present a design of a research project orally (presentation) and demonstrate understanding of methods for researching ageing societies in writing (essay) in a clear and succinct way, drawing on qualitative and numerical evidence, and referencing your sources correctly.
  • Gain written communication skills through the preparation of assessed coursework.
  • Develop skills in preparing a PowerPoint presentation of a project proposal on a specific topic

Syllabus

The module will include online lectures on: critical consideration of the quantitative and qualitative research methods, secondary data sources and ethical issues concerned with researching older people in society; issues around diverse lifestyles in later life and their implications for old-age support; poverty and social exclusion in old age; ageing in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society; researching ‘hard to reach’ groups; conducting research in care homes; how ageing is structured by gender and ethnicity; work and retirement; negotiation of social care; and end of life care and dying. The module will also include a session on ‘Tips on Writing a Project Proposal’.

Special Features

One or two experts are invited to give online guest lectures on particular topics; for example, an academic with expertise in researching a particular topic.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: Online lectures, tutor-led discussion boards. Learning activities include: Online lecture and tutor-led triggers for discussion boards, student discussion boards, and independent study. Assessments: 1 essay assignment and 1 individual PowerPoint presentation (accompanied by audio commentary and handout)

TypeHours
Independent Study176
Teaching24
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Phillips, J. et al (2010). Key Concepts in Social Gerontology. 

Dannefer, D. and Phillipson, C. (eds) (2013). The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology. 

Denscombe, M. (2010). The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects. 

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

Vincent, J., Phillipson, C. and Downs, M. (eds) (2006). The Futures of Old Age. 

Jamieson, A. and Victor, C.R. (2002). Researching Ageing and Later Life. 

Victor, C. (2005). The Social Context of Ageing: A Textbook of Gerontology. 

Bell, J. (2010). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessment feedback on written work is given in written and verbal format. Students will receive both individualised and generic feedback. Formative methods of assessment are used throughout the module in providing students with ongoing feedback on their progress and understanding through group discussions in discussion board, and question and answer sessions. Summative assessments are also used, focussing on specific evidence of students’ knowledge in module essays.

Summative

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

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Costs

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:

Other

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 www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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