The University of Southampton
Courses

GERO6017 Researching Ageing Societies

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to (i) engage students in a critical debate on the transformations, challenges and potentials that ageing societies face and (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. Students will gain an understanding of the individual, social, economic and political implications of population ageing by examining substantive and research methods issues around 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 they will gain an appreciation of the diverse meanings and experiences of ageing over the life course 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 aims of the module are: • to engage students in a critical debate on the transformations, challenges and potentials that ageing societies face; • to discuss the research methods, data and ethical implications involved in contemporary research of older people; • to provide an understanding of the individual, social, economic and political implications of population ageing; • to generate sensitivity towards the diverse meanings and experiences of ageing over the life course.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use oral communication skills developed through participation in student-led discussions
  • Use written communication skills gained through the preparation of assessed coursework
  • Use oral presentation skills developed through the preparation of the assessed presentation of a project proposal

Syllabus

The module will include: 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; 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 guest sessions on particular topics; for example, an academic with expertise in researching a particular topic.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is taught by means of lectures and guest lectures, involving student participation, student presentations, and independent study. Expectations for the module: It is expected that students will attend all lectures weekly. In addition students should aim to read 2-3 of the recommended readings (key readings are marked with a star *) for each lecture, and participate in the Discussion Board as directed by the convenors. Following this guidance will improve subject knowledge, enhance 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 by Discussion Board on Blackboard, in addition to by email. A Discussion Board is made available on Blackboard. Students can 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 should 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 is additionally posted in the announcements section, and emailed to students. The Discussion Board may also be used over the course of the module to respond to questions associated with lectures, and to post links to articles and other media items that relate to the lectures.

TypeHours
Teaching24
Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Module resources available on BlackBoard include lecture PowerPoint slides, reading lists, coursework details, exercises, references and module updates. In addition, resources also include specially ordered texts located in the University library, and det. 

Johnson, M.L., Bengtson, V.L., Coleman, P.G. and Kirkwood, T.B.L. (Eds) (2005). The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. 

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

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

Walker, A. (ed) (2005). Understanding Quality of Life in Old Age. 

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

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

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

Assessment

Summative

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

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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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