The University of Southampton

GERO6020 Ageing, Health and Well-being

Module Overview

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.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide you with a foundation of knowledge in the area of social policy, health and well-being in later life. You 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. You 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.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able 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
  • Orally communicate through participation in student-led seminars
  • Use written communication skills through the preparation of assessed coursework
  • Use oral presentation skills through the preparation of the assessed presentation


The module will include: 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 worklife 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 guest sessions 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, informal group discussions and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance of each session, in order to be able to participate in discussions. 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 students' subject knowledge, enhance their ability to write well-argued and well-evidenced assignments, and facilitate the achievement of 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 also posted in the announcements section, which is emailed to students. The Discussion Board may also be used to post links to articles and other media items that relate to the lectures, and students are encouraged to post and share items with with the student cohort.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Davey-Smith, G (eds) (2003). Tackling Health Inequalities: Life Course Approaches. 

Baldock, J. Manning, N. Vickerstaff, S. (2007). Social Policy.. 

Glennerster, H (2003). Understanding the Finance of Welfare. 

Walker, A and Hagan Hennessy, C (2004). Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age. 

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

Shaw, M, Dorling, D, Gordon, D and Davey-Smith, G (1999). The Widening Gap: Health Inequalities and Policy in Britain. 

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

Alcock, P, Erskine, A and May, M (2008). The Student’s Companion to Social Policy. 

Soule, A, Babb, P, Evandrou, M, Balchin, S and Zealey, L (2005). Social Focus on Older People. 

Evans, O, Singleton, N, Meltzer, H, Stewart, R and Prince, M (2003). The Mental Health of Older People. 

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. 



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


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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 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. 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: Students have access to workstations in the Hartley Library and in Computer rooms around the campus. Students may wish to purchase their own laptop/PC/tablet. Printing and Photocopying Costs: For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. However, for some modules outside Gerontology, there are some items where students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: . Conference expenses: Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as 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. Parking Costs: For students not residing in Southampton, paid parking is available on the University campus. Maps of the campuses can be downloaded from here:

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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