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GerontologyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Luis Perpetuo MSc Gerontology (Distance Learning)

Parkinson's UK

Luis Perpetuo's Photo

Hi, I'm Luis Perpetuo and I studied MSc Gerontology (Distance Learning) within Social Sciences: Ageing/Gerontology at the University of Southampton.

The course supports you in critically engaging with headlines e.g. “older people have tremendous health problems and do not contribute a lot to society”. You are able to find your arguments to change the way older people are perceived and to argue for policy change.

Q: Why did you choose to undertake an MSc Gerontology course at the University of Southampton?

I work for a Parkinson’s charity in the UK and that was the main impetus for studying gerontology, I managed the helpline and what I found was the majority of people I were speaking to were mainly older people who were affected by Parkinson’s and what I found was that besides the issues directly related to their condition there were issues linked there position in the life course and the fact that they were older people. I became fascinated in the issues which they were presenting which weren’t linked to Parkinson’s directly so I wanted to find out more.

Q: How are you finding the course particularly Distance Learning?

I love it, it’s really good, and it’s a great course. I work full time 5 days a week, I have quite a busy job and so it’s really good to have a course that is well devised and put together but I can actually do it all in my own time. So, for instance, on a Saturday morning at 8am if that’s when it suits me to study I can be doing that or if I want to do that in an evening I can. I have everything I need, I have support so I can just email tutors and get replies almost instantly, which means it works much better for me rather than knowing I have to be in a particular place and time every week in order to hear the lectures and in order to take part. It is really allowing me to study at this level which perhaps I wouldn’t consider doing face to face.

Q: What do you feel you have achieved as a result of this course?

It’s very thorough and gives a good grounding covering theory not only in the UK but also for developing countries to gives a good overall picture. It supports you in critically engaging with headlines e.g. “older people are expensive”, “older people have tremendous health problems and actually do not contribute a lot to society” – these are messages that we actually receive quite a lot and so it really helps you go beyond that and find your arguments to perhaps change the way older people are perceived. Also it helps you realise the disadvantages older people face which puts you in a much better position to argue for policy change.

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