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The University of Southampton
Ageing & GerontologyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

MSc Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning)

The MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme introduces students to the study of ageing over the lifecourse, focusing particularly on the principles of policy evaluation in ageing societies, and on the opportunities and challenges associated with ageing in specific regions of the world, including China, South-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Following the successful completion of 6 taught modules, this programme also offers students the opportunity to conduct independent research through the MSc Dissertation, often with links to current research projects in the Centre for Research on Ageing.

Introducing your degree

Understanding the challenges associated with ageing, and assessing academic and policy evidence in this area, are critical skills for employees in a range of professional environments. The MSc in Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning) introduces you to the study of ageing at a global level, and equips you with critical skills in conducting the evaluation of policies relating to older people's wellbeing.

This programme will also allow you to specialise in ageing in particular contexts such as sub-Saharan Africa, China and South-east Asia. Enrolling on the MSc in Global Ageing and Policy can open doors to a range of careers in policy-related, medical or caring professions.

The programme aims to provide you with: 

  • critical appreciation of the key theoretical perspectives within Gerontology and their application in the analysis of specific issues concerning ageing and the lifecourse
  • understanding of contemporary debates within Gerontology concerning the lives of older people, their families and society, in both developed and developing countries 
  • specialised learning of ageing and its policy implications in less developed regions of the world 
  • competence in qualitative or quantitative research methods and their application to key research questions
  • critical skills in the evaluation of policies and programmes in ageing societies
  • ability to design and conduct independent research within Gerontology using appropriate research methods
  • preparation for a career in the field of Gerontology and applied health and social science.

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for part time 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification addendum for this course for 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification addendum for this course for part-time 2020/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2021/22 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for part time 2021/22 entrants

Key Facts

What is gerontology?

Gerontology is the study of ageing at the individual and societal levels. It examines the changes humans undergo as they age, as well as the impact of growing proportions of older people on social institutions, labour markets, welfare systems and families. The study of ageing also investigates the relationships between generations and the interconnections between individuals’ experiences over the lifecourse. The postgraduate programme on ageing draws on a range of disciplines including social policy, demography, sociology, biology, health sciences, psychology and economics.

Our residential course

Our MSc Distance Learners get to attend a residential course at our Highfield Campus in Southampton and meet their academic teachers as well as exchange best practice with fellow distance learners.

Dissertation topics

Examples of dissertation topics undertaken by students on this programme in the past:

  • The impact of the challenges caused by parenting orphans and vulnerable children to the health and economy of the older people in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Quality of care provided to people living with dementia by health care workers: A case study of a psychiatric hospital.
  • A comparison of older persons social pensions schemes in sub-Saharan Africa: Impact and challenges.
  • Challenges faced while caring for older person with dementia in residential care in Nairobi, Kenya: A caregivers’ perspective.
MSc in Global Ageing

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Typical entry requirements

We welcome applications from students holding, or expecting to hold, an upper second-class honours degree or higher, or equivalent.

Students without the usual entry qualifications may be admitted, with the requisite approval, on the basis of relevant work experience or professional qualifications. Mature applicants without formal qualifications but with relevant experience are also welcomed and will be considered.

For all applications, two academic references are required. Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications until we have received both references.


English language requirements
If your first language or language of education is not English, we will ask you to show evidence of fluency in the use of English. For all of our postgraduate programmes we require a level of IELTS 6.5. For details of other English language tests which we accept, please visit the International students section of our website.

If you require further English language tuition before commencing your programme with us, you may apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses which are run by the Centre for Language Study.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

Full-time students take three modules per semester, six in total by the end of the second semester. The dissertation is submitted by the end of September of that year.

Students on the part-time programme take two compulsory modules and one option module in each year of the studies. The dissertation is conducted in the second year and normally submitted by the end of December in year two. Please contact us for further details.

Year 1

Students select to study either Quantitative Research Methods (DL) or Qualitative Research Methods (DL).

Students must select to study Ageing in Africa: Research and Policy (DL) or Ageing in China and South-East Asia (DL).

In addition, students select one or more of the following, amounting to 20-40 CAT points:

Ageing Health Well-Being (DL), Poverty and Social Protection Around The World (DL), Mental Health and Ageing (DL), Ageing in Africa: Research and Policy (DL), Ageing in China and South-East Asia (DL)

Semester One
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning)MSc 2020Full-time£9,250£18,812
Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning)MSc 2020Part-time£4,625£9,406
Global Ageing and Policy Flexible (Distance Learning)MSc2020Part-time£3,100£6,276
Global Ageing and Policy Flexible (Distance Learning)PGDip2020Part-time£2,100£4,187
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou 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.
BooksWhere 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 GERO6014 or GERO6015 modules receive one textbook per module as part of their tuition fees 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.
EquipmentSoftware 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.
EquipmentHardware- Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to access to a PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard.
Printing and copyingFor all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Information on the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. Module Outlines) is available electronically via Blackboard.
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).
TravelWhere students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated.
OtherStudents on the MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme are invited to attend a Dissertation Workshop which takes place in Southampton or virtually.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

The distance learning programme employs a variety of teaching and learning methods, including audio-recorded recorded lectures, tasks related to the lectures, contributions to informal group discussion and independent study. 

  •  A variety of assessment methods are employed, which include essays, oral presentations, exercises, research reports and the dissertation. 
  • All programme modules have their own page on Blackboard from which students are able to access materials (lecture slides and recordings, coursework details, references, module updates and comprehensive support and guidance on how to use online resources that are key to the programme). 
  • Distance learning students develop their skills in written and oral presentation through a variety of interactive online resources and software programmes.

Facilities provided to students

  • Students are given access to online resources provided by the University including a library resources, university email address, a range of software packages and computing support via iSolutions. 
  • All students are provided with a personal tutor who can advise on academic and other University issues, and a dissertation tutor who provides advice and support during independent research. Students are provided an induction to the programme, module briefings and information about the dissertation via dedicated audio-recorded and written materials.

Technical specification for the distance learning programmes

  • modern computer/laptop with Microsoft Office software package and ability to play Flash media files
  • high-speed internet connection
  • PC headset with microphone

You will have the opportunity to comment on the quality of the programme in the following ways:

  • anonymous student evaluation questionnaires for each module of the programme which are emailed to the designated student representative from each cohort, who then passes them on to the programme coordinator
  • input into quinquennial PG Cert/PG Dip/MSc programme and module reviews by emailing your comments and suggestions to the designated student representative of the cohort
  • acting as a student representative of your cohort, collecting the views and suggestions of fellow students through email and passing them on to the coordinators of the Gerontology Staff-Student Liaison Committee, the Social Sciences Staff-Student Liaison Committee, the MSc Gerontology Board of Studies and the Social Sciences Board



Study locations

Distance learning offers flexible learning with high quality teaching

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