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

PG Cert Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning)

The PG Certificate in Global Ageing and Policy (DL) is made up of 3 taught modules and designed to provide a multidisciplinary introduction to gerontology and policy evaluation to busy mid-career professionals, new entrants to the University and the social sciences, or returners to education who wish to pursue the subject area. Students who successfully complete this qualification are welcome to continue their studies with us.

Introducing your degree

Understanding how social policies for older people are assessed around the world is a critical step to improving wellbeing for older people globally. This programme allows you to study three modules: an introduction to ageing, a specialised module on the evaluation of policies in ageing societies, and a third module of your choice (eg. mental health).

Following the successful completion of this programme, you will be invited to continue onto the MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme, which includes 3 more modules and the MSc Dissertation. Enrol now and add a distinctive edge to your career trajectory.

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 
  • critical skills in the evaluation of policies and programmes in ageing societies
  • preparation for a career in the field of gerontology and applied health and social sciences

View the programme specification for this course for 2018/19 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 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.

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.

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: one year; part-time: two years.
Full-time students take three modules in one year, two in the first semester and one in the second semester. Part-time students can take one module in year one and two modules in year two, or vice versa.

Year 1

Students study Policy Evaluation for Ageing Societies (DL) and Global Perspectives in Gerontology (DL) in addition to either Ageing in Africa: Research and Policy (DL) or 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).

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)PGCert 2020Full-time£3,100£6,276
Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning)PGCert 2020Part-time£1,550£3,138
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 module receive one textbook per module 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.
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.
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.
Printing and copyingFor all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. All information about 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.

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

Distance learning

Distance Learning programmes offer you the opportunity to study the su...Find out more

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