About this course
Discover the challenges associated with ageing, and assessing academic and policy evidence on our MSc Global Ageing and Policy course. This distance learning master's degree will teach you how to carry out policy evaluation to improve older people's wellbeing, with a focus on ageing societies.
This course is centred around gerontology - the study of ageing at the individual and societal levels.
On this UK master’s degree you’ll study ageing over a lifetime, focusing on the challenges associated with ageing in specific regions of the world, including:
- South-east Asia
- sub-Saharan Africa
You’ll examine 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 connections between individuals’ experiences over their lifetimes.
This postgraduate programme draws on a range of disciplines including:
- social policy
- health sciences
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
a part-time distance learning master's - study the same course content over 2 years and 6 months, or 3 years and 6 months
If you’re not ready to take on a full course, as part of continuing professional development (CPD) you can choose to study a module on its own. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the subject and you can build up to higher level study. Choose campus based study or distance learning.
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
The course lead, Athina Vlachantoni, is Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy. Professor Vlachantoni joined the University of Southampton in 2007, following a PhD in social policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Vlachantoni’s staff profile page.
“I am the first woman from my family to have the chance to study abroad and to be awarded a fully paid scholarship to study in the UK at Southampton. I am very proud of this achievement and have become a role model and mentor for many young women so far.”
“I think that the MSc course is fabulous and Southampton is truly a world-class University. The course is run in such a professional and supportive way that it makes me feel part of the University even though I’m distance learning.”
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree to study this course.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
Whether you choose to study full-time part-time, you’ll need to study 6 modules and a dissertation. You'll choose 4 modules. One of these will be either quantitative or qualitative methods.
MSc Global Ageing and Policy Distance Learning (1 year, full-time)
Taught sessions take place over 2 semesters each year, with 3 modules taken in each semester. With your tutor’s help you’ll prepare for your dissertation which you'll write over the summer vacation.
MSc Global Ageing and Policy Distance Learning (part-time, 2 years 6 months)
Taught sessions take place over both semesters across 2 years. You’ll study 3 modules each year and complete your dissertation in the final 6 months of the course to submit in December.
MSc Global Ageing and Policy Distance Learning Flexible (part-time, 3 years 6 months)
Taught sessions take place over 3 years and you’ll study 1 module in each semester. You’ll carry out your dissertation over the summer and autumn of the final year to submit in December.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
This module supports the requirement for students to carry out independent research on a topic of their choice within the field of Gerontology.
Global Perspectives in Gerontology (DL)
The module involves lectures and guest lectures from different disciplines. 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 ...
Policy Evaluation for Ageing Societies (DL)
This module will introduce you to the study of policy and programme evaluation in ageing societies. You will be introduced to the theories surrounding the process of evaluating policies and programmes. You will examine the different methodological approac...
You must also choose from the following modules:
Ageing in Africa: Research and Policy (DL)
This module provides a critical understanding of the dynamics of ageing in Africa, drawing on empirical evidence. You will evaluate the policy implications of the context of ageing in Africa and critically examine the social, health and economic polices i...
Ageing in China and South-East Asia (DL)
This module introduces the study of ageing at the individual and societal level in China and South-east Asia. It will introduce demographic evidence relating to population change. The module combines insights from Social Policy, Demography, Sociology and ...
Ageing, Health & Well-Being (DL)
This module aims to provide you with a foundation of knowledge in the areas of health and well-being in later life and the impact of social policy. You will be introduced to key issues and literature concerning the nature of ageing and how it is defined, ...
Demographic Change, Ageing & Globalisation (DL)
This module provides you with a foundation of knowledge on demographic change and population ageing in a cross-cultural, global perspective. The module focuses on less economically developed countries (LEDCs), and on linkages between different regions of ...
Mental Health and Ageing (DL)
The module will provide a critical assessment of evidence relevant to mental health and ageing, with a concentration on dementia, one of the most common and serious disorders in later life. The module will take an international perspective, providing an u...
Poverty and Social Protection Around The World (DL)
The module involves lectures and guest lectures from different disciplines. Learning activities include audio-lectures, which include trigger questions, and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance of listening to each...
Qualitative Research Methods (DL)
The module is aimed at enabling you to understand the principles of qualitative methods and analysis, and equipping you to apply qualitative research methods in practice. The module assumes no previous knowledge of either NVivo or qualitative analysis so...
Quantitative Research Methods (DL)
This module introduces you to quantitative research methods within the social sciences. The module is aimed at providing a firm understanding of the fundamental principles of quantitative analysis, and a good foundation of knowledge of quantitative method...
Learning and assessment
You’ll develop your skills in written and oral presentation through a variety of interactive online resources and software programmes.
All programme modules have their own page through online software called Blackboard. From here, you'll be able to access materials including:
- lecture slides and recordings
- coursework details
- module updates
- comprehensive support and guidance on how to use online resources
You’ll have other online resources, too, including:
- library resources
- a range of software packages and computing support
- a university email account
We’ll assess you through:
- coursework, reports and essays
- a dissertation
- group essays
- individual and group projects
- written exams
Past students’ dissertation topics include:
- 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
You’ll get a personal tutor who can advise on academic and other University issues, and a dissertation tutor who provides advice and support during independent research.
We’ll give you an induction to the programme, module briefings and information about the dissertation through audio-recorded and written materials.
Our graduates are working in a wide range of sectors related to ageing and older people, for example:
- health and social care for public and private sectors
- medical sector
- local and national government research analysis
In addition, many alumni from the MSc Global Ageing and Policy (Distance Learning) programme have continued their postgraduate studies by following the PhD Gerontology pathway.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £19,850.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Southampton Economic, Social and Political Sciences Postgraduate International Scholarship
A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying for a postgraduate master’s in Economic, Social and Political Sciences.
Find out more about the Southampton Economic, Social and Political Sciences International Scholarship, including eligibility and conditions.
Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships
The Department of Gerontology & Centre for Research on Ageing, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission, is offering 8 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships to study on the MSc Gerontology (Distance Learning) or the MSc Global Ageing & Policy (Distance Learning) in 2023-24.
Find out more about the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Places are limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
We expect to close applications for this course on Friday 15 September 2023 (11:59pm UK time).
This course may stay open after this date if places are still available.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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