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The University of Southampton

GERO6011 Ageing, Health & Well-Being (DL)

Module Overview

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.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Skills in summarising and critically discussing literature.
  • Written communication skills through the preparation of assessed coursework.
  • Skills in preparing a short PowerPoint presentation on a specific topic
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.


The module will include online lectures on: the contemporary British welfare state focusing on theorganisation, 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 work-life balance; the future prospects of retirement communities in Britain and the developed world. The module will also include a session on 'Essay Writing Skills' and a session on'Oral Presentation Skills'.

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 listen to 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 subject knowledge, enhance ability to write well-argued and well-evidenced assignments, and facilitate achieving 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, and 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 we also would encourage you to feel free to post about items that you would like to share with your student cohort.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

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

Davey Smith, G (ed) (2003). Health Inequalities: Life Course Approaches. 

Alcock, P, Erskine, A and May, M (2012). The Student's Companion to Social Policy. 

Module resources will be available on Blackboard, such as lecture PowerPoint slides, audiorecordingsof lectures, key readings, coursework details, discussion boards and wikis, references andmodule updates. Students will be provided with guidance to use Skype for verbal/visualcommunication with tutors and to prepare and submit a PowerPoint presentation using Drop-Off.. 

Easterbrook, L (2003). Moving On From Community Care: The Treatment, Care and Support of Older People in England,. 

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. 

Focus on Older People.


Assessment Strategy

Assessment feedback is given in written formats. Formative methods of assessment are used throughout the module in providing students with ongoing feedback on their progress and understanding through group discussions (on BlackBoard). Summative assessments are also used, focussing on specific evidence of students' knowledge and practice in student presentations (worth 100% of the grade). These are designed to assess the module learning outcomes.


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation  ( words) 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:


Students on the MSc Gerontology (DL) or MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme, subject to academic performance, are invited to attend a one-week Residential Course in Southampton. For those students who are in receipt of Commonwealth scholarships, the travel, accommodation and food is covered as part of their Scholarship. Distance Learning students are expected to bear the costs of their own computer and internet access for the duration of their programme.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook and Semester 1 Module Outlines via the post at the beginning of their programme, as part of their tuition fees. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.


Where a module specifies key texts these should generally be available electronically 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 all readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books.

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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