Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

GERO6023 Mental Health and Ageing (DL)

Module Overview

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 understanding of prevalence, treatment and policy on mental illness in later life in both the developed and developing world. Students will gain an understanding of the key challenges and debates in diagnosis, treatment and policy on mental illness in later life; be able to distinguish between 'normal' and 'abnormal' ageing from a psychological and cognitive perspective; and apply theoretical approaches, e.g. from Gerontology and Psychology, to issues affecting older people with mental illnesses.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments of mental illness in later life.
  • Critically evaluate international evidence on mental illness in later life.
  • Use written communication skills developed through the preparation of assessed coursework
  • Use critical skills in the preparation of assessed coursework


The module will include online lectures covering: normal and abnormal memory changes in later life; life course determinants of mental illness in later life; prevalence of mental illness in later life around the world; the different types of dementia; how dementia alters brain physiology; treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia; theory of personhood; psychological and pharmacological therapies; long-term care in the community and residential setting; informal care and carer burden; policy challenges and how these are responded to around the world; loneliness in later life; and recent research priorities.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is taught by means of lectures. The lectures of the module focus on mental health and ill health, with a particular focus on dementia. Examples from around the world, including developing countries, will be used where relevant. Learning activities include lectures, tasks and problem-solving related to the lectures and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading in advance of each session.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Woods, R. & Clare, L. (eds) (2008). Handbook of the Clinical Psychology of Ageing. 

Innes, A., Kelly, F., & McCabe, L. (2012). Key Issues in Evolving Dementia Care: International Theory based Policy and Practice. 

Krishnamoorthy, E.S., Prince, M.J., & Cummings, J.L. (2010). Dementia: A Global Approach. 

Stuart Hamilton, I. (2012). The Psychology of Ageing. 

Cook, A. (2008). Dementia and Well-Being: Possibilities and Challenges. Policy and Practice in Health and Social Care Series.. 

Segal, D.L., Qualls, S.H. and Smyer, M.A. (2018). Aging and Mental Health. 

Johnson, M.L. et al. (eds) (2005). Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 50%
Evidence Review  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 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:

Accommodation and Travel

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel and accommodation cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.

Conference expenses

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any conference registration fees.


Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to already have access to a PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard. Headphones are sent to the Distance Learning students in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves.


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.

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.

Software 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.


You 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.


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

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings