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The University of Southampton

GERO6024 Ageing in Africa: Research and Policy (DL)

Module Overview

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 implemented across the continent. You will gain an understanding of the development of social gerontology in Africa and the national and international discourses regarding older age in the region. This module is multidisciplinary and draws on the health and social sciences disciplines. Throughout the module you will develop an understanding of the linkages between ageing research and policy. You will be encouraged to critique the research presented, and evaluate policies in light of it. Examples will be drawn from across the continent and the diversity and importance of context for understanding experiences of ageing will be highlighted. The module provides an opportunity to identify and share your own examples of ageing research, policy and programmes as you actively contribute to the development of African gerontology.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assess the linkages between research, policy and the development of health and social gerontology in Africa
  • Evaluate Africa's policies and programmes relating to older people and ageing in light of empirical evidence
  • Describe key aspects of ageing in Africa and the policy challenges and responses
  • Critically evaluate research evidence in relation to programme and policy responses
  • Communicate in academic analytical writing through the preparation of assessed coursework


The module will include online lectures on: the emergence of African gerontology and an ageing policy agenda; Social protection and pensions; Health and healthcare provision in older age; Care and support expectations and experiences; Gerontocracy; End of life care and expectation; Ageing and place, opportunities and challenges; Ageing and sexuality; Rights, rights violation and elder abuse; and policy processes in Africa

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is built around lectures on African ageing research and policy. Learning activities include recorded-lectures, tasks related to the lectures, contributions to formal group discussion and independent study. Students are expected to carry out some reading before, after and/or during each session.

Independent Study174
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Other. Module resources, such as lecture PowerPoint slides, audio-recordings of lectures, key readings, coursework details, discussion boards, references and module updates will be available on Blackboard. Students will be provided with guidance to use Skype for verbal/visual communication with tutors.


Assessment Strategy

Resubmission of the 3000 word critical essay and the 2000 word policy brief report


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 50%
Policy Brief Report  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 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 cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. All students are invited to attend a 4-day online workshop focusing on Ageing in the 21st Century and on preparation for the MSc Dissertation.

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).


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. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. All learning information, including the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and lecture handouts, is available online through Blackboard. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves.


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.


All readings in all modules are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books, however students may prefer to buy their own copies of specific textbooks. These can be purchased from any source. Students on the modules GERO6014 and GERO6015 receive one key textbook via post. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module. 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

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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