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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Complex Care in Older People


The programme is suitable for senior nurses, allied healthcare professionals, social care professionals, healthcare commissioners and new healthcare graduates wishing to develop their careers in older peoples’ services and global research. As an MSc Complex Care in Older People student you can join one of our research groups where you can formulate and test pioneering theories and approaches alongside international experts. Joining a research group is a great opportunity to network and learn from the very best, helping you to become a valuable human asset to the healthcare sector. Nowadays experts in complex care for older people are in high demand.

Introducing your course

This is your chance to become a pioneer in co-ordinating and providing complex care to older people with multiple health conditions. This rapidly emerging field demands highly skilled and knowledgeable practitioners and researchers to develop and evaluate new care solutions. This MSc Complex Care in Older People masters degree will enable you to join a thriving research group in the Faculty which is a great opportunity to network and learn from the very best, helping you to become a valuable human asset to the healthcare sector.

An elderly lady walking with a frame

MSc Complex Care in Older People is designed to give you an impressive range of learning opportunities. Here are some of the key considerations: From day one we will help you to co-ordinate, lead, and manage an integrated approach to care within complex systems. You will learn how to critically analyse theories and approaches to empowerment, self-management and active ageing. Furthermore, you will develop creative and effective care options and solutions when the evidence base is unclear or contradictory.

In addition, this programme will teach you to apply problem-solving strategies within and across teams, agencies and different care systems. Finally, MSc Complex Care in Older People will enable you to critically explore clinical and professional decisions based on diverse sources of evidence.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications should be made through the University of Southampton online portal. Visit our How to Apply page for information on the application process.

For further information about the course, please contact programme lead, Dr Ruth Bartlett:

Related Staff Member

Typical entry requirements

Please note these may be subject to change

This flexible programme runs for between twelve and eighteen months of full-time study, or between two and five years part-time. Please note: you can register for individual modules, a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, or the full MSc. Up to 20 ECTs may be studied on a ‘stand-alone’ basis prior to programme enrolment.

To be admitted onto the programme you would normally be expected to:

  • have a good honours degree (normally 2.2. or above) in a relevant subject OR relevant work experience and evidence of being able to study at masters level, for example completion of a level 7 (masters) module.
  • be in contact with older people with complex care needs; this might be in a statutory or voluntary role
  • provide at least one satisfactory reference (on some occasions a second reference will be required).

International applications

In addition to the above, international and EU students whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge of the English Language to be able to benefit from and participate in all academic activities at the University of Southampton. They are required to have

  1. reached a satisfactory standard* in an approved test in English OR
  2. to have obtained a first degree from a UK university that has been taught and assessed in English OR
  3. to have been instructed and assessed in English and come from a country which appears on the list of those exempt from testing.

*More detail regarding the required satisfactory standard, which is reviewed regularly, should be confirmed with the Faculty of Health Sciences Admissions team at

Further information can be found at

Selection process

To enrol on this course, you must meet our entry criteria.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

Your programme team consists of national and international experts in their fields. All of whom have close links with care providers and third sector organisations. You will also have access to individuals who are currently leading research into improving care services for older people with complex care needs. Individual modules are also available.


For the award of Master of Science (MSc) Complex Care in Older People (90 ECTS) you must complete:

For the exit award of Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Complex Care in Older People (30 ECTS) you must complete:

For the award or exit award of Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) Complex Care in Older People 60 ECTS) you must complete:

  • HLTH6056 Social Policy for Health and Well Being (10 ECTS)
  • HLTH6162 Fundamentals of Complex Care in Older People (10 ECTS)
  • HLTH6163 Advanced Complex Care in Older People (10 ECTS)
  • Additional module(s) ( totalling 20 ECTS) from a selected menu

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
Complex Care in Older People (without practicum international)MSc 2019Full-time£9,250£22,268
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 stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationary 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 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. 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 reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy.
FieldworkSome modules may include fieldwork and involve data collection and transcription. You will normally be expected to cover any costs associated with fieldwork unless it can be covered by an existing grant fund, in which case this would be made clear at the time the fieldwork is agreed.
PlacementsIn most cases students who opt to undertake a practical components within the course will be responsible for the cost of travel to and from the placement and in some cases accommodation near the placement setting. Such placements would require indemnity insurance, vaccinations and DBS clearance - the cost of this may be covered within course fees, or may be passed on to the student. Which is the case will be made clear to students/sponsors at the time such placements are agreed - well before programme commencement.
Conference expenses Optional Conference attendance. If you decide to attend conferences then you will normally be expected to cover the cost of registration, accommodation and travel.
OtherSome modules may include optional visits to practice settings, field sites, local organisations, or art venues. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile. Students will be expected to meet their own parking costs for attendance at University. These costs will vary depending on the location of the teaching session - current University Main Campus visiting car parking costs are £1.10 per hour. Limited free parking may be available in nearby streets but is at the students own risk.

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

You will learn through a blend of innovative and interactive approaches. These include:

  • Web-based ‘real-life’ case studies developed and delivered in collaboration with a range of experts, including practioners and older people with complex care needs.
  • Keynote lectures and seminars from recognised authorities in the field.
  • Study blocks involving group work and webinars.
  • Peer-mentoring: working alongside another student from a different background.

Importantly, you will have the opportunity to select a four-week practicum, which will enable you to use real life health and social care systems and policies to evaluate and develop models appropriate to your local service environment.

Study locations

University of Southampton

University of Southampton Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, Health Sciences is si...Find out more

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