Master Gerontology

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  • Objectives
    We provide multidisciplinary training in the study of ageing and later life, from theoretical and research-based perspectives.
  • Entry requirements
    Graduates come from diverse backgrounds including medical and health sciences, the voluntary sector, humanities and arts, social and natural sciences, social policy and professions such as law, accounting and actuarial science.
  • Academic title
    MSc, PG Dip Gerontology
  • Course description
    Programme description

    - Students draw on a wide range of professional and disciplinary expertise and experience including demographers, policy analysts, geriatricians, sociologists and clinicians.
    - Students gain an awareness of cross-national and comparative perspectives as well as national perspectives of ageing and older people throughout the programme.
    - Close links and regular speakers from social, policy and healthcare arenas give students insights and up-to-the-minute knowledge of these areas as they affect ageing and older people.

    Core taught elements cover: Principles of Gerontology (population, social gerontology, biology of ageing, healthcare services and social policy) and Research Methods. You will also take specialist courses including Ageing in Society, Social Policy, Population Studies, Biological Gerontology and Healthcare Services. In addition, MSc students will submit a dissertation based on an independent project.

    Programme format and assessment
    Lecture and tutorial-based teaching using problem-based tasks and projects, assessed through coursework essays, written examinations and oral presentations. Dissertation based on an independent project, for MSc only.

    Programme modules for MSc, PG Dip Gerontology 

    Principles of Gerontology
    (Core Module)
    The aim of this 30 credit module is to provide a broad education in the major areas of gerontology, to encourage a multidisciplinary approach to studying, and to provide a foundation for later in-depth study in one area. The five primary areas studied are: Population Studies in Gerontology Biological Gerontology Healthcare Services in Gerontology Ageing in Society Social Policy in Gerontology

    Ageing in Society
    Considers how approaches, knowledge and methods from social gerontology apply to the study of ageing and later life. Topics addresed include: the different ways in which adult ageing is socially constructed, how to apply concepts from social gerontology to practice and family settings, the individual, interpersonal and social aspects of adult ageing and the problems of an ageing society and their relevance to professional practice.

    Gerontology Dissertation (MSc students only)
    The aim of this 60 credit module is to provide students with a basic foundation level competency in the research skills and knowledge, both generic to the social sciences as a whole, and specific to gerontology, necessary to prepare them to successfully complete a dissertation project. It will also help students to contribute subsequently, through further research and employment that meets the needs of global social science and gerontology bases and their diverse array of users. The dissertation consists of two elements: The oral dissertation proposal presentation The dissertation In successfully completing their dissertation, students will: Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical analysis of the principles of research design and methodology Apply critically, the principles of research design, to demonstrate the ability to conceptualise and formulate research questions, including (where appropriate) formal hypotheses that can be empirically tested Demonstrate the selection of appropriate research methods and/or identification of existing data sets appropriate for collection and interpretation of data to answer the research question(s) Demonstrate the ability to critically review published literature in constructing and interpreting theory Demonstrate the ability to use project management skills to budget time, money and other resources, handle data, interpret results and disseminate findings in a way that is consistent with professional practice and normal principles of research ethics Through writing the dissertation, exhibit analytical, numerical, literacy, communication, presentation and computer skills in advanced gerontological knowledge

    Health and Healthcare in Gerontology

    To enable students to learn about the range and scope of healthcare problems and delivery in later life. The module covers the interrelationships between health and social policy and between illness and the social/psychological principles of gerontology. It will also illustrate the central role of health care sciences in informing effective practice. The module objectives include: the contribution of ageing to the diseases/disabilities experienced by older people, the key characteristics of interdisciplinary health and social care of older people, the general principles of health promotion and preventative health strategies for older people, current health care and social policy developments, the rationale for specialist services for older people, the legal/ethical framework for the provision of health care, the role of carers, social policy and legal issues affecting carers and the causes/consequences of dementia.

    Key Issues in Health Policy
    The core aims of this course are to: 1. Foster a critical understanding of the context for key issues in health policy. 2. Develop a systematic understanding of the major economic, political and sociological issues involved in the organisation, production and finance of health care services, both nationally and internationally. 3. Develop a critical awareness of key debates in the funding and provision of health care, such as the role of the state and the private sector. 4. Analyse the roles of professionals and users in the making and implementation of health policy through the use of case studies. 5. Explore issues of measuring and managing performance in health care. 6. Examine, through the use of case studies, the making of health policy and how specific health policies can be evaluated. Course content includes: introduction: what is health policy and why study it?; determinants of health: role of health care, public health etc.; funding health care systems; organising health care; role of the state and the private sector in health policy; role of professionals and users in health care and health policy; globalisation and the role of international organisations in health policy; measuring and managing performance; making health policy; evaluating health policy.

    Population Studies in Gerontology
    To provide an understanding of population dynamics and the causes of population ageing, to provide awareness and knowledge of major population trends and their micro/macro implications, and to teach knowledge of demographic data sources. Module elements include: population trends and issues, the forces behind population ageing, future trends and implications for society, changes in family behaviour and its effects on past/current/future generations of older people, the impact of changing demographic factors on living arrangements in later life, data needs of an ageing population and knowledge of key datasets used in demographic research on ageing and later life in Britain, migration patterns in later life, migration theories and the nature of exchanges between generations.

    Research Methods and Statistics in Gerontology
    To enable students to identify and apply a range of research methods and statistics commonly used in gerontological research. By the end of this 30 credit module students should be able to: formulate research questions, describe the basic characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research, critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research, select the most appropriate research design to address a specific research problem, undertake the collection and simple analysis of research data and apply simple statistical tests and interpret results

    Social Justice in the City
    This course explores what is meant by the concept of social justice and some of the difficulties involved in trying to enact socially just practices. It will consider tensions between distributive, cultural and associational forms of justice by looking at some examples of contexts in which these tensions arise.

    Social Policy in Gerontology
    The aim of this 15 credit module is to consider key areas of social policy and current policy debates, and assess how they relate to older people. By the end of the module, students should be able to: demonstrate a critical understanding and evaluate major national initiatives in social policy for older people, understand critically the factors that affect the implementation and delivery of social policy, crtically assess and appraise key issues and debates in social policy that are relevant to the lives of older people in areas such as housing, financial circumstances, health, long term care and social care

    MSc: One year FT, two days’ teaching per week. Two years PT, one day’s teaching per week (September to September).

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