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Course content

Develop your knowledge and understanding of the experience of ageing societies and policies for an ageing world in our course. Ideal for social scientists, our course offers outstanding flexibility, with two pathways of study available: the MSc pathway focuses on quantitative research methods and data analysis while the MA concentrates on qualitative research methods and analysis. Join one of the leading centres for the study of ageing and later life worldwide.

Key benefits

  • Taught by faculty in the Institute of Gerontology, one of the leading centres for the study of ageing. The Institute is located in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, a unique, research-led interdisciplinary social science department directed by internationally recognised scholars.
  • Offers a highly flexible study programme, drawing on a broad range of professional and disciplinary expertise and experience from geriatrics, demography, sociology and policy analysis.
  • Provides close links with, and regular speakers from, social policy and healthcare fields, providing insights and up-to-the-minute knowledge of these areas as they affect ageing and older people.
  • Provides an awareness of national, crossnational and comparative perspectives of ageing populations, the ageing process and older people in society.
  • Located in the heart of London.
  • Provides education at the cutting edge of current research into ageing and later life, through taught modules and original research.


The Ageing & Society course offers you great flexibility, with the choice to study either full or part-time and two pathways of study available; one channel focuses on quantitative research methods and data analysis while the other concentrates on qualitative research and data analysis. You will study the module Population, Ageing & Policy, plus a range of required and optional modules depending on your choice of pathway.

The MA, MSc pathway requires modules with a minimum total of 180 credits and a maximum of 185 credits to complete the course, with 60 credits coming from a dissertation of around 10,000-12,000 words.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for the MA, MSc qualification part-time, your course will take two years to complete; you will be expected to take Population Ageing & Policy, Designing Quantitative Research and a 15-20 credit optional module in year one, with the remaining modules taken in year two.

Course purpose

While it is broadly aimed at social scientists, students include those in the social and natural sciences, management, policy and politics, law, and humanities as well as those from other disciplines such as allied health and social care professionals including nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and others fro health backgrounds.

Course format and assessment


We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Per 15-credit module:

Lectures, seminars and feedback: The total contact time for each 15-credit taught module is 10-15 hours. These sessions will include lectures, teacher-led and student-led group discussions based on the main areas of study.

Self-study: Each 15-credit taught module has approximately 135 hours of self-guided learning time.

Dissertation module: You will receive three dissertation workshops that are each two hours long plus six additional 30 minute one-toone dissertation supervision and group consultations.

Self-study: Approximately 591 hours.


The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of essays, written examinations and oral presentations. The MA, MSc study programme also requires a 10-12,000 word supervised dissertation on the subject of ageing and society.

Career prospects

Our graduates go on to pursue of a range of careers including strategic positions in government, policy, voluntary and non-governmental organisations, as well as consultant positions in geriatric medicine and psychiatry and specialist healthcare roles with older people.

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Visit the Ageing & Society - MA/MSc page on the King’s College London website for more details!