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Course content

The Gerontology & Ageing MSc/MA, with pathways in Gerontology, Ageing & Society, and Public Policy & Ageing will build awareness of global perspectives on ageing and the lives of older people by drawing on the views and experience of a wide range of experts including geriatricians, clinicians, demographers, policy analysts and sociologists. 

Key Benefits

  • Taught by faculty in the Institute of Gerontology, one of the leading centres for the study of ageing. The Institute is in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, a unique, research-led, interdisciplinary social science department directed by internationally recognised scholars.
  • A highly flexible study course, drawing on a broad range of professional and disciplinary expertise, including geriatrics, demography, epidemiology, sociology and social policy.
  • We offer close links with, and regular speakers from, social policy and various healthcare fields, providing insights and up-to-the-minute knowledge of these areas as they affect ageing and older people.
  • You will gain an awareness of national, crossnational and comparative perspectives of ageing populations, the ageing process and older people in society throughout the course.
  • We have strong links with King’s Health Partners, one of only six Academic Health Sciences Centres in England bringing together three NHS Trusts (Guy’s and St. Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and South London and Maudsley).


The Gerontology & Ageing courses offer flexibility with the choice to study either full or part-time. This interdisciplinary course is ideal for health professionals including geriatricians, psychiatrists, general practitioners, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

The course is also suited to graduates from the social and natural sciences, management, policy and politics, economics, law and the humanities.

Course format and assessment


The Gerontology & Ageing course offers three distinct pathways that allow students to develop expertise, critical analysis, independent judgement and communication skills in one of the following areas:

  • Gerontology
  • Ageing & Society
  • Public Policy & Ageing

There are four qualification options that can be studied from these three pathways MSc Gerontology & Ageing (Gerontology), MSc Gerontology & Ageing (Ageing & Society), MA Gerontology & Ageing (Ageing & Society) and MA Gerontology & Ageing (Public Policy & Ageing).

All course options are made up of required and optional teaching modules totalling up to a maximum of 200 credits (60 of which come from a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words).

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Per 15 credit module you can typically expect 15-20 hours of lectures, seminars and feedback. This is usually 1.5-2 hours of lectures/seminars per week over a 10-week term. You can also expect around 135 hours of self-study.

For the dissertation module, you can typically expect 6 half-hour supervisory sessions and 3 two-hour workshops. In addition to this you can expect around 591 hours worth of self-study. 

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


The Department assesses students using a combination of essays, written examinations, oral presentations and the dissertation. The nature of assessment varies by module. The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect.


Courses are divided into modules and students on this course normally take modules totalling a maximum of 200 credits.

King's College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant courses of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Required Modules

All Gerontology & Ageing students are required to take the following modules:

  • Dissertation in Gerontology (60 credits)
  • Population Ageing & Policy (30 credits)

In addition, students choosing the Gerontology* MSc pathway are required to take the following modules:

  • Ageing, Health & Society (30 credits)
  • Designing Quantitative Research for Social Science & Health (15 credits)
  • Quantitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Designing Qualitative Research for Social Science & Health (15 credits)
  • Plus 15-35 credits of optional modules

* Students who already have the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (from the Royal College of Physicians) are exempt from one-third of the course (and fees are reduced pro-rata). Students must take the Dissertation (60 credits) and 60 taught credits which must include either Population, Ageing & Policy or Ageing, Health & Society.

Students choosing the Ageing & Society MSc pathway must take the following required modules:

  • Ageing, Health & Society (30 credits)
  • Quantitative Research for Social Science & Health (15 credits)
  • Quantitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Plus 30-50 credits of optional modules

Students on the Ageing & Society MA pathway are required to take the following modules:

  • Ageing, Health & Society (30 credits)
  • Critical Policy Research for Health & Medicine (15 credits)
  • Designing Qualitative Research for Social Science & Health (15 credits)
  • Plus 30-50 credits of optional modules

Students on the Public Policy & Ageing MA pathway are required to take the following modules:

  • Critical Policy Research for Health & Medicine (15 credits)
  • The Policy Process (20 credits)
  • Comparative Public Policy (20 credits)
  • Plus 35-55 credits of optional modules

Optional Modules

In addition, you may take credits from a range of optional modules that may typically include:

  • Researching Vulnerable Populations (15 credits)
  • Biology of Ageing (15 credits) (students for the Gerontology MSc qualification only)
  • Data Manipulation & Management (15 credits)
  • Internship (20 credits)
  • Quantitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Ageing in a Global Perspective (15 credits)

Career prospects

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

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