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This Gerontology and Ageing Studies course is designed to meet employer needs and prepares students with the knowledge and experience needed to work with older people, design policies, manage and deliver services and manufacture products for an ageing population. It aims to provide students with a unique insight into the policy differences between the devolved countries of the UK and across the globe.

Key Features of Gerontology and Ageing Studies

The field of ageing is becoming increasingly important: Over the last 25 years the UK population aged 65 and over has increased by over 1.5 million.  This is a global trend. According to data from World Population Prospects: the 2017 Revision, the number of older persons; those aged 60 years or over is expected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by 2100, rising from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100. Globally, population aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups.

The third phase of the Welsh Government’s Strategy for Older People – Living Longer, Ageing Well – runs from 2013 to 2023. Gerontology and Ageing Studies at Swansea looks at policy, practice and application to put you at the forefront of current developments.

Gerontology and Ageing Studies takes a holistic approach. It shifts the central focus from the medical model of ageing, to one that encompasses a range of disciplines including psychology, sociology and demography, viewing ageing more positively. 

The course in Gerontology and Ageing Studies draws on the research and expertise of The Centre of Innovative Ageing (CIA) within the College of Human and Health Sciences. 

The CIA is at the forefront of interdisciplinary work on ageing and provides the infrastructure, focus and leadership for ageing research across the University. The Centre houses a unique cluster of researchers and lecturers who contribute to each of the postgraduate courses in Gerontology and Ageing studies. 

The course is designed to meet employer needs and prepares students with the knowledge and experience needed to work with older people, design policies, manage and deliver services and manufacture products for an ageing population.

Gerontology and Ageing Studies Course Structure

The course is offered on a full-time or part-time basis. 

Full-time students normally complete six modules and submit their dissertation by the end of the first year. Part-time students will normally take two years to complete six modules, and one further year to complete the dissertation. There is also the option for part-time students to complete the programme in two years.

The MSc in Gerontology and Ageing Studies comprises 6 modules (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). Four compulsory modules (20 credits each) cover the context of population ageing and explore theoretical perspectives on ageing.

These critically examine policy and practice initiatives that deal with issues in relation to health and consider the types of research methods that can be adopted in conducting ageing research.

Each module provides the opportunity to explore cutting-edge debates and issues on ageing in a global context.

 Post-Graduate Certificate and Diploma Options

These courses, similar to the MSc, can also be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Certificate students will take three modules totalling 60 credits, comprising two compulsory modules and one optional module selected from the College MSc catalogue.

The diploma students will complete the same 120 credits as the MSc but will not be required to complete the 60 credit dissertation. 

Both options are flexible for students looking to study specific areas of interest whilst still obtaining a solid foundation in the principles of gerontology. These options provide the perfect alternative for individuals or employers who want the world-leading education provided by the Centre for Innovative Ageing, but for whom the research project is not integral to their learning experience.


All courses are assessed via a written assessment which is supported by a presentation.


Modules on the Gerontology and Ageing Studies programme typically include:

  • Ageing in a Global Context
  • Perspectives on Ageing
  • Dissertation
  • Foundations in Research
  • Health and Ageing
  • Policies and Practices for an Ageing Population
  • Critical Practice with Older People
  • Environment and Ageing
  • Older People, Citizenship and Participation
  • Psychology of Ageing

Career Prospects

Previous Gerontology and Ageing Studies graduates from the UK and internationally work across a diverse range of sectors including:

  • local/national government
  • social worker/social services
  • health service
  • academic and policy research
  • insurance and financial services
  • architecture and town planning
  • product design and innovation

The College of Human and Health Sciences offers full training in research methodology in addition to the core gerontology education which demonstrate a set of research and analytical skills that are fully transferable and highly desirable to employers.

Work Placements

Although not an assessed component off the course, Gerontology and Ageing Studies students are provided with the opportunity to undertake volunteer placements within a local NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation). This enhances the student’s employment options and widens their exposure to the practical field of gerontology. Students who undertake a placement will receive a certificate from the NGO detailing the number of hours of their placement to act as a record for employment and development purposes.

Staff Expertise

Research undertaken by members of the Centre of Innovative Ageing falls under two broad themes;

  • Participation, Social and Supportive Relationships 
  • Environments of Ageing

These themes include research areas around:

  • Social contagion within communities of practice and place 
  • Transnational relationships 
  • Social inclusion and connectivity
  • Transport, travel, road user safety
  • Attitudes towards technology, digital inclusion, acceptability of policy and interventions 
  • Working and retirement

MSc research dissertations and subsequent PhD programmes of research are encouraged and supported within each of these themes.

Staff teaching on the MSc Gerontology and Ageing Studies has expertise in at least one of the research themes of the centre. Through the duration of the course staff are rotated to ensure lectures are given by the person with the most knowledge and experienced in that field.

Visit the Gerontology and Ageing Studies MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the Swansea University website for more details!





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