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Course content


How can over a billion people age well across the world? Globally, the number of older persons is growing faster than the number of people in any other age group, putting pressure on all sectors of society. The core theme of this online postgraduate course is to bring together two perspectives on ageing: the positive view of healthy, successful and active ageing, and the negative view of illness, vulnerability, disability and frailty.

The MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing considers experiences of both perspectives from around the world in a range of health, social care and policy contexts. Core modules have been developed for students who would like to specialise in this fast-growing sector. This enables critical awareness of strategies, supports and interventions that facilitate ageing with complex multi-morbidities, frailty and dementia.

This course cuts across two key scientific areas. Firstly, studying the process of ageing challenges you to consider how this happens across an individual’s lifespan, not just in later years. Secondly, gerontology takes a multidisciplinary approach that brings in cultural, psycho-social, cognitive, and biomedical aspects to consider the impact of getting older.

Our mission is to strive for excellence in teaching and research that will equip the current and future generation of professionals with expertise in supporting ageing populations. As a student, you will bring your experience of working with older people at a local or national level. You will be supported to reflect on positive change in your area of expertise based on current research and evidence. To achieve this, the course incorporates the experience of the older person and their families, clinical and social care/social work staff who provide support, and eminent researchers in the field of ageing and gerontology.

Key information

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Distance learning, Online, Part-time, Stand-alone modules
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Karen Watchman

Course objectives

  • To develop an advanced understanding of theory and multidisciplinary perspectives in gerontology and approaches to ageing.
  • To critically analyse research and policy on key gerontological and ageing issues.
  • To demonstrate critical awareness of international best practice and interventions that facilitate positive ageing with complex co-morbidities, frailty or dementia.
  • To become a critical thinker who can reflect on the experiences of older persons globally and apply to a local context.
  • To develop knowledge and skills in digital learning and collaboration.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Career opportunities

This course facilitates the development of expert knowledge in care of the older person and helps prepare health and social care professionals to deliver the specialist knowledge and skills required to support their practice.


Students will develop an in-depth knowledge of critical and emerging health and social care needs of older people with strategies to enhance care and support. This course equips students with knowledge and skills that can be utilised within practice and provides the opportunity to gain a range of transferable skills in order to enhance professional development.

Scholarships and Funding

There are different funding options available depending on your location and route of entry into the course:

  • Self-funded or some competitive funding options are available, including postgraduate scholarship places which offer a flexible route of study.
  • The Scottish Funding Council is funding Home/EU tuition fees for a number of places on the MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing. Funded places are open to applicants domiciled in Scotland and the EU.
  • Individual modules are available as part of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Funding support for these may be available in Scotland, for example, through National Health Service (NHS) Boards.

See further information about tuition fees within the University here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/tuition-fees/ and paying fees by instalments here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/finance-office/students/tuition-fees/instalments/

Visit the Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing page on the University of Stirling website for more details!






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