MSc International Gerontology and Ageing Studies

Course Overview

This masters degree in International Gerontology and Ageing Studies aims to provide students with a unique insight into the policy differences between the devolved countries of the UK and across the globe. It 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. This extended course offers an opportunity (subject to a competitive process) to study abroad at the College’s partner Institution at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Key Features


  • International approach that is unique in the UK
  • Hosted in the internationally renowned research centre, the Centre for Innovative Ageing
  • The centre is the largest gerontology research centre in Wales and the second largest in the UK
  • The Centre hosts the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR)
  • Offers strong national and international links 
  • Connections to policy-makers which are unparalleled in other parts of the UK

Teaching and Employability:

  • Delivered by subject leaders and experts from around the world
  • Programme is designed to meet employer needs 
  • Opportunities for work placements within local NGO’s (non-Governmental Organisations)
  • Opportunity to study abroad at one of the College’s partner institutions in Alberta, Canada


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters / PGDip / PGCert

Students choose 180 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
ASPM01Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Population Ageing and Policy: an Introduction
ASPM02Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Perspectives on Ageing
ASPM07Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)60Dissertation
SHGM62Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Foundations in Research
SHGM63Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Health and Ageing
Optional Modules

Year 2 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters / PGDip / PGCert
Compulsory Modules

None found.


The International Gerontology and Ageing Studies programme acknowledges that ageing is accompanied by biological changes, but takes a holistic approach to ageing. 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 MSc in International Gerontology and Ageing draws on the research and expertise of The Centre of Innovative Ageing (CIA) within the College of Human and Health Sciences.  The CIA is in 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. 

Why this course?

The MSc in International Gerontology and Ageing Students is a unique course in the UK and provides students with an extended Master’s degree from a recognised global centre of excellence for gerontological education and research.

Students are immersed in global theories of gerontology and have the opportunity to experience first-hand the practical application of their studies.

Students are supported and mentored by the team at Swansea both whilst at the home and host institutions so there is continuity in the support provided, ensuring that the student gets the most from the experience.

Being hosted in an internationally renowned research centre, the MSc in International Gerontology and Ageing Studies benefits from lectures delivered by subject leaders both domestically and from around the globe.  Previous international lecturers include:

  • Dr Natalie Leland – California, USA
  • Dr Caroline Gallogly – New York, USA
  • Professor Norah Keating – Alberta, Canada

The course is designed to meet employer needs and prepare 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.

Entry Requirements

  • A UK 2.2 degree or its equivalent
  • Evidence of recent academic study
  • Applicants with relevant work experience or professional qualifications may be considered. This includes for example at least two years’ experience in local authorities, health, private and voluntary organisations and industry.
  • Applications from international students are encouraged. Students are required to have a minimum of IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in all domains, in English Language or a University approved equivalent, prior to starting the programme. The University provides English Language tuition to prepare international students for study.

How To Apply

Applicants are encouraged to apply online as this will make it easier to track their progress.

International students should visit for more information or email

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU International
MSc Full-time £4,100 £9,550

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3%.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

Students are likely to encounter additional costs at university. These can include, amongst others:

  • Buying stationery and equipment, such as USB sticks, etc.
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Binding of research projects/ dissertations (approximately £5)

For this international MSc students will have to pay for:

  • Transportation to and from the international partner university 
  • Accommodation and subsistence cost while abroad 

Course Structure

This course is delivered over 18 months, with students studying at Swansea University for one academic year.

There are five places available at the University of Alberta, Canada for approximately four months in the second year undertaking three modules of study and assessment to broaden their study and employment possibilities. Places are merit based and students will receive support from Swansea University when making an application. 

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


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



Career Prospects

Graduates work across a diverse range of sectors including:

  • local government
  • social worker/social services
  • academic and policy research
  • insurance and financial services
  • architecture and town planning

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, 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 CIA 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

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.

Key teaching staff includes:

  • Prof Vanessa Burholt (Centre Director) – Support network typologies, international ageing, migration, rurality
  • Prof Judith Phillips (Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor) – Housing, technology, space and place, social care
  • Andrew Dunning (Module Leader) – Elder abuse, advocacy, intergenerational relationships, citizenship
  • Dr Peter King (Module Leader) – Research methodologies
  • Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nalletamby (Module Leader) – Housing, intergenerational relations, population ageing
  • Dr Ruth Hopkins (Module Leader) – Environmental health, health and ageing, public policy
  • Dr Charles Musselwhite (Module Leader) – Traffic and transport, technology, public policy
  • Dr Martin Hyde (Module Leader) - Work, retirement and international ageing

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience. 


In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences find out more here  or take a virtual tour  of the college. 

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