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MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing (Online)

Study our course from anywhere in the world and earn a Masters from one of the UK’s top 15 universities for health research (REF2014).

Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing (Online)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc part-time: 36 months
  • Mode of study Online, Part-time, Distance learning

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.

This course cuts across two key scientific areas.

  • We challenge you to consider how the process of ageing happens across an individual’s life course, not just in later years.
  • We teach a multidisciplinary approach to gerontology that considers the social impact of ageing. 

You'll explore a range of health, social care and policy contexts from around the world that you can apply to a local context.

Core modules have been developed for students who would like to specialise in this fast-growing sector with a focus on the oldest-old, who are the fastest growing group and the most likely to experience frailty, people living with dementia in a range of settings, and the impact of multi-morbidity on an ageing population.

Our Masters in Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing can be studied entirely online and on a part-time basis, giving you the opportunity to benefit from our expertise in the subject from anywhere in the world, at times that suit your schedule. You will also have opportunities to collaborate and study with other students from around the world.


  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    We strive for excellence in online teaching equipping you with the expertise you need to support ageing populations. Our objectives for this course include helping you to:

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

    The University of Stirling is recognised as a leader in the area of health research, and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport has been successful in securing a large number of research grants from sources such as the National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council, the Scottish Government and the Chief Scientists Office.

    The University campus is also home to the state-of-the-art Dementia Services Development Centre – a key hub for dementia research and education. The centre’s international reputation and interdisciplinary approach to dementia research helps to underscore the University of Stirling’s role as a thought-leader in gerontology.

  • Flexible learning

    Four core modules from our MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing are available to study individually as part of your Continuing Professional Development:

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    The Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st in Scotland for Health Sciences in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) – showcasing our commitment to producing world-leading or internationally excellent research that improves health and reduces health inequalities.

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

    Having experience of supporting older people in a health, social care, social work or third sector/Non-Governmental Organisation is recommended.

  • 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 or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

    More information on our English language requirements

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Build your expertise in social gerontology and ageing with this unique online Masters course, and fit your studies around your busy schedule.

To earn your MSc you’ll complete four core modules, two research-based modules and a dissertation over three years of study.


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2019/20 on this course of study.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    All teaching is online and uses web-based distance-learning and interactive materials. Our teaching staff have national and international profiles in research and education related to gerontology and ageing, and their research activities are incorporated into your teaching and learning.

    Flexibility is offered through regular provision of online one-to-one and group tutorials, recognising that some students work shifts or are in different time zones.

  • Assessment

    This course doesn’t include any exams, and all of your modules will be assessed based on your coursework.

  • Classroom hours

    The table below shows the structure of the MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing.





    Postgraduate certificate

    Global Issues in Ageing Societies (NURP011)

    Health and Wellbeing of People with Dementia (NURP012)

    Skills for Knowledge Enquiry (Bridging module) (NURP002)

    Year 2

    Postgraduate diploma

    Multi-morbidity in the Older Adult (NURP013)

    An Integrated Approach to Frailty (NURP014)

    Qualitative Research and Analysis (bridging module) (NURP004) OR
    Quantitative Research and Analysis (bridging module) (NURP006)

    Year 3


    Dissertation 60 credits (part time) (NURP052)

  • Course director
  • Key staff
    Ask an expert

    Jayne Donaldson

    Professor Jayne Donaldson explains why Stirling is the ideal place to study health sciences and sport.

    Ask an expert in health sciences and sport

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • 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.
    • Successful applicants may apply for a Saltire Scholarship if eligibility criteria is met.

    Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

    Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are available to candidates from developing Commonwealth countries, for part-time Master’s study by distance learning on selected courses offered by UK universities.

    Eligible courses include MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing Online.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

This course supports the development of expert knowledge in care of the older person. If you’re a professional in health, allied health, social care and not-for-profit sectors, it prepares you to deliver the specialist knowledge and skills required to support your practice.

The course is ideal for graduates or experienced practitioners who want to make a difference in their practice and service delivery alongside older people in a range of health and social care settings.

  • Become a specialist in an area of integrated health and social care
  • Boost your career opportunities through Continuing Professional Development
  • 96% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17)
  • Employability skills

    You’ll 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 gives you the knowledge and skills you can use within practice and provides the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills enhancing your professional development.

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