MSc Global Ageing (Online)


Program Description

This course will provide you with an advanced understanding about the ageing of individuals and populations, the implications this has for policy, practice and the development of products and services, as well as the demands and challenges this raises.  It covers content and skills development in social gerontology, ageing and population studies, dementia studies and health care and practice.

The key competencies you will gain and enhance will be in line with the highest international standards set by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s Gerontological Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education, a leading framework for teaching gerontology.

The applied nature of the course and its focus on positive interventions into the experiences of older people will support skills acquisition, employability and career progression in fields related to supporting, researching and intervening in ageing populations and societies. 

Top reasons to study with us

  1. Taught by internationally renowned leaders in ageing.
  2. Interdisciplinary learning across policy, practice and management.
  3. Global perspectives on ageing, studying alongside international colleagues.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of theory and practice in social gerontology and ageing studies.
  • Critically analyse empirical research and policy linked to ageing and the experiences of older people across the world.
  • Demonstrate awareness and understanding of international best practice in supporting older people and ageing societies.
  • Evidence critical thinking, problem-solving and multidisciplinarity.
  • Demonstrate skills in digital learning and collaboration.

Flexible learning

The standard is two years part-time, but there are options to study at a slower pace, gaining credits on module completion or to complete the programme in one year with full-time study.

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 overview

The Faculty of Social Sciences enjoys an outstanding international research reputation. We engage with communities around the world and produce research that makes a positive difference to society.

Our world-leading research environment has been recognised in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), with 100% of our research submissions being judged as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of the quality of the research environment and their impact.

The University of Stirling is home to the Dementia Services Development Centre – an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. Our team of experts advise governments and academic institutions in the UK, Europe, China and Australia on dementia-related issues, and provide training and consultancy for the private, voluntary and statutory sectors.


You will join an online student community studying from around the world. Your programme of online learning will be supported by academics and professional support staff and will combine a mixture of guided study, independent study, online discussions, group and individual activities.

We will deliver multimedia lecture materials and offer live group tutorials at mutually convenient times that recognise different time zones. We will also offer a virtual ‘drop-in’ sessions and individual support.

Alongside the support of a module co-ordinator and teaching assistants, you will have the opportunity to be supported by a personal tutor. Other valuable learning resources will also be available to you such as and Sage Research Methods, which offers a rich database of video guides and books to support research.


All modules are assessed using a variety of methods including written assignments, online exams, written reports, presentations, research proposals, case studies and online discussions.

Formative assessments (plans or drafts) may be submitted at specified times during each module for feedback. A rubric will be provided for all modules containing the marking criteria.

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.

Experience of working with older populations in a healthcare, policy or business setting, or research experience with older populations is recommended.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

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

  • IELTS Indicator 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • TOEFL ITP Plus for China minimum 543 overall, 54 in listening, 53 in structure and written expression, 56 in reading and B2 in speaking 
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 105 overall with a minimum of 95 in each sub-skill
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

After you graduate

This course equips you with knowledge and skills that can be utilised within healthcare practice settings, informal support settings and policy or business areas associated with older people and ageing populations. 

The course will also provide you with the opportunity to gain a range of transferable skills in order to enhance professional development. You will be supported to develop a personalised plan for employment and career advancement using the skills, knowledge and networks you will have developed during the programme.

Employability skills

Through completion of this course students will:

  • Acquire knowledge, understanding and skills related to social gerontology and the needs of older populations.
  • Share experiences and perspectives with peers, through networking and collaboration, enhancing awareness of different cultures, contexts, beliefs and traditions and new possibilities.
  • Be able to communicate effectively through digital and other media.
  • Develop an awareness of the latest global research on social gerontology and technologies supporting ageing populations.
  • Develop independent critical and reflective thinking on theory and practice.
  • Be able to identify opportunities to improve work-based practice and support their own and others’ professional development.
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less