MSc Gerontology and Global Ageing (Online)

Taught by internationally renowned leaders in ageing, our online MSc Gerontology and Global Ageing will give you a world-class education in social gerontology and ageing studies.

Gerontology and Global Ageing (Online)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


According to the WHO, between 2015 and 2050 the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%. With this rapid increase, countries face major challenges to ensure their health and social systems are ready to make the most of this demographic shift.

This online 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

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.

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 2021). In the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment, we ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 25 in the UK – with 100% of our research environment and 88% of our research deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

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.

Entry requirements

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.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 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.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Course details

Key features of this course include:

  • World-class education in social gerontology and ageing studies.
  • International focus and opportunity to learn from a variety of researchers, practitioners and businesses.
  • Development of skills in knowledge acquisition, communication, innovation and impact.
  • Opportunity to apply knowledge to the workplace and enhance professional development.
  • Multiple exit routes and solid foundation for progression to doctoral studies.

Changes to course modules in 2023 

Following a course review, changes to the MSc Gerontology and Global Ageing (Online) have been confirmed. This includes replacing an existing core module (please see below): 

  • Year 1 core module, ‘Lessons from Longitudinal Studies on Ageing’ is being replaced by ‘A Lifecourse Approach to Healthy Ageing’. 

This change will apply from September 2023.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


This course is delivered online, and you will join a virtual student community studying from around the world.

How you'll learn online

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 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 Linkedin Learning 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.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Students from the UK and Republic of Ireland£10,500£11,025
International (including EU) students£10,500£11,025

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees. 

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

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.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £12,167 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,770 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

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

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 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.

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MSc Gerontology and Global Ageing (Online)

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