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Gerontology Research MPhil / PhD

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Overview

The Institute of Gerontology at King's College London is one of the leading gerontological research and teaching centres world-wide. Founded in 1986, the Institute is at the vanguard of multi-disciplinary research and teaching, acting as a bridge between the social and clinical sciences.

The objectives of the Institute are to:

  • Engage in state of the art research into the demographic, sociological, psychological, financial and institutional processes of adult ageing.
  • Provide multidisciplinary, research-led education and research training for both clinical and social scientists, including practitioners in health, social care, government and the voluntary sector.
  • Engage critically with social policy issues for the benefit of older people both nationally and internationally.

The Institute's inter-disciplinary nature is reflected in its broad research sponsorship base; it has received funding from UK Research Councils (i.e. ESRC, MRC, EPSRC & AHRB), from many of the charities concerned with the welfare of older people and from government (including the Department for Work and Pensions & the Department of Health).

Our research is focused on three core areas: 

  1. Ageing policy, health and healthcare: investigating what factors lead to better physical, mental and social health in later life and how health services throughout the lifecourse can be optimised to improve health and well-being at older ages.; 
  2. Communities, work and family life: examining how changes in work, the environment and family life have affected the lives of older people and how government policies impact on intergenerational relations; and 
  3. Global ageing: studying how governments should be preparing for the rapid ageing of populations around the world and how changes in family and community structures impact on support, housing, health and care in later life.


The translational value of our research can be seen in independent critical analysis and advice given to Government, NGOs including the WHO, and to professional groups including Medicine, Nursing, Clinical Psychology, Social Work, Architecture, Engineering and Law. Advice to overseas academic institutions has also been given to help promote the study of Gerontology worldwide. At the Institute, research is central to our work. It helps maintain our position at the forefront of gerontology and at the same time helps to enrich the learning experience of our students. Encouraging the development of doctoral research is a central part of our research activity. Our MPhil/PhD Gerontology programme will enable you to develop an area of research in great depth and help you become a leading expert in your own right.

RAE score: The Institute is situated in the newly founded Department for Social Science, Health & Medicine which ranked within the top 10 of sociology departments in the UK in only its 2nd year of existence. 100% of the impact of its research is judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research income: £1.6 million in research funding from December 2013 – December 2012 including including major grants from the ESRC, MRC, NIHR, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation . As a multi-disciplinary institute a wide range of funding sources are open to us including NGOs, charities and government. Recent and ongoing projects have been funded by the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing initiative (a cross-research council funded programme), ESRC, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Family Law Bar Association, the Department of Health, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Dunhill Medical Trust, and the Leverhulme Foundation. Current number of research students: We typically have between 5 and 10 PhD students at any time.

Most of our PhD students have been funded via the Research Councils, Health Trusts, NGOs, charities, employers or King's College London studentships. Being a multi-disciplinary institute we are able to supervise PhD research in a wide range of disciplines relating to ageing, and students should see our web pages for details of the research interests of members of staff. Students are expected to complete a full time PhD within 3 years, and a part-time PhD within 6 years.

Partner organisations: The Institute has many long-standing research and teaching collaborations including the Institute of Psychiatry, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, as well as close working links with King's Health Partners, one of the UK's five Academic Health Science Centres. King's Health Partners brings together King's College London, a world leading research led university and three successful NHS Foundation Trusts (Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley).


Key information

Duration Expected to be three years FT, six years PT. Most candidates begin the programme in September; January entry may be considered.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine,Institute of Gerontology

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Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

A Master's degree in a subject appropriate to the research area with a minimum high Merit (or overseas equivalent).

 

Application procedure

In the first instance you should submit a short CV (no more than two to three pages) which contains your academic grades achieved, and a fully worked draft research proposal of approximately 1,000 to 1,500 words either to the Admissions Tutor at gerontology@kcl.ac.uk or to the academic member of staff who you hope will supervise your thesis. If you cannot do this by email then you can post these to:

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor,
Institute of Gerontology,
King's College London,
Strand,
London,
WC2R 2LS.

This will enable us to consider your proposal informally in the first instance. If your proposal is deemed potentially suitable and potential supervisors can be identified, then you will be invited to complete a full application for admission to the programme which will then be formally considered.

If applying for a funded studentship associated with a particular research study, please carefully read the instructions for that particular studentship first before following these application procedures and make sure that all relevant information is included, including, where appropriate, application forms for that funding stream, and that your application is in good time for any funding deadlines.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will need to provide a personal statement and research proposal with your application.

The personal statement should be approximately three to four paragraphs, and no more than one page long. This should explain why you are interested in the programme applied for, and could include, for example, details of your motivation and aptitude, your relevant experience and skills, and any other information that would be useful for us in assessing your application. In general terms, we look for candidates who demonstrate a strong interest in the programme, are committed to academic study at the highest level, and demonstrate the potential to thrive in an academic environment.

The research proposal should be 1,500 words maximum, including references. The proposal should include a preliminary title and set of research questions. You should describe the motivation for selecting this topic for research. You should include a critical survey of the key sources already known, along with an acknowledgement of current debate within the field. Your analytical approach and methods should be clearly set out. You must demonstrate why you think your proposed work will make a significant and original contribution to the field.

Course intake

Variable.

Application closing date

  • The deadlines for applications are detailed below for 2017/18 entry. Prior to these dates all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After these dates applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

  • Sept 2017 entry -  Application deadline: 20th July 2017 for Overseas students and 3rd September 2017 for Home/ EU students
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Course detail

Description

The Institute of Gerontology at King's College London is one of the leading gerontological research and teaching centres world-wide. Founded in 1986, the Institute is at the vanguard of multi-disciplinary research and teaching, acting as a bridge between the social and clinical sciences. The Institute has many long-standing research and teaching collaborations including the Institute of Psychiatry, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, as well as close working links with King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners brings together King's College London, a world leading research led university and three successful NHS Foundation Trusts (Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley).

The Institute's inter-disciplinary nature is reflected in its broad research sponsorship base; it has received funding from UK Research Councils (i.e. ESRC, MRC, EPSRC & AHRB), from many of the charities concerned with the welfare of older people and from government (including the Department for Work and Pensions & the Department of Health).

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) Gerontology was submitted at as part of the Health Services Research category ranking fourth out of 24 units of assessment in terms of research power. The RAE results are testimony to the Institute's strengths in ageing policy, families, health and healthcare.

At the Institute, research is central to our work. It helps maintain our position at the forefront of gerontology and at the same time helps to enrich the learning experience of our students. Encouraging the development of doctoral research is a central part of our research activity. Our MPhil/PhD Gerontology programme will enable you to develop an area of research in great depth and help you become a leading expert in your own right.

Course study environment

The Institute has a community of research students with diverse interests in all aspects of ageing who enjoy a friendly and supportive environment in the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine. Gerontology students are integrated within a community of research students, research fellows, visiting researchers and senior visiting academics from across the world, and have access to a range of formal and informal study groups and activities organised by this research community. Students also have access to graduate seminars, workshops, seminars and conferences, often in association with other departments in social sciences, arts and humanities and the Health Schools within King's.

The supervisory relationship is central to doctoral studies in the Department. Admission to the doctoral research programme is highly selective and is dependent upon a good match being found between student interests and supervisor capabilities. Each student is allocated a principal supervisor from within the Department (usually from the Institute), experienced in the relevant research area and responsible for all aspects of supervision. A second supervisor is allocated, who may be a member of the Department, or a specialist from another Department in the School.

Postgraduate training

As well as training in IT skills, the Graduate School runs an excellent structured programme of workshops and training for Postgraduate Research Students.

Head of group/division

Professor Karen Glaser (Director/Reader in gerontology)

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/enquiry-form.aspx

Contact email

linda.stoner@kcl.ac.uk

Course website

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/sshm/index.aspx

Further literature

Recent publications: As an active research Institute we publish widely in peer reviewed journals, books and grey literature. For details of publications please see our staff pages.
Current research projects: Many members of the Institute are currently involved in a new research project investigating wellbeing, health, retirement and the Lifecourse (WHERL). This 3 year interdisciplinary consortium is funded by the cross-research council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme under Extending Working Lives. The consortium involves 5 institutions and 3 project partners.

We will be examining a crucial question for ageing societies: how inequalities across the life course relate to paid work in later life in the UK. This issue is of growing importance since the UK, in common with many other governments across the world, is rapidly extending the working lives of older adults through the postponement of State Pension Age (SPA) and other measures. These policy reforms affect millions of people, yet their implications for health and wellbeing are unknown. Do these policies harm, benefit or have little effect on the population? To answer this, we need to understand the lifelong drivers affecting the complex relationship between paid work in later life, health and wellbeing.
For more information please see our website: http://wherl.ac.uk/welcome-to-wherl/
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Career prospects

Career destinations

PhD candidates have been successful in obtaining academic and research posts in universities around the world including the UK, Taiwan, and New Zealand or have developed their careers in NGOs, government, industry, consulting, private clinical practice and research.
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Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2017/18

Fees for UK/EU research students are linked to rates set by the Research Councils UK and for 2016/17 were on average £4,600 for full time fees and £2,300 for part time fees. The rates for students starting their research programmes in the 17/18 academic year will be set by the end of January 2017.

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

International Tuition Fees 2017/18

Full time tuition fees:  £17,850 p.a.               

Part time tuition fees: £8,925 p.a.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

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