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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

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Global Health & Social Medicine Institute of Gerontology

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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

tracie.hughes@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/

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Gerontology entry requirements
Minimum Entry requirements   A Master's degree in a subject appropriate to the research area.
International requirements    Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Application procedure

If you are interested in undertaking doctoral study in our Department, we have developed a two stage application process:

1)  If you would like to apply please send your research proposal (between a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 1500 words) and a 2 -3 page CV (including academic grades obtained) for consideration to the Admissions Tutor, Dr Carlo Caduff by email: carlo.caduff@kcl.ac.uk. In your email, identify potential supervisors in our Department with a research specialism in the area that you wish to focus on in your doctoral studies.

To identify a potential supervisor in our Department, with a research specialism in the area that you wish to focus on in your doctoral studies, you can refer to our academic profiles for assistance.

2)  If the Admissions Tutor encourages you to apply, you should immediately submit an online application via the application portal 'King's Apply'. Applying online makes the process easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely. In the Research Proposal section of your application please ensure that you detail the name of your provisional supervisor and select that you have discussed your proposed research topic with a member of King’s academic staff.

 

Personal statement and supporting information

You must have the provisional support of a supervisor prior to applying. To identify a supervisor please see: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Gerontology research checklist
Personal Statement Yes 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.
Research Proposal Yes

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. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
Writing Sample Yes This would usually be an extended piece of writing such as a dissertation/thesis from masters or undergraduate study, or perhaps a research paper if you have been involved in more recent research (and you are the sole author). The writing sample should be in English.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

 

Course intake

Variable.

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. We will open applications for an intake in 2020 after the final deadline passes in 2019.

  • January 2019 entry – 26th October 2018 for International students and 3rd December 2018 for Home/EU students
  • October 2019 entry – 26th July 2019 for International students and 30th August for Home/EU students
  • January 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £5,000 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,500 per year

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,300 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,650 per year

International Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £18,740 per year         

Part time tuition fees: £9,370 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £19,850 per year         

Part time tuition fees: £9,950 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

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

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


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