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Ageing & Society MA / MSc

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Develop your knowledge and understanding of the experience of ageing societies and policies for an ageing world in our course. Ideal for social scientists, our course offers outstanding flexibility, with two pathways of study available: the MSc pathway focuses on quantitative research methods and data analysis while the MA concentrates on qualitative research methods and analysis. Join one of the leading centres for the study of ageing and later life worldwide.

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here.

Key benefits

  • Taught by faculty in the Institute of Gerontology, one of the leading centres for the study of ageing. The Institute is located in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, a unique, research-led interdisciplinary social science department directed by internationally recognised scholars.
  • Offers a highly flexible study programme, drawing on a broad range of professional and disciplinary expertise and experience from geriatrics, demography, sociology and policy analysis.
  • Provides close links with, and regular speakers from, social policy and healthcare fields, providing insights and up-to-the-minute knowledge of these areas as they affect ageing and older people.
  • Provides an awareness of national, crossnational and comparative perspectives of ageing populations, the ageing process and older people in society.
  • Located in the heart of London.
  • Provides education at the cutting edge of current research into ageing and later life, through taught modules and original research.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, or two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders Dr Laurie CornaDr Giorgio Di Gessa

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2979
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Global Health & Social Medicine



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Course detail


The Ageing & Society course offers you great flexibility, with the choice to study either full or part-time and two pathways of study available; one channel focuses on quantitative research methods and data analysis while the other concentrates on qualitative research and data analysis. You will study the module Population, Ageing & Policy, plus a range of required and optional modules depending on your choice of pathway.

The MA, MSc pathway requires modules with a minimum total of 180 credits and a maximum of 185 credits to complete the course, with 60 credits coming from a dissertation of around 10,000-12,000 words.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for the MA, MSc qualification part-time, your course will take two years to complete; you will be expected to take Population Ageing & Policy, Designing Quantitative Research and a 15-20 credit optional module in year one, with the remaining modules taken in year two.

Course purpose

While it is broadly aimed at social scientists, students include those in the social and natural sciences, management, policy and politics, law, and humanities as well as those from other disciplines such as allied health and social care professionals including nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and others from health backgrounds.

Course format and assessment


We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Per 15-credit module: The total contact time for each 15-credit taught module is 10-15 hours. These sessions will include lectures, teacher-led and student-led group discussions based on the main areas of study. In addition to this each 15-credit taught module has approximately 135 hours of self-guided learning time.

Dissertation module: You will receive three dissertation workshops that are each two hours long plus six additional 30 minute one-toone dissertation supervision and group consultations. In addition to this, the dissertation module has approximately 591 hours worth of self-study time.



The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of essays, written examinations and oral presentations. The MA, MSc study programme also requires a 10-12,000 word supervised dissertation on the subject of ageing and society.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits for MA and MSc.

Part-time students will be expected to take Population Ageing & Policy, Designing Quantitative Research and a 15-20 credit optional module in Year 1, with the remaining required and optional modules taken in Year 2.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates

Required Modules

You are required to take these modules for the MSc pathway:

You are required to take these modules for the MA pathway:

MA students are also required to take two of the following research methods modules:

Optional Modules

MA or MSc students can select 30-35 credits of optional modules from within the department or from other departments within King’s College.

Optional modules available for study may typically include:

Entry requirements & how to apply

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

Candidates should have a upper second class (2:1) honours degree. We may consider candidates with a lower second class degree or with professional qualifications from a recognised institution if they can show relevant work experience and/or relevant professional qualifications, can demonstrate that they are highly motivated and have referees from their university or employment strongly supporting their admission onto a masters level programme. Relevant professional qualifications will be taken into account.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £55 applies.

Your application will be assessed by the Admissions Tutor. You may be invited to be interviewed. We may interview non-UK candidates by telephone and may ask applicants to write an essay. We will only assess complete applications with supporting uploaded documents. Please see our website for more details. We aim to process applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

The personal statement should be approximately three to four paragraphs, and no more than one page. 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 postgraduate level, and demonstrate the potential to do well in an academic environment.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline is the 30th March 2018.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 27th July 2018 or from UK/ EU nationals after 31st August 2018.

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

  • Full time UK fees: £9,900 per year (MA/MSc, 2018/19)
  • Full time overseas fees: £19,320 per year (MA/MSc, 2018/19)
  • Part time UK fees: £4,950 per year (MA/MSc, 2018/19)
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,660 per year (MA/MSc, 2018/19)


Please note: 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.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2018, payment is due by 27th April 2018.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2018 and 30th June 2018, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2018 and 31st July 2018, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2018, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Graduation costs 

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

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.

Career prospects

Our graduates go on to pursue of a range of careers including strategic positions in government, policy, voluntary and non-governmental organisations, as well as consultant positions in geriatric medicine and psychiatry and specialist healthcare roles with older people.

Career destinations

Students have gone on to pursue a range of careers including consultant positions in geriatric medicine and psychiatry, work as specialist health care practitioners focusing on older people, positions in Government and the public sector, policy positions in public and voluntary organisations, analytical posts, and research and academic posts in universities around the world. Many of our past graduates now work in strategic positions influencing the lives of older people in medicine, social care and policy or within local government, voluntary organisations, or non-governmental organisations.

Read more about what our students do after they graduate here.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

View online

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Page last modified on 09 February 2018.