SA4N5      Half Unit
Global Ageing

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Emily Grundy OLD.1.11


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Health. This course is available on the MSc in Population and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

A core course for students taking MSc Global Health and available to other students taking relevant MSc programmes, particularly Health, Population and Society and Health and Population Development.

Course content

Population ageing is now a near global phenomenon and is perceived as presenting major challenges not only in regions with an already high representation of older people but also in low and middle income countries set to ‘grow old before they grow rich’. This course will consider the process and implications of ageing at both the population and the individual level and policy responses.

The course will be structured into five sections. The first will focus on demographic change and the causes and the course of population ageing in various world regions. This element will include explanation and discussion of population dynamics (how populations age) and inter-related social and economic changes associated with demographic transition (why populations age) and their implications for both older and younger generations.

The second section will focus on the process of ageing at the individual level including an overview of recent biological, social and psychological theories of ageing.

In the third section the emphasis will be on trends and differentials in the health of older populations. This will include discussion of the epidemiological transition; measures of health and disability and current debates about the future health status of the older population in different settings and prospects for further changes in longevity.

The fourth section will consider different models of health and social care provision in older populations and policy responses to population ageing at the international, national and regional level.

The final section will be an integrative one in which these themes are drawn together with examples focused on particular countries or regions. This will be linked with student presentations of posters.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of help sessions in the ST.

Ten one hour lectures and five two hour seminars, plus one two hour help session in Summer Term. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Students will be asked to work in groups (of 4-5)  to produce and present posters on ageing in a specific country which relate to the main themes of the course and so consider demographic, social, economic, health and health care,  and policy dimensions. Students will also be required to produce an individual 1,000 word essay on the poster theme for which they took primary responsibility

Indicative reading

Albertini M, Martin K, Vogel C. Intergenerational transfers of time and money in European families: common patterns – different regimes? Journal  of European Social Policy 2007;17(4):319–34.

Kinsella K, Wan H. An Aging World: 2008, International Population Reports, US Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.

Lee R, Mason A. Population Ageing and the Generational Economy: A Global Perspective. Edward  Elgar Publishing, 2011.

McDaniel SA, Zimmer Z (eds). Global Ageing in the Twenty First Century. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013.

Rechel B, Doyle Y, Grundy E, McKee M. How can Health Systems Respond to Population Ageing? World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, 2009.

Siegel JS. The Demography and Epidemiology of Human Health and Aging. Springer, 2012.

Uhlenberg P (ed). International Handbook  of Population Aging, Springer, 2009.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills