Course Description

The four core courses equip students with foundational competencies in gerontology.

Ageing Asia: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
An overview of the field of ageing from psychological and sociological perspectives, including an understanding of the major theoretical and substantive areas of the field. The course emphasizes the complexity of ageing, recognizing that it is a multidimensional process. Students will examine the demographic, social, economic trends of global ageing, paying attention to particularly graying Asian societies.

Ageing Policy and Practice in Asian Contexts
This course guides students through a range of key issues that are faced by Asian societies with population ageing, encourages them to critically appraise specific policy responses, and to identify practical lessons to be learned from the experiences of countries experiencing rapid and advanced ageing. Different models of health, income and social care provisions in older populations and policy responses to population ageing at the international, national and regional levels will be considered.

Physiology and Biology of Ageing
Unravel the complexity of the ageing process by providing a systematic study of the biological changes that occur with ageing. Comparison will be made between the structures and “normal” functions of organ systems and age-related modifications. A survey of current theories on mechanisms of ageing, analysis of relationship of late-onset disease to the ageing process, and explanatory models on mental and physical impact of ageing will be explored.

Applied Research in Gerontology​
This course provides an overview of the multiplicity of methods available for gerontological research. Research methods in the social sciences, biomedical research, public policy and social work will be covered. Students will gain a broad conceptual understanding of the various methods, and gain practical experience on using the methods with data, identify research strategies and conduct research in gerontological topics.​​

Leadership & Policy Engagement

Demographic Change, Ageing and Globalization
Population ageing is causing fundamental societal and economic change in many countries and regions throughout the world. This course provides a foundational knowledge on demographic change and population ageing in a cross-cultural, global perspective. Students will gain an understanding of the implications of contemporary demographic change on the welfare of individuals, families and societies; and an awareness of how, with globalization, demographic, social and economic change in one part of the world, impacts upon trends in another.

Leadership and Management in Aged Care

Strong leadership and practical management are required in the provision of services for older people, now and in the future. People involved in all aspects of elderly care will benefit from re-examining their knowledge and experiences of leadership and management, so as to be better equipped for future challenges and opportunities. This course adopts an action learning approach to help students learn what is most important for them personally and professionally. Students will also gain insights and current knowledge of these areas from leading practitioners in elderly care.


Clinical Practice & Care Management

Continuum of Care: A Systems Perspective

Continuum of care and concepts of integration of care have gained importance as the awareness that “silo effect”, single disease and service focus do not meet complex patients’ needs. This course aims to introduce students to concepts of continuum of care, integration of care and comprehensive care. It provides a multi-disciplinary overview of a range of perspectives, theories, and clinical practices on continuum of care both Singapore focused and internationally. Each session will be taught by a different consultant.

Ageing and End-of-Life: Exploring Death, Dying and Bereavement
This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the major psycho-socio-cultural perspectives, theories and clinical practices on death and dying from a global viewpoint with a critical focus on the Asian experience. Through interactive lectures, experiential workshops and creative group projects, students are offered an opportunity to examine the environmental, ethical, financial, political and public health issues of mortality. 

We offer a set of elective courses that are ageing-related from different disciplines each academic year. Elective courses are offered on a rotation basis, and not all electives will be offered in one trimester. The list below is a partial list of the courses that might be offered as electives.

Food, Nutrition, and Ageing
The course explores the role of a balanced nutrition for healthy ageing and for the prevention of age-related diseases.  It consists of three parts: (1) understand the basics of nutrition, (2) focus specifically on the nutrition needs, screening and assessment of older adults based on their health status, and (3) learn about food preparation and consumption among older adults.  By the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of nutritional needs and common nutrient deficiencies associated with chronic diseases in older adults, be able to apply the nutritional screening and assessment tools and be equipped with the knowledge and skills to prepare healthy meals for older adults.

Mental Health in Later Life
Mental disorders are a major contributor to the disease burden in elderly both globally and in Singapore. This course provides students with an overview of the principles and practice of mental health care for older adults, current knowledge gaps and research agendas. We will cover the mental health spectrum from normal to pathological ageing, selected mental disorders of late life, the current state of mental health care and the challenges across the disease trajectory and care continuum.

Arts, Ageing, and Wellbeing
This course provides an overview of the interdisciplinary field of arts and health with focus on the use of arts and creative approaches in the context of ageing and eldercare. We will explore concepts of art, ageing, and wellbeing, historical and contemporary debates, as well as examples of best practices and resources related to the field. This course will also introduce students to resources that supports implementation of art-based projects for older adults in various settings.

Social Entrepreneurship in Aged Care
Investors commonly look for sustainable and repeatable growth in an enterprise's performance, and what differentiates a start-up from making it and falling by the wayside. This course aims to relate theoretical concepts of strategy and organization design with practical and execution issues in an emerging social enterprise context, and studies the key elements that propel scaling up as well as impede growth. Students will be introduced to the overall framework of entrepreneurial business development making an impact in society, equipped with theories and tools to develop specific business development strategies, and apply them to real-life business cases.

Chinese Medicine and Ageing
Chinese medicine has long been used as a complementary treatment for long term diseases and general health maintenance. This course explores the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its application to health and wellness of older people. Emphasis will be on age-related issues and illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, cerebrovascular diseases, gastrointestinal problems and cancer. We will also cover the nutrition and dietary therapies that will form holistic treatments for age-related problems.

Gerontology and Counselling
Counselling older people require specific knowledge and skills. Gerontological counsellors assist elderly patients in coping with mental and emotional health issues associated with ageing in order to improve their overall health and quality of life. This course introduces students to the basic counselling skills, approaches and interventions pertinent to working with older people.

Health Communication and Coaching
This course provides students with a broad overview of issues related to health communication and coaching, especially as they relate to older people. Issues related to communication practices between health professionals and patients, health communication through mass media and new technologies, and health coaching will be addressed.

Gerontological Practicum
Training supported by an individualized learning plan developed by the student, faculty advisor, and worksite supervisor; gaining an understanding of the workings of a specific programme, agency, or institution; this practicum reinforces knowledge, theories and principles gained through courses in gerontology while engaging in direct, practical experience.