module specification

SH6050 - Experiences of Later Life (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Experiences of Later Life
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Report
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module will recognise the multidisciplinary context of ageing and encompass the biological, psychological, social gerontological, political and sociological perspectives.  Demographic trends suggest that health promotion and meeting the health needs of older people are and will continue to be a growing necessity and priority for health and social care.  The module will cover relevant theories, emerging policies and research in relation to older people in the UK, practice and ethical issues, including consent for interviews.  Definitions of old age will be explored along with the social and cultural contexts. The debate about usage of health and social care services and costs is addressed. As London’s diverse population ages, the health and social care challenges grow to ensure an efficient and effective service user and carer focused service.  The integration of health and social care organisations has changed, and will change, the employment base for many professionals and has major implications for the care and service delivery for older people across the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors. 


Module aims

• To appreciate ageing as a multidisciplinary field and recognise different perspectives, descriptions and explanations concerning being old in today’s society
• To develop a positive attitude towards health promotion for the older people
• To provide students with the opportunity to design, conduct, write up and critically evaluate two interviews with older people
• To foster an holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of the older people and the impact of current legislation and policy
• To be able to reflect upon their own experiences of working with older people and the implications of changes to organisations and roles in the design and delivery of services



The syllabus will cover:
• demographic and epidemiological changes
• attitudes to ageing; stereotypes, ageism, myths, cultural influences, choice and participation
• health and social care policy, the context for care delivery and practice implications
• cognitive and physiological changes associated with normal ageing; biological perspectives of ageing, memory and cognitive changes - comparison with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
• conducting research with older people; research Issues associated with older people – ethical principles and the research Interview
• Health promotion; self-care and screening programmes; falls prevention; iatrogenesis
• Older peoples’ services – what will they look like – what are the choices? Choices and options of types of care, new policies and services, quality of life and quality of care, dignity in care.
• Managing long term conditions; Complex care needs - multiple pathologies and self care
• Nutrition
• Health and illness in later life, inequalities – gender, ethnicity and end of life
• Sexuality and relationships, effects of ageing on sexuality and sexual expression
• Working with carers

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching strategies include: interactive workshops based on problem solving and analysis of live issues and real cases, personal study and private reading and thinking in advance of class attendance.  Students are encouraged to use case studies, critical incidents, and small group work, video clips, WebLearn, formal lectures and personal reflection to enhance your learning.  In strengthening skills of reflection, students will need to be able to make judgements about their own progress and use the assessment guidance and criteria in this process and feedback from staff

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the modules students will be able to:

1. Discuss the implications of demographic and epidemiological changes drawing on current research in relation to debates about health and social needs and provision
2. Analyse critically factors that impact on choices and options available to older people that promote their health and wellbeing
3. Demonstrate a critical approach to methodological and ethical issues in relation to research with older people through analysis of the interview transcripts
4. Evaluate current health and social care legislation and policy issues affecting older people and relate them to people’s lived experiences

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is about bringing different groups of students together to analyse and challenge issues related to working with older people.  Formative assessments will be included throughout e.g. role play.  This will help them build the skills required to undertake the interviews in a sound way and to help with analysing data.  Interview schedules will be approved prior to conducting interviews.  The transcriptions will not form part of the word count but attached as appendices and will be used in the analysis of themes identified in the report.

• Design, conduct and transcribe interviews with 2 older people
• Write a 3,500 word report which critically analyses and evaluates the interviews conducted by the student 


Adams T &Manthorpe J (2003) Dementia Care, Hodder Arnold, London
Cann P &Deam M (2009) Unequal Ageing; The Untold Story of Exclusion in Old Age; The Polity Press, Bristol
Henwood M (1998) Ignored and invisible. Carers experiences of the NHS. Carers National Association
Hockey J & James A (2003) Social Identities across the Life Course Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Hunt S (2005) The Life Course a sociological introduction Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Katbamna, S., Matthews, R. (2006) Ageing & Ethnicity in England A Demographic profile of BME Older people in England Good Practice Guidance Age Concern England 
Shaord M (2012) Later Life: A Comprehensive Guide, The Care Press
Wanless D (2006) Securing Good Care for Older People: Taking a long-term view. London: King’s Fund
Age UK; the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged
NHS Choices; Older People