Specialist Certificate in Ageing
What will I study?
What you will learn
Develop solutions to complex ageing issues
You’ll be able to apply comprehensive knowledge of the ageing experience from conceptual and practical dimensions of the course to develop solutions to complex ageing issues.
Appraise ageing-related systems
You’ll learn to describe and appraise systems, structures and policies in Australia and other countries that address ageing.
Assess strategies aimed at promoting healthy living
You’ll be able to critically assess strategies aimed at promoting healthy and productive ageing across the lifespan (ie legislation, policy and community development).
To gain the Specialist Certificate in Ageing you must complete 25 points comprising of:
- Two elective subjects.
The estimated hours required for each subject is between 15 -19 hours per week, but this varies for each student and depends on your task management and planning, familiarity with the material, reading style and speed.
You can also study single subjects to contribute to your professional development. For more information, please contact Student Support.
Student’s advice: "Get amongst it!"
By Serpil Senelmis
When Cameron Early attended the 2016 Global Welfare Summit on the Gold Coast, the idea of returning to study was the furthest thing from his mind. But after hearing a presentation from Lena Gan, an academic from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, at the University of Melbourne, Cameron was genuinely inspired. It was in that moment he was convinced to enrol in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to study the subject, Rethinking Ageing. He was encouraged by the quality of the course content and applied to study the Master of Ageing online through the University of Melbourne.
“No other university in Australia offered such a multidisciplinary course in Ageing and Lena was very encouraging and persuasive.”
Cameron established the first Australian company to formally deliver Senior Move Management Services. Golden Years Home Transitions provides a service which helps hundreds of seniors to move from their family homes into residential care or retirement living. Working in such a complex environment has earned his company accolades and the company remains the only Australian business who are Certified Relocation Specialists. Cameron states that the Master of Ageing course has already equipped him for best-practice.
“The course content has given me wonderful insights into emerging practices in the ageing sector and many of these concepts I have already been able to adopt and integrate into our business systems to enhance the health and wellbeing outcomes for our senior clients.”
Looking back on how his student journey has evolved, the Brisbane father explains that he “would not have been able to juggle family, work and other commitments to participate” if it wasn’t for the online nature of the course.
The value associated with interacting with high calibre like-minded individuals and having the ability to network with same, has already produced measurable financial returns for my business, which whilst unintended and unexpected, further crystalizes the investment value for me.
Cameron has nothing but praise for the Master of Ageing course.
“From my observation, learning and experience, University of Melbourne are the world-leaders and are at the cutting-edge of the emerging Ageing sector. Get amongst it!”
Sample course plan
View some sample course plans to help you select subjects that will meet the requirements for this certificate.
Sample course plan - 25 Point Program
This is a 25-pt program, delivered part-time over 6 months. This program offers intakes each term for the academic year.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this certificate.
- Ageing in Society12.5
Ageing in Society
This subject aims to offer students a critical examination of the ways in which ageing is socially constructed. Students will learn about ageing from a range of perspectives, including life course, bio-medical, gender, cross cultural, consumer, historical and self-reflection. The subject will focus on how the prevailing social context shapes ideas, relationships, and practices with specific implications for older people. This subject will critically analyse all forms of ageism and how older people are portrayed in literature, media and government policy using case studies from Australia and other countries around the world. Students will be encouraged to reflect on what ageing means to them, how they would like to age and what the impact of an ageing population might mean for future policy development.
- Economics of Ageing12.5
Economics of Ageing
The subject examines the influence of private and public/government decision-making on the economic well-being of older people. These decisions include private decisions to prepare for old-age and to live through old-age by saving and managing assets such as housing, superannuation, annuities and other assets and government decisions to provide income support, health care and regulations that aim to protect old people. The influence of behavioural biases, as uncovered by behavioural economics, will be discussed. The subject also covers how an ageing population exerts upward pressure on the taxation required to finance government activities and services for the aged and how this may affect the ‘social contract’, in which the young assist the old in expectation of assistance when they are old from succeeding generations.
- Body of Ageing12.5
Body of Ageing
This subject focuses on how the body and its systems are affected by ageing and explores the differences between the natural ageing process and physical changes that develop as a result of illness with older persons. Students will also examine the effects of the environment and lifestyle factors on musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and neurological systems that contribute to the experience of ageing and to the individual’s capability to engage with their participation preferences. Understanding the common impairments and physiological changes behind them that occur as part of ageing process provides students with a fundamental base to critically analyse as well as develop strategies for healthy ageing and disease prevention.
- End of Life Issues12.5
End of Life Issues
This subject explores the ethical issues that may arise at the end of life. Beginning with a multidisciplinary exploration of the concept of the end of life, students will investigate a number of longstanding as well as emerging issues that confront individuals, families, professionals and societies. Students will consider the implications of making decisions in various domains at different stages of the end of life, as well as the potential role of families, friends, carers, health professionals, lawyers, other professionals and policy makers in such decision making.
The subject will focus in particular on the role and responsibilities of professionals working with people preparing for or at the end of their lives. Topics may include historical and cultural perspectives on mortality and the end of life; justice in the distribution of resources at the end of life; the concept of a "good death" and euthanasia; determination of death and deceased donation of organs and tissues; and end-of life care planning and decision-making.
The curriculum for this subject will engage with art as a medium for reflection on ethical issues. Throughout the subject, students will explore a number of artworks independently and with their peers in exercises designed to foster skills in observation, interpretation, and analysis as well emotional engagement.
- Leadership for an Ageing Workforce12.5
Leadership for an Ageing Workforce
The world is in the middle of an historic demographic shift in which an ageing population and changing social attitudes interact with a range of other megatrends transforming work organisation and organisational leadership. This subject focuses on understanding how demographic and other changes challenge traditional models of leadership and managing people. It will explore, assess and develop a range of skills and capabilities associated with effective leadership, that enable organisational leaders to drive strategic, people and effective change in the context of an increasing age diverse workforce and dynamic external environment. Using case studies of leadership challenges associated with different aspects of age diversity and an ageing workforce, it explores how leadership can be used to improve organisational and individual outcomes. This subject will also examine dimensions of leadership identity and management of self as an important part of developing effective leadership. It will apply these skills and capabilities to the context of leading age diverse organisations using case studies that explore each of these dimensions of leadership capabilities.
- Ethics of Ageing12.5
Ethics of Ageing
This subject provides an overview of some of the key ethical issues associated with ageing across the lifespan, with an emphasis on their societal dimensions and implications for policy and professional practice. The skills and knowledge gained by students completing this subject will enhance their ability to engage with the health, social and economic issues of ageing encountered throughout the Masters of Ageing curriculum.
Students will be introduced to bioethical theory and its application in analysis, evaluation and decision making. Martha Nussbaum's account of capabilities for human flourishing will be used to frame the exploration of a number of key issues organized within thematic units of "justice", "autonomy" and "dignity". A final unit will explore ethical issues pertaining to the human quest for "immortality".
Topics covered include diverse historical and cultural perspectives on common ethical issues of ageing; ethical principles for health professionals, care givers and institutions providing for the elderly; age as a criterion for health resource allocation; age-based discrimination and bias in clinical decision-making and employment; international and intergenerational obligations in the context of care giving; and life extension and suspension modalities such as fertility preservation, transplantation and cloning.
- Global Population Ageing12.5
Global Population Ageing
Population ageing is causing fundamental societal and economic change in many countries and regions throughout the world. Although the opportunities and challenges presented by ageing differ between countries and regions, a global perspective can inform the development of sound policy responses to help individuals and societies to manage the transition to an older population structure. This course guides students through a range of key issues that are faced by societies with population ageing, and 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. Topics covered include health, mature age employment, retirement and finances, age-friendly housing and environments, wellbeing & community participation, advanced ageing countries and rapidly ageing countries.
- Mental Health and Ageing12.5
Mental Health and Ageing
In this subject the implications of mental health and ageing are explored from a range OF perspectives. Lectures will place mental health and ageing within a lifespan framework with an emphasis on both cognitive changes in later life and consideration of other challenges to mental health as people age, including inequality and marginalisation. The subject will also focus on issues such as the high rates of suicide among older men, the impact of loneliness and social isolation on mental health, and human rights, particularly supported decision making. Integrated and multidisciplinary approaches, and community and population based strategies, to prevent and respond to age related cognitive decline and other common mental health problems in older people will be introduced. This subject also will consider strategies to support an ageing worldwide population, including mental health promotion.
- Advanced Mental Health and Ageing12.5
Advanced Mental Health and Ageing
This subject extends the knowledge and skills developed in the prerequisite Mental Health and Ageing course. Management of mental health in older persons is explored from a range of biomedical and social perspectives. Topics include optimising mental health during ageing, preventing and managing common mental health disorders in older age, current models of mental health care and challenges for the future. Pharmacological, psychotherapeutic and environmental interventions are considered. Population health strategies and mental health promotion to support and ageing worldwide population are explored.
- Shifting Paradigms in Ageing12.5
Shifting Paradigms in Ageing
Populations are ageing globally and the Master of Ageing program is designed to produce leaders in the field of ageing who are able to develop new approaches and policies that help shape the societal shift that will inevitably occur. To this end, the Shifting Paradigms in Ageing subject aims to provide students with skills and techniques to think laterally and shift paradigms. As Einstein said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Ageing is also about opportunity, and this subject will enhance the ability to recognise and leverage that potential.
This eight-week online subject will draw on frameworks, methodologies and techniques from philosophy, education, science, business, marketing and design, combined with object-based learning and trans-disciplinary practice to enable the identification and critical analysis of socio-cultural contexts and paradigms with a focus on ageing.
- Ageing Health & Human Services12.5
Ageing Health & Human Services
This course explores the interface of policy and practice in the delivery of aged care services. The responses to policy shifts in aged care over time will be explored. The course will then focus on the present day impact of health care, mental health, income security, housing, and employment, educational and recreational policies on the delivery of services to older citizens collectively and as individuals. Case studies will be used to illustrate both the theoretical and practical aspects of designing and delivering services.
- Design for Ageing12.5
Design for Ageing
Demographic ageing is creating a shift in how to think and define homes, cities and public spaces. This subject explores feasible and sustainable approaches to keep the older segment of the population physically and socially active. Innovative changes in design can lead to significant advancements in service delivery, transportation models and homes that allow people to age in place. In addition, design principles for dementia and palliative care are a few of the many concepts that help minimise stress on people as they age and their families. Students will explore these topics and develop their own ideas about the way design can optimise the ageing process for comfort, security and overall well-being.
- Technology and Ageing12.5
Technology and Ageing
This subject looks at the ways in which recent technological advancements can revolutionise the experience, management and future of ageing. Innovations in how we age are explored from multiple perspectives, including how technology can support autonomy and independent living as well as social connectedness to minimise the isolation common in later life.
The subject offers an introduction to the aged care information technology industry and major products and services. Controversial improvements in assistive technologies are covered, such as robotics and sensors that monitor behaviour and health conditions. Lastly, this subject considers technologies for end-of-life support, for longevity and for regenerative medicine. This subject opens up challenges and possibilities for ageing that have implications for older adults, health practitioners, caregivers, service providers, policymakers and researchers.