What Will You Study

This part-time, flexible PhD is led by the research-active academics based in our prestigious Division of Health Research, which is home to the Centre for Ageing Research. Combining innovative distance learning and face-to-face approaches, the degree will help you to gain deeper critical insight into the theories, research and practices relating to the care of older people.

The Division specialises in high-quality research with national and international impact on health and well-being policy. The PhD in Ageing is your chance to work with our academics on the production of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge development within the discipline.

Run over 4-5 years (minimum 4 years), your Doctorate begins with a five-day Induction Academy at the University. Each of the subsequent academic years start with an optional three-day Academy. The rest of the course is delivered via e-learning.

Throughout your studies, we will support you as you enhance your leadership skills and effectiveness, and develop advanced skills in research design, practice and dissemination. You’ll foster critical approaches to the review of evidence and improve your written and oral presentation skills. And you’ll develop the confidence to become autonomous in your professional practice and in your management of new knowledge.

Years one and two provide you with training in research and ageing. Your specialist module in Year one is Ageing, which is studied alongside the Philosophy of Research, and, Research Design. In Year two, you will undertake the following modules: Systematic Reviews; Data Analysis; and Advanced Research Planning.

Years three to four/five see you undertake a research project in Ageing, which will conclude with the submission of your 35,000 word thesis. The project will be supervised from the University but undertaken in your own location or workplace. Supervisions can be via telephone, e-mail or Skype, depending on preference. Face-to-face meetings with your supervisors will take place during the annual Academy.

Teaching is delivered by blended learning, which includes on-site Academies at Lancaster University and taught modules delivered via distance learning (we use an online platform called Moodle for this). You will participate in lectures, workshops, group discussions and individual activities during each Academy, while our distance learning approach combines live and interactive lectures, elements to be worked through autonomously, webinars and online collaboration, and group work.

You will benefit from being part of a UK and internationally-based peer group. Fellow students, who are currently working in health and wish to develop their careers by having a higher level academic qualification, may include: academics in other institutions, health and social care professionals, public health practitioners, and those with roles in non-governmental agencies.

You will have access to a Hub space that facilitates interaction with cohort and with other programmes, creating a virtual information space that’s also sociable. An academic tutor and then two research supervisors will provide you with support for each step of your PhD. They will also encourage you to attend external workshops and conferences (using University funds, where available, to support this).

Our selection of taught courses will enhance your skills in up-to-date research techniques and provide you with knowledge that extends beyond a single discipline, so you’ll graduate with a wide range of skills that aid employability.