Postgraduate taught 

End of Life Studies MSc/PgDip/PgCert: Online distance learning

The Continuum of Ageing and Dying DUMF5127

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

The course sets out the demographic, epidemiological, and policy dimensions of ageing towards the end of life including decline, dependency, and death. It will examine how super-ageing centenarians are creating a '5th age'. It will situate associated age-related care needs in the global context, critically considering why dying in old age continues to be neglected in research, policy and practice. It will engage with differing care settings, such as home, hospital, care home, and hospice, the development of palliative care, and the historical, social, and cultural changes to expectations of healthy ageing, caregiving, and autonomy in late life. It will also examine core elements, debates and models of ageing into end of life care within selected international case studies.


Online delivery - None

Online delivery - 1x 90 minute seminar per week

Excluded Courses





Case-study of 1,500 words (60%)

Interview-based report (40%) (NB: Ethics approval will be needed and sought by the Course Convener as a 'group' approval)

Course Aims

1. To enable students to develop awareness of the continuum of ageing and dying and the key issues that shape it, placing these issues within an international context by situating them within case studies from around the world.

2. To develop a critical perspective by introducing socio-economic and demographic considerations as to why ageing towards end of life remains an underdeveloped area of research, policy, practice and why unequal access to palliative care for older people persists.

3. To introduce students to different care settings, and have them reflect on the benefits and challenges of palliative care provision within these settings.  

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Synthesize key health- and care-related issues which are more likely to affect older people as they age and approach the end of their life.

2. Critically reflect on the role of palliative care in addressing care tensions within the ageing-dying continuum.

3. Create ideas that might assist in overcoming unequal access to appropriate end of life care for older people specifically.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.