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Become an innovative leader in one of the world's growing industries

Photo: Become an innovative leader in one of the world's growing industries
Charles Sturt University’s Master of Gerontology gives you the advanced skills and knowledge to strengthen the community’s capacity to deliver exceptional healthcare and wellbeing outcomes for older people.

You’ll focus on social models of ageing, keeping you up-to-date with advanced theoretical foundations and practice, which you can apply to any workplace.

Flexible online study

You can study online while continuing to work, allowing you to apply your knowledge within your current role.

Our Master of Gerontology is part of an articulated program of study meaning there are earlier degree exit points so you can effectively manage your study with the time you have available.

Choice of research or coursework

You have the option to complete your  master’s either by conducting research  or doing the coursework strand and taking subjects to augment your professional skills in human services.
Enhance your skill set

This interdisciplinary degree is perfect if you’re a health professional engaged in the aged care sector, including nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work.

Academic expertise

You’ll be taught by dedicated professional educators who are highly experienced in their fields. And you’ll get personal engagement and support to guide you through your studies.

How industries are adapting to Australia’s ageing population

Australia is getting older. As a population we are ageing, and at an increasingly rapxid rate. It is predicted that people aged 65 and over will comprise 22 per cent of the population by 2057. That will mean 8.7 million older people by then, compared to 3.7 million in 2017.

An ageing population presents both challenges and opportunities. Across the social, political and economic spheres, this trend will have a significant impact in terms of everything from healthcare provision to transportation planning.

At Charles Sturt University, our academics are working, alongside industry partners, to ensure that our graduates are prepared to contribute to these future services and communities.

Social work and community involvement

Social work will play a key role in helping older people retain a good quality of life and wellbeing. Robin Harvey, a lecturer and social worker in the Master of Gerontology, explained some of the key aspects that social work in the future will deal with in an ageing population.

“A key thing for elderly people is the capacity to stay on in their own place, which is what most people want to do, and what the government would like, as it is cheaper to look after older people in their own homes than provide full care for them.

“But in order for that to work well you need communities that have resources that can sustain people – infrastructure such as suitable housing, the walkability of the community, sufficient public transport (particularly in rural areas), and good internet connections to help people stay in touch with one another to name a few.

“These factors are all important for healthy social connections. Social isolation is very detrimental to health and older people have a lot to contribute. Lots of people in retirement have time and experience to offer to their communities. But if they are restricted from getting around or communicating effectively, not only do they suffer from social isolation, their expertise is underutilised. Social workers can facilitate these networks with people and communities advocating for policies and resources that ensure it can happen.”

Ms Harvey also pointed out that viewing older people as a demographic separate from all others is misguided.

“What benefits older people is often good for all of us.”

Better access to cheaper public transport, for instance, would help older people, but it also means that lower income families and mothers with young children could get around more easily – again reducing social isolation and aiding a sense of community.

Meeting the future challenges

Social work is just one of many professions that are adapting in order to ensure they can help the growing number of older people in Australia enjoy a fulfilling life throughout their entire life. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Everything from dentistry to town planning will undergo shifts in practice. For instance, academics at the university are involved in a planning program that looks at ways to make public parks more age-friendly for older people in order to enhance physical activity, social interaction and the engagement with the outdoors.

As the world and its population grows older, industries and communities will need to be flexible and adaptable in order to respond to change. While many jobs will become automated we know that service industries will still rely on highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals who can assist with navigating a way to building resilient aged-friendly communities.

If you want to be part of that drive for innovation and providing exceptional services to your community, find the right course with Charles Sturt so you can start now, whichever industry you want to join.

Find out more: gerontology


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