Master in gerontological sciences
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
2 - 3 years
EUR 1,092 / per year *
Earliest start date
18 Sep 2023
* Per year (EEA students)
The Research Master in Gerontological Sciences is unique in its kind in Belgium and its surroundings. It is the only program that studies the field of gerontology on a broad and multidisciplinary basis. It offers a wide spectrum of scientific aspects that is essential to understand the field of gerontology. The program investigates the biogerontological and biomedical basis underlying the aging process. But it also discusses the psychological, social, and health policy aspects of older persons, like for example ethical themes and intercultural aspects. Students are stimulated to start from the principle of ‘free inquiry in order to reflect critically on current gerontological problems.
Students will have the opportunity to get embedded in ongoing interdisciplinary research projects of our associated research groups such as the Frailty in Ageing (FRIA) research group. Watch the introduction to Healthy Ageing.
The courses in the program can be divided into two themes:
- Gerontology focuses on the biological, biomedical, psychological, and social aspects of gerontology
- Research methodology offers you skills to do research in the field of gerontology.
The courses in the program can be divided into two themes: gerontology and research methodology. The former focuses on the biological, biomedical, psychological, and social aspects of gerontology, making you an expert in the field. The latter offers you skills to do research in the field of gerontology.
The foundations will be discussed in a package of course units that provides a thorough Bio-Psycho-social concept of Gerontological Sciences. Students will identify a topic at the end of the first semester of the first year, on which substantive work will continue under the supervision of a promoter through the master curriculum. Although this might implicate a certain degree of ‘specialization’ in a certain domain of the Gerontological Sciences, most – if not all – research projects in which the students will be involved have a typical interdisciplinary character. Given the nature of this program and the intensive coaching, daily presence on campus is required.
During the Research Master of Gerontological Sciences, the students will write two articles (one review article in the first year and one original research article in the second year) and submit them for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal. In addition, they will have to deliver a research proposal for a doctoral fellowship at the end of the first semester of the second year, which may be submitted in one of the known channels (FWO doctoral fellowship, SBO doctoral grant ...).
This is a two-year program of 120 credits.
The Research Master in Gerontological Sciences offers a specific training trajectory to those excellent students who want to build up an academic career in the field of Gerontology. The program also provides ideal preparation for starting a Ph.D. in the domain of Gerontology.
Program Tuition Fee
Ph.D. holders in Gerontology can be engaged in various universities as postdoc fellows or senior academic staff. The university is obviously not the only place where research is conducted. In addition, Ph.D. holders in Gerontology can be engaged in policy functions and doctorate holders are desired in services from the welfare and health care that focus on innovation, quality, development, and implementation of clinical pathways and guidelines and/or research.
Furthermore, employment opportunities can also be found in various centers of excellence (for example, the center of excellence in dementia care), policy support centers, umbrella organizations, and private research centers. These less traditional sectors require tasks such as data analysis as well as advisers, consultants, etc. to function. Besides the universities and scientific institutions, industries are also an increasingly important market for Ph.D. holders. It is considered, therefore, that Ph.D. holders in Gerontology would fit perfectly in the R&D departments of large companies.