03 December 2021

The global population is getting older. What are the challenges and possibilities that come with this? How can we create sustainable societies and ensure the wellbeing of an aging population? These are the questions at the heart of Linköping University’s new international master's programme in Ageing and Social Change.

A group of people walking. The photo is a bit blurry, showing motion.

An ageing population and increased inequality are global trends that affect both individuals and whole societies. They affect areas such as welfare, the economy, health, the environment, housing and work, as well as migration, urbanisation, digitalisation and gender.

“Ageing is one of the most prominent global trends, and it entails both challenges and possibilities. Understanding how this development affects society is fundamental to promote a sustainable society and peoples’ wellbeing”, says Indre Genelyte, co-ordinator for the new master’s programme Ageing and Social Change.

Ageing from a social change perspective

This new, unique programme focusses on ageing from a social change perspective. At the core of this programme are questions of how politics, welfare institutions, population dynamics and the lives of individuals affect and depend on each other. Issues of sustainability and inequality are also central.

The programme is interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to study ageing from several perspectives on global, national, and regional levels.

“There are so many aspects of societal development – from individual behaviour to how institutions develop and how structural change works. In this programme, individual behaviour and wellbeing are contextualised – we emphasise the role of changing institutional environments and the social structures in ageing societies”, says Andreas Motel-Klingebiel, professor of Ageing and Later Life at Linköping University. 

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means that teachers with different academic backgrounds and experience work together, and that there is close cooperation between faculties as well as other universities and organisations.

A programme for those interested in sustainable ageing societies the

This programme is aimed at students with various backgrounds interested in the social questions raised by ageing populations.

The programme will give students a broad understanding of ageing and social change - and how to generate impact in a changing world.  It will also offer them the opportunity to specialise and use their previously acquired knowledge. The expertise they gain from this programme is in demand in several areas today, from the private to the public sector, civil society and industry. Examples of career pathways after graduation include becoming a policy advisor, expert, decision maker, HR specialist or researcher.

“There’s a great need for experts who can understand and make an impact on the global, national and regional changes we see today that are associated with an ageing population”, says Indre Genelyte.

An international programme

This programme is a two-year programme with a possibility for a one-year track. It is international, and all teaching is done in English. Students choose to study on campus or online with a few weeks per year spent at Linköping University.

This hybrid type of education can create even more opportunities, according to Indre Genelyte.

“This gives students with different backgrounds and experiences the opportunity to attend the programme. Regardless of whether they are studying on campus or online, students will meet in lectures, hybrid seminars and study groups. This way, they can learn from each other. It also gives the opportunity for teachers outside of Linköping University to be involved in the programme.”

The master’s programme Ageing and Social Change begins in the autumn term 2022.

Learn more!

 In this webinar you can find out about the curriculum and different aspects of the master’s programme in Ageing and Social Change, as well as studying and living in Sweden.

Learn more about the programme and how to apply


Research on Ageing and Social Change

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