Ageing & Public Policy

Students will: analyze critical policy challenges relevant to diverse older populations; assess the role of public policy in the fair and effective allocation of opportunities across the life course; evaluate the readiness of existing policy structures; and assess to what degree the application of policy levers are supporting older people and addressing system sustainability issues. Offering a choice between on campus (public health measures permitting) and on-line delivery, the course is comprised of an applied project (tied to a placement with a national public, NGO or private organisation), and taught modules that include: International Policy and Ageing; Social Exclusion and Inequalities in Later Life; Dynamics of Ageing and Public Policy; Health Systems and Policy Analysis; Work, Pensions and Retirement; and Cost Benefit Analysis and Evaluation.

Work Placement
Students have the opportunity to apply for paid/voluntary work placements with national public agencies and civil society organisations instrumental in policy debate and formulation from across the ageing-related policy sector.

1. First programme of its kind in Ireland, and one of the first available internationally.

2. Hosted at an internationally recognised research centre - Irish Centre for Social Gerontology.

3. Delivered in collaboration with international policy experts working at the forefront of policy development, and advocacy.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
Normally applicants require a primary degree with Second Class Honours, Grade 1, in a related social science discipline (e.g., economics, sociology, management, social work, policy orientated degrees) or a cognate field of study (e.g., health sciences, public health). IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. Applications from people with commensurate experience in ageing-related policy and practice will be considered.

Application dates

WHEN TO APPLY: University of Galway does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers will be issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. See page 312 for full details of when and how to apply


1MEP1: 1 year, full-time; 1MEP2: 2 years, part-time.

Enrolment dates

2020–21 academic year

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Graduates will possess in-depth analytical skill sets which will enhance employability in ageing-specific and general public policy sectors. This includes: capacity for critical thinking; knowledge of and ability to evaluate policies; and capacity to apply data analysis techniques. Students are likely to be employed as: policy analysts and managers in public bodies; policy and strategic planners in civil society organisations; service coordinators; and senior staff within private ageing related organisations. This course will also serve as an excellent grounding to pursue a PhD programme.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider