Higher Diploma in Gerontology and Geriatrics

Higher Diploma in Gerontology and Geriatrics

Course information

Course title Higher Diploma in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Course code UHDGEGFT
Postnominal H.Dip.(Melit.)
Level of qualification Not Applicable
National Qualifications Framework level Level 5
Duration 3 Semesters
Mode of attendance Full-time
Total ECTS credits 90
Coordinator Marvin Formosa
Delivered by Faculty for Social Wellbeing
The Higher Diploma in Gerontology and Geriatrics targets candidates who wish to expand their knowledge in the social, psychological, economic, and biological processes of ageing and later life. The Higher Diploma promises to act as a catalyst for candidates' intellectual development with regards the meeting of needs by both present and incoming cohorts of older persons. The latter stages of the life course is characterized by various transitions, as people exit from the labour market, go through various psychological and social developments in their personal and public lives, and experience multi-faceted health issues and concerns. The Higher Diploma will provide students with transferable skills which will either aid them in entering ageing-related occupations, as well as advance their career progression in the field of ageing.

The Higher Diploma provides a broadly based, multi-disciplinary perspective on ageing, later life, and older persons, whilst also disseminating knowledge and skills related to clinical and practical interventions with older persons. It will also sensitise the students to the application of gerontological and geriatric research findings to practice.

The Higher Diploma programme in Gerontology and Geriatrics is especially meant for persons already working with older persons and in the field of ageing, those who wish to work with older persons, and others who wish to commence their studies in the field of gerontology and geriatrics. In many ways, the Diploma is a logical, perhaps essential response to the demographic trends currently being faced all over the five continents, including Malta: both the ageing of the population and the growth in life expectancy.

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Applicants must satisfy the General Entry Requirements for admission, namely, the Matriculation Certificate and Secondary Education Certificate passes at Grade 5 or better in Maltese, English Language and Mathematics.

Applicants considered as “Adult Learners” (mature applicants) in terms of paragraph (c) of regulation 6 of the Admissions Regulations must be in possession of those qualifications and/or experience that would satisfy the Faculty Admissions Committee that they have reached the academic standard required to follow the Course with profit. Such applicants shall be required to submit with their application a letter written in English giving their motivation for applying for the Course together with a copy of their Curriculum Vitae (C.V.). The eligibility of such applicants shall be decided by the University Admissions Board, on the recommendation of the Faculty Admissions Committee, following an interview which will be held on a date which will be announced in due course

The interviewing board appointed by the Board shall be composed of at least three persons.

The University Admissions Board, on the advice of the Board, may allow applicants in possession of additional qualifications and relevant experience evaluated according to the University Policy for the Recognition and Accreditation of Prior Learning (RPL) to be admitted for the Course under those conditions as the Board may impose.

The number of students shall be limited to 14 students.

When the number of places is limited and the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be selected, using the following criteria, the weighting of which shall be published at the time of the call for applications:

(a) academic and other qualifications
(b) experience in the area of the proposed study and
(c) performance during the interview.

For the purpose of selection, applicants who fully satisfy the entry requirements by 31st August preceding the commencement of the Course shall be considered first.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2020.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: No fees apply

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 12,750
Yr 1 - Eur 8,500 - Yr 2: Eur 4,250
(a) Subject knowledge and understanding: to list and explain the social, psychological, and biological theories that are applied within the field of gerontology and geriatrics, examining both normal and abnormal age-related changes that occur throughout the lifespan and their impact on practice. More specifically,
- to explain and describe demographic trends of population ageing
- to demonstrate how social gerontology is dominated by sociological theories of ageing that call for greater diversity in theorizing the links between class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality.
- to compare the difference between the third and fourth ages, especially in terms of biomedical and demographic traditions which refer to them in terms of age groups and associated changes of surviving into old age.
- to analyze the help and support provided to individuals over a continuous and generally long period of time because they are too frail to carry out basic activities of daily living.
- to list the various strands of elder abuse, and how this refers to actions perpetrated by a trusted persons that risk harm to a vulnerable older adult.
- to explain research findings within the field and determine their implications for the practice of gerontology, and to examine the future trends in gerontology research and education
- to list and explain diverse biological theories of ageing that provide discourses as to why the body tends to deteriorate with increasing chronological age

(b) Intellectual development: the Higher Diploma also provides candidates with opportunities to develop their thinking ability, approach texts critically, and use the library resources to learn new material. More specifically students will be able to:
- list the arguments as to why chronological age is a non-useful and obsolete strategy to differentiate between older and younger adults as this approach includes cultural and historical biases
- describe good practice in citing relevant material in assignments and thesis, with respect to internet materials, journal articles, and books
- explain key changes in social roles, social support, and policies that occur with aging within the areas of work and retirement, social-familial relationships, housing design, transportation and health-care, and the law
- describe the diversity in aging as it relates to ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexuality and its impact on the Maltese ageing society
- analyze the current spectrum of cognitive variations associated with aging within the areas of intelligence, problem solving, learning and memory, personality, and mental health
- differentiate between positive ageing, active ageing, successful ageing, and productive ageing, and compare and contrast these policy orientations to population ageing

(c) Key/transferable skills: the Higher Diploma should enable students to:
- identify and define both the quantitative and qualitative research methods, subject sampling techniques, approaches
- assess the validity and reliability of measurement instruments, and the significance of research ethics applied within the field of gerontology and geriatrics
- take part in and contribute to a multi-disciplinary team in a health-care setting
- contribute actively to, as well as evaluate, policy strategies on positive ageing, successful ageing, active ageing, and productive ageing
- draw up a case study report that assess the independence/dependence levels of an older person, and the extent that s/he can live in the community.
- assist geriatricians in ward rounds by providing information on the social and physical capital of patients in acute and rehabilitation hospitals
- assist in the drawing up and planning of better community, respite, and long-term services for older persons living in the community or nursing home residents

(d) Other skills relevant to employability and personal development: the Higher Diploma will also provide candidates with the following employment-related skills:
- to take charge of activity day centres for older persons
- design and implement an activity programme for older persons living in the community
- design and implement activity programmes for frail older persons in residential/nursing homes
- assist in the care of frail older persons or persons who experience cognitive difficulties such as dementia
- assist in the running of residential/nursing homes
- assist in the provision of community care services for older persons
- assist in the rehabilitation of older persons in rehabilitation hospitals
- take a role as learning assistants in programmes in older adult learning
- assist in health promotion drives for older persons
The Higher Diploma programme in Gerontology and Geriatrics is targeted to four types of candidates:
a) candidates who are interested in the field of gerontology and geriatrics and wish to follow a programme that does not lead to a Masters Degree,
b) candidates who wish to embark on a career in gerontology and geriatrics but who do not have the necessary qualifications to read for a Masters Degree in the field,
c) candidates working in various roles in the field of ageing ;and
d) older persons who want to know more on the various implications relating to later life.
The Higher Diploma will be very attractive to most social and health care workers in residential and nursing homes, community services and non-governmental organisations, and perhaps, even informal carers.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2020/1.

Last Updated: 30 September 2020

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.