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PhD in Gerontology

A balance of content knowledge, research skills training, and intense supervision by experts who would hone the deep skills and knowledge of the student.

PhD in Gerontology


The rapidly ageing population in Singapore, and concomitant need for trained professionals in the health, social and psychological services have given rise to an imperative need for Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Graduate Diploma in Gerontology, Master of Gerontology and PhD in Gerontology programmes. As the needs of elder people are specialised, dedicated attention within the training to address specific characteristics such as the ageing process, demands interdisciplinary courses in Gerontology.

Singapore University of Social Sciences's Master of Gerontology, with Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and PhD option is the first in Singapore to offer a holistic training for a rewarding career in the eldercare and silver sector. Graduates from the Programme will have acquired advanced knowledge and skills to be leaders and consultants in the field of gerontology. They will be prepared to perform challenging roles and functions in both government and private sectors.

The PhD programme will have a balance of content knowledge, research skills training, and intense supervision by experts who would hone the deep skills and knowledge of the student. Practice or applied research areas would be emphasised so that effective solutions may be distilled through scientific rigorous research. The issues related to ageing and ageing populations within the Asian context will be highlighted throughout the programme. This will distinguish the programme, and attract individuals in the region seeking to obtain a doctoral degree in gerontology.

There is recognition in the industry as well as in government ministries that gerontology has much to offer for policy, research and practice. There is a demand for highly competent professionals, who have the multidisciplinary training and approach, in industry, academia and research institutes, and the doctoral graduates of the proposed programme can help to fill the gap.

Unique features of the programme:

  • It adopts a multidisciplinary perspective
  • Focus on Asian context
  • Blend of practical and theoretical emphasis highlighting applied research
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis; therefore applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early.

Admission Requirements

Refer to general admission criteria for graduate programmes.

In addition, applicants will need to meet these minimum requirements:

  • A Bachelor's degree, preferably with a Second Class Honours and above in a relevant discipline from a reputable university or equivalent qualification; and
  • A Master's degree or its equivalent; and
  • A minimum of two years of work experience

Applicants are also required to furnish the below documents when applying for the programme:

  • A personal statement of interest and reasons for choosing this programme - 500 words
  • A research proposal - 4,000 words (including references)

Applicants without a degree from the local universities will have to furnish GRE scores of at least 160 (verbal) and 163 (quantitative), which are obtained within 5 years before the date of application.

This programme is currently unable to take in international students, i.e., you must be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident or a resident in Singapore (e.g., Employment Pass holder) in order to apply for admission.

Financial Assistance

  • Alice Lim Memorial Fund Sponsorship

  • Lorong Koo Chye Sheng Hong Temple Award

  • Professional Development and Management Programme

  • SkillsFuture Study Award for Healthcare Sector
    You may apply for the study award for Healthcare Sector which is worth $5000. Please refer to the following website for eligibility, terms and conditions:

  • SkillsFuture Fellowships
    The SkillsFuture Fellowships are for Singapore Citizens with at least 10 years of working experience in the same, or related, industries or job functions. The award is worth $10,000 and further details, eligibility, terms and conditions are available in the following link:

    Applicants who are graduates (at Master's or Bachelor's level) of Singapore University of Social Sciences and Singapore Institute of Management will enjoy 20% course fee concession.

    For more information, please email Ms Eileen at ZWlsZWVudGVveWxAc3Vzcy5lZHUuc2c=.

Programme Structure

The doctoral programme is research-based and caters to individuals who wish to develop their career in gerontology. As this is a fast growing field in Singapore, PhD graduates will be able to apply their skills and knowledge in the public, private and people sectors.
Opportunities for social workers, sociologists, counsellors, care managers, allied health professionals such as nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, architects and financial consultants to lead in the silver sector are expanding. The degree programme prepares these and other professionals to play a significant role in the academia, health and social services, urban planning and infrastructure, and silver industry.
  1. What is the minimum and maximum period of candidature?
    Minimum is 3 years and maximum is 7 years.

  2. What is the total number of CUs required for graduation?
    120 CUs (80 CU for Dissertation, 40 CU for coursework).

  3. Will I be assigned a supervisor?
    Yes. The supervisor will be an expert in the topic of research.

  4. What is a Qualifying examination (QE)?
    The QE consists of an oral presentation and a written proposal in front of a selected group of people.

  5. What is Viva?
    It is an oral defense of the dissertation after submission to the examiners.
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