Ageing and the Life Course

Ageing of the population is one of the most significant changes taking place in societies today, both nationally and globally. Changing life course patterns have influenced health and wellbeing, retirement and pension income, family structure, and social, economic and political participation in society. Quality of life and wellbeing in older age are profoundly influenced by experiences, choices, opportunities, and constraints earlier in the life course.

In post-industrial economies, including the UK, older people have never been as high on the policy agenda with debates about retirement ages, pension reforms, the costs of long-term care, health and social care for older people, physical activity, nutrition and health and more recently human rights, equalities and personalisation agendas.

The Ageing and the Life Course faculty research group (group leads: Demi Patsios and Helen Manchester) brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers with complementary skills and expertise in the broad and expanding research field of social gerontology. This initiative will build synergy between the School for Policy Studies' research programme on Ageing and the Life Course (coordinated by Demi Patsios) and the University of Bristol's Research Network on Ageing (coordinated by Helen Manchester).

Group members’ research interests cover a wide range of policy and practice issues relevant to both individual and societal ageing, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, across a range of geographical areas, and different periods of time. Recent research has focused particularly on housing, health-related physical activity and nutrition, health and social care, health and well-being, mental health, and poverty and social exclusion. Research in these areas is being conducted across the faculty from different disciplinary perspectives, theoretical standpoints and methodological approaches.

The goal of this faculty research group is to identify overlapping thematic interests and to develop and facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research in a number of key areas in the field of ageing and the life course. The Ageing and the Life Course research group will:

  • connect academics and postgraduate students interested in this interconnected field of scholarship;
  • facilitate networking and information sharingamong academics and postgraduate students by organising and facilitating events such as seminars, conferences, workshops and bringing in high profile speakers;
  • encourage and support individual and collective research (from conceptualisation to dissemination) by helping individuals across disciplines to develop specific research ideas, help individuals and/or groups make bids for funding, as well as maintain a vibrant research culture by organising an online forum dedicated to facilitating focused discussion on emerging interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary issues in the field, running periodic research ‘scrums’ (held virtually via Skype), and setting up an ALC Research Blog;
  • create and sustain a research culture inclusive of partners beyond academia.

Staff and postgraduate research students from across the faculty are invited to join. For further information on this group, please contact either of the group leaders.

Group Lead(s)

To join this group, please email one of the group leaders with details of your relevant research interests:

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