Bachelor in Social Gerontology

Course Objectives

This course is based on a definition of the ageing process according to a perspective of life span / life course. Another key idea behind the design of this degree is its multi/interdisciplinary matrix assuming human ageing as a biopsychosocial phenomenon.
If on the one hand this degree has in its genesis a strong consideration for educational benchmarks internationally accepted for the field of ageing, on the other, it sought simultaneously to integrate the specificities of our national territory.
In addition, and accordingly, to the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra mission, consequently of the School of Education of Coimbra, this degree has two particularities:
1) in addition to the curricular units covering the study of ageing processes core areas, it also seeks to print on this training offer a matrix oriented towards a social and educational dimension of gerontological intervention and towards the relational and ethical principles of professional practice; and
2) a vocational training component in work context, implemented intensively in the third year of the course, in which different curricular units are linked to the different internship settings.

This degree seeks to answer to national needs for qualified professionals in the field of social protection and provision of care/education services designed to the elderly in order to respond appropriately to their needs, of their families and communities.
Therefore, the goals of this course are:
To coach technical staff proficient in scientific knowledge about ageing, being able to respond appropriately to the needs of the elderly people, within an intervention and community education framework.
To know and understand theoretical and practical frameworks and apply the acquired knowledge and skills in the improvement of services or practices intended to elderly people, guided by the principle of promoting their quality of life and the development of positive social environments.
To acquire knowledge and develop basic skills on ageing such as analysis, understanding and intervention skills in different contexts and / or gerontological/ social/ care services.
To know and apply needs assessment tools adjusted to the elderly and, according to the diagnosis, to develop and implement individualized plans towards their functional, cognitive and social optimization, actively involving elderly people, families, caregivers and communities.

The study plan of this course has an internship, which seeks to approach professional reality of these professionals.

Access Conditions

Access to the course is through the following schemes:
a) National Acess Application (for candidates with a course of secondary education or equivalent degree);
b ) Special Applications (for candidates who fulfill the conditions issued in Decree 393 -A / 99 of 2 October);
c ) Special Applications (for candidates with: Above 23 years old candidates Evidences, college graduates and
Technological specialization courses – CET);
d ) Change of Degree/Institution.

The specific evidence required for access to the degree are one of the following:
(02) Biology and Geology; (17) Applied Mathematics to Social Sciences; (18) Portuguese.

Professional Outlets

The degree in Social Gerontology develops professional skills in three areas, providing professional opportunities in the scope of: (1) community intervention in the field of Social Gerontology; (2) management of organizations, services and gerontological social resources and (3) training in the field of Social Gerontology.
These competencies can be performed in the following working contexts:
Social or private organizations providing services and direct care to the elderly population;
Local authorities and public social security services;
Social or private organizations in the area of education, leisure and senior tourism;
Public or private health structures;
Training structures in the field of aging.

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Learning Language


Learning Objectives

This degree has as learning objectives:
To know and to use biological, psychological, social, political and educational frameworks for a better understanding of human ageing and be able to use these benchmarks in human ageing and development analysis.
To describe the processes of growth and human development throughout the life cycle and of old age outcomes.
To identify the changes intrinsic to the ageing process.
To know the most common syndromes and disorders of old age and respective biopsychosocial risk/protective factors.
To know the social policies and care services provision / social responses that support the well-being of elderly people.
T know quantitative and qualitative research methods used in the study of ageing, its strengths and limitations, and to use critical thinking to evaluate sources and evidence.
To know and apply principles and ethical values in professional performance with and for the elderly.
To perform a needs assessment and provide referential for based on evidence interventions in terms of wellbeing promotion, disease prevention, and services evaluation.
To plan and execute in a collaborative way with other area professionals (nurses, psychologists, social workers, etc.), gerontological actions in order to promote ageing integrated approaches.
To promote elderly’s quality of life, well-being, and active ageing, as well as building positive social environments through the design and implementation of institutional and community development actions /projects/ practices for and with the elderly and their families.
To design, implement and evaluate projects / activities that promote learning opportunities throughout the life cycle, the creative expressions of the elderly and intergenerational relations, towards elderly’s personal development, social inclusion and quality of life.

These learning objectives are operationalized through more specific objectives as they are presented in the different curricular units (CU) that compose the curricular structure of this course. The teaching/ learning methods are chosen considering the objectives to be achieved.

Access to Superior Studies

The Diploma in Social Gerontology grants qualification to continue studies in a Master Degree.

Course Coordinators

Common Core

Curricular Year: 1

Curricular Year: 3
Curricular Unit Code ECTS Period
Drama and Leisure 20039219 3 1st S
Seminar 20039038 9 1st S
Training of Trainers 20028092 6 1st S
Workshop: Art Therapy 20039208 3 1st S
Workshop: First Aid 20039126 3 1st S
Workshop: Movement and Dance 20039236 3 1st S
Workshop: Music Expression and Music Therapy 20039225 3 1st S
Internship 20039049 30 2nd S