What our students are saying

Master of Ageing students talk about their experiences

Master of Ageing

Some Master of Ageing students talk about their experiences in the course

1. Mid-Career Change: I am 49 years old, and I have been teaching Art and Technology in country secondary schools for over two decades. I enjoyed the work, but I felt that I could contribute much more to my local community, especially for the increasing population of older people.  Last year, I made the leap of faith and left the Education Department to become a fulltime, online student … and I haven’t looked back!  Of course, I miss all the daily interactions, but I have equally loved the academic rigour and discussions about ageing.  At first, I had many chats and emails to the Support team, about some of the software, and they were universally wonderful.  I found the weekly overview table very useful, but I had to allow extra time to re-read articles or re-watch videos, to ensure that I understood the content.  I was realistic about some of my scores, and the many avenues for feedback (rubrics, comments, discussion board) pointed out exactly how I could improve.  Also, the University of Melbourne’s Library has many easy-to-find tabs that lead to excellent guides on how to write academically, cite styles etc.  Overall, the student email account and the Blackboard learning systems are easy to use. I live over five hours away from the Parkville campus, but it doesn’t feel like that when I am studying.

[Source: Tanya Logan, Master of Ageing Student]

2. Shifting Paradigms in Ageing has been a valuable subject for my area of practice in ageing policy and has given me new skills to re-frame some of the "wicked problems" encountered in this area of policy.  The interactive component with other students has provided further insight to alternative views and ways of approaching issues.  Readings have been both varied across disciplines and academically stimulating.

[Source: Sue Leitch, CEO COTA Tasmania, Master of Ageing Student]

3. The Ageing in Society Program: With a growing professional interest in our ageing population, early last year I found myself scouring new release books and eventually discovering the University of Melbourne’s unique online Ageing in Society program. This program offers great flexibility as students can complete individual subjects or construct a qualification from a two subject Specialist Certificate through to a Master of Ageing. An amazing choice of subjects is on offer facilitated by academic and professional experts from multiple disciplines.  

I decided to apply, but not without concerns, studying online – a new experience - I wondered if I might feel isolated.   Roll forward two terms and I have just completed my second subject Shifting Paradigms in Ageing. So what of my experience to date?  Having previously completed post-graduate qualifications by attendance, I was aware of the inflexibility and challenges. The online experience has totally transformed this – everything is at your fingertips – wherever you are. I have immediately felt part of a rich, supportive and engaged learning community with students from across Australia and Internationally. Interactions in our online discussion forums are lively, thought provoking and enable sharing of diverse professional experiences. Webinars also enrich the program. Online student and technical support is user friendly and easy to access for those starting out like me.

Global Population Ageing (my first subject) enabled me to develop a thorough understanding of the very big demographic picture and the opportunities and challenges this presents locally and internationally.  Shifting Paradigms in Ageing’s transdisciplinary approach has both complemented and deepened my learning, enabling me to look at ageing from many angles and perspectives, from the societal level to the individual. In doing so, to identify and challenge my own stereotypes and those of larger society, opening my eyes to seeing interconnections and possibilities that I may not have previously. It has lifted my ability to think in this area to a whole new level and I now see opportunities and solutions where I may not have before.  

Shifting Paradigms in Ageing is a creative, multi-media and multi-modality learning subject that provides students with insights around key lenses and frameworks to explore ageing topics  from the inside (meaning and identity) and externally (our bodies), to consider the broader and interconnected application across infrastructure such as our homes, neighbourhoods and communities, how we design products services and programs, social inclusion, creativity and health and wellbeing. For those wanting to be change makers in the area of ageing, this subject provides a platform to develop strategic skills to advance new approaches. Impossible to encapsulate in a short article I encourage you to read more on the University of Melbourne’s Website.

[Source: Julieann Buchanan, Manager Tasmania Wesfarmers Group TeamCover, Shifting Paradigms in Ageing student]

4. Shifting Paradigms in Ageing is very thought provoking and deeply introspective. It has made me reflect on my practices and rethink accepted notions on ageing-related issues. It is highly relevant to anyone working with older people.

[Source: Shirlynn Cai, Physiotherapist, Master of Ageing Student]