Ageing and Care of the Elderly


The revision of the curriculum for the specialisation programme, “Ageing and Care of the Elderly”, at Telemark University College aims to realise the goals of the specialisation programme “Ageing and the Elderly” described in the national curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education and Research on 1 December 2005 pursuant to the Norwegian Universities Act of 1 April 2005 no. 15, §3(2). The curriculum provides a foundation for continued studies at Master’s degree level.

The curriculum is based on the following documents:

  • Norwegian Universities’ Act no. 15 of 1 April 2005;
  • Telemark University College’s Examination Regulations, adopted by the board on 15 December 2005;
  • Regulations for Suitability Assessment for Telemark University College pursuant to the Norwegian Universities Act, § 4, of 30 February 2006;
  • Telemark University College’s Strategic Plan (2010-2014) approved by the board November, 2010; and
  • The Curriculum for the Master’s Programme in Health Science, University of Agder, approved by the Academic Affairs Committee 2011.

The curriculum/study plan is to be understood as the student’s contract with the teaching faculty, and includes a basic description of how this contract should be executed. In addition, the curriculum will serve as a working and guidance tool for distributing information about the department’s professional pedagogical activities.

No part of the study programme allows for the individual assessment of external candidates.

The Department of Health Studies, within the Faculty of Health and Social Studies, is academically responsible for the study programme and cooperates with other bodies which have competence in geriatrics and education.

Background and objectives

The study programme in Ageing and Care of the Elderly aims to meet the special challenges which this field will present in the future. The diversity and number of senior citizens, and the variety of challenges which they present, will continue to increase in the future. An important premise for a qualified and efficient response in caring for the elderly is developing competence, which can be achieved through advanced education in the field of ageing and geriatric care.

The first advanced programme in geriatric care in Telemark was established in 1986 at what was at that time the Telemark College of Nursing. In 1999, 2007 and 2010 interdisciplinary advanced training in ageing and geriatrics was resumed. This document builds on the earlier curricula and is a revision of the 2010 curriculum. The advanced study programme, Ageing and Care of the Elderly, focuses on frail and ailing elderly persons, and in particular, on improving health conditions within this group. The curriculum for the programme forms a basis for developing and strengthening competence and a common professional platform for those who work in the health and social services, and with frail and ailing elderly in particular. The study programme is a step towards the further development of the priority area, Care 2015, at the Faculty of Health and Social Studies at Telemark University College. The study programme is intended, with time, to comprise part of a Master’s degree programme within the same priority area. Through a partnership with the University of Agder, it provides the foundation for further studies at Master’s degree level.

The study programme focuses on the increasing demand for nursing and care of the elderly, particularly those over 80 years of age. Population prognoses show that this group will grow rapidly in coming years, and will roughly double in size by 2040. Based on current statistics, it is estimated that 75% of the people in this group will live alone, and that every 5th person will develop senile dementia. An overall increase of 40 to 60% in relevant illnesses is predicted for people over 65 years of age, many of which may result in functional disabilities and loss of living skills. This increase will particularly affect the oldest elderly.

In order for the health and social services to maintain high standards, they must share a common system of values, and base their practice on the most recent research in gerontology and geriatrics. The International Association of Gerontology defines gerontology as the study of ageing and the elderly. Geriatrics, on the other hand, concerns illness among the elderly. Further, interdisciplinary cooperation is necessary in order to plan and provide services. With this in mind, the advanced study programme builds on solidarity and humanistic values, scientific approaches from a number of professional fields and an interdisciplinary learning environment.

According to the national curriculum, the objective of the study programme is to train reflective professional workers with high ethical standards. As a consequence, particular emphasis will be placed on viewing the subject material from a variety of professional and theoretical perspectives. Students will develop the skills needed to work with other professionals and volunteers in providing good health care to the elderly and their families.

The study programme contributes ideas on how treatment, rehabilitation and prevention may be integrated to promote health and mastery of one’s environment. It will facilitate learning processes that challenge and develop students’ professional skills so they are able to evaluate their own work and that of others.

Target Group and Admission Requirements

Target group

The study programme’s target group is professionals who, through their work or activities, have responsibilities or tasks related to care and nursing of elderly people, or people who seek such employment.

Admission requirements

The admission requirements are a Bachelor’s degree in health or social studies completed at university college or university, and at least one year’s relevant professional experience after graduation. Applicants with other backgrounds may be admitted upon individual evaluation.

Aim of the Programme

The study programme will qualify successful candidates to:

Work with caring for the elderly at local, regional and national levels. After graduation, the student will be qualified to meet the demographic and health challenges in the care of the elderly.

Further study opportunities

Through a partnership with the University of Agder, the study programme provides the foundation for further studies at Master’s degree level. Students also have the opportunity to apply for approval of the advanced study programme, or parts of it, when applying for admission to Master’s degree programmes at other universities/colleges. A completed Master’s degree will qualify for admission to a PhD study programme.

Learning outcome

Please refer to the individual course descriptions for details.

Curriculum and structure

Study programme courses
Code Course title Credits O/V *) Credits pr. semester
  S1(A) S2(V) S3(A) S4(V) S5(A) S6(V)
Total: 15 15 15 15 0 0
*) O - Mandatory course, V - Optional course

The study programme comprises 60 ECTS, and is structured as a part-time course of study over a 2-year period. It comprises four courses and is organised as follows:

Ageing and Care of the Elderly




1st year of study

Health and Life-Quality of the Elderly

Scientific Theory, Methodology and the Development of Knowledge

2nd year of study

The Organisation and Provision of Health and Social Services for the Elderly

Specialisation Assignment

Studies aimed at a Master’s degree programme are organised as followed:

Ageing and Care of the Elderly (Telemark University College)
with the possibility of continuing studies on a Master’s degree study programme (at the University of Agder).




1st year of study

Health and Quality of Life in the Elderly

Scientific Theory, Methodology and the Development of Knowledge (Telemark University College)

2nd year of study

Organisation and Provision of Health and Social Services for the Elderly (Telemark University College) 15ECTS

Research Methods, Design and Analysis (University of Agder) 15 ECTS

3rd year of study

Research Practice (University of Agder)

Master’s Thesis in Health Science (University of Agder)


The college’s Department of Health Studies has a comprehensive programme of international activities. Students who wish to pursue parts of their study abroad must demonstrate acceptable progression in the study programme. For further information, students should contact the department’s international coordinator who, in cooperation with the head of studies, will be able to explain the available opportunities and necessary formalities.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Teaching and learning methods will include lectures, seminars, group work, etc. The study programme places particular emphasis on student-centred teaching and participation-management. At the start of study programme, work groups consisting of between four and seven members will be established, who will draft their own contracts of collaboration. The groups will work together on different types of exercises and assignments throughout the study programme.

The study programme uses technology in instruction, guidance, information, student collaboration and submission of student work. This means students must have access to a computer and the internet. The online classroom system Fronter will be used to communicate with students between the workshop weeks. A “room” will be available for the class in Fronter as well for each of the groups.

Theory and Practical Training

Completing the study programme will require that students spend approx. 10 weeks per semester studying. This includes obligatory one-week workshop sessions consisting of teaching and group work.

During the first year there will be 3.5 one-week workshops in the autumn semester and three one-week workshops in the spring semester. During the second year there will be three one-week workshops in the autumn semester. In the spring semester, supervision seminars will be arranged to help students work on specialisation assignments.

Assessment Methods

The study programme uses varied forms of assessment that are adapted to the course’s learning outcomes and content. The assessment methods are described in the individual course descriptions.

The various forms of assessment will contribute to specialisation and integration of different disciplines, including theory and practice. The university college uses the following assessment criteria for assessment: pass/fail and the graded scale below.



An excellent performance, clearly outstanding. The candidate demonstrates excellent judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.


Very good

A very good performance, which is above average. Shows independent thinking.



An average performance, which is satisfactory in the most important areas.



Below-average performance, with significant shortcomings.



A performance that meets the minimum criteria, but no more.



A performance that does not meet the minimum academic criteria.

To pass the final examination, the student must attain no less than an E. The difference between pass and fail may be described as an absolute requirement. The criteria for a passing grade must reflect the competence level which corresponds to the academic level of the study programme. The requirements for attaining a passing grade should not be made dependent on changes in the student’s capacity to complete the study programme.

Further criteria for each examination will be found in the study programme’s “room” on Fronter.

For more detailed information please refer to the Telemark University College’s Examination Regulations.

Attendance and special rules regarding attendance:

75% attendance required for seminars, group activities and group exams.

If a student does not meet the attendance requirement, he/she must submit a written assignment on a topic which has been agreed on with the teacher/tutor; the assignment must receive a passing mark.

The Head of Department may in special cases grant exemption from attendance regulations.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Sigrunn Ø. Gundersen <>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 16/04/2013