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Course Overview

In this rapidly changing world, one thing is certain. The world is ageing and at great speed. By 2050, one in two people will be above 65 years old in Singapore. The complex needs of the aged population are, and will continue, to create many career opportunities, especially in the community care and social service sectors.


The Diploma in Social Sciences in Gerontology (GEM) will equip you with  holistic skills in areas such as:

  • health promotion
  • programme planning
  • case management
  • non-profit leadership

that will set you on a path of a rewarding career as Community Care Executive, Social Work Assistant, Assistant Care Coordinator and many more!


Our electives also provide you the chance to deepen your skills in allied health support e.g., assistance in social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing, offering flexibility to venture into different types of health and social sciences-related work and undergraduate programs.


Join us today to uplift the lives of older adults and the community!

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, applicants must obtain 26 points or better for the net ELR2B2 aggregate score (i.e. English Language, 2 relevant subjects and best 2 other subjects, including CCA Bonus Points) and meet the minimum entry requirements of this course. CCA cannot be used to meet the minimum entry requirements.


English Language (EL1)*


Mathematics (E or A)


Any one of the subject in the 1st group of relevant subjects for ELR2B2-A Aggregate Type

  • Art
  • Business Studies
  • Combined Humanities
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Higher Art
  • Higher Music
  • History
  • Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in English)
  • Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in Chinese)
  • Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in Malay)
  • Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in Tamil)
  • Humanities (Social Studies, History)
  • Humanities (Social Studies, Geography)
  • Intro to Enterprise Development
  • Literature in English
  • Literature in Chinese
  • Literature in Malay
  • Literature in Tamil
  • Media Studies (English)
  • Media Studies (Chinese)
  • Music
2024 Planned Intake
Net ELR2B2 aggregate range (2024 JAE)
8 - 12

* Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)/ Unified Examination Chinese (UEC) holders must have a minimum of grade 6 for the relevant English Language subject (e.g. Bahasa Inggeris).

Admissions Exercises

What You'll Learn

You will start by building your foundational knowledge in Gerontology, Psychology and Sociology. You will then go on to pick up useful skills in Communication, Applied Social Research and Geragogy. You also begin to build a profile of an Older Adult.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GEM1008 Introduction to Gerontology

This subject introduces students to the theoretical perspectives and approaches to the study of ageing from various disciplines. It will examine the causes and consequences of ageing at the micro (individual) and macro (population) levels. This involves investigating the social, physical and mental changes humans undergo as they age, as well as the impact of the elderly population on social, economic and political institutions.

GEM1009 Introduction to Sociology

The subject introduces students to the key theoretical perspectives in Sociology. Through these theories, students will examine current and emerging social phenomena. From the systematic study of different social structure e.g. family, work, social control, gender and ethnicity, students will be able to apply sociological concepts to help them explain social life in societies.

GEM1011 Applied Social Research

This subject provides a general understanding of the theory and practice of social science research and presents science as a powerful method of human thinking. The focus is to provide students with the necessary information to understand the importance of research in the field of social science and its applications to various settings. Students will learn a systematic way of thinking and knowledge discovery known as scientific inquiry.

GEM1192 Managing Adult Life Transitions

This subject covers issues relating to major life transitions that typically occur during mid to later adult life, such as changes to employment and health status. Transition psychology and related theories are examined to recognise how and why individuals respond to such changes. Social constructs, individual choice, ‘preparedness’ and motivation are considered in view of managing anticipated and unanticipated life events.

GEM1193 Introduction to Health and Social Services

This subject introduces the evolution of the health and social service landscape in Singapore, associated challenges and projected trends. Special emphasis is paid to the service and organisational culture unique to the eldercare sector.

GEM1194 Silver Leisure and Lifestyle

This subject examines the varying lifestyles of and leisure activities undertaken by the silver population. It focuses on how their evolving profile, characteristics and demographic interacts with current and emerging trends and drives demand for various leisure activities and impacts on supporting industries. Content also includes associations between participation patterns in leisure activities, key types of activities undertaken, social relationships, psychological wellbeing and activities that best contribute to the determinants of active ageing.

GEM2013 Psychology of Ageing

This subject provides insights into geropsychological concepts and theories relating to the adult's adaption to the third and fourth age. Issues relating to the ageing population, improved longevity, and the changing psychological needs and capabilities of older people are examined.

GEM2199 Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing

This subject focuses on the biopsychological aspects of ageing and illness. Content will also include selected theoretical perspectives on health, illness and ageing, some of the main disorders and related treatment modalities. Optimal ageing as a concept and emerging technologies for longevity will also be addressed. Related ethical issues will be discussed.


This is a year of exciting practicums and maybe even an overseas trip! You will level up with subjects like Silver Leisure and Lifestyle, Public Health and Programme Planning. Also, enjoy meaningful activities with the GEM Student Interest Group.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GEM2019 Physical Activities and Wellness for Older Adults

The subject will examine the structural, physiological, psychological, and functional changes occurring during adulthood and the implications of these for the planning and implementation and evaluation of exercise programmes for older adults.

GEM2191 Coaching and Case Management

This subject introduces the principles of coaching and case management to assess needs and evaluate options, services and programmes required to meet individual specific needs. Multidisciplinary approaches are introduced and the subject examines social, cultural and psychological perspectives and appropriate strategies to achieve goals and empower the older adult.

GEM2193 Gerontechnology and Behaviour Design

This subject provides students with a deeper appreciation of gerontechnology and how it can be harnessed to improve quality of ageing. Students will learn behaviour design principles that can be used to customize programmes and services to nudge health-promoting behaviours. 

GEM2194 Mental Health and Dementia Management

This subject examines the aetiology of common mental health disorders in older adults and management approaches. Special attention will be paid to dementia, its impact on the individual, families and society, and techniques to manage associated challenging behaviours. 

GEM1195 Programme Planning for Health Promotion

This subject provides students with a foundation in programme conceptualisation, organisation, execution and management. Transcending the various principles of project, event and activity development and management, students will examine current and emerging practices. This will include the examination of selected institutions e.g. nursing homes, community centres, tourism agencies, and existing programmes as case studies. Students will plan the design, budgeting, management strategies and evaluation of a programme.

GEM2200 Social Policy in Ageing

This subject provides a sociological perspective on the process and experience of human ageing in modern society, while adopting a context-based approach that employs case studies. Topics include the demographic and political impact of ageing societies, historical and cultural perspectives on ageing, and the major theoretical approaches to the study of ageing. Various social policies and institutions that affect ageing will also be examined. These include social policies on health care, housing, retirement, death, living environments and social support for the aged.

GEM2201 Population Health and Ageing

The subject will introduce the key areas of study under public health, with a focus on current and emerging global health challenges impacting older populations across developed and developing countries. Topics will examine patterns, causes and effects of health and diseases in older populations, analyse the efficiency of healthcare services and delivery, and understand the interconnectedness of health of the developed and developing world.


Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GEM2195 Community Based Nursing Support

This subject consists of classroom learning and a practicum component. It provides knowledge and skills required to assess older adults’ health status and assist with nursing and care interventions. Students will embark on a practicum to apply the skills learnt and undergo competency-based assessments. Topics include medication administration, assistance with activities of daily living and measurement of vital signs. 

GEM2197 Basic Gerontological Counselling

This subject consists of classroom learning and a practicum component. It covers key counselling skills, approaches and interventions commonly used in working with older adults. Students will be equipped with tools to assess, intervene, and provide psychological support to older adults. Students will embark on a practicum to apply the skills learnt and undergo competency-based assessments.


You will hone your culminated knowledge and skills in a Research Project and develop professional skills during your Student Internship. These experiences will prepare you to take on many exciting education and career opportunities upon graduation!

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GEM2018 Community Development with Older Adults

The subject will provide an understanding of the principles and approaches to community development and how these can be applied to work with older adults to address some of their major challenges. Students will be introduced to the methodologies of community development that will enable them to design intervention programs that also harnesses the potential of older adults.

GEM3193 Leadership Development in Non-Profit Organisations

This subject looks into the skills, roles and responsibilities of an effective team leader in the non-profit sector. Students will be exposed to practical and contextualized learning through job shadowing with relevant organisations. 

GEM3194 Advance Care Planning and End of Life Issues

This subject will examine psychosocial, legal, ethical and spiritual issues that may arise in the process of dying, and the role that care professionals play in supporting the dying and their families. The subject will also examine the various models of end-of-life care adopted in different countries, with emphasis on person-centred care.

GEM3195 Administration for Non-Profit Organisations

This subject teaches the fundamental skills required in junior executive roles in purpose driven entities, especially those in the ageing sector. This also involves examining demonstrated strategies to achieve sustainability in various organisational types such as non-profits, social enterprises and profit-with-a-purpose companies. Topics cover volunteer management and retention, cross sector collaboration, measuring social impact, client-centric values, fundraising, resource mobilisation, risk management, and social innovation.


Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GEM2196 Community Based Therapy Support

This subject consists of classroom learning and a practicum component. It provides knowledge and skills required to assist with therapeutic exercises and mobility training. Students will embark on a practicum to apply the skills learnt and undergo competency-based assessments. Topics include ambulation and transfers, falls prevention and groupwork facilitation. 

GEM2198 Working with Older Adults and Their Families

This subject consists of classroom learning and a practicum component. It examines the role of the family in the older person’s experience of ageing and approaches to collaborate with the family unit to co-create solutions. Changing norms and values that influence interactional dynamics within the family system will also be explored. Students will embark on a practicum to apply the skills learnt and undergo competency-based assessments.   


You will also take this set of subjects that equips you with the crucial 21st-Century life skills you need to navigate the modern world as an agile, forward-thinking individual and team player.

Subject Code Subject Credit Units
GIP3006 Student Internship Programme

This structured programme is designed to link your learning with the real work environment. You will be placed in organisation(s) with opportunities to apply the concepts and skills acquired in the course of your study. Besides reinforcing technical concepts and mastering of skills in areas that you have been trained, the practical training will enable you to build important skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and to cultivate good attitude and a strong work ethic.

GTX1001 Effective Communication

This subject introduces the fundamentals of effective communication. It also covers how to communicate with and convince an audience through writing and speaking tasks. The skills in this subject will include the application of strategies for communication, appropriate vocabulary, language features, visual aids, tone and style. The Message, Audience, Purpose and Strategy (MAPS) framework will also be applied when planning and engaging in written and verbal communication.​ There will be opportunities to communicate and collaborate through active learning activities, apply digital and information literacy skills and build competence through self-directed learning.

GTX1002 Professional Communication

This subject covers professional communication skills for the workplace and employability skills in the areas of career preparation. It covers communication and interpersonal skills, including effective virtual communication etiquette, and conducting oneself professionally in the workplace. In addition, essential career preparation skills such as resume writing and interview skills, needed to seek and secure work would be included. The Message, Audience, Purpose and Strategy (MAPS) framework would also be applied when engaging in written and verbal communication. There will be opportunities to communicate and collaborate through active learning activities, apply digital and information literacy skills and build competence through self-directed learning.

GTP1301 Current Issues & Critical Thinking

This subject covers current issues, including diverse local and global concerns, that will impact lives and may have critical implications for Singapore. There will be opportunities to build competence through self-directed learning, communicate and collaborate in active discussions and objectively analyse issues using digital and information literacy skills and critical thinking scaffolds.

GTP1201 Career Readiness

This subject focuses on personal management skills. It develops an understanding of one’s career interests, values, personality and skills for career success. It covers the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to succeed in the workplace and achieve professional goals. There will be exposure to apply digital and information literacy skills, build competence through self-directed learning methods, and acquire the skills of being a lifelong learner.

GTP1202 Career Management

This subject focuses on career management skills. It covers the importance of workplace readiness skills to adapt and respond to the changing job market environment. Career ownership and continuous learning for lifelong employability will be emphasised. There will be exposure to apply digital and information literacy skills, build competence through self-directed learning, and acquire the skills of being a lifelong learner.

GGS1002 Global Studies

This subject provides essential skills and knowledge to prepare students for an overseas experience. They will examine the elements of culture and learn the key principles of cross-cultural communication. In addition, they will gain an appreciation and awareness of the political, economic, technological and social landscape to function effectively in a global environment. The subject prepares students to be responsible global citizens and leaders who can contribute to the global community through effective communication and collaboration.

GTP1302 Guided Learning*

The subject introduces students to the concepts and process of self-directed learning in a chosen area of inquiry. The process focusses on four stages: planning, performing, monitoring and reflecting. Students get to plan their individual learning project, refine and execute the learning plan, as well as monitor and reflect on their learning progress and project. The learning will be captured and showcased through a curated portfolio. The self-directed learning project will broaden and/or deepen a student’s knowledge and skills. Students will enhance their problem solving and digital literacy skills through this subject.

GIN1001 Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The subject is designed for learners from all disciplines to embrace innovation in either their specialised field or beyond.  Learners will be taught to apply the Design Thinking framework to develop problem statements, ideate and identify feasible solutions. Learners will be exposed to several tools for prototyping. In addition, commercial awareness will be imbued in learners through various innovation and entrepreneurship concepts or tools. This subject also prepares students to be self-directed lifelong learners who are digital and information literate. It nurtures communicative and collaborative citizens who can use objective analysis in problem-solving.

GTP1101 Leadership Fundamentals

This subject focuses on self-leadership based on the values of integrity, respect, and responsibility. Increasing awareness of self and others will lay the foundations for personal and relationship effectiveness. Consequential thinking, clear articulation of personal values and visions, emphatic listening, and collaboration in serving others are some of the essential skills covered in this leadership journey. There will be opportunities to build and to apply the concepts of being a values-centred leader.

GTP1102 Leadership in Action

This subject focuses on Service Learning as an experiential platform to apply the tenets of Self and Team Leadership. Service Learning will be the capstone project for this subject, which will require an analysis of the diverse needs of the community, collaboration with community partners and demonstration of learning, including key elements of empathy. There will be opportunities to build and to apply the concepts of being a values-centred leader.

LSW1002 Sports & Wellness

This subject reinforces the fundamental knowledge learnt on health, fitness, exercise and sports. Hands-in time will be allocated for a greater variety of fitness exercises and sports skills in a recreation setting. In addition, theoretical knowledge such as sports safety and risk management when participating in physical activities will be introduced. Guidance will be provided for improvement of physical fitness, acquiring of sports skills and relating theoretical knowledge to the physical activities.

TGS1001 Sustainability & Climate Action*

This subject prepares students to be responsible global citizens and future leaders who can contribute to the global community.  It introduces the topics of sustainability and explores how human societies can act to build a sustainable future. This subject focuses on the impact of climate change, potential solutions to climate change, and the future of the green economy from global and local perspectives.


* Students must choose to take either Sustainability & Climate Action or Guided Learning.

Graduation Requirements
TPFun Subjects
36 credit units
Diploma Subjects - Core Subjects
84 credit units
Total Credit Units Completed
min 120 credit units

Career Prospects

You can look forward to many exciting and meaningful career opportunities, and the chance to contribute to society. Roles include:

… and other people-oriented positions that focus on providing programmes, products and services to the mature generation.

Life @ Social Sciences in Gerontology

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Course Review

Course Fees

PET Course Fee


The table below shows the total subsidised fees (inclusive of GST) payable. 

(Age below 40 in the year 2021) 



There are 2 semesters in each Academic YEAR (AY). The billing periods for AY 2024/2025 are:
Semester 1:  15 April 2024 – 13 October 2024 
Semester 2:  14 October 2024 – 13 April 2025

Fees are billed and payable by semester. They are usually payable in June for Semester 1 and December for Semester 2.


View course fees for other intakes, subsidies, grants, bursary and awards at the Fees & Financial matters section. 

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