Advanced Ageing and Frailty Studies (P.Grad.Cert)

1 year part-time
20 Places


The one year part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Ageing and Frailty Studies is suitable for a wide range of health-care professionals, including medicine, nursing and allied health disciplines, who wish to improve their knowledge and inform their clinical practice in the area of frailty. 

Postgraduate Certificate will also deliver significant content related to how to assess and manage the frail older adult in a clinical setting, including clinical training sessions. Furthermore, graduates of this Postgraduate Certificate will experience how to apply this theoretical and clinical knowledge to a research setting and learn how this research translates back to a clinical setting. 

The programme consists of four modules

• The Biology of the Ageing Process 

• Frailty in Ageing Adults 

• Frailty in Ageing Adults: Clinical Practice and

• Quantitative Analytical Tools for Ageing and Frailty 

The course is taught by the Discipline of Medical Gerontology within the School of Medicine using in-person learning, as well as online-learning through the College Virtual Learning Environment. 

The Discipline of Medical Gerontology at Trinity has a wealth of expertise in ageing biology, clinical frailty assessment and management, and in frailty research. We have built on this expertise to create a Postgraduate Certificate that focuses on understanding the ageing process, how dysregulation of physiological systems can lead to frailty, and why these frailty-associated physiological changes leave the older adult more vulnerable to additional morbidity and mortality. 

The time commitment for the online lectures will be (term times during 1 year):

Tuesdays 3-5 pm Irish Time

Fridays 2-4 pm Irish Time

Lectures will be recorded.

Module 1: The Biology of the Ageing Process (10 ECTs; Semester 1)

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of what happens to the body during the ageing process.  It will provide a general overview to the ageing process and will focus on some of the key mechanisms of ageing. There will be focus on how age-associated physiological changes leave us more susceptible to developing diseases as we age. There will be a focus on biological determinants and stressors that accelerate the ageing process and detail how they exert their effects on the systems of the body. The module will explain the important differences between chronological and biological age and focus on the factors that can influence our rate of ageing. There will be a focus on the immune system and how age-related changes to immunity leads to increased susceptibility to diseases.  The objectives of this module are:

• Describe what happens to the body during the ageing process

• Demonstrate knowledge of major theories of ageing

• Understand the concept of biological vs chronological ageing

• Outline how certain stressors can drive accelerated ageing

• Discuss the role that genetics plays in the ageing process

• Understand age associated changes in immunity and how inflammation plays a major role in age related diseases

• Discuss the physiological changes associated with major age associated diseases and how changes to lifestyle can mitigate disease development and pathology

The content of this module will be delivered through 10 lectures on Friday afternoons (2 – 4pm) throughout semester 1  

Module 2: Frailty in Ageing Adults (5 ECTs)

The Aims of this module are:

• Describe the clinical concept of frailty in ageing adults.

• Recognise the biological underpinnings of frailty in ageing adults.

• Differentiate the various operationalisations of frailty in ageing adults.

• Identify the relevance and importance of the assessment of frailty in healthcare settings.

• Outline the principles of comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) in the management of frailty and geriatric syndromes.

• Describe the application of CGA for the management of frailty in special specialty scenarios (e.g. surgery, oncology).

• Describe the application of CGA for the management of frailty in special patient groups (e.g. HIV, intellectual disabilities).

The content of this lecture will be delivered through 10 lectures on afternoons throughout semester 1.

Module 3: Frailty in Ageing Adults: Clinical Practice (5 ECTs)

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the clinical assessment of key geriatric/frailty syndromes with an emphasis on the practical use of common geriatric assessment tools and their practical integration through the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment method.

This module examines the assessment of four major geriatric syndromes across care settings:

• Mobility, disability and falls risk assessment

• Assessment of cognitive impairment, dementia and delirium

• Assessment and management of polypharmacy with an emphasis on appropriate prescribing tools

• Transitions between care settings including hospital discharge planning processes

The above practical sessions will culminate in a session where the student will have an opportunity to integrate a variety of clinical assessments via a simulated Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment.

Students will undergo practical tutorials on components of frailty assessment in a clinical environment.  Students will be supervised and guided by clinical consultants in the four geriatric syndromes.  Students will also undertake virtual workshops on implementing frailty services in their clinical practice. The content of this module will be delivered through 7 practical tutorials and 3 virtual tutorials on Tuesday afternoons (3 – 5pm) throughout semester 2.

Module 4: Quantitative Analytical Tools for Ageing and Frailty (10 ECTs; Semester 2)

The Aims of this module are:

• Provide a theoretical overview of statistical methods used in the operationalisation of frailty-related parameters

• Introduce students to statistical analysis software (Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS))

• Provide students with an overview on navigating SPSS software.

• Provide detailed guidance on performing descriptive analysis using simple datasets, along with more complex bivariate and multivariate regression techniques using SPSS.

• Introduce the TILDA dataset and relevant to frailty analysis therein

• Provide overview on operationalising frailty models in SPSS using consolidated theoretical knowledge from earlier modules and new knowledge on analysis techniques from the current module.

The content of this module will be delivered through 7 lectures and 3 virtual tutorials on Friday afternoons (2 – 4pm) throughout semester 2.


Attendance to taught sessions and practicals.  Students will have assignments and/or exams for each module.  The final mark is based on a credit-weighted average of the mark awarded in each module with a pass mark of 50% required

Career Opportunities 

Graduates will be able to progress through advanced/specialist gerontological practice routes where available. The skills acquired through the course will enable candidates to enhance their comprehensive geriatric assessment skills and the quantitative skills required to accomplish successful service evaluations, quality improvement projects and business cases.

Click Here for further information on modules/subject.

Course Details

Number of Places

20 Places

Next Intake

September 2023

Course Coordinator

Prof. Roman Romero‐Ortuno


Course Director

Prof. Nollaig Bourke

Closing Date

31st July 2023

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Admission Requirements

Health or social care professionals working with older adults in any settings. Suitable professionals include doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and allied health and social care professionals. Service managers will also be considered.
Have a fluent command of the English language.
Applicants should have an Honours bachelor’s degree at 2.1 or above in an area of health sciences

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees


To apply, click on the relevant Apply Link below

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Register Your Interest

Register your interest in postgraduate study at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

As Ireland’s leading university, we offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes at masters, diploma and certificate level.

Trinity is an international university steeped in history, with a reputation for excellence in education, research and innovation.

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