What SSHM students do after they graduate: Jennifer Summers and Sumayya Allam – MSc Gerontology

Jennifer Summers and Sumayya Allam are currently Master’s students in MSc Gerontology and will begin Policy Research roles in September, at the Pensions Policy Institute.

The Pensions Policy Institute is an educational charity which emerged as a non-partisan voice to provide fact-based analysis and commentary to the pensions and retirement provision policy making process. The Pensions Policy institute publish regular research reports and briefing notes to inform debate on the long-term implications of pensions’ policy outcomes.

Jennifer Summers– Jennifer gained a First-Class Honours BSc Developmental Psychology degree from University of South Wales which introduced her to the importance of the lifecourse. During this time, she completed a Psychology of Ageing module and was inspired by the subject and work of her professor, becoming passionate about learning more about the interrelated factors of ageing. Her undergraduate dissertation on involuntary autobiographical memory in older adults solidified the idea to apply for a postgraduate Gerontology degree at King’s College London to gain a further understanding on later life and to develop research and policy knowledge to benefit the population.

Sumayya Allam – Sumayya graduated from Newcastle University in BSc Biomedical Science. Her interest in the ageing population first stemmed from her final year undergraduate research project at the Centre for Ageing and Vitality at Newcastle University. This provided her with an in depth understanding of the biomedical model of ageing. On completion of this project Sumayya was inspired to seek out an understanding of the social, psychological, cognitive and political aspects of ageing to which she applied and successfully gained admission on the MSc Gerontology course at King’s College London. This course has led her to develop a keen interest in policy relating to pensions.

Sumayya and Jennifer says: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our year studying Gerontology. We have learnt about ageing from professionals with such a wide range of experiences and had multidisciplinary classes, which means it has really opened our eyes to the realities and complexities of later life from a variety of perspectives. The core modules in Ageing, Health and Society, and Population, Ageing and Policy provided an interesting, solid basis for understanding sociological, psychological and political aspects and how these relate to policy implications. We also gained key knowledge surrounding social research methods which we feel has enabled us to secure the positions at the Pensions Policy Institute.

Prior to our interview, we were was asked to submit two pieces of research work, where we had been involved in both the research process and the report writing. We both submitted pieces that we had completed during the social research modules. The interviewers were highly impressed at the standard of work that had been submitted and commended us both on the report writing. The course has prepared us well for a career in policy and research in ageing and ageing studies by raising our confidence in gerontology and social science. Specifically, what has stood out is the exceptional quality of teaching and the invaluable assistance from ours tutor, and all the lecturers in Gerontology who have been there every step of the way. We are greatly looking forward to our new roles within the Pensions Policy Institute and would not have got there without the experience, knowledge and assistance from this course”.

The Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine would like to congratulate Jennifer and Summayya on their achievements!

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