“An interdisciplinary approach opens up a wealth of career prospects”

Women with blonde hair and glasses.
Laura Bisinger (Image: Sarah Schick (schick-design.com))

Interview with Laura Bisinger who is studying gerontology

FAU’s annual theme this year is “#FAUtogether” and our interdisciplinary degree programs represent collaboration between people beyond subject boundaries. In this series of interviews, students have their say and talk about their degree programs. Today, Laura Bisinger talks about her degree program – gerontology.

What are you studying? Can you briefly explain what your degree program is about?

I’m doing a Master’s degree in gerontology. The term gerontology means the study of age and aging. The content of the degree program includes the study of age, of aging and being old, and of older people themselves. These topics are investigated from very different perspectives in my degree program. For example, we look at the medical, psychological, biological, legal, social and societal viewpoints of age and aging.

Your degree program has an interdisciplinary approach. Do you notice this approach while you are studying? And was it a reason for choosing this degree program?

Yes, I definitely notice the interdisciplinary approach. As I mentioned, I notice this approach in particular because of the many different perspectives of age and aging as well as how they are combined and linked within the degree program. Although the interdisciplinary approach wasn’t the main factor in choosing the degree program, it did convince me after I found out more about the degree program and its interdisciplinary focus. What inspires me the most is the fact that the interdisciplinary approach will open up a very wide range of career prospects later on and I will be able to apply what I have learned in many areas of society and business.

Does your degree program involve extra work because you are studying at more than one faculty?

No, not at all. I only study at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology and my lectures always take place in the same lecture theater at the Institute for Psychogerontology (IPG) in Nuremberg. There are no disadvantages for me and my fellow students when it comes to FAU’s digital platforms either. Teaching at the IPG is very well organized, which means there is no extra work for students in terms of the content of the program. However, the Master’s degree in Gerontology does require a lot of self-study and this is where I notice a big difference compared to a Bachelor’s degree.

What do you like best about the degree program?

I particularly like the fact that our lectures and seminars only have very small groups of students. This means there’s lots of opportunity for discussions and interaction, which makes the lectures very varied and interesting. The close contact with the teaching staff is another positive aspect as they have practical experience and also conduct research in the various areas of the degree program. This enables them to incorporate aspects of real life into their lectures and they include many practical examples.

What advice would you give others who are interested in your subject?

The most important piece of advice is that even if students have studied a completely different subject that may not match gerontology at first glance, they should apply anyway. Age and aging is something that affects all of us and also affects many aspects of life. Most of us probably don’t even think about it, but during my degree, I am repeatedly reminded of all the areas that are touched by gerontology. I also recommend getting some practical experience before starting the degree by doing some volunteering or an internship – that really helped me a lot. It means that I understand the content of the degree program much better and I am able to actively participate in the discussions that often come up.

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