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The present proposal of doctoral programme in ‘Psychogerontology: Life Cycle Perspective’ is justified as the transformation of the current doctoral programme in Psychogerontology, regulated according to the RD 1393/2007 that has been offered in the Universitat de València since the academic year 2008-09.

The doctoral programme that is described below is endorsed by the training experience accumulated by most professors of this doctorate that take part in the Master’s Degree in Psychogerontology, which is being taught with an interuniversity character since the academic year 2008-09 in the universities of Salamanca, Valencia, Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela. The Master’s Degree in Psychogerontology represents the consolidation in Spain of the experience gained through almost two decades of specialised training in ageing from a psychologic perspective, without forgetting the interdisciplinary dimension that is indispensable in this professional and scientific field. Furthermore, the current doctorate in Psychogerontology has allowed to offer both to the graduates in this masters of all the universities and other doctoral students interested in a specific training space for the research in ageing psychology. The first doctoral thesis defended within the framework of the programme in Psychogerontology in 2012 is the first result of this joint effort to promote quality research in this area.

Although there are currently other programmes that focus on ageing, in the orientation of all these titles, the most important aspect is the medical-geriatric, or, at the other extreme, the social and extremely multidisciplinary aspect, without working with the necessary depth the psychological aspect which responds to some of the aspects that most concern society today given the significant population increase of the age group referred to in this doctorate, the elderly. The Specific Degrees in Gerontology, which exists since the late 1980s in Spain, offered a general professional training for several professions: medicine, nursing, social work, social education, law, psychology and others. Even though there is an introductory training on Psychology of Ageing in the degrees of Psychology, Social Education and Occupational Therapy of several Spanish universities, until then there was not an appropriate official doctorate. This was due to the geographical dispersion of the researchers in the matter. The current doctorate in Psychogerontology of the Universitat de València is filling the existing gap and has served to unify all the previous training experiences in the different universities.

Among these backgrounds related to the doctoral studies, it should be highlighted that the Universidad de Salamanca was pioneer in teaching since 1987 a Doctoral Programme in Adult Develop and Ageing. Since 2000 the aforesaid programme evolved towards a Doctoral Programme in Psychology of Ageing to provide a greater specialisation in this discipline. The Universidad de Barcelona had specific programmes (‘Psychogerontology: change and optimization’; ‘Development and diversity: Research in disability and ageing’) between 1994 and 2002 and continued with modules related to Psychogerontology in subsequent programmes. At the Universitat de València, in the doctoral programme ‘New perspectives in Developmental and Educational Psychology’, which belongs to the Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology since 1994, there have been different subjects and specialised seminars related to several aspects of the adult’s development and the ageing processes. All this is related to specific research lines of ageing and the corresponding doctoral theses and scientific publications.

In addition to this, the current doctoral programme includes the perspective of the vital cycle, in other words, how the habits and lifestyle during the development can have influence on a healthy ageing. Therefore, a line that is closely related to the physical activity as a crucial factor to an active ageing has been added. The mentioned line arise from a doctorate developed in the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences during the years 2007-2012.