Course of Human Centered Life Design

Course of Human Centered Life Design

Design of social welfare in response to the current era of declining birth rates and an aging population.


Chair of the Course of Human Centered Life Design

Kiyoko Sugita

Click here for a list of faculty members


Message from the Course Chair

Cultivating researchers and professionals capable of responding to the needs of an aging society with a declining birth rate

The Course of Human Centered Life Design was established in 2006 in the Graduate School of Welfare Society Design with the aim of passing on Toyo University's traditional style of conducting research and providing education on social welfare, and expanding its range of research possibilities into social welfare. The Course comprises three courses—the Child Support Studies Course, the Elderly/Disabled Support Studies Course, and the Health Design Studies Course—and it pursues research into subjects related to welfare and health from a comprehensive and practical perspective to respond to the needs of the aging Japanese society with a declining birth rate and a decreasing population.

Japan's aging population rate climbed to 26% in 2014, while its population has been decreasing since 2010, thereby aggravating the country's declining birth rate and aging population issues. The issues of decreasing population and population drain in rural farming regions are particularly serious, and it is safe to say that such regions already stand at the crossroads determining their future existence. Urban areas also face this aging population issue but, in such areas, there are a number of other burning issues such as the number of children on preschool waiting lists and the need to create opportunities for women to work. In addition, gaps in people's income and healthiness are widening.

What kinds of collaborative relationships and communities do these critical situations that Japan faces today require citizens to develop? While a desperate need for the development of a comprehensive community care system is currently expressed, I believe that it is the Course's mission to also develop a new blueprint for how community development ideally needs to be shaped.

The Course aims to ultimately achieve the following two goals: 1) to conduct, based on the perspectives of the Course’s three courses, research and education on the multifarious problems that stem from today’s issues of Japan’s aging society with a declining birth rate and a decreasing population; and 2) to cultivate people who can proactively engage in resolving such problems and take part in developing the country’s communities.

The Course's Master's Program welcomes the following two types of people: 1) students who will actively pursue ways to resolve issues concerning welfare, childcare, and/or health by comprehensively examining such issues and their adverse effects on communities by approaching such issues from a professional perspective; and 2) people who, while already practicing their professions, are strongly motivated to aim to acquire an even greater level of expertise or skills or to boost their careers.

The Doctoral Program is looking for the following two types of people: 1) people who are well versed in welfare, childcare, and/or health and also issues concerning these areas of expertise, and will devote their efforts to formulating new theories to resolve such issues; and 2) people who are strongly motivated to contribute to experts practicing their professions in welfare, childcare, and/or health by providing them with new findings made by applying such new theories.

I hope that people who are reading this such as yourself will enroll in the Course of Human Centered Life Design to pursue research and put your research efforts into practice, in order to help society forge its path for the future.

Summary and additional details on the Course

This program, which most strongly reflects the problems faced by present-day society, is made up of three courses, “Child Support Studies” and “Elderly/Disabled Support Studies,” which cover problems related to an aging society and fewer children, and “Health Design Studies,” which aims to create health―the very basis for a welfare society.

Under the principle of creative design for a welfare society, all courses have curricula that focus on problem solving and practical action, and strive to foster researchers and professionals with great insight who can respond to the needs of the times.

  •  Admission Capacity:
       Master's Program―20 students
       Doctoral Program―5 students
  •  Lecture Times: Daytime & evening courses (lectures held mainly in the daytime)
  •  Campus: Asaka
  •  Degree:
       Master's Program―Master of Social Welfare or Master of Health Design
       Doctoral Program―Doctor of Social Welfare or Doctor of Health Design
  • Program Applicable for Education and Training Grant System: Master's Program