To study life course trajectories and ageing, scientific expertise is needed beyond epidemiology. More specifically, appropriate models of life course require a theoretical micro-foundation, need to incorporate multi-level context conditions and the interplay between them. It also requires the application of additional social scientific research methods that go beyond the application of statistical methods based on the multi-stage life table. These research theories and methods are available in disciplines like sociology, cultural anthropology, psychology, demography and economics. To effectively study healthy ageing of populations the individual approach of epidemiology has to be extended with the macro-population and socio-cultural approach of (social) demography and the institutional and network approaches of sociology.