The University of Southampton
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DEMO6021 Understanding Population Change

Module Overview

This module is an introduction to the substantive concepts of demography, how populations change and grow or shrink, and the transitions that populations make in various stages of their development. An introduction to the past, present and future world population trends will be followed by a discussion on importance and implications of age structures, population momentum and population growth. The theoretical underpinnings of demography will be also covered, including the demographic transition, the fertility transition, proximate determinants of fertility, mortality, epidemiological and health transitions, “lowest-low” fertility, changing family structures, the second demographic transition and the mobility transition. Theories and evidence on preconditions and onset of transitions in different contexts, as well as on why and how transitions happen, will be provided

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce you to the underlying processes and theories of population change – looking at the basic components of fertility, mortality and migration as well as age structure, population momentum, and transition theory

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of the key and emerging demographic issues that face the world’s population, and the role of three components of population change: mortality, fertility and migration
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the theoretical underpinnings of demography and how they vary according to the setting
  • Assess the social importance of other factors relevant to population studies, such as family structure, health and morbidity, and population policies
  • Critically evaluate research on population issues from a wide range of sources
  • Discuss alternative viewpoints in written work and in seminars
  • Present and evaluate findings, explanations and theoretical perspectives through written work and seminar talks
  • Self-manage by combining your learning in lectures, seminar presentation and discussion and independent study

Syllabus

This module is an introduction to the substantive concepts of demography, how populations change and grow or shrink, and the transitions that populations make in various stages of their development. An introduction to the past, present and future world population trends will be followed by a discussion on importance and implications of age structures, population momentum and population growth. The theoretical underpinnings of demography will be also covered, including the demographic transition, the fertility transition, proximate determinants of fertility, mortality, epidemiological and health transitions, low fertility in industrialised societies, changing family structures, the second demographic transition and the mobility transition. Theories and evidence on preconditions and onset of transitions in different contexts, as well as on why and how transitions happen, will be provided. We will also discuss population and family policies and their implications for society.

Learning and Teaching

TypeHours
Lecture13
Seminar7
Independent Study80
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Bongaarts J (1978). A framework for analyzing the proximate determinants of fertility. Population and Development Review. ,4 , pp. 105-132.

Caldwell JC (1976). Toward a restatement of Demographic Transition Theory. Population and Development Review. ,Vol 2 , pp. 321-366.

Bulatao RA and Casterline JB (eds.) (2001). Global Fertility Transition. Supplement to vol. 27 of Population and Development Review. 

OmranAR (1971). The Epidemiological Transition: A Theory of the Epidemiology of Population Change. The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly. ,49 , pp. 509-538.

McKeown T & Brown RG (1972). An Interpretation of the Modern Rise of Population in Europe. Population Studies. ,Vol. 26 , pp. 345-382.

Other. Access to text books, journal articles, web sites and other sources of related information. Other than that, no special resources required for this module.

McFalls JA (2007). Population: a lively introduction. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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