The University of Southampton

DEMO2005 Population Processes in the Developed World

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the main demographic processes in the developed world. The module examines the explanations offered for recent changes and considers their likely consequences. Developments to be discussed include fertility, family formation, mortality and improvements in life expectancy, health inequalities, international migration, population decline and ageing, and the policy implications of recent demographic trends.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module aims to introduce students to the main demographic processes in the developed world, to offer some possible explanations for them and to understand the consequences of changing population processes.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the main recent patterns and trends in demographic processes in the developed world (Europe, North America and other industrialised countries)
  • Critically evaluate the merits of differing potential explanations for the observed demographic patterns and trends
  • Describe future population prospects in the developed world
  • Comment upon the policy implications of recent demographic trends in developed countries and on the feasibility of various policy responses to demographic challenges
  • Read critically, analysing and summarising literature.
  • Present and evaluate findings, explanations and theoretical perspectives through written work and seminar talks
  • Discuss alternative viewpoints in written work and in seminars.
  • Self-manage by combining your learning in lectures, seminar presentation and discussion and independent study.


The course investigates demographic processes in the UK and other developed countries and puts them in their socio-economic context. We examine the explanations offered for recent changes along with their current and future consequences. Developments to be discussed will include the transition to adulthood, the fertility decline and changes in the age pattern of family formation, changes in partnership behaviour (cohabitation, marriage, separation, divorce), population decline and ageing, health inequalities, international migration patterns and the policy implications of recent demographic trends.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be taught via lectures and seminars. In the seminars you will be asked to do specific tasks by way of preparation – e.g. reading a paper and being prepared to summarise it in class.

Independent Study122
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Haupt, A., Kane, T.T. and Haub, K. (2011). Population Handbook. 

Champion, A. and Falkingham , J. (2016). Population Change in the United Kingdom. Population Change in the United Kingdom. 

McFalls, J.A. (2007). Population: a lively introduction. Population Bulletin. ,62 , pp. 0.



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 30%
Exam  (2 hours) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%
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