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The University of Southampton

DEMO2005 Population Processes in High Income Countries

Module Overview

The module studies key population issues specific to high income countries, such as international migration, population ageing and low fertility. The module examines the causes, consequences and policy implications of the current population processes. The module offers a focus on the UK in a comparative perspective with other developed countries.

Aims and Objectives

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 high income countries.
  • Comment upon the policy implications of recent demographic trends in high income countries and on the feasibility of various policy responses to demographic challenges
  • Reading critically, analysing and summarising literature.
  • Presenting and evaluating findings, explanations and theoretical perspectives through written work, discussion in seminars, and group presentation.
  • Discussing alternative viewpoints in written work and in seminars.
  • Self-management by combining your learning in lectures, presentation and discussion and independent study.


The course investigates demographic processes in the UK and other developed countries. We examine the explanations offered for recent changes along with their current and future consequences. The module covers a range of topics including: Transition to adulthood; Fertility decline; Family change; Population ageing; Health inequalities; Gender differences in mortality; International and internal migration patterns. Most of the reading for this module is in the form of research papers published in journals. For seminars, we also make use of video interviews and documentaries. Key questions that the module will address: - What implications do the changes in life expectancy observed in the UK in the past decades have for policy? - How are statistics on international migration and asylum seekers collected in the UK? - How have the economic prospects of young people changed today as compared to the past? - Why has non-marital cohabitation increased in Europe over the past decades? - Why do women in developed countries tend to live longer than men? - Why is fertility higher in Scandinavian countries than in Mediterranean countries?

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

If face-to-face teaching cannot be resumed, teaching will be delivered by a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous online methods, which may include lectures, quizzes, discussion boards, workshop activities, exercises, and videos. A range of resources will also be provided for further self-directed study. Face-to-face teaching opportunities will be explored depending on circumstances and feasbility.

Independent Study122
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

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

Population Europe Youtube Channel.

Note. Most of the reading for this module is in the form of research papers published in academic journals, accessible from the library website.



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Final Report 40%
Group presentation 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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