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The University of Southampton

DEMO2005 Population Processes in the Developed World

Module Overview

The module studies key population issues specific to the developed world, 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 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
  • Reading critically, analysing and summarising literature.
  • Presenting and evaluating findings, explanations and theoretical perspectives through written work and seminar talks
  • Discussing alternative viewpoints in written work and in seminars.
  • Self-management 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. 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 does the increase 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

The course will be taught via lectures, seminars and independent study. You will be asked to do specific tasks in preparation for the seminars, e.g. reading a journal article or watching a documentary.

Independent Study122
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Population Europe Youtube Channel.

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

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) 30%
Exam  (2 hours) 70%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 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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