The University of Southampton
Courses

DEMO6026 Population and Reproductive Health

Module Overview

This module will be coordinated and taught by staff in the Division of Social Statistics and Demography for MSc students. PhD students are also welcome to audit this module. The aim of this module is to enhance knowledge and understanding of the interrelationships between population characteristics, demographic, social and economic factors, and health. In this module wewill take a global perspective to examine i) the influence of demographic patterns and change on health outcomes, and ii) the direct and indirect impacts on populations of changes in the burden of morbidity and mortality.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To enhance knowledge and understanding of the interrelationships between population characteristics, demographic, social and economic factors, and health. In this module we will take a global perspective to examine i) the influence of demographic patterns and change on health outcomes, and ii) the direct and indirect impacts on populations of changes in the burden of morbidity and mortality.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the key demographic processes and changes that influence contemporary population and reproductive health in different regions of the world
  • Appreciate the perspectives and emphases that different academic and professional disciplines place on population health in research, programmes and policies.
  • Describe the most important communicable and non-communicable health issues facing contemporary societies in developed and less developed countries
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the disciplinary training about the biological, behavioural, genetic, and socio-economic influences on the burden of disease and illhealth in populations; and, on inequalities in health status across and between populations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the measurement of population health outcomes and be able to describe some of the main strengths and limitations associated with population-level estimates of health such as underreporting, bias, measurement instruments, criteria and hard-to-reach groups.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the data available in population-based cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that can be used to examine the demographic and social determinants of health across life course.
  • Bring an appreciation of population processes and change to critical evaluations of health transitions and health policies in different settings (e.g. population ageing, childbearing, marriage and partnering)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of thinking critically about the processes that may influence population and reproductive health outcomes (e.g. age and sex structure of populations), and inequalities in health status within populations (e.g. migration, poverty and ethnicity).
  • Communicate clearly about how to critically assess the possible influence of demographic factors as determinants of health and how demographic studies can contribute to effective health prevention and/or treatment efforts.

Syllabus

During nine double sessions tutors will facilitate students gaining an understanding of the key concepts in population and reproductive health and medical demography. The sessions will use different relevant health conditions chosen by students as exemplars with which to explore various aspects of population and reproductive health including: etiology, treatment and prevention, disease and mortality burden, health differentials within and between countries, risk factors, measurement of health outcomes and health determinants, interpreting association and causality, study designs and data sources. Topics of the seminars are likely to include HIV, ischemic heart disease, obesity, dementia, low birth weight, maternal mortality and injuries. Reproductive health is an important area of in which demographers make major contributions and therefore to ensure that all students gain knowledge about the main issues in reproductive health, three of the lectures and a minimum of three student-led seminars will be address topics linked to maternal health, family planning, sexual health, sterility and assisted conception. Students will work with tutors and the class to identify seminar exemplars from across a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases, physical and mental health, regional concentration, health conditions affecting different age groups, and targets of international health efforts such as the Millennium Development Goals. This will ensure that over the course of the module, students gain an appreciation of the diversity and differences in health globally while having the opportunity to focus in more depth on two health topics for their assignments. Students will also be asked to choose topics from two different areas of population and reproductive health for each of their two assignments. Although students will be encouraged to draw on scholarship from epidemiology, medicine and medical sociology, however, the emphasis in this module will be the types of knowledge, methods, study methods and analytical approaches associated with demography and social statistics.

Special Features

This module requires students to be comfortable reading published literature as there is a lot of newmaterial to cover during self-study hours. Students also need to be open and interested in practicing and developing skills in different styles of scientific writing and presentation.

Learning and Teaching

TypeHours
Teaching20
Independent Study80
Total study time100

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary  (800 words) 40%
Position Paper  (2000 words) 60%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary  (800 words) 40%
Position Paper  (2000 words) 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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