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The University of Southampton

GERO6012 Demographic Change, Ageing & Globalisation (DL)

Module Overview

This module provides you with a foundation of knowledge on demographic change and population ageing in a cross-cultural, global perspective. The module focuses on developing and transitional societies, and on linkages between different regions of the world. You will gain an understanding of the implications of contemporary demographic change for the welfare of individuals, families and societies; and an awareness of how, with globalisation, demographic, social and economic change in one part of the world impacts upon trends in another. The module takes an intergenerational and lifecourse approach by stressing the close interaction between generations, and between older and younger selves, in the production of risk and welfare in later life. You will be introduced to examples from around the world, including Southeast, East and South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of different systems of securing old-age welfare, and assess the role of broader political and economic contexts in shaping these systems
  • Demonstrate understanding of the interconnections between demographic processes, globalisation, political economy and the lifecourse in shaping welfare in old age
  • Interpret qualitative and quantitative data
  • Integrate information from different disciplines
  • Locate relevant literature and published data
  • Use writing and critical analysis via the preparation of coursework
  • Present quantitative and/or qualitative evidence in written coursework


The module will include lectures on demographic concepts, measures and data sources; the global shift in population size and age structures; widening gaps in longevity and health; theories around old-age welfare and security; the impact of HIV/AIDS on older people; the changing nature of family and kin support; social protection, ageing and development; the role of civil society in providing old-age security; the impact of migration on older people's lives; and careworker migration.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is taught by a combination of online lectures and learning activities. Learning activities include critical reflection, tasks and problem-solving related to the lectures, which students are encouraged to email to the module convenor and/or put on the Discussion boards created for the module, independent study, and the creation of graphs and tables to represent demographic and health data, writing an essay and demographic country report. Students are expected to take part in a structured online student debate which involves posting brief position statements and commenting on others' statements. Students are encouraged to carry out some reading in advance of and during each session. There is an optional tutorial for Assignment 1 (Demographic Country Report) on creating and interpreting graphs and tables.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Module resources will be available on Blackboard, such as lecture handouts, audio-recordings of lectures, coursework details, references and module updates. Students will be provided with guidance to use Skype for verbal/visual communication with tutors; a recorded lecture will instruct students on how to locate and process demographic information for their Demographic Country Profile.. 

Dannefer, D. and C. Phillipson (eds) (2010). The Sage Handbook of Social Gerontology. 

Lloyd-Sherlock, P. (2010). Population Ageing and International Development: From Generalisation to Evidence. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 50%
Report  (3000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 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.


Stationery: You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile. Textbooks: Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available electronically on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books. Students on the DL programme receive key textbooks as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of the programme via post. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module. Software Licenses: Licenses relating to software used in the programme (eg. SPSS, NVivo) are purchased by the University, and students can download them from the iSolutions website using their username and password. Hardware: Participating in the Distance Learning programme requires the student to already have access to a PC/ laptop. Students may also wish to purchase their own PC/laptop or tablet in order to access Blackboard. Headphones are sent to the Distance Learning students in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship via post as part of their tuition fees at the beginning of their programme. Distance Learning students are also expected to have access to the internet, and to bear the cost of this themselves. Printing and Photocopying Costs: For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. Distance Learning students are provided hard copies of the MSc Student Handbook, Module Outlines and other key learning materials (eg. Module Outlines) via the post at the beginning of their programme, as part of their tuition fees. If students wish to print out copies of the lecture slides or electronic readings, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. Conference expenses: Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as any conference registration fees). Travel: Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated. If students incur any travel costs associated with conducting their dissertation research, they are expected to bear the cost of this themselves. All students on the MSc Gerontology (DL) or MSc Global Ageing and Policy (DL) programme are invited to attend a 4-day Residential Course in Southampton, however for those students who are in receipt of Commonwealth scholarships, this Course is obligatory, and the travel, accommodation and basic subsistence costs are covered as part of their Scholarship.

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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