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The University of Southampton

GERO6019 Demographic Change, Ageing & Globalisation

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; ageing in post-socialist transitional economies; the role of civil society in providing old age security; the impact of migration on older people’s lives; careworker migration.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include lectures and lecturer-led seminars and an optional tutorial on creating graphs and tables from demographic data. Learning activities include lecturer-led seminar discussions, student group discussion, independent study, the creation of graphs and tables to represent demographic and health data, writing an essay and demographic country report. One session is taken up by a structured student debate.

Independent Study176
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Kunkel, S. R., Brown, J. S., & Whittington, F. J.  (2014). Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course. 

Scharf, T. and N. Keating (2012). From inclusion to exclusion in old age: A global challenge. 

Module resources available on BlackBoard include lecture handouts, coursework details, references and module updates. In addition, resources include specially ordered texts located in the University library, copied readings in module reading boxes in the Hartley library, readings as electronic Reserve Collection items, and details of specialist websites. Students will be provided with guidance on how to locate, present and interpret demographic data.. 

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:


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 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. 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: Students have access to workstations in the Hartley Library and in Computer rooms around the campus. Students may wish to purchase their own laptop/PC/tablet. Printing and Photocopying Costs: For all GERO modules, coursework (such as essays; projects; dissertations) is submitted on line. However, for some modules outside Gerontology, there are some items where students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: . Conference expenses: Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as 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. Parking Costs: For students not residing in Southampton, paid parking is available on the University campus. Maps of the campuses can be downloaded from here:

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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