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The University of Southampton

RESM6017 Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing

Module Overview

This module introduces students enrolled in the Masters in Social Research Methods to critical interdisciplinary perspectives in population change, health and wellbeing. The module is divided into three interconnecting parts: (1) Population change, health and inequality (2). Critical debates in health and social care and (3) Wellbeing and therapeutic landscapes (detailed below). The three parts offer students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. demography, geography, psychology, social work, health sciences) the opportunity to engage with issues at the forefront of contemporary research. The interdisciplinary nature of work across these fields is reflected in the issues that researchers work on in these three thematic parts. A cross-cutting theme that links the three components is a focus on equity and improving health and wellbeing for particularly marginalised populations. We will explore the idea of equity and marginalisation and how it can be conceptualised, measured and researched. The format of the module reflects our commitment to examine in-depth debate and discussion with space between sessions for students to carry out independent reading and research. Six x 3 hour sessions for teaching and one x 2 hour session for the formative policy briefing. In addition there will be a half day field trip to London. The module content will include a mixture of lectures, seminars and interactive workshops with leading experts. There will be opportunity for group work and peer review, along with a session on the assessment.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Know and understand patterns and relationships in population change, health and wellbeing at a variety of scales, and how these relate to inequality and marginalisation of particular population groups;
  • Recognise the ethical issues involved in population change, health and wellbeing debates and enquiries.
  • Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations;
  • Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations);
  • Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange relevant information using a wide range of sources;
  • Work as part of a team and to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others;
  • Manage time and organise work effectively.
  • Know and understand the interdisciplinary nature of studying the constitution of economic, social and political processes on health and wellbeing, and the influence of these processes on inequality and marginalisation;
  • Evaluate socio-spatial dynamics of difference and inequality with particular reference to historical development, ethnicity, class, gender and the changing nature of society;
  • Abstract and synthesise information from a variety of sources;
  • Assess and critically evaluate the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies;
  • Critically analyse and interpret data and text;
  • Develop reasoned arguments;
  • Solve problems and make reasoned decisions.
  • Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data;


The main body of the syllabus will remain the same, drawing on research expertise of the three participating academic teaching staff, however some of the substantive debates in health care policy in the syllabus will vary from year to year, reflecting shifts in the research frontier. We envisage the following structure: • Three x 3 hour thematic sessions in Semester 1 One x full afternoon field trip to London in Semester 1 • Three x 3 hour thematic sessions in Semester 2 • One x 2 hour formative assessment session in Semester 2 The venue for each thematic session will be circulated between the three South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership Institutions: University of Southampton, University of Brighton and Portsmouth University. The formative assessment session will take place in University of Southampton.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Students will attend and participate in seminar style sessions, where staff present their ongoing work and receive feedback. Students will also be expected to do readings ahead of each session and share their insights and comments in a group discussion. They will also attend and participate in relevant departmental colloquia involving academics from Southampton, Brighton, Portsmouth and other institutions who are invited to present their work. Attendance and participation in these gatherings is directly related to the aims and learning outcomes identified above.

Follow-up work18
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Wider reading or practice30
Completion of assessment task20
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Department of Sociology, Oxford University, Working Papers.

Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Working Papers.

Centre for Population Change (CPC, Economic and Social Research Council) Working papers.

Institute of Research into Superdiversity (IRIS, University of Birmingham) Working Papers.

London School of Tropical Medicine, Team for Health Economics, Policy and Technology Assessment Working Papers.



MethodPercentage contribution
Book review  (1000 words) 40%
Poster Presentation 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Book review  (1000 words) 40%
Digital presentation 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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