SOC40690 Population and Society

Academic Year 2022/2023

If demography is destiny, this is the study of fate. In this module students will confront a constellation of concerns, problems and perspectives on population change. Topics covered will range from obesity, disparities in life expectancy, population-level economic inequality, declining fertility and the sociocultural implications of international migration. Few contemporary debates can ignore the demographic processes that shape our changing world and this module equips students to engage and, moreover, shape that debate. The students will leave with the ability to shed light, rather than heat, on some of the most contentious social and political concerns.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

(1) Demonstrate ability to critically analyse theories of population change and demographic dynamics.
(2) Show capacity to critically apply theories and concepts of migration, fertility, mortality and newer demographic topics.
(3) Engage with key debates in population studies.
(4) Demonstrate basic understanding of key methodological approaches to measure population dynamics.

Indicative Module Content:

(1) Exhibit personal, social and communication skills needed to participate in small-group sessions to develop and independent research project;
(2) Demonstrate critical writing ability to construct, support and summarise argument that links theory and methods in the analysis of demographic change.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students will engage in reflection, in-group discussion and application of core demographic and population analytic techniques. This module is a project-based, blended module. The key feature is the participation in small-group sessions, conducted online, to refine and complete the project. A presentation of this work will also be done online if numbers allow. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Second Critical reflection on readings Unspecified n/a Graded No


Project: Project Unspecified n/a Graded No


Assignment: First critical reflection on readings Unspecified n/a Graded No


Attendance: Active participation in online, small-group sessions to develop independent project Unspecified n/a Other No


Examination: Final comprehensive examination Unspecified Yes Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Books (used in entirety or in part):
Carter, G. L. (2016) Population and Society: An Introduction. Polity Press; Cambridge, UK. [ISBN-13: 978-0745668383]

Healy, K. (2019) Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction, Princeton University Press; Princeton, USA. [ISBN-13: 978-0691181622]

Mills, M. (2011) Introducing Survival and Event History Analysis. Sage; London, UK. [ISBN-13: 978-1848601024]

Preston, S., Heuveline, P., Guillot, M. (2001) Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes. Blackwell Publishers; Oxford, UK. [ISBN-13: 978-1557864512]

Supplemental reading:
Donato, K. M., Gabacia, D. (2015) Gender and International Migration, from the Slavery Era to the Global Age New York: Russell Sage Foundation. [ISBN-13: 978-0-87154-546-6]

Articles and additional media:
Additional readings, generally journal articles and examples from current events, will be assigned throughout the term. These readings will be mostly posted at the beginning of the module, but may not be made available until the week prior to their being assigned. Most are listed on the syllabus, but additional readings may be added throughout the term. When a film/video is used in the module it will be made available, generally via a link embedded in the syllabus. In some cases, it may be necessary to arrange a viewing outside of regular class hours.