Introduction to Global Population Change

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tiziana Leone OLD2.56


This course is available on the BSc in Actuarial Science, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy, BSc in Social Policy, BSc in Social Policy and Criminology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course is also an option for second and third year students in social policy and outside the department, where the regulations permit.


As a general introduction to Population Studies, it assumes no previous knowledge of the subject.

Course content

The course is concerned with inter-relationships between the population characteristics of a society (fertility, mortality and migration) and their economic and social context. Both the causes of population change and their consequences are examined. The approach of the course is comparative across time and space: it covers population issues across the developed and developing world, and examines trends over time in both regions. The course will address key global debates which include: is population growth sustainable; what is the relationship between population size and available resources; what are the social, biological and economic influences on population growth rates, especially the role of famine, disease and war. What role have family planning programmes in decreasing population size; is ageing a threat. A wide range of topics is covered, including the demographic and health transitions; HIV/AIDS; fertility decline; the changing characteristics of the family; global trends in population ageing and their social and economic consequences for the elderly; theories and trends in migration; urbanisation.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare at least one class presentation per term and complete two mock exams (one in each of LT and ST).

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists are provided at the beginning of each term. Key overview texts include: M Livi-Bacci, A Concise History of World Population; H Jones, Population Geography; E A Wrigley, Population and History; W Lutz, The Future Population of the World.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 9.4
2:1 56.6
2:2 24.5
Third 5.7
Fail 3.8

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 17

Average class size 2015/16: 8

Capped 2015/16: Yes (30)

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 68%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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