Demographic Description and Analysis

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Moshi Herman OLD 1.11


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


Assumes no previous knowledge of the subject. The course is not particularly mathematical or statistical and students with non-mathematical backgrounds should not be at a disadvantage.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to the techniques of demographic analysis and the interpretation of demographic data. The main style of presentation is to introduce and discuss techniques of analysis and then examine examples of their use to illustrate demographic concepts and trends. Topics covered include sources of information about demographic data; period and cohort methods of description and analysis; the construction of life tables; measurement of fertility, mortality, nuptiality and migration; the determinants of age structure and the intrinsic growth rate; use of survey data; the interpretation of demographic statistics; population dynamics and population projection.


10 hours of lectures and 8 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

A number of practical exercises involving either computations or the interpretation of data will be set during the course and discussed in classes. In addition, a number of brief essays will be required from each student.

Indicative reading

A general reading list is circulated at the start of the course. In each lecture attention is drawn to the relevant readings. The following, however, are useful introductions: A Hinde, Demographic Methods; S H Preston, et al, Demography: Measuring and Modelling Population Processes; R Pressat, The Dictionary of Demography, edited by C Wilson.


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

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 52.7
2:1 25.2
2:2 13
Third 6.1
Fail 3.1

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 53

Average class size 2015/16: 18

Capped 2015/16: Yes (45)

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: 76%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


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Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


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Recommend (Q2.9)