SA481      Half Unit
Population Analysis: Methods and Models

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Moshi Herman


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Health, Population and Society, MSc in Population and Development, MSc in Statistics and MSc in Statistics (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students should have basic numeracy, but the course does not require advanced mathematical knowledge.Some practical sessions will involve use of the spreadsheet EXCEL. IT Training provides numerous self-paced student supervised workshops on EXCEL and downloadable course guides. Students with no prior experience of EXCEL are advised to attend one of these workshops before the course.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to the key concepts and methods required for population analysis.The course will explain the dynamics of population change and enable students to learn basic methods for measuring population structure and the determinants of population size and change (fertility, mortality and migration). The course will also provide an introduction to population projections and describe and evaluate how demographic data are collected and used. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and interpretation of demographic data, as well as methods of population analysis.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 3 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to complete exercises, write one essay and complete one multiple choice questionnaire during the term.

Indicative reading

Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes by S H Preston, P Heuveline and M Guillot, 2001. This will be used as a reference text in the course. Students may also find it helpful to consult some of the other standard, and slightly less advanced texts available including: Demographic Methods and Concepts by D Rowland, 2003; or, alternatively Methods and Models in Demography by C Newell, 1988 or Demographic Techniques by A H Pollard, F Yusuf & G N Pollard, 1990.



Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.5
Merit 37.7
Pass 24.7
Fail 18.2

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 16

Average class size 2015/16: 8

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 87%



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