SA485      Half Unit
Planning for Population and Development

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tiziana Leone


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

new MSc introduced


Some familiarity with personal computers is required, but a high degree of technical proficiency is not required.

Course content

The course is practical in nature and overviews key methods used for planning in population and development. Key questions which will be answered in this course are: what is the future of the world population; What are the family planning needs of couples in low income countries; what will be the number of newly HIV infected in the next 15 years; what is a sustainable population growth. Relevance will be given to methods used for assessing the implications of high levels of mortality in developing countries with specific reference to the HIV/AIDS pandemic; as well as the assessment of high fertility levels due to low uptakes of family planning methods. The approach is practical and complements the more theoretical population courses giving additional skills such as an understanding of key international projections and estimates. Students will undertake a number of computer-based assignments (using either Excel or Spectrum) which will follow the topics highlighted during the lectures. The course covers concepts used for population analysis; the role of population projections in the population planning and development process; the basis of projections made by international agencies such as the UN Population Division; the formulation of projection assumptions and methods of making projections; methods for projecting and assessing the impact of HIV/AIDS and the use of software such as AIM (AIDS Impact Model). The course will also give an overview of projections for particular sub-groups such as households, families, urban, sub-national and labour force ones and of the implications of uncertainty for the planning process. Emphasis will be given to the learning of analytical skills which include data and information searching on the internet as well as presentation of the information.


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

Formative coursework

Students are will be expected to submit a formative essay before the end of term

Indicative reading

Relevant documents will be provided at the start of the course, mainly in the form of electronic documents.

Suggested reading are Lutz “The future population of the world; Cohen “ How many people can the earth support”


Coursework (50%) in the MT.
Coursework (50%) in the LT.

Assessment will be by two coursework assignments, each of a maximum of 10 A4 pages, which will involve the formulation, execution and writing up of a project concerned with a model for population planning, which has been agreed with the course teacher.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 11.6
Merit 60.5
Pass 25.6
Fail 2.3

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: 11

Average class size 2014/15: 11

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 82.9%



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