DV456      Half Unit
Population, Health and Development: Evidence and Projections

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tiziana Leone CON 8.11


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Health Policy, MSc in Global Population Health, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Places will be allocated with priority to ID and joint-degree students. If there are more ID and joint-degree students than DV456 can accommodate, these places will be allocated randomly.  Non-ID/Joint Degree students will be allocated to spare places by random selection with the preference given first to those degrees where the regulations permit this option.


Some familiarity with personal computers is required, but a high degree of technical proficiency is not required. Familiarity with excel (basic functions) a plus. For more details on whether the course might be suitable for you please visit moodle.

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. The focus will be both on producing information as well as on searching and understanding data provided by key international agencies.  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) as well as planning maternal and child health interventions with the use of LiST. 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 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to submit a formative assessment of 5 pages 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 (85%) in the ST Week 2.
Class participation (15%) in the LT.

Assessment will be by two forms of assessment.

Participation worth 15%: will be based on in class participation, a group presentation along with homework submitted on Moodle during LT. 

Coursework worth 85% - will be a 10 A4 page report. This will involve the formulation, execution and writing up of a project concerned with a model for population planning, to be agreed with the course teacher. This must be submitted by the second week of ST

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.2
Merit 67.4
Pass 15.2
Fail 2.2

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2018/19: 19

Average class size 2018/19: 10

Controlled access 2018/19: No

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