DV476      Half Unit
Population Analysis: Methods and Models

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Arjan Gjonca


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Social Research Methods, MSc in Statistics, MSc in Statistics (Research), MSc in Statistics (Social Statistics) and MSc in Statistics (Social Statistics) (Research). 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 DV476 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.


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 and the understanding of population issues. 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, and methods of population analysis required to understand the major population issues the World is facing at present.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the MT. Seminars will be at or upwards of 45 minutes duration and lectures will be at or above 60 minutes duration.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to complete exercises, write one essay and complete one multiple choice questionnaires 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 texts available including:

  • Essential Demographic Methods by Kenneth W. Wachter, 2014 (recommended);
  • Demographic Methods by Andrew Hinde, 1998;
  • Demographic Methods and Concepts by Donald Rowland, 2003 (less advanced);
  • Methods and Models in Demography by C Newell, 1988 (less advanced).


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

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills