Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)


Department: ANTHROPOLOGY (HUMAN SCIENCES) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Queen's Campus Stockton


  • Levels 1 and 2 Human Sciences BA, Levels 1 and 2 Human Sciences BSc, Levels 1 and 2 Health and Human Sciences BSc, Biological Anthropology II (ANTH2011), Phase I MBBS (Stages 1 + 2).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module aims to enhance students' understanding of theoretical issues and current debates in demography and development, in both developing and industrialised countries.
  • The approach taken will be a critical, problem-solving one, where students are encouraged to challenge received wisdom and apply concepts and theories to new situations.


  • The course begins by introducing key concepts and methods in the study of human populations: (a) basic principles and methods of formal, quantitative demography: population structures and dynamics, the study of fertility and morality, (b) qualitative approaches to the study of populations, and recent developments in the rapprochement between demography and social anthropology.
  • These basic theories and concepts are then applied to a range of contemporary issues in human populations and development, such as: (a) demographic and social impacts of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • strategies for safe motherhood in developing countries.
  • the importance of family planning programmes relative to socio-economic development in explaining contemporary fertility decline.
  • the impact of fertility decline and ageing populations in North-Western Europe.
  • the relationship between female education, empowerment and demographic change in developing countries.
  • (Issues highlighted will vary from year to year, to ensure the course is kept current and relevant).

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will: Understand the major demographic theories and principles.
  • Be familiar with a broad range of current demographic and development issues in both developing and industrialised countries.
  • Have a much deeper understanding of demography and development issues in two particular areas of the students choice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Understanding of, and ability to use, basic quantitative demographic methods.
Key Skills:
  • Be able to present a coherently argued essay.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will provide students with the basic tools of demography and development: theories, quantitative methods and qualitative approaches.
  • They will also be used to introduce students to important contemporary issues in demography and development in different parts of the world.
  • In seminars, students will apply the basic concepts and theories particular contemporary issues in demography and development.
  • Thereafter, the seminars will focus on particular critical issues in demography and development, introduced in lectures.
  • Groups of students will focus on particular ideas over several sessions in order to gain depth of understanding.
  • Independent learning will be encouraged by asking students to work, individually and in groups, to prepare for classes.
  • In seminars, students will also learn from each other, as each group shares its expertise on important demographic and development issues in different areas and contexts.
  • Erasmus students will use a recommended textbook and prepared worksheets to learn about, and practice, the basic tools and methods of formal demography, taught to other Populations and Development students through lectures and seminars in Michaelmas term.
  • A dedicated tutorial on those topics will be organised for Erasmus students on their return to the UK at beginning of Ephiphany term.
  • In addition, notes from lectures and classes in the Michaelmas term will be posted on DUO, to which Erasmus students will have access during their time abroad.
  • Assessment by unseen exam (1 hour), which will be based on compulsory short answer questions, will test students' breadth of understanding of demographic methods, approaches and issues.
  • Two assessed essays (2000 words each) will allow students to show much deeper understanding of one particular development / demographic issue on which they will have focused on in particular during the course.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 4 Every 2/3 weeks 1 hour 4
Tutorials 1 Single dedicated session for Erasmus students 2 hours 2
Seminars 8 Every 1/2 weeks 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 186
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
unseen examination 100%
Component: Essays Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
essay 1 2000 words 50%
essay 2 2000 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

Exercise on formal demography and demographic (approximately 500 words). Two essay plans, 500 words each.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University