• Class Number 9431
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Bernard Baffour
    • Prof James Raymer
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course focuses on analytics to study the life course with a focus on (i) detecting universal properties of events and stages in life and (ii) how factors that are location- and period-specific affect people’s lives.  In demography we seek to understand life events, the timing of these events, and their sequence. Models for studying both individual and group change are introduced. These include multi-level models, random effects models, event history models, multistate life tables and projections, modelling age-specific events, small area estimation, and model validation and assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate how population models can be applied to understand the life course;
  2. Organise and analyse individual longitudinal data;
  3. Generate and interpret multistate life tables and projections; and
  4. Assess data quality and overcome data limitations using demographic methods.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class
  • Individually 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Referencing requirements

It is of the utmost importance that you cite appropriately the articles, books and other sources whose findings, interpretations and theories you either use, rely on or allude to, in your essay. Referencing is not the most important aspect of your essay—content is the most important — but it is such a common error to reference poorly that we wish to emphasise that poor referencing is sloppy and will lose marks.

Here are the basics:

  1. The correct way to make a statement on the basis of one made by a source you have read is to put the comment into your own words and quote the source. For example: “There are three areas in which, according to Preston (1986), values have been changing” or “Preston (1986) says that three types of value change have been occurring” or “One author, Preston, suggests that values are changing in three areas (Preston 1986)”.
  2. All sources cited in the text should appear in a reference list at the end of the essay. A reference list documents your sources and provides the information necessary to identify and retrieve each source. The reference list includes only the sources that were used in the research and preparation of the essay. It lists specific works that support your statements and that were cited in the text of the essay. In contrast, a bibliography lists general works on a topic. These may include works which are not cited explicitly in an essay or a project. In general, coursework essays require a reference list as distinct from a bibliography. Bibliographies are almost never appropriate for coursework essays or for projects in demography and social statistics.
  3. Citations should be made at the appropriate place in the text. You should not simply include a bibliography to your essay without citing relevant authors at those places through the text where you rely on them as a source.
  4. You should only cite in your text as "author (date)" those sources that you have seen yourself. If, for example, Preston quotes a study by King you should either say: “King (1973) cited in Preston (1986)” or “King (1973) is quoted in Preston (1986) as having shown …..” etc. Both the King (1973) and Preston (1986) references should appear in the reference list. You will lose marks for giving the impression, by misleading referencing, that you have consulted sources that you have not in fact seen but are cited in an article or book or other source that you have read.
  5. Sometimes an author expresses something so well that you will want to quote them verbatim. If so, put the sentence in quotes, or indent the text to indicate clearly that these are not your words, and cite the source directly afterwards ".. quoted text here…." (Preston, 1986). However you should do this very sparingly and not as a matter of routine. It is never acceptable to quote an author verbatim without indicating the source clearly and either putting the passage in question in quotation marks or indenting the text to show that it is a quotation. It is never acceptable to make extensive use of direct quotation—an essay should consist largely of your own words.
  6. You should be careful in taking notes to distinguish clearly between your own words and those of the author(s) you are reading—otherwise you may reproduce the author’s words in your essay, thinking them to be your own. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not reproduce the words of others as if they were your own. This is a form of plagiarism and will be penalised accordingly (see below).

Style of referencing: There are many styles of referencing used in academic publications. Any referencing format in standard use in scholarly social science publications is acceptable. However, you would be well advised to choose a straightforward one and stick to that in all your essays. 

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction and key concepts
2 Introduction to longitudinal (repeated measures) data
3 Exploring and describing longitudinal data
4 Modelling longitudinal data I
5 Multi-state life tables
6 Multi-state projections
7 Modelling longitudinal data II
8 Modelling longitudinal data III
9 Modelling longitudinal data IV
10 Homelessness and transitions into housing (James O’Donnell)
11 Spatial and demographic settlement patterns of Chinese-born in Australia (Qing Guan)
12 Conclusion and research paper presentations

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment
Short written assignment 30 % 30/08/2019 20/09/2019
Research essay 70 % 10/11/2019 24/11/2019

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 30/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 

Short written assignment

In this assignment, you will describe and explore real event history, longitudinal or multilevel data. The goal of this assignment is to get you started on analyssing repeated measure data and to interpret results, using the methods introduced in weeks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. This assignment focuses on the application of the methods.

Word limit (where applicable): 1,000 words

Value: 30% of total grade

Due date: 4 September

Estimated return date: 20 September

Assessment Task 2

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 10/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 

Research essay

The research essay is an opportunity for you to examine in depth a specific issue related to demographic modelling and life course analysis. It can be theoretically focused or empirically based. It can be focused on any type of demographic application but must have a clear life course analysis component. Students should discuss their proposed topic with the course lecturers before beginning their research and before the teaching break in September. 

Word limit (where applicable): 4500 words

Value: 70% of total grade

Presentation requirements: 5-10 minute PowerPoint presentation in Week 12

Due date: 10 November

Estimated return date: 24 November

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Student work will be returned in the seminar or during office hours. 

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Only in very exceptional cases will resubmission of assignments be allowed.  

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Bernard Baffour

Research Interests

Demography, Geography, Economics, Environmental Sciences, Political Science, Public Health, Social Research, Social Research Methods, Sociology 

Dr Bernard Baffour

Tuesday 11:00 13:00
Prof James Raymer

Research Interests

Prof James Raymer

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions