• Class Number 7949
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Bernard Baffour
    • Dr Mike Roettger
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
    • Alice Falkiner
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces key population issues in Australia, other developed countries and less developed countries. It covers a range of topics including the relationships between population size and available resources; social, biological and economic influences on population growth rates; fertility decline and population ageing; and, population distribution and migration. Students are introduced to the main theories used to understand population and societal change.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of demographic changes in the world and their major determinants;
  2. use demographic concepts and population theories to explain past and present population characteristics;
  3. use demographic concepts and theories to understand contemporary socio-economic issues and current affairs; and,
  4. apply demographic concepts and population theories into relevant policy settings.

Required Resources

The prescribed textbook for this course is:

Weeks, J. R. (2015). Population: An Introduction to Concepts and issues (12th edition). Boston: Cengage Learning.

The 12th edition is currently out-of-print but hard and electronic copies can be purchased online from a major bookseller. Copies are also on reserve at the library.

In addition to the textbook readings, students are required to have read the assigned weekly readings prior to lectures. All non-textbook readings can be downloaded from the course Wattle site. Further, it is expected that students will read more widely to support their assessment tasks.

Additional resources, which support weekly topics, are provided on Wattle. 

Staff Feedback

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

  • Written feedback for all assessment tasks
  • General (verbal) feedback following the return of marked assessments about overall performance and common issues.

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

Additional referencing requirements

Assessments should not exceed the assigned word (or time, where applicable) limit and should be formatted as per below:

-      Use the in-text American Psychological Association (APA) citation format (see for example http://guides.is.uwa.edu.au/apa).

-      Where applicable, number pages and use 1.5 spaced typing.

-      Always proofread your written work prior to submission,

Students must appropriately cite and reference all sources used in the assessment. Failure to do so will result in formal consideration of poor academic performance and/or academic misconduct by the Course Convener. The Course Convener, when deemed necessary, will refer cases to the Academic Standards & Quality Office.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction Understanding population change
2 Australia in context Population history and milestones Future challenges and opportunities
3 Global population trends World population growth Global differences in population
4 How do we measure populations? Population data and measurement Demographic definitions
5 Population theories What is the demographic transition? Current transitions
6 Mortality Mortality transition and trends How long will we live?
7 Fertility Fertility transition and trends Reproducing in nations
8 Contemporary families and households Gender Inequality and population Families and households
9 Migration and ethnicity Who moves and why? The third transition: ethnic diversity
10 Indigenous Australia Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander population
11 Ageing people and ageing populations Structural ageing Challenges and opportunities
12 Human development Environmental sustainability Population futures

Tutorial Registration

Registration for tutorials will be available via Wattle in Week 1.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Discussion 20 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4
Population case study 45 % 21/10/2020 08/11/2020 1, 2, 3, 4
Take home exam 25 % 29/10/2020 03/12/2020 1, 2, 3, 4
Online Discussion & Tutorial Participation 10 % 25/10/2020 25/10/2020 1, 2, 3, 4

* 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: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Tutorial Discussion

This assessment task provides students with the opportunity to study a demographic issue in-depth and to prepare and help lead a discussion for a tutorial group. For the selected week, students will develop material to lead the discussion on the population topic of the week. This material can draw on the set readings, or may focus on an application of the topic (e.g., for population theories, the development of Malthusian-Socialist population theory in China)

Presentation requirements

You will prepare an individual set of topic notes for the week that you sign up to help lead tutorial discussions. The word length is 500-800 words

 The notes should comprise:

• a paragraph summarising the background to the topic area;

• 7-10 dot points identifying the key points for discussion, with brief explanatory notes;

• 3-5 dot points summarising how you will conduct the café discussion.

The topic notes must be sent to the Tutor the day before the tutorial is held.

Assessment rubric

The topic notes will be assessed on:

  1. Structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and tone (30%)
  2. Framing of discussion points (40%)
  3. Relevance and grounding in the weekly readings and related literature. (30%)

Word limit: 800 words 

Value: 20%

Est. return date: Varies, 10 days after the topic notes are submitted.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 21/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 08/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Population case study

The case study (of 1750 words) provides the opportunity for students to study and present (in writing) a background, description, and issues for a population. In doing so, the student will demonstrate how demographic concepts, theory, and policy shape the population being investigated.


Students will choose a population of interest and, with the permission of the course tutor, proceed to write a case study containing:

·         A brief background of the population of interest, highlighting historical details and relevant cultural and social factors which relate to the population’s origins and present circumstances. 

·        A detailed description of the population, including major components, details, and current population trends.

·        Unique issues and challenges facing the population.

·        A conclusion which summarises the information provided, and discusses how policy and future events may impact the population.

In order to complete this assignment, students must incorporate existing research and source material on the subject, along with relevant policy issues on the subject.

This assessment is due on 21 October (11 a.m.).

Presentation requirements

The case study is to be completed in a report format style and include headings/sub-headings. An indicative structure is provided on Wattle.


The use of tables and/or figures is permitted, but such material must be cited and the source and/or data referenced appropriately.

Assessment rubric

The case study will be assessed as follows:

  1. Structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and tone (10%)
  2. Presentation of facts, synthesis of material, and discussion (35%)
  3. Application of demographic theory (20%)
  4. Public policy relevance and implications (15%)
  5. Source quality (10%)
  6. Citation and referencing (10%)

Word limit: 1750 words (excluding references)

(Work within ±10% word count will be accepted without penalty. A 10% penalty will apply to work exceeding this margin, on top of the assessment rubric.)

Value: 45%

Est. return date: 8 Nov

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 29/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Take home exam

The take-home exam is designed to provide students with an opportunity to review topics and knowledge gained during the course. This assessment is comprised of an online quiz containing multiple-choice and short-answer questions covering topics over the semester. 


The take-home exam is to be completed via Wattle between noon 30 October and noon 3 November. Please note that university policy states that late submission of the take-home exam is not permitted.


The take-home exam is "open book and source," meaning you may consult the book, readings, lecture material, and your notes. However, YOU must take the exam on your own, without direct help or discussion from others (i.e., no collusion).

Presentation requirements

Multiple-choice and short-answer questions are to be completed online via Wattle.

Short answer responses are to be typed and submitted in Word format via Turnitin. Students should clearly indicate each question they are responding to.

Word limit: Not Applicable

Value: 25%

Est. return date: 03 December

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Online Discussion & Tutorial Participation

Students are expected to actively engage in tutorial sessions and discussion forums by actively engaging in discussions. Participation in (1) tutorials and (2) online discussion forums each count 5% of the final grade.

Students should read the required weekly readings prior to lectures and come to tutorials prepared to make contributions to discussions.

1) Assessment rubric, tutorials (5%)

Marks will be awarded for active participation in weekly tutorials (5%). Students must contribute weekly to each discussion.

Word limit: Not applicable

Value: 5%

Est. return date: Not applicable

2) Assessment rubric, online discussions (5%).

Students are required to contribute posts to 5 weekly online discussion forums. Posts must be original and make a substantive contribution to the weekly topic. Please note that discussion posts are expected to be conducted in a conversational tone (i.e., not a formal essay).

Word limit: 100 words, minimum.

Value: 5%

Est. return date: Not applicable

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

Marked assessments and grades (including written feedback, where applicable) will be returned via the course Wattle site.

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

No resubmission of assignments are accepted. Students are encouraged to consult with the course tutor about an assignment prior to the due date.

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
6125 4273

Research Interests

Dr Bernard Baffour

Wednesday 10:00 11:00
Dr Mike Roettger

Research Interests

Dr Mike Roettger

Wednesday 16:00 17:00
Alice Falkiner

Research Interests

Alice Falkiner

Thursday 13:00 14:00

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