• Class Number 5663
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Mike Roettger
    • Karissa Pereira
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
    • 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.

Additional Course Costs

Students may wish to purchase or rent a copy of the course textbook.

Examination Material or equipment

The course will have two take-home exams in the form of Wattle quiz, occuring (1) at mid-semester and (2) at the end-of-the-semester. In order to complete these exams, you will need to have internet access and be able to complete these exams using a laptop or desktop computer.

Required Resources

The prescribed textbook for this course is:

Weeks, J. R. (2021). Population: An Introduction to Concepts and issues (13th edition). Boston: Cengage Learning.

Hard and electronic copies of the 13th edition may be purchased online from a major bookseller or the publisher's website. 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 or found through the ANU library, as copyright law requires. 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.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

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
Mid-Semester Take-home exam 10 % 09/09/2022 * 1,2,3,4
Population Case Study 45 % 18/10/2022 02/11/2022 1,2,3,4
End-of-Semester Take-home Exam 15 % 11/11/2022 24/11/2022 1,2,3,4
Tutorial participation 10 % 28/10/2022 04/11/2022 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Students are expected to actively participate in lectures, tutorials, and engage in reading and learning about materials. Tutorial participation will be graded. Please see Assessment 5 under the section for Assessment Tasks listed above for further details.


This course does not have formally-scheduled exams.

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 tutorial 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:

Structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and tone (30%)

Framing of discussion points (40%)

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: 10 %
Due Date: 09/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mid-Semester Take-home exam

The Mid-Semester 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, true/false, and short-answer questions covering weeks 1-6 of the semester. 


The take-home exam is to be completed via Wattle between noon 7 September and noon 9 September. 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).

Students will have 75 minutes to complete the exam.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 18/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 02/11/2022
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 18 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 encouraged, but such material must be cited and the source and/or data referenced appropriately.

Assessment rubric

The case study will be assessed as follows:

Structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and tone (10%)

Presentation of facts, synthesis of material, and discussion (35%)

Application of demographic theory (20%)

Public policy relevance and implications (15%)

Source quality (10%)

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: 2 Nov

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 11/11/2022
Return of Assessment: 24/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

End-of-Semester Take-home Exam

The End-of-Semester 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, true/false, and short-answer questions.  The exam is cumulative in knowledge-content, but will most questions will focus on topics from weeks 7-12.


The End-of-Semester Take-Home Exam is to be completed via Wattle between noon 9 November and noon 11 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).

Students will have 90 minutes to complete the exam.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 28/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Tutorial participation

Students are expected to actively engage in tutorial sessions and discussion forums by actively engaging in discussions. Participation in tutorials will comprise 10% 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 (10%)

Marks will be awarded for active participation in weekly tutorials (10%). Students must contribute weekly to each discussion.

Word limit: Not applicable

Value: 10%

Est. return date: Not applicable

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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) 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 permitted. 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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. Extensions may be granted 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 Mike Roettger

Research Interests

Dr Mike Roettger

By Appointment
Karissa Pereira

Research Interests

Karissa Pereira

By Appointment
Alice Falkiner

Research Interests

Alice Falkiner

By Appointment

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