• Class Number 4282
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Mike Roettger
    • Dr Mike Roettger
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

The field of population studies is concerned with how populations change, and how population change impacts society. This course introduces the field of population studies and theories on population change, and considers past, current and future population issues. The topics include the relationship between population size and resources; population transition theories; mortality and fertility decline; population ageing; and population distribution and migration. Students will investigate the effects of population size, growth, and distribution on sustainable development, and consider the role of policy.

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 major demographic concepts and population theories to explain and evaluate past and present population changes;
  3. interpret demographic materials, such as research literature and demographic data, to assess a current demographic situation; and
  4. develop a capacity to understand how components of a population are interrelated and impact society

Examination Material or equipment

Students need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a modem for the final exam. The exam is 'open book and notes,' so students may use their notes, course materials, and the textbook in completing their exam. Please also be aware that students will need to access Zoom to participate in scheduled lectorials in the event of a campus shutdown.

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.

 The textbook can be purchased (from the bookshop on campus) or in electronic format (from the publisher’s website: http://www.cengagebrain.com.au/).


In addition to the textbook, 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 linked on Wattle.

Staff Feedback

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

  • Written feedback for all assessment tasks
  • Verbal feedback on tutorial presentations
  • 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). 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.

Other Information

Policy for Using Artificial Intelligence

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGTP and Google Bard, are permitted in limited circumstances to aid in your learning. However, you are encouraged to engage in their own creative thinking, analysis, and expression of ideas wherever possible, as these contribute to your education and make you less likely to have a skillset replaced by AI software. The following course policy is in place for using AI:

Permitted Uses of AI:

  1. AI tools may be used to aid in generating ideas for writing assessments, such as requesting assistance with an outline or identifying potential sources.
  2. Students are allowed to utilize AI to enhance the clarity of language and grammar in their written assessments.

Prohibited Uses of AI:

  1. The use of AI in online discussion and timed exams is strictly forbidden. For exams, this includes using AI tools for language, grammar, or any other aspect of the exam.
  2. Using AI-generated content in the place of your own work in assessments. This includes using AI, fully or in part, to "ghost write" an assessment.
  3. As a general rule, where AI serves the role as a person helping in a way that would traditionally constitute collusion or passing their work off as your own.

Using AI, where prohibited, will be a considered a potential breach of academic integrity and will be subject policies and procedure outlined in the ANU Academic Integrity Rule of 2021.

Students must make a note on all submissions where they use AI and and the tasks AI performed (e.g., 'ChatGTP 3.5 was used to identify topic sources and edit language and grammar for clarity.')

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction
2 Global Population Trends
3 Historical Demography
4 Population Theories
5 The Life Course and Life Cycle Perspectives
6 Mortality
7 Social & Applied Demography
8 Fertility
9 Contemporary Families
10 Migration
11 Ageing
12 Human Development & Sustainability

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online group discussion 15 % 24/05/2024 04/06/2024 1,2,3
Major Essay Proposal 10 % 21/03/2024 27/03/2024 1,2,3
Major Essay 45 % 17/05/2024 04/06/2024 1,2,3,4
Take Home Exam 20 % 07/06/2024 27/06/2024 1,2,3,4
Online Discussion Forum Participation 10 % 24/05/2024 * 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.


The course is taught in a lectorial format. Students enrolled in the course are expected to actively participate in online learning.


The course has a Take Home Exam worth 20% of the final grade.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 04/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Online group discussion

This assessment tasks provides students with the opportunity to specialise in a topic and lead an online group discussion. Discussion leaders 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)

The online discussion should be based on topic notes, which are the basis of the assessment. The notes should comprise:

1.        A paragraph summarising the background of the topic area

2.        7-10 dot points identifying the key points for discussion, with brief explanatory notes

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

Topic notes should be of between 1 and 2 pages in length (no more than 2 pages), and submitted to Wattle by the Monday following the week that the topic is discussed.

Further details will be provided on the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 21/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Major Essay Proposal

This assessment is meant to help you develop ideas and sources for writing your Major Essay due 17 May.

To complete this task, you are asked to do the following:

1) Write a 250-350 word overview of the demographic topic and theories you wish to examine in the Major Essay Proposal

2) Using bullet points, list 2-4 demographic policies related to the topic that you are examining.

3) Provide an annotated bibliography with 5-7 references on the topic.

Note that the submission must be written in your own words, but that the use of AI tools is permitted to aid in developing your topic and identifying potential sources.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 17/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 04/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Major Essay

The major essay is 2500 words in length and provides students with the opportunity to examine and critique a population-related issue/topic with originality and depth.

Students must choose a topic 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. Further details will be provided on the course Wattle site.

This assessment is due on 17 May (by 4:00 p.m.).


Structure and TonePresentation of Facts, Analysis, & DiscussionDemographic Theory ApplicationDemographic/Population Policy Source Material Quality and AccuracyCitation and referencing







Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 07/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Take Home Exam

A 3-hour Take-Home Exam will be administered online during the exam period. The final exam will be a comprehensive, consisting of short-response, and short essay questions on topics covered during the semester. The exam will be open book and notes, but students must complete the exam on their own [Use of AI or human sources will be considered collusion]. Students will have a 3-day period over which to complete the 3-hour exam. The exam dates will be scheduled later in the term. Further details will be provided on the the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Online Discussion Forum Participation

Students are expected to contribute to the weekly discussions of topics covered in the course. Students must write 250 words or more for each week and interact with other students enroled in the course. Students must post no later than 24 May to receive credit for the discussion grade.

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 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

Online assessments will be returned via Wattle. Copies of the final exam will be made available for students.

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

Students may resubmit assessments into Turnitin before the due date. No assessments may be resubmitted after the due date, unless explicit permission is given by an appropriate authority (e.g., course convener, CASS Associate Dean of Student Experience).

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
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Dr Mike Roettger

Research Interests

Dr Mike Roettger

By Appointment
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