MPH5214 - Demographic methods - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Assoc. Professor Rebecca Kippen


Assoc. Professor Rebecca Kippen

Not offered in 2019


Must be enrolled in a PG course


This unit gives students a solid foundation in formal demography, where quantitative data and techniques are used to calculate demographic measures.

Topics include sources of demographic data and assessment of their quality; calculation and interpretation of basic measures of fertility, mortality and migration; population dynamics, growth and ageing; life tables; Indigenous demography; and population projections. Learning activities include hands-on calculation and interpretation of demographic measures using real-world data.

Students are expected to be familiar with Microsoft Excel.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify, locate and critically evaluate quality of different types of population data.
  2. Choose appropriate demographic methods to calculate demographic measures.
  3. Calculate and graphically present demographic measures. .
  4. Interpret demographic measures in the context of changing populations.
  5. Effectively communicate demographic measures and their interpretation in written, tabular and graphical form to a lay or policy audience.


  • Mortality and the life table (structured assignment) (25%)
  • Migration and family formation (structured assignment) (25%)
  • Indigenous demography and models of population structure (structured assignment) (25%)
  • Population projections (structured assignment) (25%)

Workload requirements

6 hours of teacher directed learning activities and 6 hours of self-directed study per week.

12 hours of self-directed study per week + 2 block days.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study