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Population Studies

Learn about Population Studies through the National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis at Waikato and gain a solid, research-led understanding of the population issues facing developed and developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the South Pacific.

The National Institute for Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) is a research institute based in the University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. It is New Zealand's sole national institute of demographic and population-focused research, and the only such unit to generate and coordinate New Zealand research in population studies.

Population problems are among the most serious challenges we face for the 21st Century. Population issues have implications for the environment, employment, families, health, urbanisation, migration, security in old age and refugee movements. It is vital that research develops integrated approaches to these issues, and policy makers and planners pay serious attention to population trends, their causes and effects.

At Waikato, our Population Studies programme takes a particular look at trends in New Zealand and the broader South Pacific region. You will learn about, and be involved in, research into Māori demography, population health, family structures and formation, fertility, the labour force and employment relating to New Zealand, as well as work on India, Africa, Europe, the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific. You will become familiar with themes such as mortality, social policy, fertility, migration, families and households, labour force and income, and will understand the contrasting population problems faced by developed and developing countries.

The institute's researchers are internationally and locally recognised. Your study will provide unique insights into how population studies research is being used to shape New Zealand's future, an understanding you can carry with you into careers in the health, finance, environmental and social science sectors.

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Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga; Online

Career opportunities

  • Health Sector Analyst
  • Merchant Banker
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Sciences Researcher

100 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ARTSC110Old Worlds - New Worlds18A (Hamilton)
This multi-disciplinary paper offers students a rich context in which to develop arts-based reading, writing and research skills. It is structured around stories of cultural encounter and journeys through place and time, and focuses on a variety of printed and electronic texts, moving and still images, and sound. The paper is deliv...
ARTSC111Social Science Theory and Action18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper introduces University of Waikato social scientists as researchers. Each presenter’s research will be discussed to demonstrate how it illustrates key themes of the social sciences and their specific disciplines.
GEOGY101People and Place18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Online)
An introduction to the new geographies of globalisation and cultural change. A foundation for second year papers on contemporary cultural geographies, regional geography, tourism, and Maori lands and communities.
SOCIO101Introduction to Sociology18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper prepares students for further study in a range of social science subjects. It introduces the main sociological theories, concepts and practices that enable an understanding of contemporary societies.
SOCPY100Introduction to Social Policy18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the values behind social policy and introduces students to some of the important issues and debates in New Zealand and other democratic societies. The paper will include presentations by guest speakers who are active in implementing social policies in our community.

200 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ECONS202Economic Growth and WellbeingThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ENVPL202Cartography and Spatial Analysis18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper is the second year component of the GIS stream in Geography; it balances technical skill developments and critical analyses in urban and environmental planning.
GEOGY209Health, People, Place18B (Hamilton)
This paper draws on critical analysis of health, people and place to introduce contemporary developments in socio-cultural geography. Attention is paid to spatial well-being at a range of scales.
GEOGY219Maori Lands and Communities18A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to Maori geographical perspectives and examines key events that shape Maori communities and their relationships to land, water and other taonga.
POPST201Population Studies18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Online)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Population Studies. Students will develop a sound understanding of the demographic drivers of population change and composition, while exploring some of the rich theories and methodological approaches which comprise Population Studies.
PSYCH211Understanding Psychological Research18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper will cover the basic methodological approaches relevant to psychological and social science research, including research design, data collection, data analysis, and the dissemination of research.
SOCPY200Social Policy and Social Issues18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
The paper continues the study of social policy at 200 level. The focus of this paper is on the welfare state, the policy cycle as well as social problems, such as poverty.
SOCPY201Social Policy, Families and Children18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper further develops students' theoretical understanding of social policy, while focusing specifically on policy related to families and children, providing insight into the relationships between policy and lived experience.

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ECON313Economics of Human Resources and Public PolicyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
FASS396Work Placement18C (Block) & 18D (Block)
This paper enables students to undertake work placement in an area related to their major as part of their degree. Students work in a chosen field for a period of time in order to gain valuable work experience and learn from experts in their chosen field.
GEOG301Research in Geography and Environmental Planning18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the practice of geographical research via student-led, staff-supported research projects.
GEOG309Gender, Place and Culture18A (Hamilton)
This paper is a forum for debate in human geography on 'difference'. Key concerns are the intersections between gender, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, class, age and other social divisions in relation to space, place and environment.
GEOG328Geographic Information Systems18A (Hamilton), 18A (Online), 18B (Hamilton), 18B (Online) & 18B (Tauranga)
GIS is widely used for providing information through mapping and spatial analysis. This paper will teach you how to use GIS, including an overview of data, analysis functions and applications.
POPS302Exploring Population Change18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Online)
This paper applies methods for measuring population size, composition and change, which are used extensively for understanding population issues in public policy, human resource planning, forecasting and business planning.
POPS360Special Topic: Population Economics18B (Hamilton)
This course provides insights into how economic forces influence fertility, mortality, household formation, migration and work. The course also discusses how population size, composition, distribution and change affect the economy.
POPS389Directed Study18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
Open to selected students who, with the approval of the Programme Convenor, undertake an individual programme of study on a population studies topic as agreed in discussion between the student and proposed supervisor.
POPS390Directed Study18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
Open to selected students who, with the approval of the Undergraduate Advisor, undertake an individual programme of study on a population studies topic as agreed in discussion between the student and proposed supervisor.
SOCP302Social Policy18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on developing a critical approach to the formulation, content and implementation of New Zealand social policy in an international context. It examines a variety of contemporary policy domains, all of which, in some way, affect the wellbeing of children and families. The paper provides knowledge and skills relevan...
SOCP304Health, Wellbeing and Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper gives a sociological and policy dimension to health, wellbeing and policy from a critical perspective.
SOCY301Contemporary Social Theory: A Praxis Approach18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
An analysis of some of the major contemporary issues in sociological theory.

Prescriptions for the GradCert(PopSt) and GradDip(PopSt)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Population Studies at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

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Subject links

National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA)

Subject Requirements

Full requirements for Population Studies as a single major, part of a double major, or a minor subject are available in the Catalogue of Papers.



Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4040
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: