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Population Studies and Demography

Population issues are among the most serious challenges that humanity faces in the 21st century. Population Studies and Demography at Waikato addresses contrasting issues among developed and developing countries, how governments are handling slowing population growth, and how others are dealing with legal and illegal migration and skill shortages. You'll explore how such issues impact on a country's environmental, economic and social patterns.

Please note: Populations Studies and Demography was previously known as Demography.

At Waikato we provide an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to population studies with our graduate programme in Population Studies and Demography. You'll learn about advanced, empirical analysis of population structure and trends.

You'll explore the importance of population research and the need for attention to population trends, their causes and their implications on the environment, employment, work and family, health, population distribution, urbanisation, migration patterns, old age security and refugee movements.

This subject is of relevance to students from a wide range of backgrounds, such as sociology, economics, geography, political science and public policy, and provides opportunities to engage in individual directed studies and research for a masters or higher degree on a population-related subject.

Population Studies and Demography is offered by Te Ngira Institute for Population Research, a research institute based in the School of Social Sciences. Te Ngira Institute for Population Research is the only national unit in New Zealand that generates and coordinates research in population studies.

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Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Area of Study:

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500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
ALPSS590Directed Study30.024X (Hamilton)
This paper allows students from the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences to undertake research on a specific topic related to their major under the guidance of academic staff.
ALPSS591Research Project30.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
A research report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical or practice-led investigation (up to 12,500 words maximum).
ALPSS592Dissertation60.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
A research report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical or practice-led investigation (up to 25,000 words maximum).
GEOGY520Human Dimensions of Environmental Change30.024B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the increasing risks imposed on human communities by global environmental change. The paper establishes a platform for the critical analysis of human-environment relations by introducing students to important theoretical developments including the role of culture-nature dualisms, theories on population-environme...
GEOGY558Applied Geographic Information Systems for Research and Planning15.024A (Hamilton)
GIS is used widely in a range of industries and government agencies, and graduates competent in GIS are sort after for employment. This paper is designed as an introduction to GIS for graduate students and is co-taught with GEOGY328. It covers all aspects of GIS analysis, including remote sensing and model building. ArcGIS Pro is u...
MAORI571Decolonising Theory and Indigenous Studies30.024B (Online)
A seminar programme on indigenous consciousness, knowledge, values and ethics and their applications to contemporary issues such as research ethics, environmental values and cultural practices.
PACIS500Critical Pacific Studies30.024B (Hamilton)
This paper provides an opportunity to critically engage the foundational ideas, texts, theoretical work, methods and perspectives of Pacific studies. These will be considered in the light of the history, politics, tensions, and potential of Pacific studies as a discipline.
POLSC501Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice30.024A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the fundamentals of policy analysis, and develops skills for higher-level research in public policy. A key focus is developing critical awareness of policy processes, of the drivers of change, and of the role of both 'evidence' and public participation in policy-making, in the pursuit of inclusive ...
POPST500Official Social Statistics15.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Online)
This paper provides an overview of key areas of Official Statistics. Topics covered include data sources; legal and ethical framework of official statistics; introductory demography; collection and analysis of health, social and economic data; data visualisation; data matching and integration; the system of National Accounts.
POPST501Population Health and Equity30.024A (Hamilton)
This paper explores population health in Aotearoa/New Zealand and internationally, emphasising the broader determinants of wellbeing and equity. It introduces aspects of epidemiology, considers historical, indigenous and contemporary perspectives of health, and explores relationships between health, community and society.
POPST507Family and Whānau Demography30.024A (Hamilton) & 24A (Online)
This paper introduces students to key theories and contemporary debates in the field of family demography. Particular emphasis will be placed on applying a critical population lens that can be used to understand demographic phenomena. The classes are seminar style and comprise a blend of structured lectures and in-class discussions...
POPST509Research Methods for Population Analysis15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Online)
This paper provides students with hands-on experience conducting population research, working with real world data to analyse to investigate population issues. Students will gain a sound understanding of how to access, analyse and interpret data and how to communicate their findings, skills directly applicable to a range of policy,...
POPST593Population Studies and Demography Thesis90.024X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research on a demographic or population studies topic.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
POPST800Population Studies and Demography MPhil Thesis120.024X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
POPST900Population Studies and Demography PhD Thesis120.024I (Hamilton), 24J (Hamilton), 24K (Hamilton) & 24X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

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Graduate study options

Subject links

Te Ngira Institute for Population Research

Graduate and Postgraduate Admission and Requirements

Prescriptions for the PGCert(PopStud&Dem), PGDip(PopStud&Dem), BSocSc(Hons) and MSocSc

To complete a BSocSc(Hons) in Population Studies and Demography, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including POPST509 (or equivalent) at least 30 points in research (normally POPST591) and at least 30 points from other POPST coded 500 level papers.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MSocSc in Population Studies and Demography, a student should have completed either:

a) a BSocSc in any discipline, have included at least one undergraduate Population Studies paper and have gained at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level papers in their undergraduate major or all of their undergraduate papers in the major, or

b) a BSocSc(Hons) in Population Studies and Demography (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B average across all 500 level papers.

Completion requirements for the MSocSc in Populations Studies and Demography vary according to admission criteria.

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including POPST509 (or equivalent) and 45 points from POPST coded papers, and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.
To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

Enquiries about postgraduate programmes in Population Studies and Demography should be directed to the postgraduate advisor.


School of Social Sciences
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4040
General and undergraduate email enquiries: [email protected]
Graduate and postgraduate email enquiries: [email protected]