Courses Catalogue

Population & Environment

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Management, M.Sc
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course covers aspects of population factors - size, distribution, and composition.  Population Distribution Trends and Patterns, Environmental Implications of Population Distribution and dynamics, mediating factors: science and technology, institutions and policy, culture and Scientific Technological Factors, Specific Arenas of Interaction: Climate Change and Land-Use Change.


Given continued population growth and environmental degradation, it has become paramount that we deepen our understanding of the role played by human population dynamics in environmental change. The course therefore equips students with demographic issues, environmental issues, and the interrelationships among them.


By the end of this course, the students shall be able to:

State the relationship between population factors - size, distribution, and composition—and environmental change.

Identify the primary forces that mediate this relationship: technology, the institutional and policy contexts, and cultural factors.

Differentiate the two specific aspects of environmental change that are affected by population dynamics: climate change and land-use change.

State the implications for policy and further research.


A student completing the course is expected to:

Summarise and critically evaluate the debate about the impact of population growth on the environment, both in its historical context and in the present day.

Identify and assess several mechanisms through which human populations affect their environment.

Appreciate how environmental changes can have and have had demographic consequences and how the relationship between population and the environment is two-way.

Assess the impact of specific demographic processes and characteristics of populations on the environment in a range of social and economic contexts and at different scales.

Demonstrate a solid and evidence-based awareness of recent and possible future trends and patterns in relevant demographic processes and their relations with the environment

Demonstrate that you have achieved the above learning outcomes by carrying out simple numerical analyses and writing well-argued and coherent essays

Critically evaluate the results of previous research. You should be able to question the evidence on which particular assertions are based and the logic of the arguments

Present and evaluate empirical findings, explanations and theoretical perspectives, and discussing alternative viewpoints through written work.

Self-manage by combining your learning in lectures, seminar discussions and independent study.