The assessment for this module will be a briefing paper of 2,000 words excluding figures, tables and bibliography. No more than 3 tables or figures should be included.
Coursework (2,000 briefing paper): 100%
What is a briefing paper?
A briefing paper is a widely used method by which a person with a particular set of knowledge and skills provides a clear summary of their analysis of a particular topic, often including policy or programme recommendations.
The audience for a briefing paper is typically someone who is familiar with the general topic, data sources and analytical methods but is looking to the expert to:
-synthesise a lot of information in a succinct form
-highlight for them the key issues
-explain whether and why there are divergent views about the topic
-explain whether there are gaps, problems with data, methods or interpretation in what has already been published
-discuss opportunities going forward to improve knowledge about this topic
-discuss implications for policy or programmes
Among examples of briefing papers that you may be familiar with are: a) briefing papers written by scientists for ministers and other government civil servants to assist them with interpreting the evidence-base and understanding the potential impact of different programmes or policies. b) briefing papers
written by statisticians and demographers to provide other users of census and survey data with a summary about issues such as the quality of data, data management and statistical post-processing, by way of providing the reader with guidance about using and interpreting the data and/or findings.
Steps in writing the briefing paper for this module
In preparing for this assessment, we would like you to look at the learning outcomes and skills provided in the module outline. What issues in population, poverty and policy most interest you? Are there issues or questions that you would like to know more about? Are there particular sources of data and methods of analyses that you feel competent in critically appraising? Are you interested in exploring these issues globally, in one region or country, among particular sub-groups? What population processes, events, periods would you like to consider? Are you interested in learning more about issues of measurement, analyses, determinants, outcomes, trends, policy formation or policy impacts?
Population, poverty and policy are areas covered by many disciplines and practice sectors. We encourage you to develop knowledge and skills that will strengthen their own disciplinary expertise, for example in demography or social statistics, but to also to read widely and draw on work in other areas so that you are familiar with different perspectives, data and methods.
Advice and support in preparing the assessment
You will have two opportunities to discuss your progress with the assessment during the student-led seminar sessions in week 23 and week 25. Be prepared to talk about your ideas and raise questions so that staff can give input to the group and your efforts become learning opportunities for other students.
During these sessions staff will also be able to guide you as to the suitability and relevance of your chosen topic and approach. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have spent time working on your assessment ahead of these two sessions in order to make the most of feedback and input. The tutors will not provide the same input to individual students outside of these two sessions unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Handing in the coursework
Please remember that as with all assessments it is your responsibility to ensure that your work meets the standards of academic integrityOrder Now