• Offered by School of Demography
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Demography
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Gender Studies, Indigenous Australian Studies, Public Health
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course is designed to introduce students to the social and socio-structural factors influencing the health of individuals and populations. The first portion of the course will centre on how to measure and interpret common metrics of health, such as measures of morbidity, illness, disability, and life expectancy. Subsequently, we will explore human health from a historical perspective, learning about the primary factors that have driven massive health improvements over the past century. Emphasis will be placed on the similarities, and differences, in these health transitions across high-, middle-, and low-income contexts. We will then explore the social and structural factors underlying health disparities both across populations and between individuals, including the roles of gender, wealth, educational attainment, occupation, ethnicity, and immigrant status. We will discuss emerging trends that threaten these continued improvements—obesity, cardiovascular disease, smoking, drug overdose, and dementia. In these discussions, we will focus on the role of social relationships in affecting health, and the ways that inequality, social stigma, and biases can perpetuate detrimental health behaviours. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. calculate and explain population health measures to describe infant and child health, adult health, disability, and mortality;
  2. generate and understand quantitative findings through figures, graphs, and tables;
  3. identify the primary determinants of population health in both high and low-income contexts;
  4. understand the role of quantitative and qualitative research methods for exploring disparities in health; and
  5. characterise the current barriers to improved population health faced by high and low income contexts.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Quizzes x 8 (20 minutes each; 5% each, for a total of 40%) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Midterm exam, 2 hours (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Final exam, 2 hours (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19, ANU has changed the mode of delivery for all classes in Semester 1 2020 to remote delivery.

Semester 1 Class Summary information (available under the Classes tab) on this publication is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available via Wattle and students should have been advised by the offering College. Find out more information on the University's response to COVID-19 here.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: 

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and 

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 or 2000 Level ANU courses.

Prescribed Texts

Mel Bartley. Health Inequality: An Introduction to Concepts, Theories and Methods, 2nd Edition. ISBN: 978-0-745-69110-7

A number of required readings will come from this text, which is available as an e-book. Ideally, the library would purchase a multiple user license for this e-book.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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