• Class Number 4366
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Edith Gray
    • Dr Edith Gray
    • Dr James O'Donnell
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces the big issues associated with changes in our global population. The world’s population is increasing rapidly, but population growth is far from even. Some of the most vulnerable parts of the world are growing the fastest, while other countries have too few working people to support their rapidly ageing population. This course will consider how population change is linked to sustainable development, migration and settlement, rapid population growth, ageing societies, housing and infrastructure, poverty, food and water supply, and the environment.

The course will consider these population challenges from a demographic perspective, introducing the reasons populations change through birth, migration and death. A focus of the course will be on the large disparities across the planet, and students will engage in thinking critically about these critical global challenges.

Overall, the course will:

1.    identify past, present and future global population challenges

2.    provide an understanding of how demographers and population scientists can contribute to understanding and addressing these challenges

3.    demonstrate the demographic approach to understanding societal issues

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of demographic changes in the world and their major determinants;
  2. apply demographic concepts to understand contemporary socio-economic issues and current affairs;
  3. explain the key approaches used by demographers to understand population change;
  4. critically read, source, understand and evaluate credible information; and
  5. develop a logical, demographically-informed argument supported by empirical evidence.

Required Resources

Readings will be provided on Wattle

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to population challenges No tutorial
2 Population change/ Population policies
3 High fertility and rapidly growing populations / Lowest-low fertility
4 Economic development and the demographic dividend
5 Epidemiological transition communicable to non-communicable diseases / Violence
6 Maternal mortality Part 1 Learning portfolio due Thursday 31/03/2022
7 How long will we live? / Challenges of population ageing and depopulation
8 Understanding migration flows / Controlling borders and maintaining national identity
9 Urbanisation and Mega cities / Population distribution: Concentration or dispersion? Research Essay due Wednesday 4/05/2022
10 Homelessness and housing deprivation / Food security
11 Disasters / Climate Change
12 The interconnectedness of population challenges Part 2 Learning portfolio due Friday 27/05/2022

Tutorial Registration

A tutorial has been scheduled on Thursdays 11am-12pm, commencing Week 2. If necessary additional tutorials will be scheduled depending on student numbers.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Learning portfolio based on weekly preparation for tutorials 20 % 27/05/2022 03/06/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Class participation 10 % * * 1,2,3,4,5
Research essay 40 % 04/05/2022 18/05/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Exam 30 % 02/06/2022 * 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 27/05/2022
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Learning portfolio based on weekly preparation for tutorials

Word limit: N/A, Up to one page per tutorial (covering Weeks 2-11: max 10 pages)

Value: 20%

Details of task:

This assessment task provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate how they have prepared for tutorial discussions. For each week (weeks 2-11), students should compile a one-page reflection that demonstrates what impacted them most in preparing for the tutorial. The one-page can be based on the set readings, online videos or other material provided on Wattle, or can be based on other readings, newspaper articles, etc.

Presentation Requirements:

You will prepare a one-page reflection per tutorial which should include at a minimum:

• a summary paragraph

• 7-10 dot points identifying the key issues or take-home messages that resonated with you

You can also include other ways of demonstrating your learning - for example, this could include drawings, links to online material that you have found, newspaper articles or other research. But each week is limited to one page.

Due date:

First half of learning portfolio (tutorials 2-6) due 31 March 2022

Second half of learning portfolio (tutorials 7-11) due 27 May 2022

Estimated return date:

Tutorials 2-6, return date 7 April 2022

Tutorials 7-11, return date 3 June 2022

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Class participation

Value: 10%

Details of task:

Based on the preparation of the learning portfolio, participants are expected to actively engage in tutorial discussions. Participation includes providing views on the topic, asking questions, raising issues, or providing other contributions. Participation should be shared across all participants, and respectful discussion will be facilitated.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 04/05/2022
Return of Assessment: 18/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research essay

Word limit: 2,000 words, including references

(Work within ±10% word count will be accepted without penalty. A 10% penalty will apply to work exceeding this margin, on top of the assessment rubric.)

Value: 40%

Details of task:

Students will prepare a research essay based on a global population challenge of their choice. The research essay should provide a detailed description of the challenge, identify what issues the challenge presents, detailing the major themes that have been addressed in the literature, and consider what the future holds with and without interventions.

Further details on the Research Essay will be provided.

Presentation Requirements:

The Research Essay is to be completed in essay style. Further details will be provided.

The use of tables and/or figures is permitted, but such material must be cited and the source and/or data referenced appropriately.

Assessment Rubric:

The Research Essay will be assessed as follows:

Structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and tone (10%)

Presentation of facts, synthesis of material, and discussion (50%)

Public policy relevance and implications (20%)

Source quality (10%)

Citation and referencing (10%)

Due Date:

4 May 2022

Estimated return date:

18 May 2022

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 02/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


Details of Task:

The exam is designed to provide students with an opportunity to review topics and knowledge gained during the course. This assessment is comprised of an online quiz containing multiple -choice and short-answer type questions. The exam will be invigilated through Zoom with camera on.

The exam is to be completed via Wattle in the exam period. The exam will be open for three hours.

The exam is ‘"open book and source," meaning you may consult your readings and notes.

Presentation requirements:

Multiple-choice and short-answer questions are to be completed online via Wattle.


Word limit: Not Applicable

Value: 30%

Due Date:

Exam period

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Edith Gray

Research Interests

Researchers page

Dr Edith Gray

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Edith Gray

Research Interests

Dr Edith Gray

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr James O'Donnell

Research Interests

Dr James O'Donnell

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions