• Class Number 3909
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Edith Gray
    • Dr Edith Gray
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to Global Population Challenges
2 Global population change and policies
  • Trends and prospects for the world population
3 Why is fertility a population challenge?
  • High, declining and very low fertility and its consequences
4 The demographic dividend
  • The population age structure and economic development
5 Mortality in the 21st century
  • Non-communicable diseases, global pandemics and violence
6 Maternal and child mortality
  • Health and deaths during childbirth
Learning portfolio part A due (based on Weeks 2-6)
7 How long will we live?
  • Population ageing and longevity
8 Migration
  • International migration, settlement and social cohesion
9 Cities and internal migration
  • Urbanisation, mega-cities and urban futures
Research essay due
10 Housing and food security
  • Housing, homelessness and feeding the world
11 Disasters and climate change
  • The demography of disasters and climate change
12 The interconnectedness of population challenges Learning portfolio part B due (based on Weeks 7-11)

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Learning portfolio based on weekly participation for tutorials 20 % * * 1,2,3,4,5
Class participation 10 % * * 1,2,3,4,5
Research essay 40 % 06/05/2024 18/05/2023 1,2,3,4,5
Exam 30 % * * 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Learning portfolio based on weekly participation for tutorials

This assessment requires students to prepare summaries and reflections of the weekly course material. Students are required to explain key concepts, theories and/or trends raised in the material and provide analyses and reflection on their importance and interconnections with global populations. Learning portfolios must be based on and explicitly refer to course materals including lectures, readings, videos and/or other material linked to on Wattle. Learning portfolios may also refer to tutorial discussions and external materials such as journal and newspaper articles that are relevant to the course material.

The Learning portfolio will be submitted in two parts.

Part A is based on course material covered in weeks 2-6.

Part B is based on course material covered in weeks 7-11.

There is no set word limit. Summaries should be no longer than one page per week.

Presentation requirements

The Learning portfolio is required to be submitted as a written document. In addition to written text, students may include fully referenced charts, tables, images and links to external online material and research to support their work. Students may use paragraps, dot points or a combination of both.

Students are required to provide references and a reference list. The reference list does not count towards the page limit.

Due date

Part A of the Learning portfolio is due 2 April 2023.

Part B of the Learning portfolio is due 26 May 2023.

Assessment Task 2

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

Class participation

Students are expected to actively engage in tutorials. 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: 06/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 18/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research essay

Students will prepare a Research essay based on a global population challenge of their choice. The Research essay must be related to a global population challenge raised in the course material and must explicitly refer to one or more of the set course readings. 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 analysing their present and potential future impacts.

Further details on the Research essay will be provided.

Word limit

The word limit is 2,000 words.

Work within +10% of the limit (i.e. 2,200 words) will be accepted without penalty.

Presentation Requirements

The Research essay is required to be submitted as a written document. In addition to written text, students may include fully referenced charts and tables to support their work. The Research essay must be completed in essay style with the use of paragraphs organised into a coherent structure. Further details will be provided.

Students are required to provide references and a reference list or bibliography. The reference list does not count towards the page limit.


StructurePresentation of factsPolicy relevanceSource qualityReferencing






Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


The Exam will assess students on their understanding of the course material presented throughout weeks 1-12.

The Exam will be delivered as an online quiz through Wattle. The Exam will be scheduled during the Exam period.

The Exam will comprise multiple choice and short answer questions. Students will have three hours to complete the Exam

The Exam is 'open book and source'. This means students can consult the course materials, their notes and any other online or offline material during the Exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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
+61 2 6125 4609

Research Interests

Dr Edith Gray

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Edith Gray
+61 2 6125 4609

Research Interests

Dr Edith Gray

By Appointment
By Appointment

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