#SS-04-12 Population 10 Billion: Researching Global Issues

  • Categories Study Skills
  • Duration 13h
  • Total Enrolled 4
  • Last Update September 30, 2020

About Course

The University of Sheffield


Explore the importance of university research in a global context

By the end of this century, it’s expected that the world’s population will reach 10 billion. What will it be like to live in a world with 10bn people? Global issues like climate change, migration, food security, and ageing will continue to cause problems for a growing population.

On this course, you will discuss solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. You will learn how university researchers from different subject disciplines work together to address these issues. You will understand the importance of collaborative research and developing a broad range of knowledge.

What topics will you cover?

  • Could robots help us to live independently for longer?
  • What story is the media telling us about migration and how can we challenge this representation?
  • How can we overcome yield plateaus in food production?
  • What impact can universities (and their students) have on real-world problems?
  • Who will shape our energy future?

Who will you learn with?

Alastair Buckley

I’m a technologist with a chemical physics degree. I worked in the microelectronic displays industry before I joined the university in 2008. Now i lecture in physics and research solar energy.


Amanda Crawley Jackson

Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson is a senior lecturer in French & Francophone Studies at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on space, cities and migration.



Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

What Will I Learn?

  • Discuss possible solutions to a range of global issues.
  • Describe the concept of wicked problems.
  • Engage with university-level research.
  • Explain why interdisciplinary networks are critical for effective research.

Topics for this course

13 Lessons13h

Welcome to 10bn?

In this first chapter, we explain what's coming up over the next three weeks and invite you to introduce yourself to your fellow learners. 10bn is both the name of the course and the projected population of the planet.
How will we live in a world of 10bn?
Getting to know you

Population 10 billion?

We explain why we have called this course 10 billion and begin to explore the issues that are raised by a population of this size. We've devised some 'quick win' solutions - do you think these could work?

Working in the spaces in between?

No single subject can offer a solution to the issues of 10bn. We need multiple interpretations and a broad range of knowledge across all different subjects. We need to work in the spaces in between.

Understanding research?

University research is crucial for addressing the problems of 10bn. In this chapter, we introduce you to research; what is it? how does it happen? where does it take place?

Looking ahead to next?

In this week's final chapter, you have an opportunity to check your understanding of the course topics so far. We'll then look ahead and explain what is coming up next week.

Student Feedback


Total 4 Ratings

3 ratings
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This course takes us together to discuss solutions to some of the world's most pressing life problems. From this we learn how university researchers from different disciplines work together to solve these problems. It really benefited me a lot.

I spoke very well of the research in the course on how we can overcome the stagnation in food production, and I loved it.

Global issues such as climate change, migration, food security and ageing will continue to pose problems for a growing population as a result of population growth. How exactly are these problems to be solved? This course explores how university researchers learn to solve problems together.

By the end of the century, the world's population is expected to reach 100 and there are many university researchers working on these questions. This course really gets us thinking.


Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • This course is for anyone interested in university research. You could be a current undergraduate or postgraduate student undertaking research or looking to study at university in the future.