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The University of Sheffield

Population 10 Billion: Researching Global Issues

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn


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.

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.


  • Visit the spaces in between
    • Welcome to 10bn
    • Population 10 billion
    • Working in the spaces in between
    • Understanding research
    • Looking ahead to next week
  • Get the real story of collaborative research
    • Introducing our research
    • Ageing population: Robotic homes
    • Migration: Representing migrants
    • Food security: Using technology to secure our food future
    • Summary of the week
  • Get the real story of collaborative research
    • Our research continued
    • Social justice: What kind of society do we want?
    • Climate change: Co-producing our energy future
    • Farewell and next steps

Taught by

Alastair Buckley


4.0 rating, based on 6 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 10 ratings

Start your review of Population 10 Billion: Researching Global Issues

  • Anonymous
    The course provides you with informative examples of the issues we face as a society with 10 billion people, detailing certain wicked problems and how we need to tackle them as a group, whether it's through interdisciplinary research, public outreach and struggles relevant today, such as migration and the ballooning elderly population. I would recommend this for anybody wanting to understand more about what the future holds for a 10 billion strong world.
  • Anonymous
    Overall, this course isn't what I was expecting. I expected much more information about a global response to the wicked problem. This course was really about the work being undertaken in Sheffield University vis a vis some real world problems. The collaborative nature of the work was interesting. This course seemed like an advert for Sheffield University.
  • Xavier Domínguez Ventura
    I enjoyed the course a lot. I wish there were ways to interact with the researching teams, or at least see them react to our feedback, but overall, it was a good learning experience.

    Too bad I can’t really afford the cost, but otherwise I would have upgraded the course so I could keep coming back to see what else pops up.

    Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    This was a really excellent course. It started off by explaining how the estimate of a global population was a wicked problem, one not allowing for a right or a wrong solution. It is, however, a problem which cannot be solved by someone from a single academic discipline working alone, but only through meaningful and deep collaboration.
  • Kathleen Walker
    It covers the benefits of working collaboratively on the problems facing our world now and in future. It shows how research across academic disciplines can join fruitfully with interested lay people who want ti solve the problems facing society instead not trying to improve things and merely drifting into a awful future.
  • Anonymous
    I found the course easy to grasp, with videos, interactive charts and for me it gave a feeling of reassurance that the young brains are being guided and connected to address the big wicked problems facing mankind

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