Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Inequality within and between nation states has never been greater, and is on the rise. This presents challenges to our ability to advance just and equitable long-term developmental trajectories and design effective policy responses to recurrent crises. This unit equips students with a conceptual toolkit of critical reasoning and analytical skills, as well as access to empirical evidence with which to understand the economic and demographic transformations that underpin the geography of uneven development across time, and at a range of scales (from the global to the individual).

It takes a geographical approach to examining the relationship between changing patterns of uneven development, the economic, demographic and cultural processes generating those spatial patterns, and the social and spatial structures through which inequalities are produced and sustained. Viewed from the global perspective of interdependent national and regional economies, the focus is on shifting regimes of accumulation, restructuring spatial divisions of labour, global systems of trade, and entrenched drivers of poverty. At the local scale, the unit also considers how individuals, communities and ethnic minorities in lower-income countries navigate livelihoods within these broader economic constraints, and how the lives of the wealthy and poor are entwined through both local and globally interdependent systems.

The unit then turns to the dynamics of rapid global population change over the last 200 years in relation to economic drivers of differential inequality. Students will analyse the key components of, and debates about, population change (fertility, mortality and migration) in the context of uneven development globally. We will explore the ways in which inequality relates to comparative population structures (e.g. in ageing vs youthful societies) and the implications of increasingly uneven distribution of the world's population in urban areas. Here again, the context of economic, demographic, and cultural change forms the backdrop for exploring individual and local-level choices and actions.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) explain theories of economic and demographic change and how these inform understandings of inequality between cultural groups at various spatial and temporal scales; (2) produce interpreted analyses of economic, ethnic and demographic data from international comparative databases such as the World Bank and United Nations; (3) evaluate the interconnected economic and demographic choices and constraints faced by individuals, communities and cultural groups across the economic spectrum, globally.; (4) communicate complex demographic and economic concepts to different non-expert audiences; and (5) critically reflect on the personal, social and ethical dimensions of economic inequality and population change globally.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) report; (2) policy brief; and (3) presented article. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Linda Robson
Unit rules
or GEOG2206
or approval of unit co-ordinator
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.