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Online course

The Lottery of Birth

Birth is a lottery. Where, when and to whom you are born and the society into which you are born will influence your life chances.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

The Lottery of Birth

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Why join the course?

This free online course will look at both the big picture of the ‘lottery of birth’ and the smaller, human stories. You will examine the inequalities of birth, particularly being born rich or poor and being born female or male.

You will also look at the lottery of birth as it relates to becoming a parent. You’ll consider how individual countries and global organisations are responding to demographic changes and predictions and how this plays out in the lives of individual women and men in different parts of the world.

You’ll use a variety of disciplines in the course such as demography, health studies, sociology, comparative social policy, history, political science and economics. This interdisciplinary nature brings different perspectives together to create fresh insights and provide a bridge for different ideas to feed into social and political change.

Towards the end of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to critically analyse an initiative of your choosing from your own country and review the analysis of a fellow learner.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Who is the course for?

The course does not assume any prior knowledge of the issues surrounding birth or inequalities. It is post-graduate level and encourages personal research and data interpretation.

Please note that this course includes some content of a sensitive nature, including discussions around abortion and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Who will you learn with?

Pam Foley

Dr Pam Foley is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $54 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

A Statement of Participation

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course.

  • Prove your hard work when applying to jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your commitment to learning
  • Help your CV or LinkedIn profile stand out

To receive a Statement of Participation you need to mark 50% of the steps on the course as complete.