Course content

The course analyses economic, social and political aspects of development processes in the South. Emphasis is put on the linkages between local contexts and global forces of change in the South. Examples of development trajectories are drawn from many contexts, especially in the discussions on the content of the concept of development. There is a focus on debates on development strategies, and how these strategies are linked to development theories.

Learning outcome

The students will obtain knowledge about key ideas in contemporary development thinking. The emphasis in this course is on strategies to overcome development problems in the South. The students will through oral group presentations and critical discussions gain skills in analyzing empirical information for strategy formulation. They will get enhanced competence in understanding complex development issues and in identifying solutions to poverty.


The course provides students with insight into selected aspects of development. The focus is on how solutions to development problems can be found in different empirical contexts. Ideas of strategies and of international aid will be critically examined giving the students a solid basis for formulating their own view on eradication of poverty.

You will obtain:

  • A basis for understanding contemporary development discourses.
  • A thorough insight into development problems in the South.
  • An ability to distinguish between mainstream and “smallstream” theoretical paradigms and their strategies.


The course seeks to give the students improved ability to discuss critically contemporary views on development. It is an aim that the students shall be able to analyze complex empirical information, and to formulate adequate strategies to improve people’s lives.

You will be able to:

  • Discuss and critically present different development perspectives.
  • Analyze the complexities of development issues in writing as well as orally.
  • Formulate your independent view on development strategy with a higher level of precision.


The course trains the students in independent thinking about development issues. It also seeks to give the students the ability to analyze the impact of regional and global processes on the local level in the South.

You will gain:

  • A critical understanding of the important ideas in development discourses.
  • An ability to analyze different empirical contexts, and assess ideas of strategies to overcome development problems.
  • An awareness of dilemmas of development, which is the true sign of mature development thinking.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is a part of the Master's program in Human Geography. Students with admission to other relevant master’s degree programmes can apply for admission as guest students.

Overlapping courses


The teaching consists of lectures that aim at a dialogue between lecturer and student. The course is designed for both Norwegian students and students on exchange programmes or bilateral agreements. All teaching will be given in English.

Compulsory instruction and coursework

It is compulsory to participate actively in preparing and presenting a group work at a seminar.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory tuition activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. The examiner decides whether the explanation is to be given in writing or verbally.

Ask for explanation of your grade in this course:

  • school exam

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every other autumn starting 2018


Every other autumn starting 2018

Every other autumn starting 2018

Teaching language