SGO2500 – North/South - development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course discusses fundamental trends and issues that explain the difference between the global North and South, conveying empirical knowledge and critical perspectives on global poverty and inequality.

By linking key concepts, theories and strategies of development to the discussion of global poverty, methods of measurement and poverty reduction efforts, students will be able to analyze development problems in different contexts in the South. The awareness of the importance of a spatial perspective to development problems and processes, highligthed by a value chain framework, will enable the students to identify and understand the impact of regional and global processes on people’s lives in specific places.

The course takes also a closer look at some specific sectors, to explore the impact of North/South relations for the global South.

The course offers two (2) study options:
  • A seminar-based option, available for all students committed to compulsory seminar attendance and group work.
  • A self-study option, for students unable to follow regular seminar activities.

It is expected that both groups follows the lectures.

Students choose ONE study-option upon registration to the course in Studentweb.

Learning outcome


  • Key concepts, theories and debates about development.
  • Key concepts and debates about global poverty and inequality.
  • Understand the link between development strategies and global efforts of poverty reduction.
  • An insight into the complexities of improving people’s living conditions in the South.


You should be able to:

  • Think critically about and discuss development concepts, theories and strategies.
  • Conduct analyses of development, poverty and inequality that are attentive to the importance of spatial differences and processes, identifying different geographical levels as well as linkages between these levels.
  • Assess critically information about and solutions to poverty and other development problems.


The course trains the students in thinking critically about one of the most important issues in the world today. Poverty and inequality both in the South and globally will have a decisive impact on the future of the world. The students’ knowledge of and ability to analyze development problems are thus an essential basis for finding solutions to poverty.

You should have gained:

  • A critical attitude towards issues of development, poverty and inequality, based on theoretical perspectives.
  • Learn to give constructive feedback to fellow students, as well as to receive feedback from others.
  • Experience in writing short opinion pieces on North/South development.


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

Admission to this course is done on the basis of specific rules. For further information, please read: Rangeringsregler ved SV-fakultetet.


Recommended previous knowledge


Compulsory instruction and coursework

For seminar-based option only:
  • Participation in the seminars is compulsory. Valid absence is allowed for a maximum of 2 seminars.
  • It is required of the student that he/she writes and presents a joint feature article relevant to the course.
  • Students must be present in the first seminar as they will be assigned to a group.
  • A guide for seminar work will be posted in Canvas.
For self-study option only:
  • It is required of the student that he/she writes a thematic essay and a short commentary on a given topic.
  • The topic will be announced in the Canvas-platform on week 39.
  • The length of the essay is 3000 words (+/-10%) plus references, while the short commentary shall not exceed 500 words.
  • The essay and the commentary will be delivered in Canvas on a given deadline and will be subject to review by the teaching staff.
  • A guide for thematic essay will be posted in Canvas.

Completed and approved compulsory course work is valid until the course is no longer offered. Students who have failed to complete the compulsory course work cannot take the exam.

This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other location in Oslo may be used.

The lectures and seminars will be given in English. The course is designed for both Norwegian students and international students.

The course is part of the regular course provision at The Faculty of Social Science. Teaching is mainly held during daytime.

Change of seminar groups or study-options

Application for change of seminar group

The deadline to change between the seminar-based option and the self-study option is the same as the one for changing seminar group. 

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.


A 6-hour school exam will count 100% of the grade.

Previous exams

Guidelines for writing a school exam (English)

Guidelines for writing a school exam (Norwegian)

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

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:

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 autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language