This course is discontinued

SUM3000 – Development and environment: From theory to practice

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

In this course we further develop important themes in the interface between development and environment. We explore important theories and dominating political praxis behind development, and how these mesh with the challenges of sustainable development. Attention will be given to the relationship between North and South and to the political and commercial sides of development. The role of international development organisations, national governments, non-governmental organisations and multi-national corporations will be explored.

Students will participate in a group exercise intended to provide insights into some of the practical challenges involved in realising sustainable development. Each group, consisting of four to five students, will be relatively free to choose a topic and a type of field study (NGO, municipality/public institution, private actor or other). The field study will take place in Norway. The groups will be expected to write a joint paper (max 10 pages) discussing the results from their field study in relation to the chosen topic.

Learning outcome

What can you expect to take from the course?

  • An accounting of some of the main challenges in development, including the reduction of poverty, work towards a more just global distribution of wealth and resources, dealing with increasing consumption and reducing the environmental impacts of development.
  • An overview of central actors that participate in, and influence the directions in global sustainability and development.
  • An understanding of global change in a perspective which includes power differentials between North and South, and among different social groups.
  • An understanding of some of the challenges and dilemmas involved when the goal of sustainable development is to be realised in practice.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Minimum requirement for admission is 90 credits, the course SUM 1000 included. Prior learning can give admission.

Overlapping courses

10 points of this course overlap with SUM4000.


Two lectures per week. The course implies a fieldstudy in Norway.


Group paper and individual examination.

The group exercise paper will be graded and constitute 50% of each candidate’s final mark. The individual school exam will constitute the other 50% of the final mark.

Language of examination

SUM3000 students can write the exam in English or Norwegian


Course coordinator: Karen Syse
Programme consultant: Kristin Dypedokk

Facts about this course




Last semester was Spring 2011.


Teaching language