SUM4028 – Emerging Economies and Challenges to Sustainability

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The rise of ‘emerging economies’ in Asia, Africa and Latin America constitutes a challenge to traditional global power balances and raises the question of how the global society can combine sustainability with continued economic growth. Understanding this global shift and its impact on the environment is the paramount contemporary challenge for both environment and development-oriented researchers and policy makers. This course will revisit theories of and policies of sustainable development, exploring the role of emerging economies in redefining sustainability goals and policies. At the heart of the course is the presentation of case studies from 6 countries: China, India, Viet Nam, Brazil, Argentina and Ethiopia. In the final block of lectures, reflections will be made on whether these emerging economies have taken sustainability on board in their development strategies and on the general consequences for environmental sustainability globally.

Learning outcome

  • A thorough knowledge of sustainability goals and development strategies in key emerging economies in different regions of the world.
  • The ability to analyze global dilemmas, especially those related to environmental threats, in light of rapid growth in selected national economies.
  • An in-depth understanding of the challenges to theories of sustainability and development posed by globalizing markets and the changing matrix of global production and consumption.


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

Please contact Centre for Development and the Environment for more information regarding admission.

A minimum number of registrants is needed in order for the course to run. If 6 or less has registered, the course will be cancelled. If the course is cancelled, you will be notified by email two weeks before the first lecture. 


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The minimum requirement for admission is:

  • a bachelors degree within social sciences, the humanities, or natural sciences. Students with a natural science background should have at least half a year's studies within the humantities or social sciences to prepare them for the interdisciplinary challenges this course offers.
  • Passed examination in English foundation course (140 hours/5 periods per week) in Norwegian upper secondary school with a minimum grade of 4 (or an equivalent grade from a Nordic upper secondary school) or alternatively passed examination in English from second and/or third school year, or an internationally recognised English language proficiency test.


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.


Three days home exam.

The Faculty of Humanities has made a website where you can learn more on how to use sources correctly. We also recommend the University of Oslo Library website Write & Cite.

Digital home examination

The home 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 home examinations using Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in 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

Resit an examination

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






Will not be offered spring 2019. 

Teaching language