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Course content

The aim of this course is to introduce students to a selection of key contemporary issues in the global south from a development perspective.  

As part of a global economy, countries in the global south face a number of challenges concerning the economic, social and political development of their respective societies. The course addresses five key issues for the global south today: natural resource extraction, environmental justice, urban development, social protection, and international migration.  Through analyses of selected issues and empirical cases, we want students to understand the dynamics at work in these key areas, how they are addressed in policy-making and how they are incorporated (or not) in overall strategies of development.  

Learning outcome



Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Describe the dynamics of key contemporary issues addressed in the course from a development perspective. 
  • Apply concepts and analytical perspectives addressed in the course to similar cases in different geographical settings.  
  • Assess the role of the state and key stakeholders in the economic, social and/or political processes addressed in the course.


Upon completion of the course, you will be able to: 

  • Explain the economic, social and/or political processes at work in each of the key issues addressed in the course. 
  • Compare the policies and strategies applied to address key issues across sectors/issues in the global south.  
  • Recognise interconnections between the key issues addressed in the course, both analytically and empirically. 
  • Formulate your independent view on key contemporary issues in the global south. 


  • The course trains the students in independent and critical thinking about key contemporary issues in the global south from a development perspective. You will be able to: 
  • Assess critically development issues in different empirical contexts. 
  • Contribute to the new creative and independent thinking about development in the global south. 
  • Communicate your analysis in a systematic way both verbally and in writing.  


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.

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.

Master specialisation in didactics for social science in the Teacher Education Programme (Lektorprogrammet) – please see the link for information regarding admission.

Overlapping courses


The teaching consists of lectures that aim at a dialogue between lecturer and student. At each lecture, a relevant case will be presented and discussed based on the reading materials and/or media items. Students are expected to participate actively in discussions, both in plenum and small groups. 

All teaching will be given in English.


The exam for HGO4501 is a term paper. 

  • The topic for the term paper is decided by each student and must be within the thematic focus of the course.
  • The term paper will address two of the five themes of the course.
  • The term paper must demonstrate active engagement with the syllabus. Additional sources can also be applied.
  • The topic and focus of the term paper will be assessed and approved by the course coordinator within a set deadline. 
  • The length of the paper will be maximum 6000 words plus references. 

Examiner guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

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

You may write your examination paper 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

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






This course will be offered Spring semester 2021

Teaching language