SGO2500 – North/South - development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course discusses fundamental issues and trends that explain the differences and multiple relations between the global North and South, conveying empirical knowledge and critical perspectives on global sustainable development.

Core issues of international development, such as globalisation, population growth and basic needs, the flows of people and capital, urban-rural spaces are addressed from the perspective of the global South and placed in the context of global sustainability. Given this context, the course takes a closer look at the impact of North/South relations for the global South in two vital sectors with strong links between nature and society: food and energy. The awareness of a spatial perspective to development problems and processes will enable students to identify and understand the impact of regional and global processes on people’s lives in specific places.

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 follow the lectures.

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

Learning outcome


After completing the course, students

  • Know key concepts, theories and perspectives about sustainable, international development from a geographical perspective.
  • Know key concepts and perspectives related to population, resources, actors and institutions relevant to the study of the global South.
  • Understand the importance of nature-society relationships for devising sustainable development trajectories in the global South, especially the role of climate change.
  • Understand the connections between urban and rural spaces in the South.
  • Can explain the movements and flows of people and capital and how that affects development in the global South.
  • Have greater knowledge about the complexities of improving people’s living conditions in the South.


After completing the course, students

  • Can apply concepts, theories and perspectives on sustainable development to understand issues and processes related to the global South. 
  • Can evaluate sustainable development issues from a geographical perspective, being attentive to spatial differences and processes.
  • Can identify the relation between processes at different geographical levels in issues related to population, resources, actors and institutions in the global South.


After completing the course, students

  • Have a broad and critical understanding of North-South development and sustainability.
  • Are able to give constructive feedback on the topics of the course. 
  • Have practice in systematising and presenting information. 


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.
  • The seminars will combine individual and group work, small written assignments, discussions and oral presentations.
  • A guide for seminar work will be posted in Canvas
For self-study option only:
  • There is no compulsory attendance or course work for students choosing the self-study option.

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 5-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.

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

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.

Previous evaluations of the course 

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language