CANCELLED 2019/20: Livelihoods and Rural-Urban Connections in the Global South

Course content

The aim of the course is to provide an in-depth theoretical and empirical understanding of rural and urban livelihoods in the Global South and how they interact with rural-urban transformations. The course outlines trends in rural development and urbanization and considers small town growth and how households’ livelihood practices straddle urban and rural spheres, including rural-urban migration and multi-local householding. The vulnerability and resilience of households and communities will be analysed through linking global, national and local drivers of change – such as economic globalisation, global environmental change, and current food, fuel, and financial crises – with livelihood responses. The theoretical literature underpinning livelihood frameworks and rural-urban connections will inform the comparison of case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The course introduces students to how rural and urban livelihoods can be conceptualised, assessed and supported in light of trends, shocks and stresses at a number of scales.


MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics 
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a Minor Subject
MSc Programme in Environment and Development


Learning outcome


Rural-urban transformation, urbanization, small town development, rural and urban livelihood strategies, the household as unit of analysis, livelihood diversification, multi-local householding, vulnerability context, global, national and local drivers of change.


  • Identify relevant theories and monitoring tools for analyses of rural-urban transformations in the Global South;
  • Conceptualize and apply a livelihoods framework to assess and measure vulnerability and resilience;

  • Critically reflect on the implications of using the household as unit of analysis.
  • Assess the potential impact of global, national and local policies on rural and urban livelihoods.
  • Sequence a variety of research methods for the assessment of rural and urban livelihoods, including both quantitative and qualitative tools.
  • Use appropriate statistical techniques to measure urbanization, population change, asset holding and livelihood diversification.



  • Outline the theoretical underpinnings of livelihood frameworks and how these relate to debates within human geography and the broader social sciences;

  • Describe empirical aspects of rural and urban livelihoods in the Global South, including the relative importance of agricultural and diversified livelihood portfolios, multi-locality, and urban informal economies and structures.

  • Assess and measure vulnerability and resilience in rural and urban communities;

  • Consider policy processes through which rural and urban livelihoods can be supported in a sustainable and equitable manner.

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon.

BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent is recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
There is 20 minutes preparation for the oral examination.
The oral exam takes point of departure in questions shared with the students one week before the exam.
Only certain aids allowed

Notes made during the 20 minutes preparation of the oral examination.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 136
  • Project work
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206