Livelihoods and Environmental Change

Course content

The world is experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes to its environmental resources, with profound effects on people and communities. The course is concerned with rural livelihoods and changing environments, using key concepts and perspectives from core social science disciplines. It is research-based and develops students’ quantitative and qualitative skills through work with original research data.

The focus is on livelihood strategies and how they change over time. We use cases to highlight the relationship between environmental resources, institutional arrangements and livelihood outcomes. We discuss how external factors such as climate change, market forces, and state legislation affect local resource control and access, and how that relates to rural livelihoods.

A key component of the course is its focus on both quantitative and qualitative tools for understanding and analysing rural livelihoods. This provides students with a solid foundation for critically assessing and reflecting on academic representations of livelihoods and linking local issues to wider developmental processes.

Education

MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Environmental Science 
MSc Programme in Forests and Livelihoods (SUTROFOR)
 

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to provide participants with a thorough understanding of rural livelihoods and changing environments and to enable them to critically reflect on methodological and analytical strategies. 

After completing the course the students should be able to:

 

Knowledge:

Discuss strengths and weaknesses of different livelihoods approaches

Discuss the spatio-temporal variations of livelihoods

Discuss the relationship between local institutions and livelihood outcomes

Discuss how economic, environmental, and political processes affect rural livelihoods

 

Skills:

Analyse quantitative and qualitative household-level data

Critically assess approaches to livelihood data collection and analysis

Develop methodologies for livelihood analysis

Cooperate with peers to integrate different disciplinary approaches to livelihoods analysis

 

Competences:

Towards the end of the course, students should be able to critically reflect on and discuss outcomes and processes of rural livelihoods and different methodological and analytical strategies for understanding these.

Blended learning combining e-learning and classroom activities. E-learning is centered on online asynchronous discussions in small groups. Each week, students are asked to (i) read the mandatory literature; (ii) participate in online asynchronous discussions on a particular topic of relevance for the week’s theme (see themes above); and (iii) meet up in class to discuss the reading material and solve livelihoods problems (based on quantitative and qualitative case study data).

The course curriculum consists of state-of-the-art book chapters and journal articles that are made available during the course.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

The course is identical to the discontinued course LNAK10083U Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance and NIFK18002U Interdisciplinary Approaches to Rural Livelihoods. Therefore you cannot register for this course, if you have already passed LNAK10083U Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance or NIFK18002U Interdisciplinary Approaches to Rural Livelihoods.

If you are registered with examination attempts in LNAK10083U Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance or NIFK18002U Interdisciplinary Approaches to Rural Livelihoods without having passed the course, you have to use your last examination attempts to pass the exam in this course. You have a total of three examination attempts.

Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Lecturer’s written feedback on online discussions, peer feedback on online discussions, lecturer’s written feedback on written assignments, lecturer’s oral feedback during in-class empirical exercises.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio
The assessment has three components: (i) continuous assessment of participation in online discussions (20% of final grade); (ii) Exam 1 (30%, needs to be submitted by mid-December), an individual essay of 1000 words; and (iii) Exam 2 (50%, submitted on last day of course) in which students are individually solve a problem using a combination of qualitative and quantitative insights and write a 2000 words paper describing the solution. Exam 2 starts from week 6 and there will be weekly opportunities for asking questions and getting feedback.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

See description of 'Learning outcome'

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 12
  • Class Instruction
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Practical exercises
  • 16
  • E-Learning
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 30
  • English
  • 206