Rural-Urban Transformations 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 transformations in the Global South. The course outlines contemporary trends in rural development and urbanization and how these processes interact with sustainable development. The course examines how rural and urban transformations are inextricably linked economically, politically, socially and environmentally and considers the contribution of rural-urban connections, small town growth, multi-local householding, rural-urban migration, peri-urban expansion and proliferations of urban informality to these transformations. The vulnerability and resilience of rural and urban communities are analysed in relation to wider rural-urban transformations and linked with local, national and global drivers of change – such as economic globalisation, international political agendas and global environmental change (including climate change). The theoretical literature underpinning rural-urban transformations informs the comparison of case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The course considers how rural-urban transformations are situated in and contribute towards the global agenda on sustainable development (the SDGs).


MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics 
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a minor subject


Learning outcome


Rural-urban transformation, sustainable development, urbanization, rural development, small town growth, rural-urban connections, migration, multi-locality, peri-urban expansion, informality, vulnerability, resilience


  • Identify relevant theories and methodologies for analysing rural-urban transformations in the Global South.
  • Critically evaluate research methods for the assessment of rural and urban transformations, including both quantitative and qualitative tools.
  • Use appropriate data to measure urbanization, population change, urban expansion and migration.
  • Describe the importance of vulnerability and resilience in studying rural and urban communities.



  • Outline the theoretical approaches to rural-urban transformations and how these relate to debates within human geography and the broader social sciences.
  • Describe empirical aspects of rural and urban transformations in the Global South, including the significance of urbanization, rural development, rural-urban connections, small town growth, multi-locality, rural-urban migration, peri-urban expansion and urban informality.
  • Consider the potential impact of global, national and local policies on rural and urban transformations and how these transformations can be supported in a sustainable, inclusive 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.

The course is identical to NIGK17009U Livelihoods and Rural-Urban Connections in the Global South.
It is not allowed to pass both courses.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
The oral exam takes point of departure in questions shared with the students one week before the exam.
All aids allowed
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
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Manja Hoppe Andreasen   (15-7064716d6431647167756864766871436c6a71316e7831676e)
Saved on the 09-12-2021

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