Cancelled 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. Balancing environmental and social concerns is a sustainability challenge. This challenge is an analytical and practical challenge. In this course, we are concerned with rural livelihoods and changing environments.  We explore 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, poverty and wellbeing. 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.


MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Environmental Science 
MSc Programme in Forests and Livelihoods

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, students should be able to:


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



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



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. 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. A core principle of the course is a curiosity in different intersecting approaches in understanding sustainability challenges. This curiosity is also expected from the students.

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.

Continuous feedback during the course
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.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
An individual essay of 2000 words in which students analyse a case-based problem using a combination of qualitative and quantitative insights and discuss the results using scientific literature.
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'

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


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
Maximum 40 participants
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Mariève Pouliot   (4-6f637271426b687471306d7730666d)
  • Rune Bolding Bennike   (3-827272507976827f3e7b853e747b)
Saved on the 05-07-2022

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