Environment and Development – from Theory to Practice

Course content

This course focuses on the multiple theoretical and analytical approaches to understanding coupled human-environment systems in the context of achieving sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries. The course will focus specifically on approaches to address current grand environmental and development challenges, with a focus on how to feed the world while preserving natural resources at the same time. The course will involve methodological exercises aimed at understanding the data needs and methodological approaches that are relevant for designing interdisciplinary research on the topics discussed. The students will work with quantitative and qualitative datasets from both social and natural sciences to obtain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. The theoretical and methodological knowledge will be put into practice in interdisciplinary group projects in which students, with different disciplinary backgrounds, will develop a solutions-oriented research project to understanding a problem related to coupled human-environment systems, development and management of agro-ecosystems.


MSc Programme in Environment and Development 

Learning outcome


  • Understand complex interdisciplinary problems related to coupled human-environment systems through a broad range of methodological approaches
  • Explain how to analyze complex interdisciplinary problems by combining various methods and uses of environmental  and development datasets
  • An in-depth understanding of interdisciplinary project work that is central for understanding and solving human-environmental problems



  • Application of approaches to analyze issues related to food security, management of agro-ecosystems, and development
  • Critical analysis of data and methodologies used for understanding interdisciplinary problems
  • Application of theory and methodologies to conduct solutions oriented research projects
  • Organize quantitative and qualitative data
  • Interdisciplinary group work and project development



  • Students should be able to identify and apply theoretical and methodological approaches to solving complex interdisciplinary problems needed for understanding and managing sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries

The form of teaching is based on theoretical and methodological exercises combined with lectures. Interdisciplinary group work with the aim of producing a joint product is central to the course. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon course page.

Please see Absalon course page

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 min. no preparation
Type of assessment details
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week.
The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure and also includes examination in the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. The written report and the oral exam both account for 50% of the grade.

I order to pass the course, both parts of the exam have to score a grade of at least 02.
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
  • Lectures
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 143
  • Exercises
  • 49
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
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 Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Laura Vang Rasmussen   (2-7177456e6c7333707a336970)

Laura Vang Rasmussen, IGN
Dorette Sophie Müller-Stöver, PLEN
Aske Skovmand Bosselmann, IFRO

Saved on the 28-02-2022

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