Global Challenges in Environment and Development
The planet and humankind face major current environment-development challenges, including climate change, losses of natural habitats and biodiversity, poverty, and non-sustainable food production systems. Using selected problems and cases at the environment-development nexus, the purpose of this course is to create a solid foundation for understanding how knowledge is generated and used in both the social and natural sciences. This includes (i) giving students a well-grounded understanding of key theoretical, conceptual, and practical debates and issues, and (ii) allowing them to experience interdisciplinary approaches to research and problem solving through active participation in discussions, group work, and individual essay writing. The course thus centers on selected global challenges and introduces students to tools and frameworks which can be used to think and generate knowledge across disciplines.
This interdisciplinary course is mandatory and fundamental for the MSc Programme in Environment and Development and the MSc Programme in Global Environment and Development. It places particular focus on countries in the Global South.
MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Global Environment and Development
After completing the course the students should:
- Understand relationships between theory and practice at the environment-development nexus;
- Be acquainted with current debates on environment-development issues, including in relation to agriculture and environmental products;
- Be familar with challenges at the intersections of economic growth, social development, and environmental conservation;
- Evaluate and differentiate approaches to environment-development questions from a variety of perspectives;
- Analyse the value (validity and reliability) of data in the academic and policy literature;
- Explore and challenge own disciplinary boundaries by cooperating with fellow students on solving problems using different data sources for environment-development challenges.
Towards the end of the course, students should be able to (i) critically reflect on and discuss approaches to global challenges at the environment-development nexus, (ii) reflect on the benefits and challenges related to interdisciplinary approaches, and (iii) demonstrate the values of scholarship: inquiry, reflection, integrity, open-mindedness, evidence-based thinking, and collegiality.
The course makes limited use of traditional lectures. The key
teaching and learning activities are group discussions and
exercises, student presentations, and written assignments. The
learning activities draw on scientific articles and book chapters,
but also on other media, such as grey literature and film
The indicated readings for each week must be read prior to class in order to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Students who are unable to meet this requirement should not enroll in the course.
The course curriculum consists of state-of-the-art book chapters, journal articles, and reports made available during the course.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written assignment, made during the course
- Type of assessment details
- The exam is a 2000 words individual essay submitted by the end of the course. Students will start working on the essay from the beginning of the course and there will be weekly opportunities for asking questions and getting feedback.
- 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)
- Class Instruction
- Practical exercises
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 1
- No limitations.
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period.
- Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
- Department of Food and Resource Economics
- Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
- Faculty of Science
- Carsten Smith-Hall (3-657571426b687471306d7730666d)
Dorette Sophie Müller-Stöver
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