Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Environment and Development

Course content

This course focuses on data collection instruments and analytical approaches to understanding coupled human-environment systems, in particular methods to address current environmental and development challenges, such as how to feed the world while preserving natural resources. The course introduces both quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting and analysing data. Specifically, the course delves into three complementary approaches: quantitative methods to address socio-economic dimensions (e.g. household surveys), quantitative methods to address environmental dimensions (e.g. soil analyses), and qualitative methods to address both socio-economic and environmental dimensions (e.g. structured interviews, focus groups and participatory methods). The course includes exercises on developing and reviewing data collection instruments, cleaning data, performing simple data statistical analyses of socio-economic and environmental quantitative data, coding and analysing qualitative data, and creating meaningful data visualisations. Data analysis exercises are based on primary and secondary data, including from ongoing research projects.

The students will apply the acquired methodological skills in group projects planning data collection and analysing environmental and development data from an interdisciplinary perspective. This includes developing a mixed-methods research design that links quantitative socio-economic methods, quantitative environmental methods, and qualitative methods.


MSc Programme in Environment and Development 
MSc Programme in Global Environment and Development


Learning outcome


  • Understand a broad range of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods to address environmental and development challenges
  • Explain how various data collection instruments and analytical strategies can complement each other in a mixed-methods research design – and how environmental  and socio-economic datasets can be linked
  • Understand and explain the challenges and limitations of various quantitative and qualitative approaches



  • Develop quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments related to environmental and development challenges
  • Prepare socio-economic and environmental quantitative and qualitative data for analysis
  • Perform simple statistical analyses as well as analyses of qualitative data
  • Link quantitative and qualitative approaches in a mixed methods research design
  • Perform Interdisciplinary group work and report writing



  • Select, develop, and combine quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments and analytical strategies in a mixed-method research design to examine complex interdisciplinary problems
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of complementary data collection and analysis techniques

The form of teaching is based on methodological exercises combined with lectures. Interdisciplinary group work to produce 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 in groups and must be handed in before the exam week. In the written assignment, the students must clearly state, which parts they have contributed with. The individual 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.
In 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   (2-7a804e77757c3c79833c7279)

Laura Vang Rasmussen, IGN
Dorette Sophie Müller-Stöver, PLEN
Mattias Borg Rasmussen, IFRO

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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