Critical approaches to Development

Studienivå (studiesyklus)






Mål og innhald

The main aim of this course is to develop advanced comprehension of multi-level and complex processes of development and the role of institutional actors in these processes. The course will familiarise the student with the historical evolution of theories of development and encourage critical reflection on contemporary debates. Emphasis is placed on developing thorough knowledge of development ethics in terms of the various social and political dilemmas that the practice of development can lead to. The course will enable the student to identify and discuss different challenges to development posed by globalisation, migration and climate change.


On completion of this course the students should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has in-depth knowledge of:

  • Colonial roots of inequalities
  • Relevant development theories, and is able to trace the evolution from classical, Keynesian and neoliberal economics through modernisation and post-colonialism, to sustainable development and development ethics.
  • Impact of and responses to climate change in a sustainable development perspective
  • Globalisation, global governance and the politics of aid
  • Migration and responses at global to local levels
  • Critical perspectives on education and schooling
  • Rights and social justice-based approaches to development and their relevance for the analysis of poverty and marginalization
  • The significance of gender in development
  • Resource-based approaches to development with particular emphasis on health promotion


The student:

  • Can deal critically with various sources of information on development issues and apply them to structure and formulate independent scholarly arguments
  • Can analyse challenging development issues from various perspectives, including resource-based and gender perspectives
  • Can analyse different ways in which processes of globalization change the global map of poverty and vulnerability, inequalities and injustice.
  • Can critically analyse and extract the essence of written texts in short annotated summaries

General competence

The student:

  • Can coherently communicate social justice-sensitive ideas concerning development in the context of globalization both in written work and in oral presentations
  • Can critically assess and apply development theories appropriate for an enhanced understanding of inequality and marginalization as well as resource based responses to global challenges

Krav til forkunnskapar


Krav til studierett

Open to all students registered in Master's Programme in Global Development Theory and Practice. Other master's students registered in relevant programmes at UiB and exchange students may apply.

Undervisningsformer og omfang av organisert undervisning

Teaching methods will comprise lectures, seminars, and a problem based learning component, as well as individual feedback on annotations and module paper.

The course spans over 11 weeks and includes 18 two-hour lectures, 16 hours of seminars and four weeks with problem based learning.

Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet

  • Short individual oral presentation of a self-selected development related topic.
  • Presentation of selected course readings for the class
  • Participation in the problem based learning groups and in the presentation from the problem based learning task.

All activities and assignments must be completed and approved before the student¿s module paper will be assessed .


Portfolio assessment with portfolio consisting of two products:

1) Paper on Development Theories (1000 words)

2) Module paper (2500 words) related to the learning outcomes of the course.






Will be available June 1st.


The course will be evaluated in accordance with the Faculty of Psychology's routines for participatory evaluation and the University of Bergen's Quality Assurance System.


Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology.

Administrativt ansvarleg

Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology.



Studierettleiar kan kontaktast her:


Tlf 55 58 27 10


  • Vurderingsordning: Mappevurdering

    25.10.2019, 12:00
    Digital eksamen