Postgraduate course

Critical approaches to Development

  • ECTS credits20
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeGLODE301
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Level of Study




Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

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.

Learning Outcomes

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 and rights based approaches
  • 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
  • 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

General competence

The student:

  • Can coherently communicate equity-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

Required Previous Knowledge


Access to the Course

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.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Teaching methods will comprise lectures, seminars, student-led learning and a problem based learning component, as well as individual feedback on one writing assignment.

The course spans over 10 weeks and includes approximately 22 hours of lectures, 14 hours of workshops and four weeks with problem based learning.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Short individual oral presentation of a self-selected development related topic.
  • Participation in the problem based learning groups and in the presentation from the problem based learning task.
  • Participation in guided, self-directed workshops and student-led learning on one development issue (minimum 80% participation)

All activities and assignments must be completed and approved before the student¿s portfolio will be assessed

Forms of Assessment

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.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester


Reading List

Will be available June 1st.

Course Evaluation

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.

Programme Committee

Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology.

Course Coordinator

Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology.

Course Administrator

Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology.


Contact Information

Faculty of Psychology,

Information Centre:


Tlf: (+47) 55 58 27 10