29.10. – 16.12.2018

Introduction to Global Development and Sustainability

Introduction to Global Development and Sustainability

Photo credit: CIFOR, 2017, on Flickr

Course dates: 29.10.2018 - 16.12.2018
Registration dates: 15.09.2018 - 14.10.2018
Coordinating university: University of Helsinki
Coordinators: Eija Ranta (eija.ranta[at]helsinki.fi)
Credits: 5 ECTS

Course content

The course introduces students to main concepts and key issues in global development and sustainability. Firstly, the course outlines how different perceptions of global development and sustainability have been historically portrayed in development thought and theories. Secondly, the course maps processes, factors and experiences that constitute obstacles to achieving sustainable transformations in terms of, for example, gender equality, sexual rights and climate change. Thirdly, it looks at the roles of transformative actors, such as international financial institutions, development agencies, nation-states, NGOs and social movements, in global development. The crosscutting theme is to map conditions for achieving sustainable economic, social, political and environmental transformations globally.

Expected learning outcomes

 On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the changing definitions of global development and sustainability.
  • critically understand processes, factors and experiences shaping poverty and global inequalities.  
  • understand how global governance works through development cooperation. 
  • map conditions for global sustainable economic, social, political and environmental development.

Learning methods

The course is consisted of three two-week modules and a one-week feedback/course assessment module at the end of the course. Each module starts with a short on-line introductory lecture, which is accompanied with a power point presentation. The first module contains a group discussion based on readings. The second and the third modules are interconnected and completed through a two-part individual essay.  


Academic articles and book chapters (to be announced later); independent search for materials from academic databases and internet.  

Assessment and feedback

Grading 0-5: 30% group discussion, 70% essays. The teacher will actively participate in the group discussion, giving feedback on issues raised. Students will formulate their own individual learning objectives at the start of the course. At the end of the course, students will assess both the course objectives and their own learning objectives.

Registration for this course is closed.