Gender and Development

The course content offers an outline of debates about gender and gender equality in social sciences and Development Studies.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 13 January 2020 — University of Helsinki

Course dates

13 January 2020 – 19 April 2020

Registration period

1 November 2019 – 31 December 2019

Coordinating university

University of Helsinki


Piia Lavila



Course dates: 13.01.2020-19.04.2020
Registration dates: 01.11.2019 - 31.12.2019
Coordinating university: University of Helsinki
Responsible teacher: Piia Lavila,
Credits: 5 ECTS

Course summary

The course content offers an outline of debates about gender and gender equality - the historical shifts from Women and/in Development to Gender and Development. Major theoretical perspectives within Gender Studies and postcolonial feminist theory are made familiar through a study of texts, videos, podcasts and other materials. The course will take place in moodle, combining independent studying, group discussions, conducting a course assignment and carrying out self- and peer reviews.

Students will familiarize themselves with basic concepts of gender and development, learn the different approaches to gender and development (WID, WAD, GAD, Neoliberal and alternative approaches as well as HRBA), study post-colonial and neoliberal critique, cover the basics of critical studies on men and masculinities, as well as learn about queering development.

Learning outcomes

After the course the student can recognise and understand the meaning of gender in the different lines of development thinking and in development co-operation practices, understand and recognise different theories of gender embedded in global development practice, such as international organisations, as well as diversities in gender systems in different contexts.

In addition, students will also improve their skills in paying attention on their existing knowledge, assumptions, images and ideas they have, strengths and weaknesses of their argumentation and build their views on stronger argumentation, theorise their own personal experiences, as well as give, receive and make use of feedback, and overall develop their skills to assess their own learning.

Learning methods

The course consists of seven thematic modules, each which consist of two weeks using the pedagogy of flipped classroom: during the first week of the module, students will independently familiarize themselves with the course material (reading, videos, podcasts and other audio-visual material), which, together with shared questions, will work as a discussion frame in the following week for small group discussion in moodle in English.

Along studying course materials and having online discussions, students will conduct their own course assignment (a short essay, blog post, video, power point presentation) on a selected topic and do two peer reviews.

Study materials

The 7 modules comprise a collection of articles and other material, such as podcasts, videos, images and other audio and/or visual material available online.


Grade 0-5. At the end of the course, students will conduct a self-assessment, assess their peers in small group discussions, give and receive peer review on their course assignments. The teacher will do continuous follow-up on participation and activity in on-line discussions, and using the peer reviews, grade the course assignments.

The course grade is based on

  • Self-assessment 25 %
  • Peer-assessment 25 %
  • Course assignment 25 %
  • Teacher’s assessment 25 %

Additional information

The maximum number of students is 40, students will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The course is designed for students minoring and majoring in Development Studies (at Bachelor's level) or Gender Studies, but no prior classes in either is required.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue