LNAK10083U  Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Agricultural Development
MSc Programme in Forests and Livelihoods (SUTROFOR)
Erasmus Mundus - Agris Mundus
MSc Programme in Agriculture
The course is concerned with rural livelihoods in a developing country context, including the linkages between rural livelihoods and natural resources governance. The focus is on how rural livelihoods are constructed when capital assets are used in activities that generate livelihood outcomes. The focus will be on the five capital asset categories; physical, financial, natural, social and human, with a particular emphasis on natural capital assets. The course will illustrate how external factors, in particular natural resources governance regimes, affect rural peoples’ access to natural resources and, thereby, their livelihood strategies and outcomes. In addition to an overview of these subject areas, the course will focus on tools to understand and analyse rural livelihoods and linkages with natural resources management, as well as provide insights on how to critically assess and reflect on representations of livelihoods, natural resources, and governance regimes. In addition, students will gain in-depth understanding of a timely topic within the area of the course through a two-week intensive case study. The course emphasises that students are enabled to reflect critically on the complexity of livelihoods and natural resources governance relations.
Learning Outcome
The aim of the course is to provide participants with a thorough understanding of rural livelihoods in a developing country context and to enable them to identify, characterise, analyse and critically reflect on linkages between rural livelihoods and natural resources governance regimes. 

After completing the course the students should be able to:

Understand the complexity of rural livelihoods and principles of livelihoods analysis

Understand and reflect on linkages between rural livelihoods and natural resource governance regimes

Apply principles of livelihood analysis 

Characterise natural resource governance regimes 

Identify linkages between natural resources governance regimes and outcomes and processes of rural livelihoods 

Analyse rural livelihoods and natural resource governance in a broader historical and societal context

Critically reflect on and discuss scientific issues in relation to rural livelihoods and natural resources governance

Analyse and communicate scientifically based evidence on rural livelihoods and natural resources governance to various audiences
The course curriculum consists of state-of-the-art book chapters and journal articles within the areas of the course that will be made available during the course.
No prior academic qualifications are needed, yet a bit of knowledge of basic micro-economic theory is an advantage, as well as some experience in reading scientific journal articles.
The teaching is based on a mixed approach to learning, and learning activities include lectures, numerical and analytic exercises, student presentations, a board game, a museum visit, and discussions. Two weeks of the course are dedicated to an in-depth case study of a topic within the area of the course in which students will apply the theories and tools obtained in the course to analyse and present their analysis of an empirical case.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
The exam has three components: (1) False-True test; (2) oral presentation of scientific paper and; (3) 12 hour written exam; essay on provided topic - max. 2,000 words, excl. references.
The assessment of the three components are given equal weight in the final grade.
Only certain aids allowed
In the False-True test no aids are allowed, for the two other components all aids are allowed.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period
1 internal assessor
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
See description of 'Learning outcome'
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Lectures
  • 35
  • Colloquia
  • 25
  • Theory exercises
  • 10
  • Practical exercises
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 20
  • Excursions
  • 6
  • Total
  • 206