NGEK10026U Rural Livelihoods, Vulnerability and Adaptation

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Geology and Geosciences

The aim of the course is to provide an in-depth theoretical and empirical understanding of how rural livelihoods in developing countries have evolved in the past three decades. The vulnerability and resilience of households and communities will be analysed through linking global, national and local drivers of change – such as economic globalisation, global environmental change, biodiversity conservation, and current food, fuel, and financial crises – with livelihood responses. The theoretical literature underpinning rural livelihood frameworks will inform the comparison of case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. The course introduces students to how rural livelihoods can be conceptualised, assessed and supported in light of trends, shocks and stresses at a number of scales. 

Learning Outcome

Rural livelihoods, devloping countries, change drivers, livelihood theory, vulnerability and resilience in rural communities, policy processes, sustainable development.


  • Conceptualise and operationalize a rural livelihoods framework to assess and measure vulnerability and resilience;
  • Sequence a variety of research methods for the assessment of livelihoods, including both quantitative and qualitative tools;
  • Use appropriate statistical techniques to measure vulnerability/resilience
  • Structure, write and defend an 8,000 word essay which is a suitable basis for a funding proposal.


Analyse, assess and apply results, methods, theory and data in connection with rural livelihoods.


Please see Absalon course page
BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent
The form of teaching and work will be class teaching with active participation of students by means of student presentations and group-work.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 136
  • Project work
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Written assignment
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assesment
Please see learning outcomes