NIGK13017U Land Use Transitions in the Global South

Volume 2013/2014
MSc programme in Geography and Geoinformatics

The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the dominant contemporary land use transitions taking place in developing countries. Using case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, it explores physical, socio-economic as well as institutional aspects of land use and land use change, and links these to ongoing international debates such as economic globalization, global food crises, biofuel production, land grab and nature conservation. The course discusses (national) land use planning, including rural-urban fringe/peri-urban land use aspects, and issues related to the management of land and natural resources in the Global South. Satellite based land use change monitoring and scenarios will also be introduced and discussed. Overall the course aims at analyzing land use change through a range of analytical lenses and the possibilities and constraints of different analytical and methodological approaches will be assessed. Topics of particular interest to the participating students will be identified at the beginning of the course and will receive more in depth attention.

The first few sessions aim to provide an in depth understanding of the theoretical aspects of land use and land use transitions in the Global South. The next few sessions will focus more on the topics identified by the students. Emphasis will be on active participation in the form of plenary discussions, presentations and group work.

Learning Outcome

Dominant land use transformations in developing countries, theoretical aspects of land use change, main local and global drivers of land use transformations in developing countries, barriers to change, implications of global processes for local land use, climate change as a driver of land use change and vice versa, impacts of local and global land management policies for land use in the South, practical aspects of land use change research in the global South including satellite based monitoring and scenario building.



  • Identify key processes in land use transitions
  • Assess the potential impact of global, national and local policies on local land use
  • Identify relevant theories and monitoring tools for analysis of land use change in the Global South



Analyse, assess and apply results, methods, theory and data in connection with land use transformations in the global south

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.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assesment
Please see learning outcomes