NIFK20007U Livelihoods and Environmental Change
MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
MSc Programme in Forests and Livelihoods (SUTROFOR)
The world is experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes to its environmental resources, with profound effects on people and communities. The course is concerned with rural livelihoods and changing environments, using key concepts and perspectives from core social science disciplines. It is research-based and develops students’ quantitative and qualitative skills through work with original research data.
The focus is on livelihood strategies and how they change over time. We use cases to highlight the relationship between environmental resources, institutional arrangements and livelihood outcomes. We discuss how external factors such as climate change, market forces, and state legislation affect local resource control and access, and how that relates to rural livelihoods.
A key component of the course is its focus on both quantitative and qualitative tools for understanding and analysing rural livelihoods. This provides students with a solid foundation for critically assessing and reflecting on academic representations of livelihoods and linking local issues to wider developmental processes.
The aim of the course is to provide participants with a thorough
understanding of rural livelihoods and changing environments and to
enable them to critically reflect on methodological and analytical
After completing the course the students should be able to:
Discuss strengths and weaknesses of different livelihoods approaches
Discuss the spatio-temporal variations of livelihoods
Discuss the relationship between local institutions and livelihood outcomes
Discuss how economic, environmental, and political processes affect rural livelihoods
Analyse quantitative and qualitative household-level data
Critically assess approaches to livelihood data collection and analysis
Develop methodologies for livelihood analysis
Cooperate with peers to integrate different disciplinary approaches to livelihoods analysis
Towards the end of the course, students should be able to critically reflect on and discuss outcomes and processes of rural livelihoods and different methodological and analytical strategies for understanding these.
The course curriculum consists of state-of-the-art book chapters and journal articles that are made available during the course.
If you are registered with examination attempts in LNAK10083U Rural Livelihoods and Natural Resources Governance or NIFK18002U Interdisciplinary Approaches to Rural Livelihoods without having passed the course, you have to use your last examination attempts to pass the exam in this course. You have a total of three examination attempts.
- Class Instruction
- Practical exercises
Lecturer’s written feedback on online discussions, peer feedback on online discussions, lecturer’s written feedback on written assignments, lecturer’s oral feedback during in-class empirical exercises.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- PortfolioThe assessment has three components: (i) continuous assessment of participation in online discussions (20% of final grade); (ii) Exam 1 (30%, needs to be submitted by mid-December), an individual essay of 1000 words; and (iii) Exam 2 (50%, submitted on last day of course) in which students are individually solve a problem using a combination of qualitative and quantitative insights and write a 2000 words paper describing the solution. Exam 2 starts from week 6 and there will be weekly opportunities for asking questions and getting feedback.
- All aids allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
one internal examiner
Re-examination will be a 2000-word essay and an oral defense of the essay. Students will get 24 hours to write the essay (from noon on Monday in the re-examination week to noon on Tuesday in the re-examination week) and the oral defense will last 20 minutes and will be held on Friday in the re-examination week.
Criteria for exam assesment
See description of 'Learning outcome'