NIGK20001U Rural-Urban Transformations in the Global South

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics 
MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Global Environment and Development



The aim of the course is to provide an in-depth theoretical and empirical understanding of contemporary rural and urban transformations in the Global South. The course provides a critical overview of urbanization processes and associated transformations of both urban and rural spaces, which are inextricably linked economically, politically, socially and environmentally. The course considers the contribution of rural-urban connections, peri-urban transformations, migration, multi-locality and small town growth. Resilience of rural and urban communities is considered in relation to wider rural-urban transformations and linked with local, national and global drivers of change – such as economic globalisation, international political agendas and global environmental change (including climate change). The theoretical literature underpinning rural-urban transformations informs the comparison of case studies from Africa and Asia. The course considers how rural-urban transformations are situated in and contribute towards the global agenda on sustainable development (the SDGs).

Learning Outcome


Rural-urban transformation, sustainable development, urbanization, rural transformation, small town growth, rural-urban connections, migration, multi-locality, peri-urban transformation, informality, urban resilience.



  • Identify and outline relevant theoretical approaches to contemporary rural-urban transformations in the Global South.
  • Critically evaluate research appraches and methodologies for examining rural-urban transformations in the Global South.
  • Critically scrutinize appropriate data, including  quantitative, qualitative and geospatial data, measuring urbanization, population dynamics, migration patterns and urban expansion.



  • Criticially discuss theoretical approaches to rural-urban transformations and how these relate to debates within human geography and the broader social sciences.
  • Empirically assess aspects of rural-urban transformations in the Global South, including the dynamics of urbanization, urban expansion, rural transformation, migration and small town growth.
  • Consider the potential impact of global, national and local policies on rural-urban transformations and how these transformations can be supported in a sustainable, inclusive and equitable manner.

Please see Absalon.

BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent is recommended.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The form of teaching is highly interactive seminars combining a variety of teaching formats, including lectures, group work, reflection exercises, matrix analyses, speed discussions, quizzes, games and students presentations. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.
The course is identical to NIGK17009U Livelihoods and Rural-Urban Connections in the Global South. It is not allowed to pass both courses.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
The oral exam takes point of departure in questions shared with the students at least one week before the exam.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Re-examination is identical to the ordinary exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome.