EDS102 Introduction to Development Thinking

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Darley Jose Kjosavik

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:60

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:Structured instruction time (lectures: 48 hrs, seminars: 24 hrs) plus independent study. Total of 375 hours student work.

Teaching and exam period: This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.

About this course

The course comprises three blocks:

1. Introduction to key social science concepts used in development. These include: institutions, structure and agency, power, the market, culture and ethnicity, and the state.

2. Introduction to theories of development. We explore the history of development before examining modernisation, dependency, Marxism, neoliberalism, human rights, poverty and inequality.

3. Concepts of environment and development. We explore the history of the concept of sustainable development, the risk society, the green economy, gender and the environment, the valuing of ecosystems services, market environmentalism and the no-growth economy.

Learning outcome


The student is able to describe/explain

  • basic social science concepts used in Development Studies
  • central theories of development in Development Studies
  • the roots and history of Environment and Development Studies
  • general concepts of environment in Environment and Development Studies


The student is able to

  • engage in thinking about current and historical perspectives of development
  • apply theory to analyse real-world problems
  • engage in academic discussion around environmental and social issues
  • write academic texts

General competence:

The student has a general overview and understanding of development thinking, and of basic social science concepts, development theory, and the history of development, and the roots and theory of sustainable development and environment-development relations.

  • This course is based on lectures and weekly seminars. The students will engage with theory, selected topics and literature in weekly seminars. The course also requires self-study in preparing to attend lectures and seminars.
  • The course information and literature will be provided on Canvas. Communication will be mainly through Canvas. The course teacher will be available when necessary.
  • The course will have one exam: (Only in English).

    Take home exam (short essays): 100% (A-F grading)

    In order to take this exam the students should have a pass in the mid-term assignment.

  • External examiner will be involved in the preparation and approval of the final exam.
  • 1. The students must attend a least 70% of the lecturers

    2. The students must participate in at least 70% of the seminars

    3. Mid-term: Take home assignment (after first Block): Pass/Fail

  • Lectures: 2x2 hours a week, 48 hours in total. Seminars: 2 hours a week, 24 hours in total.
  • B-IEDS students
  • Letter grades
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)