QUTVVIET Development Studies 1 Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Development Studies 1
Development Studies 1
30 stp.


The study plan was approved by the Dean 24.06.2009. Update approved by the Vice-Dean 02.09.2013.

Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) offers a one semester full-time course (30 ECTS credits) in development studies in Hoi An on the east coast of Vietnam. The course, Development Studies 1 , starts each semester in August and January respectively. The course is a joint venture between OsloMet and Kulturstudier (Culture Studies), an independent Oslo-based organisation that offers international academic courses in the fields of culture and human development at study centres in Vietnam, India, Ghana, Argentina and Nicaragua.

OsloMet offers interdisciplinary courses in development issues and North-South relations, leading to a Bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS credits in Development Studies. Development Studies 1 is equivalent to the first half year of this Bachelor programme.

Development Studies 1 is taught through an interdisciplinary social science/humanistic approach incorporating elements of history, geography, social anthropology, political science, economics and sociology. The course activities (lectures, seminars, assignments, examination) as well as the literature are all in English. The first part of the course is web-based. After this, the students leave for Hoi An, Vietnam, to attend the regular course based on classroom teaching. During the 10 weeks in Vietnam there are normally lectures, seminars and group work on all weekdays. Weekends are free.

Anbefalte forkunnskaper


No required prerequisite knowledge.


The overall objective for the course  Development Studies 1  is to give students an interdisciplinary understanding of global development with a focus on North-South relations and the South East Asian region. This holistic approach should provide a base for problem-based discussions, critical analysis and reflection.

The students should acquire knowledge of the following:

  • Concepts of poverty and development.
  • Globalisation, global history and global economy.
  • Governance, people's participation and human rights.
  • Culture, gender and religious issues.
  • Knowledge, development and social change.
  • Population, migration and rural-urban dimensions of poverty.
  • Local action and international co-operation for poverty reduction.


Introducing development studies

This first part provides a set of readings that explore basic development concepts and introduce some of the theories and approaches within development. Students discuss three concepts in an introductory paper: development, poverty, and sustainable development, and consider how development is understood from a variety of perspectives. This part of the course is entirely web-based.

Research design and field methodology

Students will be given an introduction to research methodology. Covered by three lectures, qualitative and quantitative research methods, research design and evaluation of primary data will be presented. Field ethics will also be emphasized.

History, politics and economic development, globalisation and democracy

The course covers development initiatives that take place at global, national and local levels, current trends in development and development theories, and draws on political and economic

theories. Processes of globalization will be discussed, such as global patterns of resource distribution and their effect on both poverty levels and the environment in various parts of the world, questioning how power relations are reflected in these patterns. This will include discussion of the global economy, international trade, debt, and international institutions like the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Policies and practices of national governments, and actions at a community level by NGOs and local organizations, will be considered in terms of their impact on poverty and environmental concerns, including attention to human rights and the control people have over their own lives.

Population, environment and livelihood

The overall topic of this part of the course is material living conditions in developing countries, especially among the poor. Central issues are questions of environmental sustainability, food security and famine, health problems and health care, migration and demography. It includes consideration of the many ways in which poor people try to make a living.

Culture, gender and knowledge

This part directs itself to the level of people's lives and the conditions for change. We study the impact of culture on development and the social context of people's interactions. The main concepts are identity, ethnicity, nationalism, religion and the influence of gender on social life and work relations. We also include the role of learning and knowledge for people to improve their life situation.

Regional focus: South East Asia / Vietnam

Here we look at South East Asia in general, and Vietnam in particular, in order to exemplify the development topics and debates outlined in the previous parts of the course. You will be introduced to the position of South East Asia in the global system. The varied contemporary social, economic and political structures found in the region will be outlined and their cultural and historical origins explored. An examination of the nature and relative success of various South East Asian developments will also be presented.

Organisation and requirements

As part of the course, students complete one compulsory assignment, one group examination and one home examination. The Study Guide of the course will give details about deadlines defined by OsloMet.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

As part of the course, students complete one compulsory assignment, one group examination and one home examination. The Study Guide of the course will give details about deadlines defined by OsloMet.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

The following course work requirement must be met before the examination may be sat:

  • Introductory assignment . This is a paper of approx. 1800 words (+/- 10%) / approx. 4-5 pages, where students are asked to discuss the concepts of development, poverty and sustainable development. At this stage, all communication between student and teachers is based on e-mail. The paper is to be submitted through e-mail before students go to Vietnam. It will be assessed within the following week and is evaluated as Accepted/Not accepted.

Course work requirements must be met within fixed deadlines. Course work requirements must be met also by students with valid absence from classes documented by medical certificate. Students, who, due to illness or other valid and documented reasons, do not meet the course work requirements within the fixed deadlines, may be given a new deadline. A new deadline for meeting the course work requirements is in each individual case given by the teacher of the course in question.

Students who meet the course work requirements within the fixed deadline, but get the evaluation Not Accepted, are entitled to two new attempts to fulfil the course work requirements. A new deadline for meeting the course work requirements is in each individual case given by the teacher of the course in question.

Vurdering og eksamen

Examinations Group examination and individual home examination

At the beginning of their stay in Vietnam, the students form groups of 3-5 persons. The purposes of these groups are to work on current topics from the lectures and literature, and to complete the group examination. There will be a seminar on how to write papers, in which the seminar teacher will suggest topics of relevance. The seminar teacher is instrumental in forming the groups and supervising them during the writing process.

  • The group examination is linked to the topics of the course as a whole. This is a paper on a topic of each group's own choosing, of approx. 10 800 words (+/- 10%) / approx. 25-30 pages, which the students write in groups during their stay in Vietnam. Here, they shall combine perspectives from the literature and lectures, preferably link up with empirical cases from the region of South East Asia, while drawing on literature that the group finds relevant. The paper shall be submitted within the given deadline. The group examination is given a mark (A-F) counting 40% of the final result. The group examination is marked by one internal and one external examiner.

  • Individual home examination , i.e. an essay of approx. 4400 words (+/- 10%)/approx. 10-12 pages, where students shall prove their analytical skills and understanding in the discussion of a given topic. The individual home examination is given a mark (A-F) counting 60% of the final result. The individual home examination is marked by one internal and one external examiner.

The students' academic performance is assessed on the basis of the group examination and the individual home examination (see above).

The student will be awarded a composite grade where the group examination counts 40% and the individual home examination counts 60% of the final mark.

Students who fail their group examination, or who pass but wish to improve their grade, may submit a revised version of their group paper or write an individual paper, 4.400 words +/- 10%, on a topic related to the curriculum. The deadline for such papers coincides with the deadline for general evaluation the following term. Likewise, those who either fail their individual home examination or wish to improve their grade may submit a new paper in connection with the ordinary examinations the following term. This also applies for students with valid absence.

Regulations for new or postponed examinations are available in Regulations relating to studies and examinations at OsloMet. Students must register for a new or postponed examination.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

Examination support material is permitted.


A-E as pass grades and F as fail grade.


The group paper and the individual home examination are assessed by one internal and one external examiner.


Target Groups

Development Studies 1 directs itself to

  • students who wish to include development studies as a part of a bachelor's degree
  • professionals (teachers, nurses, journalists, engineers etc.) and others who seek further education in international and multicultural issues

Admission requirement

Applicants must qualify for university admission in Norway.