Development Studies C

30 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 2SK041

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Development Studies G2E
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Board of the Department of Government, 7 May 2009
Responsible department
Department of Government

Entry requirements

Development Studies second year level or equivalent education.

Learning outcomes

After completion of Development Studies C the students are expected to:

  • have strengthened their knowledge of social science methods which they have gained from Development Studies B.
  • to get a deepened knowledge within a specialised field in development studies
  • independently formulate a researchable problem within development studies based on previous research and with the help of one or several methods answer the question in their own study and critically reflect on the results of the study


The course has three sub-courses:

1. Methods, 7.5 ECTS

2. Tragedy of the Commons: Change, Energy, and the Politics of Resource Management7.5 ECTS

Other relevant courses can be chosen. Contact Director of Development Studies, Hans Blomkvist.

3. Independent study (thesis work)15 ECTS

1. Methods, 7.5 credits

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, student are expected to possess:

- the ability to undertake basic empirical research using quantitative as well as qualitative techniques.

- satisfactory knowledge of the difference between descriptive and causal research questions

- satisfactory knowledge of the relative advantages and disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative techniques

- satisfactory knowledge of the problems involved in establishing causal relationships

- satisfactory skills in interpreting results from basic quantitative and qualitative analyses

- basic skills in computer-based statistical analysis

- basic knowledge of statistical inference


The focus of this course is on various research methods used in political science. It explains basic methodological concepts and discusses the main steps of the research process. Students are introduced to quantitative as well as qualitative analysis techniques, albeit with a special emphasis on the quantitative side. An important additional aim is to communicate an understanding of the relative strengths and weaknesses of quantitative versus qualitative techniques. The question of how to provide evidence for the existence of causal relationships in political science constitutes another central aspect of the course.


Teaching takes the form of lectures and mandatory seminars. The lectures cover the central topics of the course and give an introduction to computer-based statistical analysis. The seminars are the most important part of the course. They provide students with an opportunity to exercise their skills with regard to the main steps of the research process. At each seminar, the students are required to hand in individual, written solutions to a set of assignments. These solutions are then extensively discussed during the subsequent seminar under the guidance of a seminar teacher.


The course ends with a written exam. The purpose of the exam is twofold. First, it provides the basis for grading the students. Second, it encourages the students to review the contents of the course, thereby consolidating the knowledge they have acquired.

Grades are awarded on a scale comprising the grades VG (pass with distinction), G (pass), and U (fail).

To reach the grade G (pass), students must:

- participate in all mandatory seminars as well as present serious attempts to solve all exercise assignments

- reach at least the grade G (pass) on the written exam.

After completing the course, students are expected to possess:

- satisfactory methodological knowledge relevant to the main areas of political science

- sufficient methodological skill to formulate research questions and undertake basic empirical research on their own

- basic knowledge of the possibilities and limits of science, its role in society, and the human responsibility for the use of scientific knowledge.

2. Tragedy of the Commons? Climate Change, Energy, and the Politics of Resource Management, 7.5 credits

Goal (learning outcomes)

The course has two overarching goals. The first is to deepen the students' knowledge and understanding of the 'collective action dilemma' from a social science perspective. The second goal is to acquaint the students with two crucial, and interdependent, global problems: climate change and energy. As a corollary to these two goals the course will also analyse and discuss possible political solutions to the management of climate and energy issues (as well as dilemmas over natural resources more generally). To this end, the course will examine possible solutions at the international, regional, and local levels. At the global level, emphasis will be placed on international regimes such as the Kyoto Protocol. At the regional level, the European Union's efforts to combat climate change will be examined. Lastly, the course will consider how energy and climate politics are played out in the localities of developing countries. The latter includes the confluence of state policies and norms in the local community. Upon the completion of this course the students are expected to thoroughly understand the interface between politics and the challenge of addressing environmental problems and managing limited natural resources. The intent is also to provide a good foundation for students who want to pursue this topic in a C level essay in Development studies or Political Science.

Content of the course

The course consists of four parts: 1) Energy and Climate in Developing Countries; 2) Energy and Technology; 3) Climate Politics in a Regional Organisation: EU and Climate Change; 4)International regimes and Climate Change.


The course consists of lectures, seminars, video film, and study visits to the Ångström laboratory and Uppsala Heat and Power Plant (Värmeverk).


The students are examined by means of (active participation in) the seminars, written seminar assignments, and a final written exam. Participation in the four seminars is a requirement to pass the course. The written exam amounts to 55% of the course requirement, out of which you need at least half to pass. The seminars amounts to 45% of the course requirement.

Seminar assignments and an active participation in the seminars is part of the course requirements, i.e. compulsory. If for some reason you cannot attend you will be given an extra assignment. The extra assignment has to be sent in before the end of the course, i.e. before the exam. If you send it in later you will be given an additional assignment. Any extra or additional assignments must be sent in (emailed) to the respective teacher/professor before the end of the semester, 5 June. If not, there will be a chance for you to do the assignment next time we give the course in February-March 2011.

A summary grade for the whole course will be given according to the scale Underkänt (U), Godkänt (G) or Väl godkänt (VG).

The format of the seminars

Each seminar group is divided into 3 sub-groups, according to the list you sign up on during the Introductory lecture or later. (I will give you a copy of the list in the next lecture). Each sub-group (of three students) will then have the task of orally introducing the topic and "leading" the discussion of the literature/readings and the seminars assignments in one of seminars. The introduction should be about 10 minutes (and no more than 15 minutes).

The assignments are below or will be handed out at the lecture for each theme seminar. The dates for the written test and re-test you will find on our web site (look for this course and its schedule). If you miss or fail both exams the next exam will be in March 2011.

3. Independent study (thesis work), 15 credits

After completion of the course the students are expected to:

- carry out an independent study on development and/or development theory based on the empirical, methodological, and theoretical knowledge gained during the preceding 75 points in Development Studies


Teaching is done in the form of supervision, individually or in groups, of the thesis work and through active participation in (at least seven) thesis seminars.


The thesis is examined by two teachers/professors in connection with the thesis seminars. The grade summarises the evaluation of the thesis, oral presentation and defence of the thesis, comments (opposition), and active participation in the other thesis seminars. The criteria and how they are combined are formulated in the course presentation handed out in the beginning of the semester. Grades are awarded according the scale "failed", "pass" or "pass with distinction".


The teaching consists of lectures and seminars.


The students are examined by means of a written test, assignments, and active participation in seminars. The third part is examined by means of writing and defending a thesis, commenting on a thesis and active participation in (at least five) theses seminars. An opportunity for a re-test is given ca 3-4 weeks after the first exam. The time and place for the written tests is announced in the schedule on the net. Grades are awarded according the scale "failed", "pass" or "pass with distinction". To get the grade "pass with distinction" for the whole C course that grade is needed for at least 15 points of the totally 30 points. Grades are awarded on a scale comprising the grades VG (pass with distinction), G (pass), and U (fail).

Course level in relation to degree requirements

On completion of the course the students are expected to have deepened their knowledge within development studies. They will have acquired a general view, and knowledge of the current scientific debate. The students' ability to analyse, evaluate and critically examine research and to formulate their own research problems will be deepened, as well as their ability to critically discuss and present information both orally and in writing, and their ability to independently search for scientifically relevant data and information. Additional training in the skill to present their arguments orally as well as in writing in a clear and concise way, will be offered.

The awareness and knowledge of methods will be deepened, and the methodological skills required to independently raise scientific questions and to carry out simple empirical studies, will be developed. A basic awareness will be acquired concerning the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society and the public responsibility for its use. While working with the independent project the students' ability to critically, independently and creatively identify and formulate questions will be deepened, and they will learn to plan and carry out qualified assignments within given time limits and with adequate methods, and to present and discuss the underlying conclusions and arguments, both orally and in writing. The skills required for participation in the research and development work, or for working independently in some other qualified field, will be especially developed here.