This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Development and International relations ( program 120 hp)

Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Environment and Technology, Department for Environment and Tourism
Curriculum, Course material
Thematic Area
Factual description
A search was made for courses dealing with complex issues at the School of Natural Sciences, Environment and Technology. Within the program Development and International relations four courses we found, the curricula and course materials were analysed and a focus group interview was conducted with the responsible teachers. The individual courses are presented separately. This review concerns the general out line of the program.

The program addresses the multidisciplinary problem area of Development and international relations and addresses students with an interest to find a career in development aid organizations, foreign policy or international organizations, governmental or non-governmental. The program covers a wide range of issues that relates to North-South relations and the canging dynamics in international relation concerned with development. It aims at covering socio-ecological relationships as well as socio.technological.

The complexity of development issues is managed by a set of courses 7,5 hp – 15 hp that deal with separate perspectives and topics. The set up is iterative so that topics are continuously revisited in new constellations within the subsequent courses.
In the second year, most courses involve the students in project work that train them in grasping complex problems in the different ways that may be expected in different professional tasks, ranging from academic to policy to practical development aid work.
Relevance in complex systems
This program was selected because of the multidisciplinary and complex topic. Development issues, including sustainable development cover a range of topics an perspectives that are interrelated in a complex way. Development issues demonstrate the main features of complex systems, such as uncertainty, non-linearity, emergence and dynamics.
Strong points
The strong points of this program is the way it confronts students with complexity in an iterative way, moving from a broad overview of the challenges, dealing with individual topics and successively combining the issues into a complex image. However there is potential to futher enhance the progression by closer interaction between the teachers.
Transferability potential
The progression in the program could be inspiring for other programs,