ILUNRM - Field course – University of Copenhagen

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ILUNRM - Field course

Full course description at

Interdisciplinary Land Use and Natural Resource Management

Duration: One block (9 weeks) Credits: 15 ECTS
Level of Course: MSc
Examination: Written reports and oral examination 7-point scale, external examiner. All aids allowed.
Teaching: Teaching divided in lectures, exercises and discussions, Student presentations and individual supervision. Lectures and exercises take place at KU. About 2 weeks of field work in a developing country.
Teaching Period: Block 3 (February - April)
Teaching Language: English

Course Objectives

- Íntroducing theoretical and methodological approaches to interdisciplinary studies of natural resource management and rural livelihoods in developing countries- Enabling students to apply their own disciplinary skills in interdisciplinary problem-based group work- Training in field based investigation of concrete topics/problems- Ensuring exposure to methods from both natural and social science- Providing students the experience of working with developing country counterparts

Course Content

The course is jointly organised by University of Copenhagen and Roskilde University, and attracts students from a range of natural and social science disciplines. Most land use and natural resource management issues in developing countries are best approached interdisciplinary. Hence, the central theme in the course is learning and using interdisciplinary methods and theoretical approaches through problem-oriented field work in a developing country in collaboration with local counterparts. While working with students from other disciplines, students should apply their own disciplinary skills in order to address the identified topics/questions within land use, rural development and natural resource management. Close co-operation with local students will ensure exposure to working in an inter-cultural environment. The course includes training in analysing and developing project proposals; planning and conducting field work; selection and application of data collection methods (e.g. questionnaire design, interview techniques, bio-physical sampling methods, PRA techniques); data recording and processing; and writing field reports. This will allow students to participate effectively in interdisciplinary assignments in developing countries, and serve as a basis for understanding strengths and weaknesses of each student's own discipline, including comparative advantages of academic disciplines relevant to rural livelihoods and natural resource management in developing countries.

The SLUSE programme at KU and RUC have carried out interdisciplinary field courses in collaboration with university counterparts in Malaysia, Thailand and Southern Africa since 1998.

Form of Study and Instruction

The course consists of: Lectures and practically on natural and social scientific methods and tools used in field work. Theoretical/contextual and regional specific lectures. Theoretical lectures are followed by exercises demonstrating the practical applicability of the central concepts in field work. Student presentations of key texts. 

Group work: Each student will participate in a supervised group. Each group will prepare a synopsis before the field trip, conduct fieldwork, prepare and submit a course report. 2-3 weeks field work in a developing country.

Course Literature

Available on Absalon

Course Responsible

Myles Oelofse (

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