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2 years
Online programme/course sessions

This study programme has been replaced by Global Development, Crisis and Change.

Do you want to know why some countries have progressed to a high level of income without having strong resource endowments, whereas other countries have had propel periods of strong growth by excessively exploiting their resource base? And, why are some countries prone to kleptocratic and dictatorial rule – amazing riches to the few and poverty to the many? 

Are you interested in development issues and want to learn more about environmental, social, economic and political facilitators and obstacles to development? In the Global Development and Planning programme you will study population growth, over-exploitation and mismanagement of natural resources and environmental pollution, as well as social organisation and differentiation within and across culturally complex contexts.

This master’s programme is a blended programme, consisting of online learning and two physical gatherings (face-to-face sessions). Students who need to apply for a visa to come to Norway, can choose to apply for a short-term visa for the face-to-face session in August, or can apply for a student visa and stay on campus during the two years. 

In the beginning of the first semester you will participate in a face-to-face session at UiA. Here you will spend two weeks with your fellow students, professors and tutors. The face-to-face session will be an introduction to learning resources, computer technology, applied pedagogies and also the start-up of the courses. The second face-to-face session will take place in the second semester (four weeks in May/June) at our partner institution in Sri Lanka.

Cooperation is a fundamental idea for the programme. The pedagogy is learner focused, and will include group work, discussions and joint assignments. The online tuition, instruction and supervision takes place in virtual classrooms. The programme is full time, and we expect all students to participate actively, take responsibility for their own learning and take part in the development of an optimal learning environment.

What do you learn?

In the Global Development and Planning programme you will learn about theories and findings concerning development, and how you can make use of managerial tools to solve practical problems. Solutions to problems will be sought from a variety of disciplines, including economics and the functional areas of management, political science, sociology, anthropology, and geography. A wide variety of institutional contexts will be considered, including local and international private business, non-government organizations, central and local governments, international and national regulatory and donor institutions. In addition, you will be well skilled in cross cultural communication and collaboration.

Half of the third semester (15 ECTS) and the whole of the fourth semester (30 ECTS) will be fully devoted to the writing of a master’s thesis - building upon coursework and your personal experiences, and focusing on problems and issues of high personal interest and to the societies and institutions you represent. You will be encouraged to do fieldwork in a developing country in connection with your master's thesis. We consider this experience to be of particular value for research on environment and development issues.


In an increasingly globalised world, the workplace puts more and more demands on global insight and experience. UiA seeks to integrate exchange programs in all studies.

All you need to know about exchange studies

Job opportunities

The majority of the students who have graduated from the Global Development and Planning programme are now working within research and teaching, in NGOs (in Norway or abroad), with Corporate Social Responsibility in the private sector, in public administration, with refugees and immigrants, in the UN system etc. The master programme may qualify for admittance to relevant doctoral programmes.

Course structure

Display entire program

Admission requirements

The general requirement is completed bachelor’s degree of minimum 3 years’ duration (180 ECTS).

Other requirements:

a) Either: a major subject of at least 80 ECTS within the social sciences.
Or: an integrated programme of at least two years duration within the social sciences.
Examples of relevant fields of study: Development Studies, Planning, Geography, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Politics and Business Administration

b) Additional admission requirements:
Social science methods, at least 7,5 ECTS.

A weighted, average grade of C or better is required.

For further information, see regulations concerning admission to programmes and courses at the University of Agder, § 24.

Application period

  • Non EU/EEA international applicants: From 1 November till 1 December (subject to change)
  • EU/EEA applicants: From 1 February till 1 March.
  • Nordic citizens and applicants with a permanent or renewable residence permit in Norway: From 1 February till 15 April.

Student exchange

Four weeks mandatory face to face meeting in Sri Lanka. Most students undertake field work for 6 weeks to 3 months.

Other than this, student exchange is not an option in this study programme.

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120 ECTS Credits

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