Curriculium for the Master's Programme in Development and International Relations, 2020

1: Preface

Pursuant to consolidation Act 778 of August 7, 2019 on Universities (the University Act), the following is established.

The programme also follows the Examination Policies and Procedures for Aalborg University.

2: Basis in Ministerial orders

The Master’s programme is organised in accordance with the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Order no. 20 of January 9, 2020 on Bachelor’s and Master’s Programmes at Universities (the Ministerial Order of the Study Programmes) and Ministerial Order no. 22 of January 9, 2020 on University Examinations (the Examination Order). Further reference is made to Ministerial Order no. 153 of February 26, 2020 (the Admission Order) and Ministerial Order no. 114 of February 3, 2015 (the Grading Scale Order).

3: Campus

The programme is offered in Aalborg and Copenhagen.

4: Faculty affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under The Faculty of Social Sciences, Aalborg University.

5: Study board affiliation

The Master’s programme falls under Study Board of International Affairs.

6: Affiliation to corps of external examiners

The Master’s programme is associated with the external examiners corps on Censorkorpset for Forvaltning og Global Studies.

7: Admission requirements

Applicants without legal right of admission

The admission requirement for the master's degree program in Development and International Relations is a completed relevant bachelor's degree. The following bachelor's degrees are considered relevant:

  • Bachelor's Programme in Language and International Studies, Aalborg Universitet
  • Bachelor's Programme in Political Science, Aarhus Universitet, Syddansk Universitet og Københavns Universitet
  • Bachelor's Programme in Politik og administration, Aalborg Universitet
  • as well as most bachelor's degrees in a social science discipline

In addition, a bachelor's degree is considered relevant if it includes a minimum of 30 ECTS credits within one or more of the following subject areas: International relations, development studies, European studies, international political economy, area studies (e.g. China Studies or Latin American Studies), migration studies, refugee studies, cultural studies, globalization studies, integration studies, international law or other central subjects of the DIR/ES programmes.

8: The programme title in Danish and English

The Master’s programme entitles the graduate to the Danish designation:

  • Kandidatuddannelsen (cand.soc.) i udviklingsstudier og internationale forhold
  • Kandidatuddannelsen (cand.soc.) i udviklingsstudier og internationale forhold – Global Refugee Studies
  • Kandidatuddannelsen (cand.soc.) i udviklingsstudier og internationale forhold – Chinese Area Studies
  • Kandidatuddannelsen (cand.soc.) i udviklingsstudier og internationale forhold – Latin American Studies
  • Kandidatuddannelsen (cand.soc.) i udviklingsstudier og internationale forhold – Global Gender Studies
  • Kandidatuddannelsen (cand.soc.) i udviklingsstudier og internationale forhold – China and International Relations

The English designation is:

  • Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences, Development Studies and International Relations
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences, Development Studies and International Relations – Global Refugee Studies
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences, Development Studies and International Relations – Chinese Area Studies
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences, Development Studies and International Relations – Latin American Studies
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences, Development Studies and International Relations – Global Gender Studies
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Social Sciences, Development Studies and International Relations – China and International Relations

9: Programme specifications in ECTS credits

The Master’s programme is a 2-year, research-based, full-time study programme. The programme is set to 120 ECTS credits.

10: Rules concerning credit transfer (merit), including the possibility for choice of modules that are part of another programme at a university in Denmark or abroad

The Study Board can approve that passed programme elements from other educational programmes at the same level replaces programme elements within this programme (credit transfer).

Furthermore, the Study Board can, upon application, approve that parts of this programme is completed at another university or a further education institution in Denmark or abroad (pre-approval of credit transfer).

The Study Board’s decisions regarding credit transfer are based on an academic assessment.

11: Exemptions

The Study Board’s possibilities to grant exemption, including exemption to further examination attempts and special examination conditions, are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published at this website: https://www.studieservice.aau.dk/Studielegalitet/

12: Rules for examinations

The rules for examinations are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures published at this website: https://www.studieservice.aau.dk/Studielegalitet/

13: Rules concerning written work, including the Master’s Thesis

In the assessment of all written work, regardless of the language it is written in, weight is also given to the student's formulation and spelling ability, in addition to the academic content. Orthographic and grammatical correctness as well as stylistic proficiency are taken as a basis for the evaluation of language performance. Language performance must always be included as an independent dimension of the total evaluation. However, no examination can be assessed as ‘Pass’ on the basis of good language performance alone; similarly, an examination normally cannot be assessed as ‘Fail’ on the basis of poor language performance alone.

The Study Board can grant exemption from this in special cases (e.g., dyslexia or a native language other than Danish).

The Master’s Thesis must include an English summary. If the project is written in English, the summary can be in Danish. The summary is included in the evaluation of the project as a whole.

14: Requirements regarding the reading of texts in a foreign language

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Development Studies and International Relations is English, all set texts will be in English, and all examinations will be conducted in English. Therefore, sufficient English language proficiency is a requirement.

15: Competence profile on the diploma

The following competence profile will appear on the diploma:

A Candidatus graduate has the following competency profile:

A Candidatus graduate has competencies that have been acquired via a course of study that has taken place in a research environment.

A Candidatus graduate is qualified for employment on the labour market based on his or her academic discipline as well as for further research (PhD programmes). A Candidatus graduate has, compared to a Bachelor, developed his or her academic knowledge and independence so as to be able to apply scientific theory and method on an independent basis within both an academic and a professional context.

16: Competence profile of the programme

The academic profile of the programme

Programme objectives

The objectives of the Master’s Programme in Development Studies and International Relations are that students will:

  • gain academic insight in development studies and international relations in the context of social science and history and knowledge of various social and cultural patterns and their development
  • develop the academic knowledge and skills which they have acquired from their bachelor programme, and increase their theoretical and methodological qualifications and independence as compared to the bachelor level
  • acquire qualifications in identifying and analysing complex societal phenomena within development studies and international relations from an interdisciplinary perspective on the basis of theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills
  • be able to apply advanced elements of theory and method in the field of development studies and international relations in an independent and cross-disciplinary manner on the basis of scientific study
  • master key concepts within the field of development and international relations, such as power, interests, institutions, norms and operators
  • qualify to participate in scientific development work, including research training (PhD programme)
  • qualify for specialised professional functions in the public and private sectors.

Options for specialisation

The Master’s programme offers options for specialisation within Chinese Area Studies (Aalborg), Latin American Studies (Aalborg), Global Gender Studies (Aalborg) or Global Refugee Studies (Copenhagen), and a double degree in China and International Relations (Aalborg/Beijing).

 

A graduate of the Master’s programme in Development Studies and International Relations will acquire the following competence profile:

Knowledge

  • knowledge about the key aspects of development and international relations
  • knowledge of various theoretical approaches to the study of development and international relations
  • knowledge of the organisation of the international system and the social, cultural, political and economic dynamics that affect developments in international relations, both globally and in selected regions
  • understanding of basic principles of academic integrity and of dilemmas of research ethics within the relevant subject areas of the programme

Skills

  • apply scientific theories, methods and tools within the fields of development and international relations in an independent manner
  • ability to critically and independently reflect on key aspects within the fields of development and international relations on a scientific basis, as well as identifying scientific problem areas
  • evaluate and choose among scientific theories, methods and tools within the fields of development and international relations, as well as to develop new analysis models and solutions on the basis of scientific knowledge
  • analyse and communicate economic, political and social aspects of development and international relations from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • contribute, discuss and communicate research-based knowledge on development and international relations to peers and non-specialists in fluent and terminologically correct English.

Competencies

  • cooperate on problem based cross-disciplinary projects with international and intercultural perspectives in professional contexts
  • master strategies for planning, initiating and undertaking a project based on an issue relevant to the subject field and to take professional responsibility
  • manage complex situations and workflows and to find new solutions
  • take independent responsibility for their own continued learning and competence development within the fields of development and international relations
  • perform job functions in international institutions and organisations, diplomacy, public and private businesses, and to undertake doctoral studies within the fields of development research and international relations.

The Master’s Programme in Development Studies and International Relations also provides each student the opportunity to create an individual competence profile through the choices of specialisation and elective courses, cf. section 7, subsections 3-6.

 

Problem Based Learning (PBL)

The study program is committed to Aalborg University’s fundamental pedagogical principle of problem-based learning. The basic competencies achieved through PBL in the study programme are:

  • Problem oriented competencies: The ability to identify, delimit, formulate, and analyze actual problems.
  • Collaborative and organizational competencies: The ability to handle complex problems professionally while cooperating with people from diverse backgrounds on project organization and project management.
  • Reflexive competencies, the ability to develop personal competencies in a professional context (self-reflection).

While the three competencies are trained during all four semesters, there is shift in emphasis across the four semesters:

Semester

PBL focus

First semester

Problem oriented competencies

Second semester

Collaborative and organizational competencies

Third semester

Reflexive competencies

Fourth semester

Independent training of all the PBL competencies.

 

17: Structure and Contents of the programme

The master’s programme in Development and International Relations (DIR) is a two-year research-based full-time study programme. The study programme comprises 120 ECTS credits. The programme is divided into individual modules and organised as a problem based study programme. A module is a subject element or a group of subject elements whose purpose is to provide the student with academic and professional qualifications within a stipulated period, and which is completed by one or a number of examinations according to an examination schedule defined in this curriculum. 60 ECTS credits correspond to one year of full-time study.

The Master’s programme offers options for specialisation within Global Refugee Studies (Copenhagen), Chinese Area Studies (Aalborg), Latin American Studies (Aalborg), Global Gender Studies (Aalborg) or China and International Relations (Aalborg/Beijing). The specialisation in China and International Relations (CIR) is a double degree program offered in collaboration with the University of International Relations in Beijing.

The Master’s programme consists of constituent and elective modules. The Study Board may decide not to offer a certain elective module in case of too limited enrolment. In case an elective is not offered, the students will be provided with other alternatives.

The modules will be offered over four semesters (semesters 1 to 4). The first and second semester include courses, exams and project work at Aalborg University. The third semester module consists of a stay at an international organisation, company or institution with activities related to development and international relations or a study stay abroad in the fields of development and international relations or similar programmes. Students specialising in Global Refugee Studies also have an option of studying Mobilities, Social Change and Development at Aalborg University, Copenhagen campus, during the third semester. The fourth semester module will be dedicated to thesis writing. In the CIR programme, the students spend the first and second semester at Aalborg University (Aalborg) and the third and fourth semester at the University of International Relations in Beijing.

The programme is based on a combination of academic, problem oriented and interdisciplinary approaches and is structured as a mixture of the following study and evaluation forms combining skills and academic reflection:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • classroom teaching
  • problem based project work
  • case work
  • discussion sessions
  • supervision and feedback from teaching staff
  • simulation games (not offered every semester).

18: Overview of the programme

Development Studies and International Relations without specialisation

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
1 Semester Electives
Choose 5 ECTS
Course 5
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Project Management and International Organisations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
2 Semester Electives
Choose 5 ECTS
Course 5
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Project Oriented Course Project 25 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master’s Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

 
1 Semester Electives
Choose 5 ECTS
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation Method Assessment method
Regional Integration and Regionalisation Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam
Chinese Area Studies I: Traditions and Transformations Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Oral exam
Contemporary Latin American Studies Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Oral exam
Global Gender Studies Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Oral exam
Cultures, Societies and Histories of the Peoples of the Arctic Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam

 
2 Semester Electives
Choose 5 ECTS
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation Method Assessment method
Rising Powers and Emerging Markets Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam
Chinese Area Studies II: Global China Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam
Social Movements and Civil Society in Modern Latin America Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam
Global Gender Studies II: Gendering Global Governance Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam
The Arctic in the Age of Globalization Course 5 7-point grading scale Internal examination Written exam

Development Studies and International Relations with specialisation in Global Gender Studies

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies, Global Gender Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Global Gender Studies Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Project Management and International Organisations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Global Gender Studies II: Gendering Global Governance Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Project Oriented Course Project 25 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master’s Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

Development Studies and International Relations with specialisation in Chinese Area Studies

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies, Chinese Area Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Chinese Area Studies I: Traditions and Transformations Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Project Management and International Organisations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Chinese Area Studies II: Global China Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Project Oriented Course Project 25 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master’s Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

Development Studies and International Relations with specialisation in China and International Relations

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies, China and International Relations
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Chinese Area Studies I: Traditions and Transformations Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Project Management and International Organisations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Chinese Area Studies II: Global China Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Semester at University of International Relations (UIR), Beijing
4 Semester
Master's Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

Development Studies and International Relations with specialisation in Latin American Studies

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies, Latin American Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Theories of International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Contemporary Latin American Studies Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Project Management and International Organisations Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
Social Movements and Civil Society in Modern Latin America Course 5 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Project Oriented Course Project 25 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master’s Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

Development Studies and International Relations with specialisation in Global Refugee Studies

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies, Global Refugee Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
Theories of International Relations Course
International Organisations, Human Rights and International Law in the Context of Refugees Course
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Mobility and Displacement Course
Culture, Identity and Politics Course
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Project Oriented Course Project 25 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Thesis Preparation Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationWritten exam
4 Semester
Master’s Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

Development Studies and International Relations with specialisation in Global Refugee Studies - 9 semester mobilitystay

Offered as: 1-professional
Specialisation: Development Studies, Global Refugee Studies
Module name Course type ECTS Applied grading scale Evaluation method Assessment method
1 Semester
Methodology and Methods Course 5 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationActive participation/continuous evaluation
International Development Course 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
Theories of International Relations Course
International Organisations, Human Rights and International Law in the Context of Refugees Course
Project Module I Project 10 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
2 Semester
Topical Seminars within Development and International Relations Course 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Mobility and Displacement Course
Culture, Identity and Politics Course
Project Module II Project 15 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationOral exam based on a project
3 Semester
Transnational Migration Course 15 7-point grading scaleInternal examinationWritten exam
Ethics and Mobility Course
Sustainable Development and Social Change Course
Project Work within Mobilities, Sustainable Development and Social Change Project 15 Passed/Not PassedInternal examinationOral exam based on a project
4 Semester
Master’s Thesis Project 30 7-point grading scaleExternal examinationMaster's thesis/final project

19: Additional information

Standard Page

The maximum length of an assignment or a project is defined in standard pages. A standard page is equivalent to 2,400 keystrokes (including spaces).
The stipulated number of pages for written assignments and projects includes notes, but does not include reference lists/bibliography, title page, table of contents, and summary. Appendices may be included in projects. Typically, an appendix is not the examinee’s own written work, but a presentation/reproduction of source material, and it will therefore not be included in the total number of pages; however, the volume of the appendix must be proportionate to the volume of the project.

Group Sizes

No more than 6 students may participate in the preparation of written group projects. No more than 3 students may participate in the preparation of the Master’s thesis.

Oral Group Examination

At oral group examinations, the examination must be conducted in such a way that individual assessment of each individual student’s performance is ensured.

20: Commencement and transitional rules

The curriculum is approved by the dean and enters into force as of September 2020.

The Study Board does not offer teaching after the previous curriculum from 2017 after the summer examination 2021.

The Study Board will offer examinations after the previous curriculum, if there are students who have used examination attempts in a module without passing. The number of examination attempts follows the rules in the Examination Order.

21: Amendments to the curriculum and regulations