Malmö University
Course syllabus

Communication for Development: Specialization
Communication for Development: Specialization
Syllabus approval
Faculty of Culture and Society

Communication for Development: Specialization
UA / Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U)
Communication for Development: Specialization
15 hp

Entry requirements
60 credits on advanced level in Communication for Development + English B.

Master's level

KSCFD / Communication for Development

Depth of study
A1F / Second cycle, has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Depth of study in relation to degree requirements
The course can be part of a Master's Degree in Communication for Development (120 credits).

Course objectives
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an opportunity to strengthen and deepen his/her individual academic and professional profile in the field of Communication for Development through the intensive study of relevant readings. Other purposes are to develop the necessary skills for (a) identifying fields of expertise and (b) collecting, summarizing, analyzing, and presenting substantial materials for non-specialists.

Course contents
The course consists of a specialization in a particular thematic, regional, or demographic subfield of Communication for Development. With the support of a supervisor, the student chooses a field of specialization. This field can be defined either in terms of a particular theme (e.g. communication for behavior change, ICTs and social change, urban poverty, etc.) or a particular geographic region or demographic group (e.g. rural East Africa, the slums of South Asia, Palestinian refugees, etc.). The student, again with the support of a supervisor, assembles and annotates a bibliography of readings central and otherwise relevant to the field of specialization. In a second step, the student uses the annotated bibliography, as well as other data and materials, to create a user-friendly overview of the field of specialization.
The course also features special teaching events in collaboration with Malmö University and international partners.

Learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
After having completed the course the student will:
  • Have acquired specialized knowledge on, and understanding of, a thematically, geographically, or demographically defined subfield of Communication for Development.
  • Understand the process of individual specialization.
  • Understand the preconditions and challenges of expert knowledge.
Skills and abilities
After having completed the course the student will:
  • Be able to perform tasks necessary for acquiring expert knowledge.
  • Be able to work on creating his/her individual academic and professional profile.
  • Be able to present rich and complex data and materials to non-specialists.
Critical skills and approach
After having completed the course the student will:
  • Appreciate the limits of specialized knowledge.
  • Assume a critical approach towards knowledge production in general and the production of expert knowledge in particular.

Learning activities
The course is student-driven. It uses a ‘convergence pedagogy', which combines live online teaching and resources with intensive in situ seminars and workshops that students are expected to attend in person. All teaching is streamed using online tools so that even students that cannot attend seminars in person can participate online.

The course is examined through two individual assignments. The first assignment consists of preparing and presenting an annotated bibliography for the chosen field of specialization. The second assignment is to write, submit, and present a user-friendly overview of the chosen field of specialization that is understandable for non-specialists.

Course literature and other study material
The course literature and other teaching materials are selected by the student and approved by the supervisor.
Joint core course literature:
Fink, Arlene: Conducting Research Literature Reviews-From the Internet to Paper (4th Edition), London: Sage, 2014.
Ridley, Diana: The Literature Review-A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (2nd Edition), London: Sage, 2012.
Journal of Development Effectiveness: Special Issue on Systematic Reviews, Vol.4, No.3, 2012.
Mallet, Richard: ‘What works’? Systematic reviews in international development research and policy, London: ODI, 2012, available online at

Course evaluation
The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to  
the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).