Communication for Development

Programme - second cycle - 60 credits

Syllabus for students admitted spring 2019

Programme Code:
HACFD revision 18
Date of establishment:
18 November 2009
Date of ratification:
24 March 2014
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
21 January 2019
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
24 March 2011

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree or equivalent.

The equivalent of Swedish secondary school English course B.


Communication for Development is a half time study programme. The form of study is a combination of live seminars and web-based communication. The seminars, which last two to three days, are compulsory and consist of lectures, discussions and workshops. For overseas students who cannot physically attend, it is possible to follow the seminars online. In between the seminars, the students carry out assignments individually and in groups.

Courses year one:

  • Media, Globalisation and Development (15 credits)
  • Communication, Culture and Media Analysis (15 credits)
Courses year two:
  • New Media, ICT and Development (7,5 credits)
  • Research Methodology (7,5 credits)
  • Degree Project (15 credits)
In this programme, where the form of study strives to be conducive to the course content, progression lies in the group dynamic process as well as in the coursework itself. The multidisciplinary nature of the subject means that the same content should provide in-depth knowledge for students with different backgrounds. One major advantage of this pedagogical approach is that it brings together different experiences. A focus on group diversity allows students to deepen their knowledge of their own major as well as gain a sufficient overview of the subject based on the academic backgrounds and practical experiences of other students. This will enable them to be able to work in both interdisciplinary and transcultural ways, whatever their future profession.

Issues such as gender, ethnicity and migration saturate the whole programme, but are particularly emphasised in the courses Media, Globalisation and Development and Communication, Media and Culture Analysis. Regarding environmental perspectives, the programme emphasises local initiatives and participation at a grass-root level that aim at achieving sustainable development.

There is a clear evolution over the course of the programme, within the field of communication for development. In the first year, students receive a comprehensive overview of globalisation and a systematic inventory of the entire field. In the second year, students follow specialised courses before completing an independent project that concentrates on one of the field's sub-areas.



For programme with start Spring 2019:
Spring 2019 - Semester 1
Autumn 2019 - Semester 2
Spring 2020 - Semester 3
Autumn 2020 - Semester 4

Learning outcomes

Communication for development is an interdisciplinary field of study combining research and fieldwork that has emerged in the post-war era through the practical intersection of communication and development theories. The field's development largely follows the paradigmatic shifts within international development cooperation, from the top-down modernisation strategies of the 50s and 60s, to today's process-oriented models that emphasise participation and dialogue, often combining several different strategies. As a result of globalisation, the field of study has entered a dynamic phase of reappraisal and fresh ideas regarding the analysis of the role of media in global development and social change, as well as corresponding communication strategies.

The overall aim of the programme is two-fold:

  • to provide in-depth knowledge of various aspects of globalisation, emphasising the role of culture, media and new information and communication technology from a global development perspective; and
  • to provide skills for work with development and social change in international development cooperation as well as in other areas.
Knowledge and understanding
In order to receive a master's degree in Communication for Development, the student shall demonstrate:
  • an understanding of the social and cultural consequences of globalisation processes through in-depth study of specific case studies of communication for development/social change in their local, regional and global contexts;
  • in-depth knowledge of a variety of methods -- from analysis of texts to ethnography and action research -- engaging with analyses of communication, learning processes/pedagogy, and cultural conditions. These methods include topics such as post-colonial perspectives on theory and identity formation;
  • knowledge of important strands of theory in communication and cultural studies (such as participatory communication, semiotics and discourse analysis), and their integration with, and practical application in, communication for development processes;
  • an understanding of international development cooperation and its key players in multilateral, bilateral and unilateral fields of action, as well as the ability to analyse current trends in development, their mediation (embedded in a variety of strategic discourse and communication) and practical application; and
  • an understanding of several of the following generic themes: governance, citizenship and the public sphere; media and conflict/peace communication; identity politics and social movements; health, environment and sustainable development; and art, cultural heritage and social change.

Competencies and skills
In order to receive a master's degree in Communication for Development, the student shall demonstrate:
  • the ability to integrate knowledge and to analyse, evaluate and handle complex phenomena and situations within the field of communication for development, even with limited access to information;
  • the ability to independently analyse media and cultural artefacts and articulate the importance of media and culture -- including new information and communication technology -- for global development and social change;
  • the skill to evaluate communicative programmes from a global and local development perspective, and to be able to convert this analysis into practice when facing difficult conditions with few resources;
  • the ability to independently identify and formulate research questions, to plan and, with the help of adequate methods, carry out qualified assignments within given time frames;
  • the ability to both scientifically analyse and practically implement data and experience that has been collected by the student themselves;
  • the ability to use advanced critical source analysis when collecting data, especially online;
  • the ability to, both in oral and written form, clearly present and discuss their conclusions, as well as the knowledge and argumentation that form the basis of these conclusions in dialogue with different groups; and
  • the skills required to participate in research or development work, or to work in other qualified professions in the field of communication for development.
Evaluation and approach
In order to receive a master's degree in Communication for Development, the student shall demonstrate:
  • ability to make judgements within the area of Communication for Development, with consideration taken to relevant scientific, societal and ethical aspects, and to show an awareness of ethical aspects in relation to research and development work;
  • insights into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society, and the responsibility of people for its usage;
  • ability to critically reflect on the various parts of the process of communication, and his/her own role as communicator or mediator;
  • capacity for trans-border cooperation and intercultural dialogue, and consequently critical self-reflection of his/her own background and position of power, including reflection upon ethical issues in relation to his/her work, and
  • ability to identify his/her own need of further knowledge, and to take responsibility for his/her own learning.


Master's degree (60 credits).

Master's degree (one year).

Other Information

Access to computer with an internet connection (broadband) is required.