Communication for Development

Programme - second cycle - 60 credits

Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2014

Programme Code:
HACFD revision 9
Date of establishment:
18 November 2009
Date of ratification:
24 March 2011
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
21 January 2013
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
12 February 2009

Entry requirements

1. Degree of Bachelor or equivalent.

2. The equivalent of English course B in Swedish secondary school.


Communication for Development is a half time study programme. The form of study is a combination of live seminars and communication on the web. The seminars (2-3 days) are compulsory and consist of lectures, discussions and workshops. For overseas students who cannot physically attend it is possible to follow the seminars on-line. In between the seminars the students carry out assignments individually and in groups.

Courses year one:

Media, Globalization 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 point of this pedagogical approach is to bring together different experiences. The group diversity should allow students to deepen their knowledge of their own major as well as gain a sufficient overview based on the academic backgrounds and practical experiences of other students. This will allow them to be able to work both interdisciplinary and transculturally in their future professions.

There is a clear evolution over the course of the programme, within the specific subject ”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 which ends with an independent project concentrating on one of the field’s sub-areas.


Course list:

Learning outcomes

Communication for Development is an interdisciplinary field of study combining research and practical fieldwork that emerged in the post-war era through the practical intersection of communication and development theories. The progress of this area of study follows to a great degree the paradigmatic shifts within international development cooperation; from the top-down modernization strategies of the 50s and 60s, to today’s process-oriented models that emphasize participation and dialogue, often combining several different strategies. As a result of globalization, the area 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 their corresponding communication strategies.

The overall aim of the course is two-fold:

  • To provide in-depth knowledge of various aspects of globalization, emphasizing the role of culture, media and new information and communication technology from a global development perspective.
  • To provide skills for work with development and social change in international development cooperation as well as in other areas.

Learning outcomes


After completing the programme, the student shall demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the social and cultural consequences of globalization processes through in-depth study of specific case studies of communication for development/social change in their local, regional and global context,
  • 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 for example 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 multi-, bi- and unilateral fields of action, as well as the ability to analyze current trends of 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

- Art, Cultural Heritage and Social Change


After completing the programme, the student shall demonstrate:

  • ability to integrate knowledge and to analyse, evaluate and handle complex phenomena and situations within the area of Communication for Development, even with limited access to information,
  • 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,
  • skill to evaluate communicative programmes from a global and local development perspective, and to be able to convert this analysis into practice under difficult conditions and with few resources,
  • ability to independently identify and formulate research questions, and to plan and with the help of adequate methods carry out qualified assignments within given time frames,
  • ability to both scientifically analyse and practically implement data and experience that has been collected by the student him-/herself,
  • ability to use advanced critical source analysis when collecting data, especially on the internet,
  • ability to, both in oral and written form, clearly present and discuss his/her conclusions, as well as the knowledge and argumentation that form the basis of these in dialogue with different groups, and
  • such skills that are required to participate in research or development work, or to work in other qualified professions in the area of Communication for Development.


After completing the programme, 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.


Gender, ethnicity/migration saturate the whole programme, but are particularly distinguished in the courses Media, Globalization and Development and Communication, Media and Culture Analysis. Regarding the environmental perspective, Communication for Development emphasizes local initiatives and participation at grass-root level in order to achieve a sustainable development.


Master's degree (60 credits).

Degree of Master (one year)

Other Information

Access to computer with Internet connection (broadband) is required.