Communication for Development is an interdisciplinary field of study and practice, combining studies on culture, communication and development and integrating them with practical fieldwork. It explores the use of communication – both as a tool and as a way of articulating processes of social change – within the contexts of globalisation.
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 transcultural in their future professions.
Despite the fact that every year vast amounts of money are donated to developing countries, the chasm between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ continues to widen as billions of people around the world continue to live without running water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or access to basic education.
While the poor and the marginalised have always been at the centre of development, they have been the subjects rather than the objects of communication as traditional development practices overlooked a fundamental truism: that the poor, themselves, are often the best experts on their needs. Marginalised communities, historically denied access to communication tools and channels, have traditionally been passive bystanders to their so-called development as top-down, one-sided mass communication programmes delivered information without taking into account the very important specificities of context – the cultural norms and beliefs, knowledge and folklore of target populations, and how these impact the uptake of information and the potential for social change. Due to this lack of participation by target communities, most development programmes failed to achieve their goals, and a dramatic shift in paradigm was necessary to improve the efficacy and sustainability of development cooperation methods.
Malmö University was the first to pioneer the use of an Internet-based distance-learning platform to make the education available to students globally. With its mix of online collaboration and discussion, paired with webcast seminars the entire programme can be conducted over the internet. This enables students from all corners of the globe to participate, work in their own time and attain the education. The use of the Live Lecture function in seminars makes students, equipped with microphones and webcams, able to participate in lectures and discussions online, resulting in a ‘virtual classroom’. This way, students in New Zealand and South Africa can communicate and work on projects with classmates in Fiji and India, sharing ideas and working together towards the common goal of improving development practices.
The final project has always been an important element of the programme. Over the past 10 years, students of ComDev have had the opportunity to apply what they have learned theoretically to a broad range of contexts and scenarios in the process of completing their projects, and field-work has been conducted in India, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Croatia and Sarajevo, to name but a few. During their project work, students have the opportunity to explore a particular research area or topic of concern at a deeper level, and the accompanying written dissertation provides a fantastic opportunity to consolidate and further the knowledge and skills gained during the education. This project work also demonstrates a solid foundation in research, which will aid those students who wish to continue into doctoral level studies. In choosing the topic for their projects, students are free to ‘think outside the box’, and employ innovativeness and creativity to their field-work endeavours, and project works have included documentaries, short films, photo essays, and a wide array of dissertations presented in interesting and original ways. Students are also encouraged to join forces and collaborate on projects, as teamwork is regarded as a vital part of effective development cooperation. For a list of all the Project Works to date, see the ComDev portal: http://wpmu.mah.se/comdev/, under ‘History’.
For programme with start Autumn 2018:
The global demand for media and communication skills continues to increase as organisations such as UNICEF have made it a policy to hire ComDev practitioners, not only for international development schemes, but for diversity management and other forms of transcultural cooperation. Since skills, knowledge and aptitudes gained through an education in ComDev are relevant to a variety of job functions within the development sector, you may also find alumni working in a range of allied positions, such as conflict resolution positions or as a learning and outcomes coordinator, to name but a few.
Master's Degree (60 credits).
Degree of Master (one year)
This multidisciplinary master’s degree programme provides in-depth knowledge on sustainable development and sustainability leadership. The programme provides students with an understanding of organisation and leadership theory in the context of sustainability. It also provides students with an understanding of research methods for sustainable decision-making. The education lays a solid foundation for those seeking to lead or manage sustainable initiatives in the workplace, community and the world.
The master’s degree programme is grounded in four core premises:
1. Sustainability requires new forms of organising, especially when it comes to project-based organisations involving diverse stakeholders.
2. Organising and leading sustainability requires new and diverse leading and organising skills, understanding and knowledge for managers and leaders of sustainable projects.
3. Organising and leading sustainability requires a new way of thinking sustainability within and between organisations. Current research on social entrepreneurship and social innovation can reveal new methods and strategies with regards to this.
4. Methodological and methodical knowledge and understanding are needed to enable leaders to make sustainable decisions.
Based on these four premises, the programme bridges together the fields of organisation theory, leadership, project management, social innovation and social entrepreneurship so that together new ways of organising and leading sustainability can be created. This will enable students to rethink commonly held perceptions of leadership and organisational development.
In this programme students are taught to reflect upon organisational and leadership challenges linked to organisational development and sustainability. This programme provides students with knowledge and critical understanding of current research in the fields of leadership and organisation, project management, social entrepreneurship and social innovation in the context of sustainability and sustainable development.
This master's programme is also focused on action and doing via diverse projects and even via the thesis work. This is a way to develop students’ professional, conceptual and human skills so that as for example future sustainable leaders and social entrepreneurs, they will drive sustainable changes and have the capacity to make informed decisions about organisational and leadership issues in the management of sustainable organisations and projects.
Finally, embedded in this program is the idea that sustainability can be reached if individuals rethink commonly held perceptions of leadership and organisational development.
TeachingLectures, seminars, and workshop enable interaction in small and large class. Group work is used to generate discussions about sustainability, especially while doing case studies. Study visits and guest lectures connect learning with practice. Individual papers, individual studies and the thesis work enable to focus and gain specific and in-depth knowledge to master the subject at hand.
This programme lays a solid foundation for those seeking to work as key players in project management and organisational development environments, and where the broader issues of societal development are important. The skills acquired will be relevant for managers in local, national and international governmental bodies, the private and non-profit sector and in consultancy work.
The entrepreneurial content of the course is designed to stimulate and encourage students to initiate projects, businesses or organisations with the purpose of working towards sustainable development.
Knowledge and understanding
Skills and competences
Judgement and approach
Master's Degree (60 credits).
Degree of Master of Arts (60 credits) with a Major in Leadership and Organisation.
Would you like to develop skills and tools that enable you to contribute to a more sustainable society? If that is the case, this programme is tailor-made for you!
The focus of the programme is sustainable development as a vital challenge to our society, which needs to be seriously addressed by government and public administration. The programme is a cooperation between human geography, political science and sociology and is a one-year Master's programme of 60 credits.
The first semester, you take multidisciplinary courses that focus on sustainable development as a political and professional challenge, and contribute to theoretical and empirical insights into the complexity of different environmental problems and their connection to social and economic dimensions. You will develop an understanding of how environmental problems are framed and how these frames impact on what strategies and solutions are chosen, as well as help explain why some problems are not handled at all.
You will also gain knowledge of what the role as a professional public official and planner can, and ought to, mean when working for a more sustainable society. Sustainable development is further described and analysed from a comparative perspective to give insights into why and how conditions, problem patterns and strategies vary around the world. In the courses, we problematise theoretical perspectives on sustainable development and apply theories in relation to concrete cases of sustainable planning. The methods of instruction are varied and include practical applications and problem-based learning (PBL).
During the second semester, you choose between three courses that are focused on sustainable development with a specialisation in either human geography, political science or sociology. These three courses start with a joint course module in method and analysis, which develops your insights and skills in methods and analyses of particular relevance to sustainable development. You practise your abilities and skills in operationalising by working with different sustainability indicators and by working creatively to develop new, alternative indicators. You will also have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and abilities in traditional field studies. In addition, you will acquire knowledge and skills in forward-looking studies, like scenario techniques and prognosis. The second semester ends with thematic studies and an independent project.
What is the role of sport in a world facing pressing social challenges? How do we understand the opportunities and challenges of sport and sport sciences as a means for social change? How can we look critically at the development of sport in relation to social processes such as globalisation, migration and urbanisation?
Sport Science: Sport in Society is a one-year master’s programme that tackles these questions and prepares students to work with sport and sustainable development. Throughout the programme, students develop applied skills and perspectives to work with sport, leisure and health industries as platforms for social change.
The programme is tailored for those who have undergraduate experience in sports science, physical education, health science and management. During the programme, you will be schooled in the latest theories and be given the opportunity to apply these theories and concepts to real-life projects through individual assignments and group projects.
Located in the dynamic Öresund Region, the programme is linked to Malmö's urban environment and its position as a multicultural, innovative and sustainable city. Throughout the programme, both Scandinavian and international contexts are used as case studies, and the programme is carried out in close collaboration with industry partners and external organisations.
The programme strives to offer an international classroom environment and bring together students from different backgrounds and experiences. This allows students to deepen their knowledge and gain an overview based on the academic backgrounds and practical experience of other students, which will allow them to be able to work transcultural in their future professions.
After completing the programme, you will have significantly deepened your knowledge and understanding of sport in relation to society's change processes, and have the competence, knowledge and understanding required to work with sport in relation to sustainable development and social change.
The education is relevant for a wide range of jobs and roles where sport is used in the context of change, ranging from working with elite athletes to sporting federations or public health sectors.
The programme aims for the student to develop applied skills and a critical knowledge base in order to work with sport, leisure and health industries as sites for social change. Emphasis is placed on an in-depth ability to use different theories and methods for understanding, analysing, changing and using sport towards a sustainable and equal society.
The concept of sustainable society includes social, economic and environmental perspectives. Furthermore, the programme aims at providing local, regional, national and international perspectives on sports, sports science and a sustainable society. Urban and innovative local environments, with associated challenges and initiatives, are used as living case studies. The students also actively contribute with experiences from different countries and sports cultures. Based on these, the students problematize the Swedish and Scandinavian sports context.
The student is given the opportunity to develop skills and in-depth knowledge suitable for a wide range of jobs, entrepreneurship, and research in fields where sports and health are used, for example, to meet or create changes and contribute to social development. The student works for this in close dialogue with stakeholders external to the university.
In addition, the education prepares for research studies. The education is closely linked to the sports science research environment at Malmö University and its research areas, which are focused upon the social sciences. Emphasis is placed on highlighting and working with the multidisciplinary nature of sport science and the position and opportunities of those with a sport science education in society.
The programme consists of 60 higher education credits and contains compulsory courses. Teaching is based on scheduled tasks such as lectures and seminars as well as self-study. Some elements require on-campus attendance while others can be carried out remotely. In the programme, we work with a wide variety of educational forms and materials, using digital communication channels.
For programme with start Autumn 2018:
For the one-year Master's degree:
Knowledge and understanding
• knowledge and understanding within the main field of education, sport sciences, both generally and specifically in relation to sport in society and a specialised insight into current research and development work in the field.
• specialised knowledge of the scientific methods used in sport.
Skills and Abilities
• the ability to integrate knowledge, analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, questions and situations even with limited information
• the ability to independently identify and formulate research questions and to plan and, using appropiate methods, perform advanced tasks within a specified period of time
• demonstrate the ability in speech and writing to clearly report and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences
• demonstrate the skills required to participate in research and development work or to work in other qualified activities
Evaluation ability and approach
• demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work
• demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used
• demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for their ongoing learning