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Preparing Global Forestry Fieldwork

7.5 ECTS Copenhagen, E-learning Year 1 Semester 1 Compulsory Integrative/inter/transdisciplinary LNAK10097U


The course is a preparatory course for the Global Forestry Field Course: the focus is on developing a minor research project (that will then be implemented during the subsequent field course in a low or middle-income country in the Global South).

The course includes

  • an understanding of the general environment in the country, e.g. regarding natural resources management policies and forest types
  • training in locating and assessing white and grey literature on the research project topic
  • conducting critical discussions as part of project preparation
  • preparing and analysing empirically oriented project synopses
  • selecting appropriate data collection instruments
  • finalising a fieldwork project proposal.

The course thus covers the entire research process up to the implementation phase. In addition, the course pays particular attention to practical considerations concerning fieldwork, e.g. ethics, personal safety, training and managing enumerators.

Recommended Academic Qualifications

The course is designed to give students from a broad range of educations an introduction to empirical data collection and research project synopsis writing. The courses Tropical Forests and People; Systems of Sustainable Forestry; Participatory Natural Resource Governance Management; Livelihoods and Environmental Change offer helpful but not critical additional background knowledge.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Learning outcomes

The course aims to give the students a thorough understanding of the importance of fieldwork preparation.

After finishing the course, students are expected to be able to:


  • Understand the importance of fieldwork preparation
  • Be familiar with the research process (until the implementation stage)
  • Realise the need to acquire in-depth location-specific factual knowledge
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the topic addressed in the research synopsis


  • Apply principles, theories, and frameworks to locally specific knowledge/conditions
  • Collect, analyse and evaluate quantitative and qualitative information
  • Select and design relevant data collection instruments
  • Design a clear and coherent research project synopsis
  • Reflect on risks and ethics concerning data collection in mid and low-income countries


  • Argue cogently and think critically within the parameters of a particular academic discipline
  • Demonstrate the values of scholarship: inquiry, reflection, integrity, open-mindedness, evidence-based thinking, collegiality
  • Tackle problems by collecting, analysing and evaluating appropriate qualitative and quantitative information and using it creatively

Teaching and learning methods

The course is provided through classroom and web-based teaching and learning system. Students will apply concepts acquired during theoretical modules. Each student will participate in a supervised group; teachers from participating European universities and co-supervisors from the hosting university (i.e. the university hosting the subsequent field course) will provide supervision. Each group will prepare a project proposal on a given research topic, and each student will assess the other groups’ synopses.


  • Preparation                120 hours
  • Project work               76 hours
  • Guidance                     10 hours
  • Total                             206 hours


The course material consists of selected scientific articles and book chapters. In addition, students identify additional group-specific literature.

Type of assessment

  • Individual and group
  • Written assignment
  • Portfolio

    Students will work in groups; each group will develop a research synopsis. The final grade is based on

    • the research synopsis and
    • individual student peer-review of two other groups’ research synopses (each student must prepare a 500-word/synopsis evaluation).

    Students must pass the part examinations individually to pass the overall exam. Weight: Research synopsis 50%, Review of the other group synopses 50%.


  • Location : Copenhagen, E-learning
  • ECTS granting : University of Copenhagen
  • Organisation : AgroParisTech, Czech University Of Life Sciences Prague, Technische Universität Dresden, University of Copenhagen, University of Padua


Revolving coordination among GloFor universities