COP4 - Field Course - Borderland: Critical Approaches to Field Research in the Global South
20 June 2018 – 18 July 2018 (in Chiang Mai, Thailand 25 June – 18 July)
Jointly developed and offered by University of Copenhagen and UC Berkeley as a collaborative initiative of the IARU GSP and the Global Transformation Initiative.
This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to think critically about the research process, epistemologies, and ethics in the conduct of research. It combines classroom learning with field engagement and immersion in local environment that include meaningful interactions and placement with local NGOs or ongoing research projects in and around Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand.
Emphasizing the research process rather than the mastery of a specific topic or method, the aim is to provide students with the tools to raise and address critical questions in their own research and a foundation from which they can apply the knowledge and practices from the course to future projects.
We envision that, by the end of the course, each student will have produced a polished draft of a research project proposal (7-10 pages) that could be used for future engagement with the Global South, be it through research, policy, advocacy, or other pursuits. In addition, students are expected to develop and complete a group project and to make meaningful contributions to the organizations or research projects to which they are assigned.
Themes that will be addressed in the course in the context of globalization processes and borderland issues include:
- Borders and boundaries
- Mobilities and immobilities
- Environment and natural resource management
- Human in/security and social justice
Figures are estimates only. Click on each item for details.
UCPH students: no tuition fee
Students from IARU universities with a GSP exchange agreement with UCPH (ANU, ETH, UTokyo): no tuition fee
EU/EEA citizens: tuition fee DKK 6,000
Non-EU/EEA citizens: tuition fee DKK 12,000 (approx. 2,000 USD)
Accommodation6,500 THB/student (approx. 1,240 DKK or 205 USD) for a full month.
Field TripIncluded in tuition fees.
TextbooksIncluded in tuition fees.
Living ExpensesApprox. 400 THB/day (approx. 75 DKK or 13 USD)
Visa FeePlease contact your home Embassy for visa fees for Thailand.
Miscellaneous FeesFlight ticket to and from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The field course will be based in Chiang Mai (in partnership with Chiang Mai University) and in surrounding areas.
In addition, at least one group excursion is planned, and depending on the organizations or research projects to which they are assigned, students may have an opportunity to visit projects within and outside of Chiang Mai as part of their research.
Postgraduate (Master level) students and advanced bachelor (undergraduate) students.
The course is open to students from all fields and disciplines.
Priority is given to students with interests in global development and the Global South, which can be approached from many different disciplinary angles. It is an advantage if the students have taken a field and/or methods course prior to enrolling in this field course.
Proficient English skills (written and oral) are a must.
Lecture, seminar style discussion and reflection, and field research.
The course is divided into four phases:
- Pre-departure preparation: reading, online research on topics and contexts. (3 days’ work before June 25)
- Introduction week: Classroom lectures, seminars, group work, field trips and preparation for entering the field (June 25-29)
- Field research: Placement with NGOs and research projects. (July 2-12)
- Evaluation and writing: Group presentations for invited stakeholders, writing and finalizing project proposals (July 12-18)
The program schedule may be subject to change since this is a field course and we need to build in some flexibility in order to be able to accommodate local circumstances and exigencies if necessary.
- For students to have a deeper understanding and insights of the issues facing the Global South and the world in the 21st
- For students to be able to raise and address critical questions in their own research.
- For students to engage with local NGOs and ongoing research projects, and integrate their knowledge/insights into their own research process.
- For students to have a critical foundation from which they can apply the knowledge and practices from the course to future projects.
- For students to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to the development of a research proposal.
Assessment will be based on a) active participation in the course including group work and b) submission of a well-developed research proposal.
Credits equivalent at host university & contact hours
7, 5 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System)
Total 29 days:
- In class: 9 days
- In field: minimum 11 days
- Online preparation: 3 days
- Break: 4 days
- In transit: 2 days
It is expected that students spend independent study time before and during the field course as needed to complete their individual and group projects.
Prof. Khatharya Um (UC Berkeley)
Dr. Andreas Egelund Christensen (University of Copenhagen)
Names of guest instructors to be announced.
The students will be staying in twin rooms at UNISERV CMU: http://www.uniserv.cmu.ac.th/engweb/.
We have negotiated a very favorable rate at 13,000 THB/room/Month including cleaning service twice a week and free Wi-Fi. The price per student is: 6,500 THB/student (1,240 DKK or 205 USD) for a full Month.
Students must arrive by 24 June 2018.
Students will be able to check in from 22 June 2018.
Latest check-out date: 22 July 2018*
*The course will run in Chiang Mai from June 25 (9 am) – July 18 (all day), but students will be able to arrive a few days before and leave a few days after the last class.
Required and/or Recommended Insurance
All students accepted into the course must have a valid health and travel insurance prior to departure covering travel in Thailand.
Further Required Application Materials
Along with the application, students must submit the following two documents:
- A motivation letter (max. 500 words) including general motivation for taking this course, disciplinary background and past experiences related to global development and/or field methodologies etc.
- A short statement (max. 500 words) indicating a research topic that they are interested in - topics may be inspired by the four themes outlined above that are the focus of the course or by a different theme related to critical challenges in the Global South. The proposal topic does not have to be about Thailand.