Global Product Development I


Global Product Development I is a course for engineering students who have a particular interest in working with product development to support people in vulnerable situations. The course provides, in addition to analyzing technical innovation, also knowledge of the UN's goals for sustainable development and current international and Swedish public aid activities. In the course, the students work in groups with analysis of aid projects implemented for people in vulnerable situations and from different social, cultural and economic conditions.
The course is a prerequisite for Global Product Development II. Both courses may provide foundations for further independent studies such as thesis work.

Admission requirements

General entry requirements + Chemistry 1, Mathematics 3c, Physics 2. Or: Chemistry A, Mathematics D, Physics B.

For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 8/A8


credits 32% final grades 34% national university aptitude test 34%


Syllabus for students autumn 2020, autumn 2019

Course Code:
MT195A revision 1
Swedish name:
Global produktutveckling I
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
15 February 2019
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Technology and Society
Enforcement date:
02 September 2019

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + Chemistry 1, Mathematics 3c, Physics 2. Or: Chemistry A, Mathematics D, Physics B.


The overall aim of the course is that the student should acquire an international perspective and understand opportunities and limitations with respect to socially motivated product development and innovation in line with the UN's global sustainability goals. The students' learning focuses on international aid work with people in vulnerable situations.


• Socially motivated sustainable development as an interdisciplinary area in relation to the role as an engineer; special focus on social anthropology, international development cooperation, international relations, product development and innovation, resource management with life cycle perspective, project management
• UN Global Sustainability Goals
• Overview of international aid agencies' activities
• Swedish public assistance
• Innovation and entrepreneurship to reduce poverty: an engineering perspective
• Group project work in the form of an in-depth case study of the implementation of a product development project in international development cooperation. The case study will include an analysis of deficiencies and difficulties as well as proposals for improvement and action plans.
• Independent studies of both broader and in-depth character in areas that are relevant to the project work.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
• describe the meaning of socially sustainable development in a global and local context and describe central concepts
• demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the meaning of the UN's global sustainability goals
• account for product development in socially sustainable development from a life cycle perspective
• describe central problems related to interaction with people in vulnerable situations and with different social, cultural and economic conditions
Skills and abilities
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
• demonstrate the ability to analyse and evaluate product development projects for socially sustainable development with a holistic approach
• identify, retrieve and evaluate relevant information for the implementation of the project work
• present the results of the project work orally and in writing, and be able to discuss and defend the conclusions presented by utilizing the knowledge and arguments that form the basis of the results
Judgement and approach
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
• show insight into his/her own role as an engineer working towards socially sustainable development in a global context
• have developed an academic interdisciplinary approach to international development cooperation
• demonstrate the ability to make judgments with regard to the interdisciplinary aspects that the course addresses
• apply an interdisciplinary and critical approach to their own work

Learning activities

Lectures and seminars, assignments and project work with supervision.


Requirements for Pass (A-E):
• Approved assignments (2.5 credits, G-U)
• Approved project work (5 credits, A-U)
The final course grade is based on a weighted result of all individual assignments.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Course literature is chosen in consultation with the teachers/supervisors, but the student is also expected to search, evaluate and use relevant literature on their own.

Recommended reference literature:

• Broman, G., R., Karl, H., Basile, G., Byggeth, S., Connell, T. (2012) Sustainability Handbook, Studentlitteratur
• Eller, J.D. (2016) Cultural Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives, Routledge, Taylor & Frances
• Hylland Eriksen, T. (2004) What Is Anthropology? 2nd ed. (Anthropology, Culture & Society), Pluto Press.
• Marianne de Laet, M., Mol, A. (2000) The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology, Social Studies of Science 30/2, 225–63.
• Örtegren, K. (2004) The Logical Framework Approach Methods - A summary of the theory behind the LFA method, SIDA Development Unit, Edita Sverige AB, Art. no.: SIDA1489en
• United Nations (2015) Sustainable Development Goals,
• United Nations (2017) Basic facts about the United Nations, 42nd ed., UN Department of Public Information, USA.
• Wenger, E. (2011). Communities of practice: A brief introduction


The education is provided by the Faculty of Technology and Society at the Materials Science and Applied Mathematics.

Further information

Studentservice TS - Malmö Universitet,
Christina Bjerkén, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657626