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The aim of the programme is to provide the candidates with theoretical and methodological skills enabling them to qualify for a Master's Degree. The topics are related to issues of relevance for the study of livelihoods and environmental problems in mountain areas and other marginal areas of the Third World. The courses aim at introducing the candidates to contemporary scientific discourses on human-nature relations, and provide them with analytical skills and critical thinking. The thesis is normally based on field collection of data in the country of origin, carried out between the first and second year of study.