module specification

GI4004A - Introduction to International Development (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Introduction to International Development
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 60%   Group Presentation
Coursework 40%   Take-home test
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module provides a broad introduction to International Development studies. It presents the underlying theories and places these against contemporary globalisation processes; it draws on the history of today’s political systems of Latin America, Africa, Asia, etc., including the impact of colonisation and the integration of the Third world into the global economy and focuses on social transformations and struggles evident since independence, to date, from a comparative perspective. Issues include the roles of the international institutions, paths of developmental states, political cultures, religion, gender-relations and the environment in today’s interconnected ‘developing’ world.

Module aims

  • To introduce the main concepts and debates in international development;
  • To examine the impact of economic and social development on political systems today;
  • To promote awareness of the diversity of approaches to international development;
  • To provide the skills necessary for comparative analysis;
  • To enhance the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing;
  • To develop competence in discussion and group presentation.


- International development: theories and debates
- Political systems  and development
- Civil Society and social change
- Political culture in the developing world
- International institutions, globalisation and impact.
- Methods of comparison and Case studies.

Learning and teaching

This module is taught over 15 weeks, made up of a two-hour lecture + workshop and an hour of seminar work. Students will be expected to engage with the Virtual Learning Environment; be able to retrieve ‘posts’ from the lectures and supplementary teaching materials, and handle information from Internet sources, journals and books (enhancing academic literacy). As students acquire knowledge of issues, theories and themes under discussion, seminar work enhances communication and problem-solving skills and ‘real world’ group-work (oral group presentation and written summary); An introduction to comparative study develops critical and conceptual skills as well as numeracy and analysis. Written and formative feedback aims to empower students, develop their written expression and study skills, and gain through self-reflection.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main concepts and approaches to development;
  • Demonstrate awareness of contemporary trends in international development;
  • Use techniques of comparative analysis in a methodologically appropriate fashion;
  • Show confidence in discussing issues of development and the ethical implications involved;
  • Work productively in a team, and communicate outcomes of that teamwork in an effective way;
  • Present written analysis or discussion in written form.

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment includes: A group presentation (60%) and Take-home test (40%), while formative assessment focuses on developing summary skills in addition to presentation skills and written (short essays) skills.


Allen, T. & Thomas, A. (eds) (2004) Poverty and Development into the Twenty-First Century, OUP.
Burnell, P., Randall, V. & Rakner, L. (2008) Politics in the Developing World, OUP. 3rd ed.
Calvert, P. & Calvert S. (2001) Politics and Society in the Third World, 2nd ed, Longman.
Desai, V.& Potter, R.E. (2008) The Companion to Development Studies, Hodder Educ.
Fanon, F.(2008) Black Skin, White Mask, Pluto E-book
Greig, A., Hulme, D. & Turner, M. (2007) Challenging Global Inequality. Development Theory and Practice in the 21st Century, Palgrave Macmillan
Haynes, J.(ed) (2005) Palgrave Advances in Development Studies, Palgrave.
Landman, T. (2009) Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics, T&F books UK.
Potter, R. & Desai, V.(eds)(2002) The Companion to Development, Arnold.
Rodney, W.(1981) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Howard University Press
Sachs, J. (2005) The End of Poverty: how we can make it happen in our lifetime, Penguin
Said, E. (2005) Orientalism, Penguin.
Schech, S.& Haggis, J.(2003) Culture and Development: A Critical Introduction, Blackwell.
Sen, A. (2001) Development as Freedom, Oxford Paperbacks, OUP.
Stiglitz, J. (2002), Globalization and Its Discontents, Norton, New York
Sumner, A.& Tribe, M. (2008) International Development Studies: Theories and Methods in Research and Practice. Sage.
Willis, K. (2005) Theories and Practices of Development, Routledge.