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Issues & Skills in Global Development - POL00056I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Eleanor Jew
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module is compulsory for all students in Year 2 of the BA in Global Development and it builds on Foundational Issues in Global Development. You will develop a broader and progressively deeper understanding of the subject areas covered in Foundational Issues, through problem-based learning and associated activities. The module considers a range of theories relevant to global development and explores basic research strategies to identify, evaluate and apply those theories to a broad range of integrated and practical issues relevant to global development, such as inequality, trade, discrimination, finance and poverty. You will build on your knowledge from Year 1 to begin to investigate alternative understandings, especially those that excavate the intimate links between development, colonialism, and global capitalism. In addition to being exposed to a broad overview of development debates and issues, you will also choose specific theories and methodologies to explore and apply more in-depth.

Professional requirements

There are no professional requirements.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module enables you to continue to develop, and to evidence through your oral and written communication, key skills associated with global development scholarship, including those relating to the undertaking of research, the development of reasoned arguments, the use of evidence, and practice of critical evaluation. You will also continue to reflect on the development of your learning, and to consider strategies and techniques for developing your competence as a scholar. Building on Foundational Issues in Global Development, this module introduces more complex theories of global development and begins to integrate problems associated with global development with each other, exploring intersectionality and cross-cutting issues in global development.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you should be able to 1) Demonstrate a positive contribution to your learning and development, and those of others, by regular attendance and active participation in learning activities in the PBL seminars, 2) Communicate with clarity and precision in oral and in writing, with student and staff colleagues, about issues relative to global development, 3) Undertake, describe and reflect on research tasks relevant to global development, 4) Obtain a more advanced understanding of key and core principles, theories and methods relevant to global development across a range of interdisciplinary contexts, 5) plan more advanced research strategies to identify, evaluate and apply those principles, theories, and methods to a broad range of integrated and practical issues relevant to global development, 6) Reflect and draw conclusions on the development of your learning, and use them to develop future plans for learning.

Module content

Learning in the module builds on the principles covered in Foundational Issues in Global Development and Research Methods for Global Development, but utilises specific cases to illustrate the complexities of the issues.

Indicative subject content includes: 1) What is Development - Development as Growth, an introduction to growth theories and debates, the debates on the history and political economy of growth and distribution 2) Global Governance of Development -The history of, political economy of and resistance to International Institutions, such as the United Nations, the International Financial Institutions, and more recent global institutions such as the G20, the New Development Bank, and the BRICS. 3) Social Programs Theories and comparative histories of poverty reduction and the role of aid, jobs, and social safety nets 4) Marginalised groups - Social movements' role in development, workers' movements, development from below, 5) Sustainability - The political economy of disaster prevention and infrastructure investments.

Indicative skills include: 1) Working in a group, 2) Leadership skills, 3) Communicate with clarity and precision with student and staff colleagues, 3) Undertake, describe and reflect on research tasks relevant to global development , 4) Analyse and evaluate global development issues in a range of scenarios and suggest solutions to global development problems, 5) Develop reasoned arguments and practice critical evaluation in relation to global development, 6) Reflect and draw conclusions on the development of your learning.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2000 words
N/A 30
Individual Participation
N/A 10
Group Portfolio Project
N/A 40
Summative Group Presentation
N/A 20

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 30
Project Essay
N/A 40
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
4 hour Open Exam
4 hours 20

Module feedback

Students will receive timely written feedback on their formative and summative assessment, no later than 20 working days after submission/presentation. The module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

The feedback on the formative presentation given in week 6 will be given the following week, in order to be helpful for the students' preparation for the presentation in week 10.

Indicative reading

Issues and Skills in Global Development forms a part of the problem-based learning component of the Global Development undergraduate program. PBL does not involve the use of 'reading lists' in the conventional sense. However, a range of texts will be presented in a reading guide for students. Some examples of resources for the module include:

Decker, Corrie and Elisabeth McMahon. 2021. The Idea of Development in Africa – A History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Federici, Silvia. 1998. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. New York: Autonomedia.

Fernandez, Victor Ramiro and Gabriel Brondino. 2018. Development in Latin America - Critical Discussions from the Periphery. Palgrave Macmillan.

Foster, John Bellamy and Brett Clark. 2020. The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift. New York: Monthly Review.

Shilliam, Robbie. 2021. Decolonizing Politics – An Introduction. London: Polity Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.