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BA (Hons) Global Development

Delve into the complexities of global problems and discover opportunities for creating more sustainable and equitable futures.

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

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Explore theories and practices of sustainability and global justice with tools from across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

This course will equip you with the skills to become a leader of change in the drive towards a fairer world. You'll further your understanding of global inequalities, and develop an awareness of how various organisations interact with each other as they contribute to problems such as global exploitation, environmental degradation and injustice. 

You'll learn through a problem-based approach, applying your skills to tackle real-life issues from the very first day. You’ll gain the leadership skills and creativity needed to succeed in a range of careers in the public and private sector, governmental organisations, advocacy organisations, the media, research and consultancy.

Adding a year in industry or a year abroad are both an option with this course too, so you can gain invaluable experience working or studying in another country.‌

Problem-based learning

Our innovative, student-led approach to learning allows you to develop your skills through practical application

11th in the UK

for Development Studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023

Course content

Your teaching will span disciplines, offering you differing perspectives on worldwide issues. Option modules are available from a variety of departments, including History, Politics, Economics, Environment, Education, Social Policy and Social Work and Languages. Events organised by the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre as well as the BA Global Development's masterclasses and field trips will offer additional opportunities for learning.

The course is built around a core programme of problem-based learning (PBL), developing your understanding of key concepts, theories and methods through focused small-group working. You'll take a highly active role in your learning as you work to define and solve open-ended problems.

A range of learning techniques including teamwork, debates, active learning and project work will enable you to deepen and widen your understanding of global development and develop your skill sets throughout the programme.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:


A placement year provides you with an opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of fields while putting your academic learning into practice. You could apply to roles that are related to your degree, such as the House of Commons Placement Scheme or a placement with YouGov, or to a business-related placement in a wide variety of organisations and industries.

Year 1

Your first year will introduce you to core methods and theories in Global Development, and allow you to pursue your individual interests with various option modules.

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study four option modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, please get in touch.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In Year 2 you'll continue to develop your essential knowledge with core modules, while honing more specialised skills with a variety of option modules.

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study four option modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

In your final year, you'll consolidate your learning through the production of a dissertation - an extended piece of writing based on your own research - as well as further core and option modules.

Core module

Option modules

You will also study three option modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch. 

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Draw on a critical and reflective understanding of key principles, theories, and historical debates relevant to issues in global development. [Knowledgeable Agent]
  • Deal confidently with unfamiliar problems, working towards solutions through the creative application of appropriate theoretical and practical perspectives, and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. [Problem Solver]
  • Critically evaluate views and positions on global development, arriving at balanced judgements on the basis of well-reasoned and creative arguments. [Critical Thinker]
  • Communicate effectively to achieve collective aims in global development contexts, integrating and adapting practical, academic and interpersonal skills to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and provide evidenced, structured and well-supported advice. [Engaged Communicator]
  • Apply a broad awareness of interdisciplinary perspectives in dealing with problems in global development, taking into account ethical, social, political, geographical, environmental, historical, and financial factors, human rights, ethnicity, gender, and other interest considerations. [Interdisciplinary Thinker]
  • Work efficiently and effectively, independently, as part of a team, and in leadership roles, and negotiate professionally with others to achieve collective aims. [Resourceful Worker]
  • Set future learning and professional development requirements and career goals by recording, reflecting upon and evaluating individual strengths, weaknesses and progress in personal learning and development.  [Reflective Practitioner]
The opportunities available to everyone in university are massive! But as a Global Development student, you will be under three departments, so you will have access to even more.

Olivia, Global Development student. Read more about what our students say.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Departmental funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

This course makes use of an innovative and student-oriented teaching format. In addition to traditional lectures, you'll have practicals and seminars that are student-led, with the assistance of a tutor.

Core modules are taught using problem-based learning; group work to identify and solve complex issues in the realm of Global Development. This method will develop your skills of analysis, reasoning and judgement. You'll also develop communication and project management skills that will enhance your effectiveness in the world of work.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures7-8 hours per week
Seminars8-10 hours per week
WorkshopsIncluded in some option modules
PracticalsIncluded in some option modules
Field tripsIncluded in some option modules

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Teaching location

Your time will be split between the Department of Environment and Geography, Department of History and Department of Politics and International Relations, all on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place nearby. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

For core modules you'll be assessed through group presentations, individual essays and group projects. Assessments for option modules may take a variety of formats, but are typically geared towards individual assessments such as essays and exams.

Careers and skills

When you graduate, you'll be prepared for a range of careers in the private and public sectors in international and national non-governmental organizations, advocacy, journalism and the media and research and consultancy. In these careers, you'll be able to draw on your knowledge of theoretical and practical debates in global development, your insights about global development that cut across disciplines, and the transferable skills you'll develop throughout the degree.

Career opportunities

  • Policy Advisor
  • Advisor
  • Research Associate
  • Research Officer
  • Consultant
  • Journalist

Transferable skills

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Problem solving

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels


Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate An overall average of 80%
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - AABBB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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