International Development Studies is a multidisciplinary course that can be approached from different angles of various disciplines. However, any international development professional needs to have knowledge in the theory of development and skills required in international development practice. This course combines theories of development with core professional skills needed for a successful career in development such as quantitative and qualitative research methods and social enterprise.
The distance learning and part time mode of the programme provides a flexible learning framework with opportunities for students to undertake a full Master's qualification, a postgraduate Diploma or a postgraduate Certificate.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
Engage in debates on what is development, how development is measured and the historical influences and theories of development; Be introduced to the tools used in development practice; Learn to undertake quantitative data analysis using books that are light hearted and have a gentle treatment to statistics; Take advantage of flexible provision that meets the needs of different stakeholders, including those already professionally employed in international development.
What opportunities might it lead to?
You can expect to graduate from this course with enhanced career prospects in the international development sector, greater knowledge of development issues and an increasing professional network that may allow you to identify career opportunities.
You will study the following core units:
Theory & Practice of Development: Explore the history, theory and practice of international development studies, through topics from colonialism to globalisation. You will be introduced to the tools, such as social enterprise, that are used in development practice. Assessment includes a social enterprise project alongside a traditional essay.
Applied Research Methods for Development: Learn the strategies and methods of collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data in the social sciences. You will learn to use SPSS for data manipulation, quantitative data analysis and interpretation, using a range of data sets relevant to international development studies.
Units (30 credits per unit, 60 credits for the dissertation) are offered individually as credit-bearing short courses, or as part of the Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), or MSc International Development Studies (180 credits).
This course will be offered entirely through distance learning methods. All course materials and readings, lecture notes, as well as additional links to useful organisational sites, social media hubs and further resources, will be posted and regularly updated in our virtual learning environment. Human contact will be an important part of the programme too, with regular ‘webinars’, discussion forums, one-on-one tutorials with lecturers, email correspondence and skype meetings where necessary.
The assessment methods used on this programme are varied and test all the skills developed in the different modules at different stages of the learning process. These include essays, leading and participating in discussion forums and blogs, portfolios, policy briefs and research projects, allowing for a balance between formative and summative assessment.
The course is designed to support the needs of those who hope to be, or are already, engaged in the international development sector. It offers highly desirable transferable skills such as communication, qualitative data collection, quantitative data manipulation and data analysis and writing skills. Additionally, the applied nature of this course means that students will be working within ‘live’ development contexts from the start. This will ensure that they are able to develop their professional networks and identify career opportunities. Additionally students will benefit from the advice and guidance regarding career progression given by the experts and development practitioners who teach on this course.