Introduction to Global Development

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Claire Mercer S418

Dr Romola Sanyal


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Environment and Development. This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics, BSc in Geography with Economics and BSc in International Relations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

An introduction to analysing global development,focussing on key development, theories, strategies, problems and trajectories. In Michaelmas Term we cover concepts and ideas of development, colonial development, theories of development including modernization, dependency and post-development, the rise of the neoliberal project, the debt crisis, structural adjustment and PRSPs, participatory development and NGOs. In Lent Term we examine poverty, informality, housing, water, sanitation, gender, conflict and development.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 9 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will produce two essays during the MT and the LT.

Indicative reading

S. Chant and C. McIlwaine, Geographies of Development in the 21st Century:

An Introduction to the Global South, 2009; S. Chari and S. Corbridge (eds),

The Development Reader, 2008;G. Williams, P. Meth and K. Willis,

Geographies of Developing Areas: the Global South in a Changing World, 2009;

V Desai & R Potter (Eds), The Companion to Development Studies, 2nd ed,

2008; T Forsyth (Ed), The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Development, 2005;

D. Simon (Ed.), Fifty Key Thinkers on Development, 2005; K Willis (2011)

Theories and practices in development, 2nd ed; UNDP, Human Development

Report, published annually; World Bank, World Development Report,

published annually.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Students will be expected to produce two essays during the MT and LT, and also to prepare class presentations.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 22.5
2:1 56.5
2:2 16.2
Third 2.6
Fail 2.1

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2015/16: 90

Average class size 2015/16: 15

Capped 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 65%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)