DV442      Half Unit
Key Issues in Development Studies

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Elliott Green

and other ID staff


This course is compulsory on the MSc in African Development, MSc in Health and International Development and MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies. This course is available on the MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development, MSc in Population and Development and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course provides an overview of the key issues and debates in international development. It features lectures from leading LSE experts on subjects such as climate change, conflict, poverty, the financial crisis, demography and democratisation, among other topics.


20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will give at least one class presentation.

Indicative reading

The following are recommended basic readings for the course: A. Deaton, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality (Princeton University Press, 2013). D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (Profile, 2012). A Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor, 1999).


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 11.5
Merit 71.1
Pass 16.6
Fail 0.8

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2016/17: 118

Average class size 2016/17: 15

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication