DV442      Half Unit
Key Issues in Development Studies

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rajesh Venugopal CON 6.08


This course is compulsory on the 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 Environment and Development, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

Not available to students enrolled on DV400 & DV431.


Course content

This course provides an inter-disciplinary introduction to development studies. We explore the role of states and markets in development and/underdevelopment, colonial legacies, the political economy of growth and redistribution, and the role of politics and power in development. We examine key issues in development such as: the record of pro-market reforms; the experience of developmental states; and the challenges to development thinking and practice presented by feminist theory, environmental sustainability, globalisation and new patterns of global inequality (key issues may change from year to year).


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the MT. Seminars will be at or upwards of 45 minutes duration and lectures will be at or above 60 minutes duration. There will also be a revision lecture in the LT.

Student on this course will have a reading week in Week 6.


Formative coursework

Students will submit one formative essay of 1500 words.

Indicative reading

The following are recommended basic readings for the course:


A Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor, 1999).


Chang, H.J. (2002), Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective (London: Anthem Press).


Online exam (100%) in LT.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.8
Merit 69.9
Pass 12
Fail 0.3

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2020/21: 135

Average class size 2020/21: 15

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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