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BA International Development

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  • Entry requirements
    Our standard entry requirements are three A levels, or two A levels and two AS levels.



    In general, prospective applicants for our degree courses will be in the process of studying two 'traditional' academic subjects for A level, with a third in any other subject.



    We do not require A level Politics for any of our degrees, and we design our first year modules for students both with and without previous knowledge of Politics.



    We accept General Studies as an A level, and we welcome applications that include vocational A level subjects: for example, AVCE (single or double awards). Any combination of A levels or AVCE is acceptable.
  • Course description

    Do you want to …
    • spend a semester in Ghana or Turkey?
    • see the world from a different perspective?
    • investigate globalisation?
    • take an interdisciplinary course with an opportunity to specialise in a discipline?

    If you do, then BA International Development could be the right course for you.

    BA International Development examines major world issues from the viewpoint of the people and nations of the South.

    This course allows you to combine a breadth of interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of International Development with a disciplinary specialisation, such as Geography or Politics, or a regional specialism, such as East Asian Studies.

    You will review contemporary development issues, and examine the progress of key international development goals, such as poverty reduction, and reducing HIV/AIDS and malaria. You will consider the impact of colonialism and the slave trade on developing countries, and examine case-studies to discover how development agencies plan and implement intervention programmes. 

    You will explore some of the most important international issues in the post-cold war era, and learn about the national and international organisations that promote development. If you wish to take the study abroad option, there is the additional opportunity to study alongside students in less developed countries.

    The choice of second subject allows the degree programme to flexibly accommodate different areas of interest. Depending on your second subject*, and receiving a 2:1 grade average in your first year, there is the opportunity to study abroad in semester two of the second year.

    Current options are to study at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, or at the University of Ghana in Legon near Accra.  Modules taken overseas count towards your final degree classification and you will find yourself fully involved in studying alongside local scholars as well as learning about new cultures.

    *Students taking East Asian studies as a second subject are offered Ghana or METU (but instead are offered Hong Kong). Students taking Geography or Theology as their second subjects cannot attend METU in Turkey. This is due to these second subjects not being offered in these particular institutions and you need to study a total of 40 credits in your minor subject whilst abroad.

    In year one, you examine the divide between North and South, investigate the legacy of colonialism, review development goals, and study your specialist subject.

    In year two, you examine theoretical and practical aspects of development in both disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives; appraise the aims and contributions of a wide range of development agencies, and study modules from your specialist subject. There is an opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad in Ghana or Turkey.
    In year three, you write a standard dissertation in International Development, and choose specialist modules that focus on politics and development


    BA International Development is available on a three year full-time basis, or a six year part-time basis. 

    Year One
    Year One introduces you to key concepts and debates within development studies, and gives you a broad foundation for your studies in Year Two and Three. There are three compulsory modules in Year One.

    Contemporary Development Issues asks you to review the eight Millennium Development Goals of the international development agenda. You will appraise progress towards poverty reduction, universalising primary education, achieving gender equity, reducing HIV/AIDs and malaria, reducing child and maternal mortality, environmental sustainability and creating partnerships for world development.

    Making of the Global South examines the current divide between the global North and South, and considers the impact of colonialism, capitalist industrialisation and the slave trade upon the contemporary situation. You will analyse the history of resistance to colonial rule, the attraction of socialism to post-independent governments, and examine the legacies of colonial rule across the Americas, Africa and Asia.

    Globalisation explores the evolution of global politics from the rise of the modern state to the present day. You will examine the great ideological revolutions of modern times, the apparent 'rise' of a global economy and the nature of the backlash against globalisation.

    You also choose another two further elective modules to complete the course programme, and one or two modules from your chosen second subject.

    Year 2

    You choose between two pathways in Year Two: the study abroad option or the Leeds-based option.
    Semester Abroad Pathway

    There are three compulsory modules in this pathway.
    • Development Practice
    • Development and Social Change
    • Semester abroad in either Ghana or Turkey

    To complete your year, you choose an elective module from the list below, your second subject or another elective module.
    • North-South Linkages
    • Politics and International Relations of Pacific Asia
    • Politics in Japan
    • Politics in Russia
    • State and Politics in Africa
    • International Organisations and World Order
    • The Age of Ideology
    • Theories of Justice

    • Theories of Political Morality
    Leeds-based Pathway
    There are two compulsory modules in this pathway.
    • Development Practice
    • Development and Social Change

    You also choose a module from the list below.
    • North-South Linkages
    • Politics and International Relations of Pacific Asia
    • Politics in Japan
    • Politics in Russia
    • State and Politics in Africa
    • International Organisations and World Order
    • The Age of Ideology
    • Theories of Justice
    • Theories of Political Morality

    To complete your year, you choose two modules from your second subject, and a further elective module.

    Year Three 

    The only compulsory module in Year Three is your Dissertation. This is a piece of written work of 12,000 words, and can be researched on a topic of your own choice. It is designed to allow you to produce an extended piece of written work on a topic of special interest to you.

    In addition to the dissertation, you choose one of the following courses.
    • Rural Development: Theoretical and Policy Issues
    • Gender and Development

    Then you choose a course from the list below. 
    • Rural Development: Theoretical and Policy Issues
    • Gender and Development
    • Approaches to HIV/AIDS in the Developing World
    • Violence and Reconciliation in Eastern Africa
    • Contemporary West European Socialist Parties
    • Environmental Politics and Policy in the EU
    • American Foreign Policy
    • Israel: Politics and Society
    • Political Corruption
    • Political Leadership in the Contemporary West
    • Dirty War: Insurgency, the State and Cities
    • Global Political Theory and the Environment
    • Terrorism and Security
    • Critical Theory
    • Culture and Community: Theoretical Perspectives
    • Feminist Challenges to Political Theory
    • Gramsci and the Theory of Modern Politics

    To complete your course, you choose two modules from your second subject and another elective module.

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