The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


The distribution of wealth in today's world is the most unequal in history. While the economies of developed countries continue to grow, the size of the world's poor continues to increase with resulting social crises and instability. The course provides an introduction to development studies with a broad discussion of social, economic, cultural and environmental issues. It provides students with a base for intellectual understanding of various theories of development and methodological skills to critically analyse and evaluate policy documents, development indices and measurements, statistics and reports on development. The learning experiences directly enhance future development career prospects.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. comprehend recent development issues and their historical, socio-cultural, economic and geographical dimensions.

2. conduct a cross-disciplinary regional examination of demographic, socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors and structures, uneven development and its impacts at local, regional and global scales.

3. understand a variety of theoretical approaches with which to examine and evaluate development processes and problems.

4. draw on a wide range of skills and methods necessary to undertake a complex analysis and communication of development issues and to critically analyse development measures, indicators, reports and policies. Some of the methods are also transferable to other courses and employment areas (such as seminar presentation skills, report and essay writing, critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of data).


  1. Defining development
  • First World/Third World and North/South- paradigm
  • Economic and cultural interpretations of progress and growth
  • Holistic interpretations
  1. Development theories and their paradoxes
  • Economic and political development theories
  • Development models, indicators and measurements
  • Alternative approaches
  1. The process of development and results (local to global scale)
  • Social inequalities
  • Economic inequalities
  • Marginalisation based on gender and ethnicity
  1. Development and the environment
  • Environmental impacts (urban & regional)
  • Resource extraction and transformation
  • - Consumption
  1. The role of Non-Governmental-Organisations and Governments in development
  • Citizenship
  • Social movements
  • Governments and participation
  • Contemporary issues

Assessment items

Role Play: Role play

Essay: Essay

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial program

Formal Examination: Examination: formal

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Practical: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must attend 80% of the tutorial classes.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Note: Practical hours include tutorials.