The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course critically evaluates the nature and direction of a range of pathways and conceptions of development. The development industry has been subject to an array of critiques in the last few decades; in this course, we explore alternatives. Using a range of theoretical approaches and case studies, we assess new approaches to development thinking and review their enactment in real world settings. The course looks at contemporary theories and practices of community development and social change. The course includes options for fieldwork with community groups and Indigenous communities.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. A grounding in debates about the theory and practice of development and underdevelopment

2. An understanding of the complexity of the developing world, including accounts of contingency, locational specificity and scalar perspectives

3. An understanding of the implications of development politics for Indigenous peoples and other affected groups in a variety of contexts

4. A capacity to undertake logical, critical and creative analysis

5. A range of skills and techniques which are transferable to other subject and employment areas, including the interpretation of subjective data sources; the presentation of material; research techniques; data interpretation; critical evaluation; essay and report writing (analysis and synthesis); oral presentation and performance skills; and an ability to work in groups and individually

6. The ability to engage in constructive public and professional discourse in community, cross-cultural and policy contexts

7. The capacity to link theoretical understandings of development to ethical practice


This course focuses on contemporary thinking in development studies. Topics addressed include:

  • The need to re-think development
  • Post-development
  • Social movements
  • Understanding power and resistance
  • Borders
  • Race and identity
  • Strategies in community development
  • Re-imagining trade
  • Strategies for change

Assumed knowledge

Either GEOG2080 or GEOG2130.

Assessment items

Portfolio: Practical portfolio

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial review and discussion assignment

Formal Examination: Final examination

Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

  • Computer Lab: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks

Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 8 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term