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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Key Skills in Development Practice (PGSP11348)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course investigates methodological approaches to the theorisation and practice of development. It brings together social science research methods (e.g. interviewing, participatory methods) with more targeted practical development methods (e.g. monitoring and evaluation, programme evaluation, policy analysis). The main objective of this course is to offer key skills to the students to enable them to work in the field of international development. It exposes the students with key frameworks, tools and instruments used in the practice of development. This course is suitable for everyone with an interest in development and undertaking research in developing countries, regardless of discipline or orientation.
This course is suitable for everyone with an interest to work in international development globally, regardless of orientation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  80
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course students will:

- Critically examine the relationship between development thinking and development practice

- Be able to appraise and utilise appropriate practical tools and instruments

- Learns skills in key areas of development practice such as monitoring and evaluation, writing policy brief, participatory appraisals and meta-analysis.
Assessment Information
The course is assessed by the followings:

1. One short assessment (policy brief), maximum 1,500 words - 40%;

2. One long assessment (short essay), maximum 2,500 words - 60%.

For the short assessment students will be asked to write a policy brief on the theme suggested below. The longer essay will focus on a critique of monitoring and evaluation frameworks, participatory tools or evaluations used in development agencies. In this essay students should demonstrate and reflect critically on their learning in lectures and independent studies.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1 Introduction: development as a cross-cultural practice
Week 2 Interviewing and Group Discussion
Week 3 Policy briefs
Week 4 Use of participatory approaches and tools-I
Week 5 Using PRA tools in practice-II
Week 6 Monitoring and evaluation
Week 7 Theory of change and logical framework analysis
Week 8 RCTs, Systematic Reviews and meta-analysis
Week 9 Development practice in crisis situations
Week 10 Personal, professional and political life of aid workers
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Students are encouraged to read beyond the required readings for each session (provided in the course handbook) as full participation in discussions is expected. We do not recommend any specific textbook for this course, although there are a number of very good ones currently available in the library and/or bookshops. The following sources, for example, serve as excellent introductions to the field and to the debates that we will be following:


Carden, Fred (2009). Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research, International Development Research Centre and Sage. [available online as e-book)

Desai V. and Potter Robert B. (2006), Doing Development Research, SAGE [library-multiple copies]

DFID. 2002. A Tools for Development: a handbook for those involved in development activity. Department for International Development [available online)

Mikkelsen B. (2005), Methods for Development Work and Research, second ed., SAGE [e-book in library resources]

Thomas A. and Mohan G., Research Skills for Policy and Development. How to find out Fast, SAGE publications, 2007 [e-book in library resources]

Sumner, A. and Tribe, M. (2008) International Development Studies: Theories and Methods in Research and Practice, Sage London [[e-book in library resources]

Journals (all available online)

'Development in Practice'
'Public Administration and Development'
'Journal of International Development'
'Aid Delivery Methods'
'Development and Change'
'Development Policy Review'
'Journal of Development Studies'

A number of practical tools are available inside the websites of different organisations including the following webpages:
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The course is based on the format of a mix of lectures and practical exercises. Due to the practical nature of topics treated in the course, students are expected to participate in many exercises in the class and to work on weekly assessments that will be discussed in the seminar. The course will provide a mixture of case study-led discussions, conceptual analyses and practical lessons. Several lecturers from the School of Social and Political Science will contribute to the course, dealing with research and debate in their own areas of expertise.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Jeevan Sharma
Tel: (0131 6)51 1760
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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