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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.
Course description 1 week : Working for development: practical considerations
2 week : Rethinking Planning and Impact: Theory of Change
3 week : New approaches: Social innovation
4 week : Policy Briefing: communicating development findings
5 week : Funding applications for development
6 week : Partnership and stakeholders engagement
7 week : Assessment and response in emergency contexts
8 week : M&E: an introduction to evaluation
9 week : M&E: practical examples from the health sector
10 week: Enterprise for development: practical reflections
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  55
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 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.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. critically examine the relationship between development thinking and development practice.
  2. appraise and utilise appropriate practical tools and instruments
  3. utilise skills learned in key areas of development practice such as monitoring and evaluation, writing policy brief, participatory appraisals and meta-analysis
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:

Scheyvens, Regina (2014, 2nd edition) (eds), Development Fieldwork: a practical guide, SAGE publication.

Carden, Fred (2009). Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research, International Development Research Centre and Sage.

Desai V. and Potter Robert B. (2006), Doing Development Research, SAGE

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

Mikkelsen B. (2005), Methods for Development Work and Research, second ed., SAGE

Thomas A. and Mohan G., Research Skills for Policy and Development. How to find out Fast, SAGE publications, 2007

Sumner, A. and Tribe, M. (2008) International Development Studies: Theories and Methods in Research and Practice, Sage London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Barbara Bompani
Tel: (0131 6)51 3891
Course secretaryMs Jessica Barton
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
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