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

Postgraduate Course: Politics and Theories of International Development (Distance Learning) (PGSP11318)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course presents the main social scientific theories which have underpinned international development since the 1950s. It follows the historical evolution of dominant and alternative theories which seek to explain economic, social and political transformation in developing countries over the last sixty years, critically analysing the premises upon which these theories are built. These theories emerged within complex international political contexts and we go on to explore how international, governmental and non-governmental actors and institutions engage with development theories as they seek to shape development debates and to translate theory into workable strategies and frameworks.
Course description This course explores the politics and theories of development by analysing the dominant and alternative social theories that seek to explain development outcomes and the actors and institutions involved. It offers an introduction, overview and critical analysis of the forces shaping international development.

Students will gain familiarity with the major cultural, economic and political theories of 'development' and 'underdevelopment' and the debates about these concepts internationally. The course will enable students to analyse development from multiple points of view, promoting an understanding of the diversity and complexity of interactions amongst political, economic and social actors. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of the key development policy debates and approaches since World War II

Understand key concepts and theories related to international development and development studies

Analyse and assess the ideologies behind and impacts of particular macro approaches to development

Key Course Modules :

1. Rethinking the Notion of Development

2. Development, Modernisation and Dependency

3. Neoliberalism and Development

4. Governance, Development and the Post-Washington Consensus

5. Human Rights and Rights-Based Approaches

6. Roles of the State

7. Civil Society and NGOs (2 weeks)

8. Debates on Foreign Aid

9. Religion, Faith-Based Organisations and Development

Student Learning Experience

The course is delivered asynchronously through a mix of short video lectures that will draw upon expertise from across the university and a range of interactive online activities such as blogs, fora, online quizzes etc.
Moodle is the core learning management system, it is what is more widely known as a ¿virtual learning environment¿ (VLE). The VLE is a web space which enables the course tutor to deliver all of the course materials, readings and communicative tools needed to teach online. Access to the VLE is via a standard web browser.
The course is designed to equip people already working in development or people wishing to work in development, with the tools, knowledge and skills to engage with complex problems and relationships between politics, economics, society, culture and environment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 17/09/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 70% of the course assessment will be based on a final essay (3500 words)

Contributions to online discussion forums and reflections:

20% of the course assessment will be based on a student selected example of their two best submissions to the online etivities (ranging from 700 to 1000 words).

10% based on participation in weekly discussion forum.
Feedback Students receive feedback on an essay plan within 10 days of submission. Students are required to reflect upon their feedback in order to improve their final coursework. Students also have the opportunity to discuss their ideas in a group skype seminar session prior to the final submission date for their summative assessment.

There may be some overlap in the issues that you focus on in the various courses, so you should pay careful attention to the topics you select. It is important that you do not duplicate your work. Students will have the opportunity to select a pre-written essay question or come up with their own essay topics in some cases; essays on self-selected topics need to be previously agreed with the Programme Director.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show familiarity with the major cultural, economic and political theories of development and underdevelopment.
  2. analyse the theory and practice of development in an objective and critical manner.
  3. critically evaluate and deconstruct the diversity and complexity of interactions amongst political, economic and social actors involved in development.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Jean-Benoit Falisse
Tel: (0131 6)51 1632
Course secretaryMs Maria Brichs
Tel: (0131 6)51 3205
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