Studying International Development and Languages at Portsmouth gives you the opportunity to look in depth at some of the major global challenges of our time: from world poverty and hunger; environmental sustainability; the achievement of universal education and health care; gender equality and women’s empowerment; democracy and human rights; to conflict and security. This is combined with the study of a language to degree level (either French, Spanish or Chinese (Mandarin)), something which is a requirement for employment in many NGOs and development organisations, and includes a year abroad. You will address the field of international development in an interdisciplinary way, gaining a solid grounding in your 1st year in the range of different approaches to development and then taking options in your 2nd and 3rd years that allow you to specialise in particular approaches and regions of the world. It is also possible to study International Development without a significant languages component.
On this course you can:
You can expect to pursue careers in:
I have learnt about the impact a language can have in development and how important it is to be able to communicate locally, especially with community development projects.
Alexander Sykes, BA (Hons) International Development Studies and Languages student 2013
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
In your first year you will take introductory units to the various disciplines that you will cover on the course.
As this course progresses, you will take core units that provide a coherent understanding of key issues in international development. Additionally, there is a range of options that will allow you to pursue your own particular interest.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
You can also choose to study a language of your choice as an option
A large part of your final year is given over to specialist study, including the preparation of a dissertation. However, there are some core units too.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
*On this programme you will spend your third year in a country where your target language is spoken. The course is also available with a sandwich year.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
We provide a varied, creative and stimulating learning environment, with enthusiastic teaching staff drawn from our research centre, CEISR. You will be taught in lectures and small-group seminars to develop your confidence and analytical skills through questions and debates around primary documents and contemporary issues. Our aim is to enable you to become an independent thinker equipped with skills that will continue to influence your experiences beyond your time at university.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
We use continuous assessment on our degree programmes. Methods are varied, including some formal examinations but with a main focus on assessment through engaging and challenging case studies, projects, presentations, book reviews and creative writing.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
Dr Tamsin Bradley
International Development Studies
IDS at Portsmouth uniquely combines regional expertise with an interdisciplinary approach. We have wide regional expertise covering: Latin America, South, South East and East Asia, Caribbean, West, East and North Africa. The degree is also taught by subject specialists in anthropology, economics, history, sociology, and geography.
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This course can enhance your employability credentials with its International Community Development unit, offering work placements across the developing world. Portsmouth is the only university to offer this endorsed module.
You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring your learning keeps you abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.
We have well-established links with universities in France, Germany, Spain, West Africa and Latin America if you wish to spend this period studying, or, with University approval, you may arrange a work placement abroad. Students who cannot undertake the Year Abroad because of changes in personal circumstances transfer to a 3 year 'with Languages' variant.
We have a unique and prestigious partnership with the British Senegalese Institute offering opportunities to graduates and students on their year abroad. In addition, there are opportunities to take up a post as an English language assistant or to work in development organisations in Dakar during the year abroad.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
For placements abroad that are taken in countries outside the EU/EEA, you will be required to meet travel costs. These costs will be in the region of £1000.
You will also be required to meet any extra tuition costs for units of study taken outside of your agreed study abroad programme. These costs will be in the region of £200.
Whether it is working as a project manager on social care projects in the UK or for international agencies in Africa, the International Development Studies programme will give you the transferable skills and subject knowledge to make you suitable for a wide range of jobs across the globe.
Our graduates have gone on to jobs such as:
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. The option gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, to reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and to learn to express this to potential employers.
Our 'International Community Development' unit is designed to provide you with enhanced employability credentials on graduation. Students, as part of, or in addition to, their degrees can take up a number of placements across the Developing World. IDS is available in combination with a language or as a single honours course. Both degrees provide students with the opportunity to incorporate a placement year.
The University has a unique and prestigious partnership in place with the British Senegalese Institute. The Institute, along with other partners in Dakar offers different opportunities to our graduating students each year. We also have a range of partners that offer teaching and work experience opportunites with NGOs and other voluntary organisations to students on their year abroad.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Portsmouth languages graduate, Orrin Thomas, reflects on his course and on his current role as a Business Development Manager.
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To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.
After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.
Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.