International Development BA (Hons)
BA Hons International Development
Ready to change the world? This BA (Hons) International Development degree course will arm you with the skills, knowledge and experience to make a difference to societies across the globe.
You’ll explore the role and purpose of international development, build your understanding of world affairs and have opportunities put your knowledge to work with not-for-profit organisations in developing countries.
This course is ideal for a career working with organisations at home or abroad in roles like fundraising, campaigning, community development and public affairs.
BA (Hons) International Development degree entry requirements
- A levels – BBC–BCC
- UCAS points – 104–112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 25
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this International Development degree course, you’ll:
- Study multiple disciplines including economics, human geography, politics and international relations
- Examine major global challenges of our time including world poverty and hunger, environmental sustainability, universal education and health care, gender equality and women’s empowerment, democracy, human rights and conflict and security
- Be taught by staff who are currently doing research in the field, keeping you abreast of latest theories and knowledge
- Get experience with an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) during your studies or as part of an optional work placement year
- Learn from professionals working in the sector – recent events include a guest lecture from the Senior Strategic Advisor to Oxfam, a study day examining the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a visit from an NGO based in Peru
- Develop skills in analysis, criticism and argument, communication and problem-solving
- Have the chance to learn a new language
To make sure your training is of the highest professional standard, we've developed this course with the England Standards Board for Community Development.
You can also study international development with international relations – leading to a BA (Hons) International Relations with International Development award at the end of the course – or our BA Hons International Development and Languages, and BA (Hons) International Development with Sociology programmes.
I feel like I’ve found a University that cares about me and who I am, not what my A-Level grades or UCAS Track was. It’s a community and everybody is welcome.
Careers and opportunities
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the field.
What can you do with an International Development degree?
This course gives you the skills for careers in areas such as:
- fundraising and campaigning
- designing community development projects
- public affairs
- project management
- international agencies
What jobs can you do with an International Development degree?
Our graduates have gone on to roles such as:
- politician’s assistant
- project manager
- public affairs consultant
- social researcher
- information officer
- conference producer
- local government administrator
You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.
For my placement year, I spent time in London at a digital crowdfunding charity, GlobalGiving, where I coordinated a volunteering programme. My role allowed me to implement knowledge gained from the course and gain skills including communications, project management and digital marketing. I was appointed to visit some of GlobalGiving's non-profit project partners in Uganda and further my understanding of programme implementation through local organisations. The placement year has not only provided me with invaluable skills and networks for my future career, but has aided me in my final year of studies.
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies and match your ambitions.
We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in international development.
Students have completed work placements at organisations such as:
- British Council
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Otra Cosa Network
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
What you'll study on this BA (Hons) International Development degree
Modules currently being studied
Core modules currently include:
- Global Development
- International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme
- Introduction To Development Studies: Policy & Practice
- Key Themes In International Relations
- Performing Like A Pro: Skills For Academic And Professional Success
- The Making Of The Global South
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules currently include:
- Economics And Politics Of Development
- Global Environmental Issues And Concerns
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Analysing Foreign and Security Policy
- Democratisation in Latin America
- Development Economics
- East Asian States and Societies
- Empire and Its Afterlives
- Gender in the Developing World
- International Community Development
- Introduction To Teaching
- Learning From Experience
- Managing Across Cultures
- People on the Move: Migration and Borders in Europe
- Russian & Eurasian Politics
- Study Abroad
Core modules currently include:
- Rethinking Aid And Development
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'State Fragility' in Post-Colonial Africa
- China & East Asian Economies
- Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World
- Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
- Independent Project
- Learning from Experience
- NGOs and Social Movements
- Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
- The Anthropology of Development
- Transitional Justice & Human Rights
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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
My course has taught me about environmental issues, gender inequality, community development practice and much more.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- case studies
- book reviews
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
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:
- Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 23% by practical exams and 69% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 27% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 63% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework
Teaching methods on this course include:
- one-on-one tutorials
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.
Teaching staff profiles
Dr Ben Garner, Course Leader
Ben is the Course Leader for BA International Development and BA International Development and Languages. His research interests are culture and development; UNESCO; UK/EU development policy; culture and politics in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Chinese cultural policy.
He teaches on the following modules: Introduction to Development Studies: Policy & Practice; Economics and Politics of Development; Democratisation in Latin America; Democracy and Democratisation; Ethnicity, Class & Culture in the Developing World.
Professor Tamsin Bradley, Professor of International Development Studies
Tamsin is a social anthropologist who for nearly 20 years has conducted research into violence against women and girls in Asia and Africa. Her projects have explored intergenerational change and the practice of female genital mutilation in Sudan; art heritage and resilience in South Sudan; rape in India; violence and displacement in Nepal and Myanmar; and the link between women's economic engagement and violence in Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
She teaches the following modules: Gender and Development; Anthropology of Development, and International Community Development.
Dr Isabelle Cheng, Senior Lecturer
Isabelle is a specialist in East Asian development and international relations. Her research focuses on labour and marriage migration in East Asia with reference to migrant spouses' political particiaption and workers' rights under the 'gest worker' system. She is also conducting research on the Cold War in East Asia, to understand how the impact of the Cold War trickled down to people's everyday lives, including through culture and heritage.
She currently serves on the Executive Board of the European Association of Taiwan Studies as Secretary-General. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Taiwan Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London.
Professor Andy Thorpe, Associate Dean
Andy is a Professor in Development Economics, and the Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Business and Law. He's fluent in Spanish, and previously served as visiting Professor in Agricultural Economics at the Posgrado en Economía y Planificación del Desarrollo (POSCAE) at the National State University of Honduras. He has published widely on development issues (in both English and Spanish) and has particular interests in questions surrounding environmental sustainability.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons International Development degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – September to December
- Assessment period 1 – January (and early February for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Teaching block 2 – January to May (February to May for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
Extra learning support
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.
Learning development tutors
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
Academic skills support
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- Academic writing
- Note taking
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £15,500 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
If you do any placements outside of the EU/EEA, you’ll need to cover the travel costs. These costs are usually around £1000. You’ll also need to cover the living costs, which will vary depending on the duration and location of the placement.
You’ll also need to meet any additional tuition costs for units of study you take outside of your agreed study abroad programme. This normally costs around £200.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – L902
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.