International Development students with fans
UCAS Code
L902
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019

Overview

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.

What you'll experience

On this 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.

Optional pathways

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 programme.

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.

Rebecca Rees, International Development student

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.

This course give you the skills for careers in areas such as:

  • fundraising and campaigning
  • designing community development projects
  • public affairs
  • project management
  • international agencies

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.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) International Development course

Units currently being studied

Core units currently include:

  • Introduction to Development Studies: Policy & Practice
  • Introduction to the Developing World
  • Key Themes in International Relations
  • Introduction to International Political Economy

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units currently include:

  • Economics and Politics of Development
  • Global Environmental Issues and Concerns

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • International Community Development
  • Analysing Foreign Policy
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • Guns, Glory Hunters and Greed: British and French colonisation in Africa
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • State and Society in East Asia
  • Gender in the Developing World
  • Global Environmental Issues and Concerns
  • LiFE (work placement)

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units currently include:

  • Dissertation
  • Development & Foreign Aid
  • The Anthropology of Development

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and State Fragility in Postcolonial Africa
  • Ethnicity, Class & Culture in the Developing World
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  • Security Challenges in the 21st Century
  • China and East Asian Economies
  • NGOs and Social Movements
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
  • Dissertation

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.

My course has taught me about environmental issues, gender inequality, community development practice and much more.

Alexander Sykes, BA Hons International Development student

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.

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.

Placement year

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.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching 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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

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. She is currently 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.

Ask me anything about BA (Hons) International Development
An 'ask me anything' session with BA (Hons) International Development Course Leaders, Olivia Rutazibwa and Ben Garner.

Watch this video for answers to questions such as 'What are the essential skills that I need to succeed in international development?' and 'Does the course allow me to specialise in any areas?'

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • case studies
  • projects
  • presentations
  • book reviews
  • assignments

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.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 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.

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L902 (note this is different to the 2018 UCAS code)
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

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 (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can 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. 

Admissions terms and conditions

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.