International Development Studies BA (Hons)

International Development students with fans
UCAS Code
L900
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 2018

Overview

Ready to change the world? This BA (Hons) International Development Studies 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 Studies and Languages programme.

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.

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 gives 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.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.
Entry Requirements

The last year of entry on this course is 2018. If you want to start a similar course in 2019, see our BA (Hons) International Development course.

​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.

Additional costs

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.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

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)

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.

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

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

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

How you'll spend your time

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

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There's no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 76% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 77% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 9% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 91% studying independently

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.

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

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.

Apply

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. 

How to apply

Want to start this course this year?

There are still a few places available. To discuss your options and secure your place, give us a call on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or ask us to call you back.

The last year of entry on this course is 2018. If you want to start a similar course in 2019, see our BA (Hons) International Development course.

Contact information
  • Admissions
  • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Get in touch

Programme specification
Subject Area
History politics and international relations
Geography and environmental sciences
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