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Introduction to Development Theory and Practice

Code: KD604
Module Status: Mandatory
Facilitator: Eilish Dillon
Duration: 25 hours
Credits: 5

Module Aim

This module (formerly called Sociology of Development) aims to develop participants’ critical analysis of social forces which impact on development in their own society in the context of globalisation.

Module Objectives

  • To explore understandings of society, social relations and social change in the context of participants’ experience of their own society.
  • To critically reflect on theories of social development focusing in particular on modernisation and its effects, as well as on the structural constraints on social development in various country contexts as interpreted by dependency and world systems theories.
  • To critically analyse theories of globalisation focusing in particular on the effects of globalisation processes in relation to inequality, migration and development policy.
  • To critically reflect on development ‘alternatives’ and how social development is shaped by various actors and institutions, e.g., through the state, NGOs, in development policies and representations and by social movements

Module Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will be able to critically reflect on their own society in terms of how it is structured, the social changes which have occurred and the social relations which characterise it.
  • Participants are expected to have an overall understanding of different theoretical perspectives on development from a sociological point of view, with an in-depth understanding of and an ability to critique at least three of these perspectives with reference to contemporary debates and their own experience.
  • Participants will have an understanding of some of the key debates related to processes of globalisation and its effects on social development in different contexts.
  • Participants will become familiar with contemporary debates relating to the role of the State and NGOs in development practice and will be able to offer a critique of the role of various actors, institutions and discourses in shaping development.


Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrolment.

Please note that this description is subject to change.



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