Development in Practice

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

What is development in practice? Who does, or should, manage development? Management in a development context faces particular challenges such as acute and chronic needs, and weak citizen demand and accountability.

The module aims to:

  1. To build understanding of development policy and management.
  2. To increase development managers' understanding of actors and institutions that affect development activities.
  3. To build the ability to operationalise concepts and knowledge of institutions through analytical and practical skill development.
  4. To build an appreciation that development managers operate in a field where an aggregation of organisations is responsible for a definable area of institutional life; no single organisation having a monopoly on setting agendas or determining outcomes.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the evolution of the conception of development management and how this can be applied to practical experience
  • Critically appraise the institutional and capacity implications of management approaches and demonstrate their application
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the role of different actors in managing development
  • Critically analyse and differentiate the management challenges of working in relationships of multiple actors
  • Apply and appraise the concepts and theories covered in the module to assess the management of development within a country context

Teaching and learning approach

Guided learning through module handbooks, set readings, online exercises, self-directed research through the e-library. Case studies, online group work, Canvas support, audio-visual materials, online discussion, policy document work, practical work.


The assessment for the module will consist of: 

  1. One 2000 word assignment (40% of the overall mark for the module). This is a formative assignment with feedback which is then resubmitted as a summative assignment.
  2. One 2500 word assignment (60% of the overall mark for the module)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.