Development in Practice

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

This module aims to provide you with a solid understanding of what development management (DM) means, who does it, how, and why.

The first half of the module covers the ‘who, what, where, when, and why’ of DM, focusing on developing your understanding of the ‘social goals’ of development and the actors involved in efforts to achieve them, with particular reference to the role of the state.

The second half of the module looks in depth at how particular development goals are pursued and managed in particular places. We examine the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and discuss the policies and resources needed to achieve them. We also use and critique key approaches and tools used in planning, managing and evaluating development strategies.

Overall the module provides a broad introduction to key concepts in development management, as well as the opportunity for you to examine particular areas of interest in depth. The emphasis is on applying concepts and theories to real-life examples.

The module also pays particular attention to supporting you to develop the key skills essential to success in Masters-level study (critical analysis, writing academically, and articulating your own argument), as well as essential competencies for work in the field of international development, including research and communication skills.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  • 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.


The assessment for the module will consist of: 

  1. One 1,500 word assignment (40%). 
  2. One 2,500 word assignment (60%)

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.