BA International Development with Politics with Overseas Placement

Full Time
Degree of Bachelor of Arts

UCAS Course Code
A-Level typical
ABB (2019/0 entry) See All Requirements
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"Politics comes in to everything you do, say and think about in development. The approach taken in this degree programme is vital to understanding all things development-related."

In their words

Dave Shraga, BA International Development, 2011-2014


Find out more about how Politics for International Development Matters

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Find out more about International Development with Politics – hear from our students

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"This course offers broad-based coverage of the politics underpinning why the practice of development is the way it is today, and how power operates across the globe - two spheres of debate that provide a critical base for students wishing to understand frames of injustice, and locate points of resistance."

In their words

Rosie Rawle, BA International Development, 2010-2013


Our Development Work Experience module is a distinctive feature of our programme.

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Levels of development differ between and within countries. On this degree you’ll study the causes of that inequality and explore possible solutions. You’ll also discover how the development process is shaped by key development actors, including governments, international development agencies, NGOs, and social movements.

You’ll explore topics such as the politics of poverty and inequality, democracy and democratisation, the causes and consequences of conflict, and relationships between state and society.

You’ll also have the chance to kick-start your career and develop your own specialisms by choosing from a range of optional modules.

In your third year, you’ll spend three to four months gaining work experience abroad. For many students, this experience is the highlight of their time at university.


This innovative degree programme combines the study of politics with interdisciplinary approaches to international development.

You’ll study a range of topics including the politics of poverty, inequality, democracy and democratisation, the causes and consequences of conflict, relationships between state and society, and the practices of a range of actors including governments, international development agencies, NGOs, and social movements.

In your dissertation you’ll study a topic of your own choice in depth, under the supervision of a faculty member.

You’ll also have the chance to develop a range of skills that are valued by employers, including research skills, data analysis, preparing reports, giving presentations, and team work.

You’ll be taught by academic staff whose research is internationally renowned. We’re actively involved in research across the globe, working with many national and international development agencies.

Our research commitments keep our lecturers in touch with teaching and development issues at grassroots level and ensures you benefit from the very latest thinking.

Our flexible approach to learning enables you to explore your interests and strengths, graduating with a world-class degree in international development.

Course Structure

Year 1

In your first year you’ll establish a grounding in key themes in politics and international development. You’ll take three core modules exploring major theories in the politics of development, development studies, and the use of evidence in development.

In addition to these core modules, you’ll select two further modules from a selection offered by the School, covering topics such as social anthropology and international development, humanitarian communication, economics of development, natural resources and development, and human geography

Year 2

In your second year you’ll learn about the research methods used in the politics of development. At the same time you’ll begin to critically analyse development practice. You’ll take two core modules Research Methods in the Politics of Development, and Politics, Development, Society

In addition you’ll select four further modules from a diverse range of optional courses covering topics such as gender and development, the politics of migration, natural resources, and communication for development.

Year 3

In your third and final year you’ll study the core module Politics, Policy, Practice. In addition you’ll select three further modules from a range of optional modules including Wars and Humanitarian Crises, Capitalism and its Critics, Distributive Justice, and Development in Practice.

You’ll also write your dissertation on an international development topic of your choosing.

Teaching and Learning

You’ll learn through a combination of lectures and seminars. You’ll engage with a range of interactive tasks and activities and find the use of technology is also widespread.

In seminar group work and presentations you’ll be able to develop transferable skills, such as articulating an argument both orally and in writing, and presenting academic information in a lucid and cogent manner.

As your degree progresses there will be more emphasis on independent study. That means you can pursue areas of learning that suit your needs and interests. You’ll also develop your independent study skills in your dissertation.


You’ll be assessed across a combination of coursework and unseen written exams. Your coursework will typically consist of two of the following:

  • An essay
  • A quantitative assignment
  • Practical or experimental assignments
  • A report

Your dissertation contributes a significant amount to your final grade. It’s an important opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate your skills in interdisciplinary analysis in a self-motivated study.

Optional Study abroad or Placement Year

You’ll have the chance to put what you’ve learned into practice and get hands-on professional experience through the Development Work Placement module. You’ll spend three to four months working abroad on a development project in your third year. Past students have worked with Inter Press Service in New York, Video Volunteers in Goa, British Red Cross in London, Otra Cosa in Peru, and WaterAid in Ethiopia.

During your placement you’ll gain valuable insights and practical experience in a different country and culture. You’ll also have the chance to develop personal skills that are welcomed by employers.

After the course

You’ll graduate with the specialist and practical skills you need for a successful career in the UK or overseas.

Many of our graduates work in development, including in roles in the United Nations World Food Programme, UK governments, foreign governments, non-government organisations, and charities such as Oxfam and British Red Cross.

Others use the academic and transferable skills gained for careers in business, the voluntary and public sector, activism and campaigning, community development, environment, and media.

Alternatively you could go on to further study with an MA or PhD.

Career destinations

Career destinations related to your degree include:

  • International organisations,
  • Governments
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Activism and campaigning
  • Masters and PhD programs
  • Private Sector

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


You will focus on the role of evidence in understanding the themes introduced in IDS, with the following aims: - to provide a basic introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods; - to introduce key concepts in maths and statistics relevant to the study of international development and human geography; - to provide training in use of important software used in the analysis of evidence; and - to provide a foundation in the key academic skills expected at university including writing, reading and thinking critically, using UEA Library services and computing systems and developing effective teamwork skills. Learning by doing is the central teaching approach and throughout the semester you will apply ideas from classes to address a research question of your choice. There are few conventional lectures; most sessions are interactive workshops, complemented by IT lab sessions.




This module provides an introduction to International Development Studies. Themes of poverty, inequality, culture, economic growth and sustainability are explored from the perspectives of development economics, social development, human geography and environment and natural resource management. A range of contemporary development issues are examined including globalisation, environmental degradation, gender, the state, aid, property rights, knowledge and progress.




This module provides an introduction to political concepts and frameworks that are central to the study of international development. Through studying theoretical approaches you will gain the foundations required to critically evaluate contemporary development debates and development policy and practice.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


You will critically explore changing trends in humanitarian communication by both the international news media and international development actors, such as Non-Governmental Organisations. This will include a critical review of media representations of development in the Global South and the role and responsibility of journalists reporting about humanitarian crises and poverty. You will also explore conventional strategies of humanitarian communication, such as 'pornography of poverty', as well as more contemporary issues such as the role of celebrities, social media and the rise of 'post-humanitarian' communication. With case studies ranging from Live Aid to Kony 2012, you will be introduced to key concepts and theoretical approaches cutting across a range of disciplines. This module also contains an integral practical skills component. Speakers from leading NGOs and experienced practitioners will share their insights about the everyday complexities of humanitarian communication and a number of workshops will focus on a relevant hands-on skills such blogging and the basics of development photography.




You will be introduced to key development economics theories and empirical evidence. Topics include the economics of poverty and inequality, economic growth, the balance between states and markets, agriculture and internal migration, population growth, health, human capital, the environment, international trade, and development aid. All of these are discussed within the context of development.




This module introduces geographical approaches to the key processes of change that shape our world and its societies. You will examine how people and places are connected and transformed as a result of processes such as colonialism, globalisation, industrialisation, migration, urbanisation and development, and explore how differences and inequalities emerge. A central theme will be why space matters, as people's lives are influenced by the places that surround them - both near and far - and as they in turn change those places. You will explore these issues through a range of contemporary geographical topics, from sweatshops to climate change, through which you will be introduced to core geographical concepts, ideas and approaches, emphasising on critical thinking and practice. You will discover key methods for geographical research, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and will include field-based practical work in the local area.




This module explores the biological and physical basis for primary production within the main natural resource systems providing food, fuel and fibre to human populations. The module has an integrated biophysical core and deals with resource demand, supply and exploitation issues. There will be a particular emphasis on the important processes in production and a number of key issues in natural resource systems will be introduced here e.g. global resource cycles, diversity, productivity and stability of natural resource systems. There is an important field-based, practical element throughout this course.



Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits


You will be introduced to the fundamentals of research design in the social sciences, emphasising the ways in which assumptions, paradigms, and objectives affect methodological choices, and reflecting on the differences and commonalities between qualitative and quantitative approaches. Over the course of the semester these methodological considerations are applied to central themes in contemporary politics and development. You will have the opportunity to design your own political research project based upon your individual interests, and to apply the methodological issues addressed. The module thus enhances your understanding of contemporary political challenges, as well as introducing you to the basic principles of social science research.




This module critically analyses the role of key development actors, and the contexts that they work within. It emphasises how actual interventions play out in society - where they become concrete and have real effects. What changes because of these interventions, and what stays the same, and why? What are the actors' intentions, who shaped them, and why are outcomes often unintended and contradictory? The module considers a range of actors from social movements to international organisations. It exposes students to the complexities of policy implementation and social change, and provides a strong grounding in understanding the politics of development policy. Although open to all students it is useful if you have taken Introduction to the Politics of Development (DEV-4009B). If you have not you may have to do some additional work in the opening weeks of the semester in order to familiarise yourselves with key concepts. Lecturers will assist you in doing so.



Students will select 60 - 80 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module will provide you with the opportunity to work overseas or in the UK, for example working in education, conservation, agriculture, working with vulnerable groups, administration or journalism. You are expected to fund your own project, which must be approved by the module convenor. The School has a database of projects to assist you with your project selection. The work placement can be between 2 - 5 months duration, over a period stretching from the summer (July) at the end of year two through to the end of the autumn semester of year three (November/December). You are expected to work for a minimum of two months and complete 150 hours of work as a minimum requirement. There are two pieces of assessment: an initial reflective piece of writing about the placement, and an essay related to the placement or project work.




The dissertation will provide you with an opportunity to undertake a research project on a topic within development studies in consultation with your supervisor. It is intended to complement the more conventional methods of coursework and examination assessment, allowing you to investigate and consider themes and issues of importance to you in more depth. The dissertation is not an extended essay; rather it is a (social) scientific piece of research that sets out a clear question and methods, and develops a coherent argument based on a review of existing and/or interpretation of fresh evidence, and application to theory. Please note, the dissertation is restricted to International Development and Environmental Geography and International Development students.




This module is concerned with how policy is made, how it is implemented, and how it affects developing countries. It critically analyses the role of a variety of different development actors including international organisations, national governments, Non-Governmental Organisations, social movements, trade unions and the media. It focuses in particular on how policy impacts on the conditions of less well-off and less powerful groups in society. It underlines the contested nature of policy processes and asks how policy can work better for the poor.



Students will select 20 - 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Students must not take more than 20 credits of Level 5 modules in their final year.

Name Code Credits


Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Message from the Course Director

    Welcome to the Politics and International Development Programme at UEA. We offer a unique degree programme that addresses key issues in the politics of development. For us politics is not about political actors and institutions in themselves, but the ways in which they shape developing societies and the lives of ordinary people.

    Read it Message from the Course Director
  • Annual Newsletter 2017-2018

    Students in the field, volunteers on the ground and keeping older people healthy. A year in Development.

    Read it Annual Newsletter 2017-2018
  • How DEV Students Are Making An Impact To The World

    Hear how two of our Alumni are building global careers and making a positive impact on people's lives.

    Read it How DEV Students Are Making An Impact To The World
  • Politics Matters

    Combining political science and interdisciplinary approaches to international development - find out more about why Politics Matters.

    Read it Politics Matters

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB or BBB with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points
  • Scottish Highers AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 3 subjects at H2, 3 subjects at H3
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 30 credits at level 3 and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM. Excludes BTEC Public Services and Business Administration
  • European Baccalaureate 75%

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in all components)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for this course, our partner INTO UEA offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of an International Foundation programme. Depending on your interests and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

Any International Foundation course

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Pre-sessional English at INTO UEA
English for University Study at INTO UEA


The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact directly to discuss this further.


The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515


    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515