International Development BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
L920
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students relaxing after class

This degree gives you an insight into the challenges of global development. It explores how the competing challenges of inequality, poverty reduction, economic growth and social development are negotiated and contested, alongside ways in which people and institutions respond to these challenges.

Core modules in the programme introduce you to key issues such as the impact of colonialism, how different agencies contribute to development and how development operates in practice. You’ll also be able to choose from optional modules in your final year, allowing you to specialise in the regions, countries and themes that excite you most.

Quantitative Research Methods (QRM) pathway

At the end of Year 1, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a place on our BA International Development with Quantitative Research Methods pathway. This pathway will help you develop advanced analytical skills, which are in high demand across the public, private, and third sectors. You will learn statistical analysis techniques and their application to real data (e.g. survey data, countries’ statistical data) using statistical software. You will also write a dissertation in which you will analyse quantitative data to examine questions about politics, development or international relations.

You are not required to have done Mathematics at A level, this pathway is open to all students as long as you have attained an overall 2:1 in your first year and a 2:1 in the Comparative Politics module.

Semester Abroad

This degree provides you with an opportunity to study abroad at the University of Ghana in the second semester of the second year as long as you achieve a minimum grade in Year 1. The modules you study will count towards your degree.

While on the semester abroad you could also get involved with volunteering and learn from local charitable organisations and NGOs to see first-hand the daily work and challenges that are part of running such organisations. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of another culture and gain a new perspective to inform the rest of your studies.

The semester abroad is independent of the University’s year-long study abroad programme, so you can still apply to extend your degree by a year and spend your third year overseas.

Please note: the opportunity to spend a semester at the University of Ghana is subject to availability at the time. On occasion, circumstances outside of the control of the University may require us to adapt our provision.

Research and practice

The School’s Centre for Global Development (CGD) brings together our International Development teaching team, comprised of academics who are leaders in their fields. Many have advised national governments, NGOs and transnational organisations in their specialist areas, and have experience of living, researching and conducting fieldwork in the Global South. Our real-world academic, practitioner and policy-making perspectives will provide you with insights into the major political, economic, social and cultural issues affecting people in the Global South and how these experiences link with political, economic and social change in the Global North.

This course has strong connections to active research centres across the University that are involved in teaching, researching and debating international development topics. You’ll have the chance to get engaged with units such as the Leeds Social Science Institute (LSSI) and the Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS).

Studying in the School of Politics and International Studies

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Course details

Each stage of the degree involves core modules that enhance your knowledge of development challenges and their perceived causes; enrich your understanding of theories of development and Southern responses to underdevelopment; and build the hands-on skills you’ll need in the professional workplace. You’ll also be able to choose discovery modules from across the University.

Year 1 equips you with the skills you’ll need to study and research international development. You’ll begin to consider the causes and factors that have influenced modern development challenges, examining the effects of colonialism and the legacy of colonial rule across the Americas, Africa and Asia. You’ll also put your development knowledge into the context of political theory and international politics.

Building on this foundation, core modules in Year 2 will allow you to explore the theoretical debates that underpin international development. You’ll also see how theory translates to real-world situations, as you examine aspects of development practice and a wide range of development agencies. You’ll also improve your research skills and gain an understanding of the methods and techniques used to create new insights into the subject. Diverse optional modules will allow you to focus on related topics such as public policy, security studies and international relations.

If you spend a semester abroad during this year, you’ll study modules at your host institution that replace some of those you would be expected to take in Leeds.

Much of your final year will be dedicated to your dissertation – an independently researched project on a topic of your choice, which allows you to demonstrate the interdisciplinary, critical and research skills you have gained. To complete your studies, you’ll choose up to three optional modules from a set related to international development, and you could choose up to two modules from across the School of Politics and International Studies, including topics such as US foreign policy and political psychology.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read International Development BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Global Development Challenges 20
Making of the Modern World 20
International Politics 20
Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas 20
Comparative Politics 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You may choose up to 20 credits of optional modules.

Module Name Credits
British Politics 20

Year 1 discovery modules

If you do not choose an optional module you will choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Development Theory and Practice 20
Approaches to Analysis 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 20 to 80 credits from lists of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
North-South Linkages 20
Politics and Policy in the EU 20
Politics of Contemporary China 20
State and Politics in Africa 20
United States Politics 20
Theories of International Relations 20
Security Studies 20
Revolution and Reaction: Political Problems in the 20th Century 20
Justice, Community and Conflict 20
The Labour Party Since 1945 20
Spin Doctors and Electioneering 20
Analysing Data in Politics, Development and International Relations 20

Year 2 discovery modules

Depending on the number of optional modules selected, you may choose up to 40 credits of discovery modules.

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 40

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 20 to 80 credits from lists of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
British Foreign Policy 20
International Development and Social Policy 20
Violence and Reconciliation in Africa 20
Extreme Right Parties 20
Gender and Security in Global Politics 20
Philosophy of Human Rights 20
Prime Ministers and British Politics 20
The Labour Party Since 1945 20
Britain and the EU 20
Europe in the World 20
American Foreign Policy 20
Nuclear Weapons and Global Politics 20
Critically Analysing The Responsibility to Protect 20
Terrorism: Concepts, Debates, Cases 20
Radical Political Ideas 20
Reimagining Politics: Gender, Race, and Popular Culture 20
Video Games: Politics, Society and Culture 20
Gender, Technologies and the Body 20
Ethnicity and Popular Culture 20

Year 3 discovery modules

Depending on the number of optional modules selected, you may choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain diverse skills. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.

Independent study is also a vital element of the course, as it allows you to develop your research and critical skills while preparing for taught sessions.

You’ll also have an Academic Personal Tutor (APT) – one of our academics – who will be on hand to offer you guidance and support on academic issues, such as module choices, as well as career and personal matters.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams, you could also be asked to complete essays, projects based on case studies, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs, project proposals or development agency reviews. In your final year you’ll also submit a 10,000 word dissertation.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

We do not require A-level Politics for courses in the School of Politics and International Studies. We welcome applications that include vocational A-level subjects such as AVCE (single or double awards). Any combination of these with A-levels is acceptable.

In general we expect applicants to have two ‘traditional’ academic subjects at A-level. See our accepted subjects document to see which subjects we accept.

When an applicant is taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) this can be considered alongside A-levels and may attact an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A-level including grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 at Merit or higher.

BTEC

DDM.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M1.

International Baccalaureate

34 overall (6,5,5 higher).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

AAABBB.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAABB overall (BB at advanced level).

T-Levels

We will consider T levels in appropriate subjects as they become available. In all cases applicants should have GCSE English at 4 or above.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer:

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, we offer a foundation year for UK students who meet specific widening participation criteria. Learn more about the BA Social Science (foundation year).

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Politics and International Studies admissions team.

International foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 will be available on individual course pages from September 2023.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we review applications after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration. Please see our Admissions Guidance page for more details as well as advice on personal statements.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact us

School of Politics and International Studies Admissions Team

Email: ugpolis@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

This course will give you in-depth knowledge of debates, approaches, strategies, politics and programmes in the field of international development. It will also equip you with an understanding of project design and management in the international development context, as well as skills in research, analysis, using qualitative and quantitative data, communication and decision-making in complex situations.

Our course equips you for various career paths. Compatible careers include working in international development agencies, international organisations, governments, politics, NGOs, research organisations, policy making, companies, media, and academia.

Our graduates have gone on to work in, for instance, non-governmental organisations in the UK or overseas, research and consultancy firms, international organisations (such as the UN), the Civil Service, the media, or have continued with further study.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Semester abroad – exclusive to BA International Development

This course also offers you the opportunity to spend a semester studying at one of our chosen partner universities in a developing country (as long as you achieve a minimum grade in Year 1). The modules you enrol on there count towards your degree, meaning you don’t have to catch up on the modules you would have otherwise taken in Leeds.

While on the semester abroad you could also get involved with volunteering and learn from local charitable organisations and NGOs to see first-hand the daily work and challenges that are part of running such organisations. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of another culture and gain a new perspective to inform the rest of your studies.

Please note: the opportunity to spend a semester abroad is subject to availability at the time. On occasion, circumstances outside of the control of the University may require us to adapt our provision.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: David Johnson

Studying in Ghana for a semester - one of the options for the course - was an incredible experience. I would say it’s essential for anyone who is interested in ‘developing countries’.
Find out more about David Johnson's time at Leeds