International Development

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
International Development
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA L900


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: ABB

BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?

If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.

You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here

If you are a mature student, further information is here

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Edward Morgan-Jones

Reader in Comparative Politics

University of Kent

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 23 October 2023 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  GV103-4-AU-CO  Introduction to International Relations  Compulsory  15  15 
02  GV113-4-SP-CO  Co-Operation and Conflict  Compulsory  15  15 
03  GV100-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Politics  Compulsory  30  30 
04  EC111-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Economics  Compulsory  30  30 
05    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
06  GV711-4-FY-CO  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 
07  GV164-4-SU-CO  Doing Political Research  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  GV225-5-AU-CO  International Economic Development  Compulsory  15  15 
02  GV216-5-SP-CO  Development, N.G.Os and Foreign Aid  Compulsory  15  15 
03  GV214-5-AU-CO  International Relations: Theories and Approaches  Compulsory  15  15 
04    GV207-5-AU or GV252-5-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    EC201-5-FY or EC202-5-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
06    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
07  GV711-5-FY-CO  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 
08  GV275-5-SU-CO  Issues in Politics: Final Year Project preparation  Compulsory 

Year 3 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  GV307-6-FY-CO  Political Economy  Compulsory  30  30 
02  GV315-6-SP-CO  Political Economy of Development in the Global South  Compulsory  15  15 
03  EC335-6-SP-CO  Strategies of Economic Development  Compulsory  15  15 
04    Capstone Project  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
05    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
06  GV711-6-FY-CO  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To develop students knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues associated with the study of development and politics; both at the national and the international levels and of quantitative methods for studying politics.
  • To provide the opportunity for students to learn about existing research on Development, an overview of contemporary Development theories and the key issues that developing countries face.
  • To develop and promote students general analytical skills and capacities to undertake subsequent academic study and for employment, personal development and social participation.
  • To maintain an intellectual environment that is exciting and challenging, fostering students' capacities for study and dialogue and maintaining high standards of teaching and learning.
  • To enhance students skills in teamwork, oral presentation, research techniques, writing.

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: Knowledge of the main theoretical and empirical concepts in development such as sustainable development, political development, economic development.

    A2: Knowledge of the main findings of existing development research.

    A3: Knowledge of developments, issues and debates in the specialist regions or subjects they choose to study.

    A4: Knowledge of statistical methods appropriate for development studies.

    A5: Knowledge of sources of information for studying politics.

    Learning methods

    A1 - A3 are addressed in lectures, participation in seminars and classes and written comments on essays.
    A3 is additionally addressed in optional choices in years 2 and 3 and/or in projects,

    Assessment methods

    The majority of modules are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% examination.
    Some modules in this course are assessed based on 60% course work and on a written examination, each counting for 40% of the final mark.
    For these modules, the average course work load consists of two essays per module or equivalent.
    Class tests are used to assess A4.
    The Project counts as a separate module and is assessed on its own merits.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: To question received thinking.

    B2: To develop their own thinking

    B3: Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in political science and political theory at an appropriate level.

    B4: To analyse and evaluate data.

    B5: To reason critically.

    B6: To argue coherently and persuasively.

    B7: To present ideas in a structured form in writing.

    Learning methods

    These skills are developed in: (a) Seminars and classes; (b) Class presentations; (c) Written comments on essays.
    Individual guidance is available for the writing of essays and the construction of presentations.
    Opportunities exist to consult a Study Skills Officer.

    Assessment methods

    Essays and written examinations.

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Organise and structure an extended argument, advancing clear critical positions.

    C2: Use theoretical terms correctly.

    C3: Compile systematic bibliographies.

    C4: Provide references according to accepted conventions.

    C5: Use quantitative methods, abstract and synthesise relevant information.

    Learning methods

    This range of practical skills (C1 - C5) is taught in seminars and developed through tutors comments on essays and in supervision of written work.

    Assessment methods

    Essays and projects are assessed for these skills while written examinations are assessed for skills C1, C2 and C5.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.

    D2: To use electronic information sources.

    D3: To use basic statistical methods.

    D4: To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.

    D6: To be receptive to feedback; to manage time and resources and to be self-critical.

    Learning methods

    The five relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree. 1, 2 and 4 are employed in essays. 1 and 6 are employed in seminars, classes and one-on-one discussions with class teachers.

    Assessment methods

    Essays and projects are assessed for qualities that implicitly incorporate all these skills


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing