Understanding Development

Subject DEVT90009 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours of lectures and seminars throughout the semester
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week
Prerequisites: Admission to the Postgraduate studies or fourth year Honours in Development Studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in sucessful completion of an undergraduate degree with at least minor in Development studies or a degree with subsequent experience in Development.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website : http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/

Subject Overview:

This subject forms an introduction to the main past and current theories of development, involving the approaches of several social science disciplines. It also considers many of the major issues in development, including the environment, gender, human rights, globalisation, governance, non-governmental organisations, poverty, and trade. Students should become familiar with the relationship between theories of development and development practice. The subject seeks to foster skills in critical thinking, communication, and group work.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to explain the main theories of development.
  • understand key issues in development studies and development policy.
  • have familiarity with the relationship between theories of development and development practice.
  • engage in critical thinking about development theory and practice.
Assessment: A 15 minute briefing presentation 10% (working in a group on an allocated topic beginning in week 4 of semester), an associated group-prepared 3000 word briefing paper 30% (due one week after the presentation) and a 3000 word individual essay 60 % (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

To be advised by coordinator

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to think critically (for example, about development and its measures).
  • obtain information to evaluate propositions (about development).
  • write coherent and researched essays.
  • work in teams (to identify answers to practical problems).
Links to further information: http://www.pasi.unimelb.edu.au/development/
Notes: This subject is compulsory in the 097AB Master of Development 150 point and 200 point programs.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Asian Societies)
Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of Environment
Master of Environment
Master of Global Media Communication
Master of Social Policy
Postgraduate Certificate in Environment
Postgraduate Diploma in Environment
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development
Development Studies
Development Studies
Development Studies
Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
Energy Studies

Download PDF version.