Poverty, Microfinance and Development

Subject DEVT50002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial each week.)
Total Time Commitment: an average of 10 hours per week
Prerequisites: None.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Students who enrol in this subject must be enrolled in a Masters by Coursework degree.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request 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:

Development studies as an academic discipline has its origins in President Harry Truman's concept of a 'fair deal' for the entire world. In his inaugural address on January 20, 1949, he stated that Third World poverty, "is a handicap and a threat both to them and to more prosperous areas. For the first time in history humanity possesses the knowledge and the skill to relieve the suffering of these people.... I believe that we should make available to peace-loving peoples the benefits of our store of technical knowledge in order to help them realize their aspirations for a better life..... What we envisage is a program of development based on the concepts of democratic fair dealing"...


This subject aims to provide students with a solid grounding in one of the fundamental concerns of development and will explore the concepts and theories regarding cultural, political, economic and social aspects of poverty to critically engage in current debates on poverty, microfinance and development issues. The focus will be on the regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The subject will also extensively engage students into various theoretical debates, teaching of practical skills and techniques regarding Micro Finance and Small Business Entrepreneurship, which are widely promoted and used by the institutional financial institutions (such as the IMF and World Bank) and donor countries to alleviate poverty in less developed countries today.


Case Study Report 1,500 words due mid- semester (40%), Major Essay 3,500 words due end of semester (60%), Hurdle requirement of 80% attendance.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment for this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the bookshop at the start of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who complete this subject will acquire:-

  • advanced understanding of the main theories, concepts and debates about poverty from cross disciplinary development perspective.
  • critical analysis.
  • applied research skills.
  • ability to write reports.
  • the ability to make oral presentations.
  • skills in working independently and being members of a team
Links to further information: http://www.ssps.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Course(s): Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development Studies
Development Studies

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