Development Studies courses: why the world is the way it is

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Globalisation has brought the world closer together. This has created opportunities and challenges. It also means that the need development studies has never been higher.

Development studies explores how nations have developed, and applies that knowledge to the global landscape. Therefore, students who pursue this discipline learn why the world is the way it is. Politics can often seem disconnected from the greater society. However, political decisions affect the daily lives of citizens and people around the world. Development studies focuses on the interaction of policy on a nation’s outcome. As a result, this is a broad education which can be applied to a variety of careers.

Why choose development studies?

Anyone with an interest in how countries succeed, or fail, will benefit from studying this subject. Governments increasingly employ staff with an education in development studies. In addition, graduates work for NGOs, the not-for-profit sector, community groups, charities and even the media. Graduates work in a number of roles. These include:

  • Community Service Organization Manager
  • Government Programme Agent
  • Human Rights Officer

Whether it is in government, and NGO or the corporate world, an education in this discipline can lead to a range of interesting, engaging careers.

What does it involve?

There is a vast array of courses to choose from. These include degree programmes, postgraduate courses and shorter certificate and diploma courses. These may focus on a particular subject, such as community development, or offer an overview on global developments in politics, economics, technology and culture. Foundation courses are also available. These give students a grounding in development studies and explore the challenges of international development.

At a glance

Development Studies is an interesting field that has many real-world applications. Diploma, degree, postgraduate and shorter courses are available. This discipline is especially relevant to those who wish to work for the government, in an NGO or a charity. The media and the corporate world are also sources of employment.


Anne Sexton

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