Business as a Development Actor (702M9)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

On this course you will examine theory and evidence relating to the effects of business activity on development. By the end of the course, you will be able to critically assess the influence of business on poverty, global supply chains, gender inequality, labour standards, climate change, food and water security and other development concerns.

You will discuss the origins of and motivations for firm behaviour from a development perspective, drawing on economic theories of the firm and organisation theory. You then evaluate a range of frameworks and business models that are oriented toward development, including corporate social responsibility, bottom of the pyramid, microfinance and social entrepreneurship. The course pays particular attention to the role of multinational corporations and the important role of large domestic enterprises in developing countries. Finally, you will assess the implications of encouraging a major role for the private sector in the delivery of economic growth and the provision of basic services.


100%: Seminar (Class)


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 256 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2020/21. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.