Ideas in Development and Policy, Evidence and Practice (982M9)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This is the foundation module for all students studying at IDS.

It provides you with the conceptual and epistemological foundations of development studies, mapping the historical evolution of the political, socio-economic and cultural influences that have shaped the discourse.

The module will highlight the deeply contested nature of development studies, the different insights that academic disciplines such as economics, gender, anthropology, sociology, geography and political science have contributed to the evolution of development thinking.

This module aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge to reflect on your own motivation and positionality and how these influence your interpretation of the meaning and goals of development.


67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 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 2024/25. 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.