Inside Development: the Social Life of Aid (L2152A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

You'll consider what could be called the ‘ethnographic turn’ in development studies, which brings ethnographic methods and perspectives to bear on aid institutions, policies, and actors.

These include particular methodological approaches, such as participant observation within aid organisations or ‘expert’ communities, and also attention to neglected dimensions such as the material culture of aid, and the role of the body in development work.

As well as the ethnography of policy-making, you'll also investigate the role of non-official materials such as aid worker blogs, memoirs and ‘development blockbusters’.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: