Handbook Public View

This page displays current curriculum information. For staff view, please login

Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Overseas Aid and International Development (SUS207)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description Why are aid and development important? What are the differences between humanitarian emergency responses and long term development? How can we encourage people to take ownership for their own sustainable development? What are the barriers to this for them and us? What is is it to be the beneficiary of a development intervention? This unit aims to give a historical and theoretical grounding to respond to these questions and to give us a more detailed picture of what development entails.
Unit Learning Outcomes On the completion of this unit students will be able to:
ULO1: Participate in critical discussion concerning the nature of interactions between development agencies and target communities within the developed and the developing world;
ULO2: Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal concepts theories and practices of overseas aid and international development
ULO3: Reflect critically on recent debates informing development, the motivations behind international aid, and the attendant difficulties in its delivery
ULO4: Analyse why overseas aid and international development remain so contested within international relations and such a problematic context for altruistic notions of help
ULO5: Work both independently, and collaboratively in a respectful manner with a range of people
ULO6: Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 2x 1.5hrs Weeks 1 and 2 followed by 7x 3hour workshops from week 3 onwards
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit is based on lessons from practical experience in development. We will not concentrate on defining 'development' in simple and restrictive terms. Rather students read widely and actively participate in discussions, debates and activities concerning the nature of interactions between agencies within the developed and the developing world, which together give us a more detailed picture of what development entails. A blend of self directed and group learning is key to the learning experiences in this intensive unit. Students engage in online learning through the use of LMS, which has a detailed list of readings, video and websites offering a wide range of perspectives on development.
Assessment Workshop (internal students) / Discussion Board Participation (external students) (15%) provides an opportunity to take an active part in the discussions about each topic.

Blog (20%) - Students will write a 1000 word blog responding to the question 'does foreign aid really work?' that reflects the reading of the relevant literature from the first two lectures and address both sides of the debate.

Group case study analysis (30%) - Students will collaborate in small groups on a case analysis. Each group will be given a different case study one week prior to the assessment to analyse and present to the class.

Research Essay (35%) Students will research a development topic from a choice of essay questions and write a 2000 word essay.
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have completed STP204 Overseas Aid and Development or SUS204 Overseas Aid and Development cannot take this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Community Development (BA)
International Aid and Development (BA) [New in 2019]
Sociology (BA)
Sustainable Development (BA)
Appears in these Co-Majors International Aid and Development
Sustainable Development
Appears in these Minors Anthropology
International Aid and Development
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
No co-ordinators found for this unit.
Unit Contacts
No contacts found for this unit.
Fee Calculator
Handbook help
Information for Students


The University reserves the right to cancel, without notice, any course, major, minor or unit if the number of students enrolled falls below limits set by the University.

Regulations and Rules

Students should ensure they are familiar with the University's internal legislation, including provisions specifically relevant to their studies. See the University Regulation overview and view legislation online.