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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Critical Approaches to Development (SWM511)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description The many competing visions of development are a challenge to professionals working in this area. This unit offers a high-level overview of the key theoretical debates that guide these visions, across different institutional and national settings. Students will be asked to consider fundamental questions about aid and development and to apply what they learn to both practical and theoretical written tasks.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this unit students should:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of concepts and theories of development;
2. Analyse the manner in which practices and discourses of development impact upon target communities;
3. Critique the motivations of agencies delivering aid and development;
4. Evaluate the difficulties, both practical and political, of delivering aid;
5. Explain why aid development remains a contested arena within both national and international spheres:
6. Explain why the practices and discourses of aid and development reinforce inequitable power relationships between the global north and the global south;
7. Demonstrate skills of critical analysis, collaborative practice, communication and professionalism appropriate to working in the field of development.
Timetabled Learning Activities Workshop 1 x 3 hours for 5 weeks (15 hours contact time)
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit is based on lessons from practical experience in development programs. 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 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 Participation in seminars (15%) Students are expected to read these articles carefully and reflect a sound understanding of these approaches in seminars.

In class group case analysis (30%) Students will collaborate in small groups to analyse a case. Each group will be given a different case and present the analysis to to the class.

Blog (20%) Students will write a short blog responding to the question 'does foreign aid really work?' that will reflect a wide reading of relevant literature addressing both sides of the debate.

Major written assessment (35%) Students will research a development topic from a set questions and write a 2000 word essay.
Prerequisites Enrolment in Graduate Certificate in Policy and Development, Master of Development Studies, Master of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership, Master of Health Policy and Leadership, Master of International Affairs and Security, Master of International Affairs or Master of Public Policy and Management or Master of Community Development.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed SSH511 Overseas Aid and Development or STP604 Overseas Aid and International Development may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2013: SSH511
2016: 'Theories of Development'; 2013: 'Overseas Aid and Development'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Graduate Certificate in Policy and Development (GradCertPDev)
Master of Community Development (MCommDev)
Master of Development Studies (MDS)
Master of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership (MHAPL) [New in 2016]
Master of International Affairs and Security (MIAS)
Master of Public Policy and Management (MPPM)
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
Dr Rochelle Spencer
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2898
e: Rochelle.Spencer@murdoch.edu.au
o: 440.3.021 - Building 440, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Rochelle Spencer
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2898
e: Rochelle.Spencer@murdoch.edu.au
o: 440.3.021 - Building 440, Murdoch Campus
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